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Bookmarked Blog

The 2023 Dymocks Top 101 list has just dropped and we’re excited to share that 76% of the authors that you voted for are women! We want to shout this from the rooftops because as you know, female authors have historically been underrepresented in literature. It was less than 100 years ago that some of the most celebrated female authors had to use pseudonyms to even be published as they wouldn’t be taken seriously as a writer otherwise. We are incredibly proud to promote all of these incredible authors and to shout about their achievements in literature (and more!)

In case you haven’t heard of our Top 101 - it’s an annual vote made by our wonderful and well-read booklovers of their favourite reads from the past year.

Here are a handful of the 76% - but be sure to check out the full list!

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

#1 The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo
Taylor Jenkins Reid

Coming in at #1 for our 2023 Top 101 is The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo and we’re not surprised! This incredible novel by Taylor Jenkins Reid has been hugely popular - especially amongst the #BookTok-ers. Published in 2017, this novel tells the story of Evelyn Hugo, a famous Hollywood actress who was known for her beauty and acting talent. The story is narrated by Monique Grant, a young journalist who is approached by Evelyn to write her biography.

Evelyn, now in her seventies, has led an extraordinary life, full of glamour, scandal, and tragedy. She had been married seven times and each marriage had a significant impact on her life and career. Through her story, the novel explores themes of love, relationships, fame, power, identity, and sacrifice.

As Monique delves deeper into Evelyn's past, she uncovers shocking secrets and revelations that challenge her own perceptions and beliefs. The novel explores the complexities of human relationships and the consequences of choices made in pursuit of one's dreams.

Exiles by Jane Harper

#6 Exiles
Jane Harper

Exiles is written by beloved Aussie author Jane Harper and was published in 2022. This story takes place in the early 20th century and follows the journey of three individuals who are exiled to Tasmania. It focuses on the lives of the three main characters - Aiden, an Irishman convicted of a crime he did not commit and exiled to Tasmania, a young Scottish woman named Charlotte, who is escaping from her troubled past and a third character, a Tasmanian Aborigine named Mathinna, who was taken from her family and brought up by white settlers.

The story revolves around the harsh and rugged environment of Tassie, which the characters must navigate while also dealing with their personal demons and the challenges of living in a new and unfamiliar land. Their stories eventually intersect in unexpected ways, revealing the complexities of their pasts and the impact of colonialism on their lives.

Read our exclusive Q&A with Jane Harper!

I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jeanette McCurdy

#7 I'm Glad My Mom Died
Jeanette McCurdy

I'm Glad My Mom Died is the groundbreaking memoir by Jennette McCurdy, a child actor most of you millennials will recognise from shows like iCarly, Malcolm in the Middle and Fred: The Movie. Her autobiography tells the story of McCurdy’s relationship with her mother, who struggled with drug addiction and mental illness - along with her journey towards healing and forgiveness after her mother's death.

The book is a raw and honest account of her experiences growing up with a mother who was often absent and abusive and how these experiences have shaped her own life and relationships. Through the lens of her own story, McCurdy explores larger issues of trauma, addiction and mental illness - and the impact they have on families and individuals.

My Dream Time by Ash Barty

#21 My Dream Time: A Memoir of Tennis & Teamwork
Ash Barty

#21 is a tennis story, a family story and a teamwork story. It's the story of Ash Barty. Despite being in her mid-twenties, this isn’t a memoir you’ll want to ignore.

Barty's breakthrough year came in 2019 when she won her first Grand Slam title at the French Open. She followed this up with another Grand Slam title in 2021 at Wimbledon, where she became the first Australian woman to win the tournament in over 40 years - as well as winning many other titles along the way.

Reflecting on her incredible journey as being crowned one of the best tennis players in the world, she also reflects on all of the challenges she’s faced getting there. Barty’s beautifully written memoir is a must-read, it is about the power and joy of doing that thing you love and seeing where it can take you.

Beautiful World, Where Are You? by Sally Rooney

#35 Beautiful World, Where Are You?
Sally Rooney

Beautiful World, Where Are You is a novel written by Irish author Sally Rooney who also wrote the incredibly popular Normal People and Conversations with Friends. Her most recent novel, explores the complicated relationships between the four main characters, Alice, Eileen, Felix, and Simon, as they navigate their way through life, love, and work.

The story is told through alternating perspectives, with each character taking turns to narrate their experiences and interactions with one another. Alice is a successful novelist struggling with anxiety and depression, while her friend Eileen is a magazine editor trying to navigate a difficult romantic relationship. Felix is an old friend of Alice's who is grappling with his own existential crisis, and Simon is Eileen's childhood friend who works in a Dublin warehouse.

