Home Fashion 12 books the Fashion Journal team simply couldn’t put down

12 books the Fashion Journal team simply couldn’t put down

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What makes a book ‘good’? It’s a question with many possible answers, but personally, I’ve always relished a book that has me hooked fairly quickly. I like a novel to sink its teeth into my brain – in a pleasurable way, of course – so that I’m heading home from an after-work drink or a lousy date with a pep in my step, knowing I’m about to curl up with my latest page-turner.


Looking for more thought-provoking reads? Try our Life section.


The Fashion Journal team is made up of four voracious readers, and each of us knows that there’s nothing better than a book recommendation from a trusted source. With this in mind, below we’ve shared the 12 books that had us staying up well past our bedtime.

Daisy Jones & The Six by Taylor Jenkins Read

Recommended by: Izzy, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant

Since tearing through Patty Schemel’s candid memoir Hit so Hard, my nightstand has seen a constant stream of music-related reads. I picked up Daisy Jones & The Six because I liked the cover (arguably the most important criteria) and I had never heard of the band before. Spoiler alert – this is because it’s a fiction book. It took me at least 50 pages and one Google search to realise Daisy Jones & The Six doesn’t actually exist!

It’s embarrassing, but it’s also a testimonial to how incredible this story is. I read it in one day. The character development is so intricate and the story is completely engrossing – plus it has all the wonderful sex, drugs and wild parties you could want. It’s also reportedly based on Fleetwood Mac, so I’m not completely stupid. Just a little.

Get it here.

My Friend Anna by Rachel DeLoache-Williams

Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

Since I first read about Anna Delvey however many years ago, I can’t seem to get enough of her story. I don’t need to dive into details about who she is (the fake German heiress) or where she got her money (a series of fraud and larceny events against New York’s elite), but I will say that if you’re even slightly intrigued by this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction saga, it’s worth reading My Friend Anna.

It’s written by one of Anna’s close friends and victims and, while not the finest piece of literature, the subject matter is so engaging you’ll forgive the less-than-perfect prose.

Get it here.

Beautiful World, Where Are You by Sally Rooney

Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

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I was utterly captivated by Sally Rooney’s first two novels, Normal People and Conversations With Friends, so I had high expectations for Beautiful World, Where Are You. Several friends told me it fell flat for them, but I didn’t find that to be the case. While it is, in many ways, a love story of sorts, it’s also an exploration of fame, art and the intricacies of friendship.

As was the case with her two previous novels, Rooney’s prose is captivating; I found myself reading certain sentences several times over because they put into words something I’ve felt or known but have never been able to express. If you’re in the mood for an incredibly worthwhile slow burn, add this to your reading list.

Get it here.

The Chiffon Trenches by André Leon Talley

Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

I unashamedly bought The Chiffon Trenches for its salacious details, after a preview in The Cut promised this quote from the memoir: “She smiled warmly when she introduced herself and said, ‘Hi, I’m Madonna, you want a blow job?”. I wasn’t expecting to be floored by the fashion journalist/ stylist/creative director/Vogue editor’s robust discussions of race, queerness, size and body in the upper echelons of fashion.

Admittedly, I can’t remember the precise details of the book (it was released in the mind-melt of a year that was 2020) but I remember it was an absolute circus. It offers sharp insight into the abundant lives of two of his closest former friends – Anna Wintour and the late Karl Lagerfeld – and gave me as much glee as it did pause. With the passing of ALT in January of this year, it’s become an even more valuable chronicle of the industry and is well worth the read.

Get it here.

Grown Ups by Marian Keyes

Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

I adore Marian Keyes. I have ever since I discovered a stash of her much-loved classics tucked away in a dusty corner of a holiday home my family frequented when I was a pre-teen. I spent several holidays from the ages of 10 to 12 with my head buried in her tales of women navigating the muddy terrains of love, friendship, identity and work.

Keyes is Irish and her books are almost always set in Ireland, and the quick wit the Irish are known for permeates all her novels. Aside from her undeniable wit, there’s a warmth that shines through in each of her novels, and Grown Ups is no different.

The book revolves around the three Casey brothers and their families. While at first glance everything seems tight-knit and friendly, under the surface there’s tension, inappropriate attractions, money troubles and long-held resentments. But when one of the characters gets a concussion, the truth starts tumbling out. Keyes is skilled at creating relatable, nuanced characters and this book was an utter joy to read (just like every one of her books).

Get it here.

