The Essential Book Lovers’ Guide To Must-Read Fiction

Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team


Sep 17, 2021

There was a long list of strong women’s fiction published last year, and this year is shaping up to be equally as good.

The Golden Child from Wendy James is popular, as is Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett. Also Who’s Afraid Too? by Maria Lewis, the sequel to her 2016 debut and two collections of stories to look out for are Roxane Gay’s collection Difficult Women, and Homesick for Another World from Man Booker Prize-shortlisted author Ottessa Moshfegh.

Thriller fans  will love The River at Night by Erica Ferencik, Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land, Crimson Lake by Candice Fox, and The Girl Before by J. P. Delaney is the sequel to American Blood by Ben Sanders, Marshall’s Law, and the final title in the best-selling Cliff Hardy series by Peter Corris, Win, Lose, or Draw. Peter Swanson is back as well with Her Every Fear, and a series from Terry Goodkind kicks off with Death’s Mistress.

Did you know there is a sequel to The War of the Worlds? Neither did we, until very recently! Authorised by the H.G. Wells Estate, The Massacre of Mankind by Stephen Baxter picks up 14 years after the Martians invaded England. Storm and Grace by Kathryn Heyman and Alice Campion (The Shifting Light)  and The Antiques by Kris D’Agostino is a great read.


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The 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sympathizer, Viet Thanh Nguyen’s second novel The Refugees is worth a read as is the first novel from short story master George Saunders (Lincoln in the Bardo) and an epic from Paul Auster called 4 3 2 1, his first novel after a seven year hiatus. Joanna Trollope’s 20th novel, City of Friends, is also on our list and a novel from Nicola Moriarty (The Fifth Letter). Neil Gaiman’s Norse Mythology is quite popular as well.

Mohsin Hamid, author of The Reluctant Fundamentalist, has Exit West to offer, but if crime fiction is more your style then you can’t go past Ragdoll by Daniel Cole. If the discovery of a body with the dismembered parts of six victims stitched together piques your interest, definitely pick this one up. He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly is another thriller to look out for. The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker, An Uncertain Grace by Krissy Kneen, and Lia Hills’s debut novel The Crying Place is worth reading. Samantha Shannon is has The Song Rising, the third book in The Bone Season series. Finally, look out for The Wanderers by Meg Howrey, a book being described as Station Eleven meets The Martian.

The sequel to racy Maestra by L.S. Hilton, Domina, along with the much-hyped See What I Have Done by Sarah Schmidt (a re-imagining of the unsolved American true crime case of the Lizzie Borden murders) and Hidden Hours by Sara Foster is on our list too. House of Names by Colm Toibin, a retelling of the ‘Atreus’ myths of Greek antiquity, and a novel from Hannah Tinti called The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley. This month, among the eagerly anticipated books are Hundred Small Lessons from Ashley Hay (best-selling author of The Railwayman’s Wife) the second novel from Anna Spargo-Ryan called The Gulf, the first in a new series from Laini Taylor called Strange the Dreamer, and Congo Dawn from Katherine Scholes. Finally, it’s worth reading Kathy Lette novel called Best Laid Plans.

Paula Hawkins’s second novel Into the Water is painstakingly restored from Tolkien’s manuscripts and presented for the first time as a fully continuous and standalone story, the epic tale of Beren and Lúthien  will reunite fans of The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings with Elves and Men, Dwarves and Orcs and the rich landscape and creatures unique to Tolkien’s Middle-earth.

Happy reading!


By Robyn Foyster Robyn Foyster has been verified by Muck Rack's editorial team


Robyn Foyster is the owner and publisher of the lifestyle websites, and She is the only person to edit and publish Australia's three biggest flagship magazines - The Australian Women's Weekly, Woman's Day and New Idea. Robyn was Group Publisher of Bauer Media's most successful and prestigious magazines including Woman's Day, Good Health, Grazia and ran Hearst in Australia including Harper’s BAZAAR, Cosmopolitan and madison. Voted one of B&T's 30 Most Powerful Women In Media at the Women in Media Awards Robyn was a keynote speaker at Pause 2021, Cebit & J&J Women In Leadership. Robyn was also the winner of the prestigious Magazine Publisher Association’s Editor of the Year award.



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