5 Books to Read If You Loved 'Nine Perfect Strangers'

Not sure what book to read next? The immensely exciting Nicole Kidman-led TV adaptation of Liane Moriarty's Nine Perfect Strangers has commenced production in Byron Bay this week, making it the perfect time to read the New York Times Bestseller.

The Hulu-produced series is based on Moriarty's most recent novel and follows nine people as they attend a bougie ten-day wellness retreat. It's one of the author's lighter, fizzier reads, and it's just zeitgeist-y and satirical enough without triggering too much existential dread about the state of the world.

Kidman will play Masha, the strange and beautiful Russian woman who runs the retreat, while Melissa McCarthy will play Frances, the self-deprecating romance novelist. The dynamite supporting cast also includes fellow Aussies Samara Weaving and Asher Keddie, as well as Manny Jacinto (The Good Place), Regina Hall (Black Monday) and Michael Shannon (The Shape of Water), so there are more than a few reasons we're excited for this series to launch. 

If you haven't read the book, we suggest finding a copy quick smart. It's a breeze to read and it'll get you excited for the series. Until production is finished and it lands on streaming services in 2021, why not spend a little longer with a novel or three in the same vain? 

Here are five books to read if you loved Nine Perfect Strangers and want more like it.

The Last Cruise by Kate Christensen

In this literary thriller, a farmer from Maine is convinced to take a cruise on a 1950s ocean liner before it's turned into scrap after one final voyage. For Christine, Valerie, and the other cast of kooky characters aboard the Queen Isabella, it's a chance to experience the bygone era of the 1950s—smoking is allowed, WiFi is not. Despite the trip's nostalgic pretence, 21st-century tensions and on-board disasters force a group of strangers into an increasingly hostile situation. Says the Washington Post: "Christensen is a discerning and witty writer, but The Last Cruise sails into such rough waters that it should come with a vial of Dramamine."

The Witch Elm by Tana French

Crime author Tana French warned readers to expect the unexpected from this 2019 release: "If you're coming to this  book expecting a straight-up crime novel ... you are going to be a hundred pages in [asking], 'Where's my murder?'" Disclaimers aside, The Witch Elm is full of suspense. A man's life is changed forever after he returns home to find burglars mid-robbery, who beat him and leave him for dead, when detectives begin to unearth truths about Toby that even he is unaware of.

Behind Closed Doors by BA Paris

Jack and Grace seem like the perfect couple: he's rich and good looking, she's charming and painfully elegant. Seems too good to be true—and that's precisely what Grace's friends begin to realise. Women's Health UK called it 2016's answer to Gone Girl, which gives you an idea of what to expect from this gripping novel from British author BA Paris.

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This #1 New York Times Bestseller is the 2018 page-turner being adapted by Reese Witherspoon's Hello Sunshine productions, so if you are one of the few who haven't yet read it—get to work! Where the Crawdads Sing is Delia Owens' first fiction release, and tells parallel stories that ultimately become intertwined. From the early 1950s through the late '60s, detectives investigate a small-town murder while an abandoned child navigates a world filled with prejudice. At once a coming of age tale and a suspense filled murder mystery, this must read is one of the most popular fiction releases of recent years.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

Ten years ago, Nora left her old life behind and hasn't looked back since. Until out of the blue she receives an invitation to a friend's hen's weekend—a weekend away in a remote cabin with the former best friend she hasn't spoken to for a decade. As if that doesn't sound stressful enough, something—of course—goes terribly wrong, with secrets and lies unravelling far from the safety of home. In a Dark, Dark Wood twists the genre away from romance gone wrong instead focussing on female friendships. NPR in its review calls this debut thriller the kind of breezy read you might yourself want to bring to an awkward hen's weekend, full of fun twists and turns.

Want more book recommendations? Here are 6 of the most critically acclaimed books of 2020 from the Booker Prize Longlist.

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