Consumed: The Need for Collective Change; Colonialism, Climate Change and Consumerism by Aja Barber

Recommended by: Izzy, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant

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Sometimes, a challenging book is exactly what your brain needs – a hefty subject to truly sink your teeth into. I thought this is the experience I would have reading Consumed, understanding it was a book about the uncomfortable, unjust and broken history of the textile industry. While Barber absolutely covered this, her writing style – compelling, story-driven, largely free of buzzwords and industry jargon – made this an enthralling speed-read.

It’s an incredibly important book all clothing consumers should read, written in a way we can all understand. I love Aja Barber and think she’s a truly critical voice in the sustainable fashion industry right now. Read!

Get it here.

Anatomy of a Scandal by Sarah Vaughan

Recommended by: Giulia, Fashion Journal’s Managing Editor

I like to think the best indicator of a good book is whether Netflix picks it up for a series, such is the case with Anatomy of a Scandal. It feels like a particularly pertinent read at this time in Australian politics, touching on privilege, politics, sexual assault, consent, transparency and plausible deniability.

It’s courtroom drama mixed with a psychological thriller. and written in such a skilful way that you’ll keep telling yourself ‘one more page’ until you realise it’s 3am and you have to be up for work soon. If you’ve read or watched Apple Tree Yard, I promise you’ll like this even more.

Get it here.

Circe by Madeline Miller

Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, then Madeline Miller’s work is for you. Set in the Greek Heroic Age, Circe is the highly anticipated follow-up novel to The New York Times best-seller, The Song of Achilles.

A great piece of escapism, I was instantly catapulted into a mesmerising world of Greek Gods, mythical kingdoms and wild creatures. Don’t be fooled by the shiny cover though, as the story also explores the deeply felt isolation that follows loss, grief and rejection.

Get it here.

The Dutch House by Anne Patchett

Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

I first picked up this book in the middle of Melbourne’s 15-week lockdown back in 2020, and I can’t say if it was a case of early pandemique blues, lack of social interaction or Patchett’s captivating writing that had me in tears from the get-go.

Described by some as a dark fairytale, The Dutch House begins in post World War Two Philadelphia and documents the unwavering bond between two siblings, Danny and Maeve, over the course of the next five decades. A slow burn, the book is a great exploration of character growth, while tackling themes including classism, neglect, loyalty and family ties.

Get it here.

Insatiable by Daisy Buchanan

Recommended by: Cait, Fashion Journal’s Digital Editor

I’m in several book clubs, which means I’m often tearing through books out of necessity, and not always for the sheer enjoyment of it. When one of my book clubs assigned Daisy Buchanan’s debut novel, Insatiable, as this month’s read, I was intrigued. I’d heard a lot about the book and knew it was heavy on the sex (we love that).

Centred around Violet, a 26-year-old who’s lost in every area of her life, the book explores lust, desire, greed and what it means to love and be loved as a woman right now. Violet’s lack of direction leads her into the arms (literally) of a suave older couple who are partial to a spot of swinging. So yes, there’s a lot of sex, but Buchanan explores Violet’s desires in a remarkably tender and insightful manner. It very much delivered, and I devoured it in a few days.

Get it here.

Talking to my Country by Stan Grant

Recommended by: Ella, Fashion Journal’s Account Manager

Following the abuse of Indigenous footballer Adam Goodes in 2015, Talking to my County is a deeply personal, passionate and often uncomfortable book that spotlights the pervasive racial discrimination that exists in Australia. Grant’s inclusive language and ability to create a sense of shared national identity is what I think really sets this book apart.

I read this one on my Kindle over the summer last year and found myself constantly highlighting bits of passage that captivated me. When friends reach out asking for First Nations book recommendations, this is always my go-to.

Get it here.

Honeybee by Craig Silvey

Recommended by: Izzy, Fashion Journal’s Editorial Assistant

Honeybee is a queer coming-of-age story that chronicles the journey of Sam, a young trans girl living in Perth. Sam’s history – littered with tales of abuse, dysphoria and heartbreak – has led her to a breaking point, the moment we enter her profoundly moving story. When I tell you I bawled… I read this book when I was bed-ridden with COVID and simply sobbed my eyes out.

It’s one of the most incredibly moving and wonderfully enthralling books I’ve read in a long time. While it is a trans story told by a White, cis, hetero man (something I had mixed feelings about), Silvey’s research allowed him to approach this book with true understanding, respect and nuance.

Get it here.

For more addictive book recommendations, try this.

This article 12 books the Fashion Journal team simply couldn’t put down appeared first on Fashion Journal.

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