The novel explores themes such as love, sex, friendship, work, politics, and the complexities of modern relationships. Rooney's writing style is introspective and thought-provoking, delving into the inner worlds of her characters with great detail and empathy.

The Prison Healer by Lynette Noni

#39 The Prison Healer
Lynette Noni

#39 is a series! The Prison Healer trilogy is a young adult fantasy series written by Australian author Lynette Noni. The series includes three books: The Prison Healer, The Gilded Cage, and The Blood Traitor.

The story is set in the fictional world of Zalindov, where the protagonist, 17-year-old Kiva Meridan, is the youngest prison healer in history. Kiva is imprisoned in Zalindov, a brutal and dangerous prison, where she is responsible for healing prisoners who are often near death. Her life changes when a new prisoner arrives at the prison, and Kiva must decide whether to risk everything to help him.

The series follows Kiva as she navigates the dangers of Zalindov, forms alliances with other prisoners, and uncovers the secrets of the prison and her own past. Along the way, she faces numerous challenges and enemies, including corrupt prison officials and dangerous criminals.

Different, Not Less by Chloe Hayden

#50 Different, Not Less
Chloe Hayden

Different, Not Less is a non-fiction book written by Chloe Hayden that focuses on the stories of individuals with autism. In this book, Hayden challenges the negative stereotypes and misconceptions surrounding the condition, creating awareness and being a voice for those with this misunderstood condition.

Different, Not Less is a compilation of interviews with people on the autism spectrum, as well as their family members, caregivers and advocates. Through these interviews, Hayden highlights the unique strengths and abilities of individuals with autism, and how they can be successful and fulfilled members of society.

The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding by Holly Ringland

#51 The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding
Holly Ringland

Seven Skins of Esther Wilding by Holly Ringland is also the internationally bestselling author of The Lost Flowers of Alice Hart. This time, Ringland brings you a magical yet haunting novel about joy, grief, courage and transformation.

The last time Esther Wilding's beloved older sister Aura was seen, she was walking along the shore towards the sea. In the wake of Aura's disappearance, Esther's family struggles to live with their loss. To seek the truth about her sister's death, Esther reluctantly travels from Lutruwita, Tasmania to Copenhagen, and then to the Faroe Islands, following the trail of the stories Aura left behind: seven fairy tales about selkies, swans and women, alongside cryptic verses Aura wrote and had secretly tattooed on her body.

The Seven Skins of Esther Wilding is a sweeping, deeply beautiful and profoundly moving novel about the far-reaches of sisterly love, the power of wearing your heart on your skin, and the ways life can transform when we find the courage to feel the fullness of both grief and joy.

Read our exclusive Q&A with Holly Ringland!

Dropbear by Evelyn Araluen

#85 Dropbear
Evelyn Araluen

Dropbear is a breathtaking collection of poetry and short prose written by Evelyn Araluen. This unique collection explores themes of Indigenous identity, colonialism and environmentalism - not to mention it also won first place in the Stella Prize in 2022.

The title of the collection - as you probably already know - refers to the fictional carnivorous koala-like animal that is said to drop from trees and attack unsuspecting victims. The use of this creature as a metaphor reflects the way Araluen uses her poetry to challenge and subvert common narratives about Australian identity and history.

Araluen's writing style is bold and powerful, blending elements of Indigenous storytelling, mythology, and contemporary poetry. Her poems often incorporate multiple languages and dialects, including English, Bundjalung, and Gamilaraay.

RecipeTin Eats: Dinner by Nagi Maehashi

#90 RecipeTin Eats: Dinner
Nagi Maehashi

RecipeTin Eats: Dinner is not just a cookbook, it’s a sensation. Written by the loveliest chef Nagi Maehashi (from the popular food blog RecipeTin Eats), her cookbook flew off the shelves when it was published in 2022. It features a collection of easy-to-follow, delicious dinner recipes that are perfect for busy weeknights - not to mention features of her gorgeous golden retriever Dozer.

Nagi’s family-friendly recipes focus on simple, fresh ingredients that are easy to find wherever you pick up your weekly shop. The recipes include a wide range of cuisines, from classic comfort foods like spaghetti and meatballs and chicken pot pie, to international favorites like Thai green curry.

Try an exclusive recipe: Miso-glazed Eggplant!

Shop the rest of the 2023 Dymocks Top 101!

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