If you read one book this decade, make it this one. It highlights a brilliant display of hidden agendas, blind nepotism, boardroom battles and sickening sums of money thrown to those who could talk the talk but couldn’t walk the walk.
Written by two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative reporter, John Carreyrou, Bad Blood initially began as a series of probing articles before the unbelievable but true account of Elizabeth Holmes’ medical technology company Theranos unravelled into a book, mass media scandal and eventually Netflix documentary.
It’s worth noting, that considering the complicated subject matter (medicine and technology) this is a surprisingly easy read.
A quirky coming of age story that at times hits a little too close to home. Normal People follows two teens, Connell and Marianne, as they weave in and out of each other’s lives from awkward high school sexual encounters to dipping their toe into adulthood at college and overseas.
At its core this is a simple love story of rich girl and poor boy, but it’s so much more than that – it’s brutally honest and completely absorbing. Rooney balances heartbreak, sex, angst and love in a neat little bundle of laser-focused words.
If you’re into your food you’ll be very aware of David Chang, chef behind the Momofuku empire and star of Netflix’s Ugly Delicious.
Growing up in Virginia, Chang was the son of Korean immigrants, who peaked early at pro-golfing, performed dismally in school and was often the victim to racism and stereotypes. Chang went on to rise through the chef ranks before becoming a restaurant mogul.
His story is one of raw honestly, with an ongoing and open conversation about his battle with depression and struggles with work-life balance. Forever humble, Chang’s incredible journey to success is awe-inspiring.
If you’re a fan of the ‘How I Built This’ podcast you’ll love this.
This book is the next best thing to seeing a psychologist. Lori Gottlieb delivers a heartfelt memoir as a therapist seeking therapy as she candidly reflects on her own struggles as well as the emotional journeys of four key patients: a terminally ill newlywed, a successful yet emotionally absent Hollywood producer, a suicidal senior and a twenty-something woman battling alcoholism and destructive behaviour. This fly on the wall account breaks down the stigma which surrounds those who seek therapy while tactfully broaching some heavy subjects.
The second book from new Australian author J.P. Pomare, In the Clearing, is loosely based on the real-life events of The Family. An Australian cult accused of imprisoning and brainwashing children throughout the 1970s and ‘80s.
The story follows the kidnapping of a young girl from two first person narratives. Protagonist one is the teenage Amy who lives an insular existence in the Clearing, obeying her Elders through strict routine, and takes it on herself to help the ‘new girl’ fit in with her new surroundings.
The second is Freya, an overbearing single mother also living a reclusive life with her son in rural Australia.
As their stories unfold, Pomare masterfully links them with clever misdirection’s that will keep you guessing right up until the final pages.
This book is the epitome of a “holiday read.” Filled with uninhibited tales and obnoxious stories from the hilarious Chelsea Handler as she recounts her real-life journey from childhood to Hollywood.
Handler covers off everything from childhood lies, urinary issues, holidaying with her father and of course, booze driven mistakes. If you’re easily offended, don’t read this.
While we’re on the subject of female comedian memoirs, these are also worth investing in – Bossypants by Tina Fey, Yes Please by Amy Poehler, The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo by Amy Schumer and Wishful Drinking by Carrie Fisher who isn’t technically a comedian but hilarious nonetheless.