If you’ve been on the TikTok train for a while now, there’s a hot chance you’ve stumbled upon a series of ‘BookTok’ videos — slotted somewhere between ‘Couch Guy’ memes and Euphoria Season Two spoilers, no doubt.
The craze, which has garnered over 26.9 billion hashtags on the app, is a gateway to the best book recommendations on the internet. And in my humble opinion, it brings together a wholesome community of bookworms (so, yes, now you can unite over your mutual hate for that toxic character together).
Whether you’re into fantasy/dystopian genres or are a sucker for a good old love story complete with heartbreak, BookTok has you covered, with different videos dedicated to a whole heap of interests. The more niche, the better.
If you’re new to the reading game or just not sure where to start, BookTok also has more general recommendation videos like ‘books that made me forget I was reading‘, ‘books that make me feel alive‘ and ‘books I’d sell my soul to read for the first time again‘ to give you a beginners guide. I recommend just popping ‘BookTok’ or ‘Book Recommendations’ in the TikTok search bar, and you’ll find hundreds of options.
Now, I know there’s beauty in having so much choice, but it can be overwhelming at times. That’s why I, a self-proclaimed ‘BookTok’ addict, have trawled TikTok to put together a manageable list of the best reads on the app — all of which have been dubbed novels that people wish they could read for the first time again.
A word of warning before I dive in: you might want to cancel your plans for the next two weeks because you won’t want to put these babies down.
Combining magic, mysticism, wisdom and wonder into an inspiring tale of self-discovery, The Alchemist has become a modern classic, selling millions of copies around the world. If you’re struggling to navigate life’s (sometimes tumultuous) paths, or are currently feeling pretty stagnant, this book is a must-read. Warning: it will really strike a chord, but for good reason.
If you’re a sucker for self-improvement and growth, this book is an absolute must-have on your shelf (or in your hot girl summer tote). From exploring the cognitive biases that impact how we see our lives, to asking why we hold on to things that aren’t meant for us, Brianna Wiest has given us the ultimate page-turner. Spoiler alert: it will, in fact, change the way you think.
In this inspirational memoir, celebrated poet, speaker and educator Najwa Zebian gives us her take on the concept of home, and shares why building one inside yourself can help form the basis of your self-worth, belonging and happiness. She likens this to “never experiencing inner homelessness again”. Our petition to make this compulsory in schools starts here.
I can’t say I’ve ever read a book faster than I consumed this heartbreaking-but-awe-inspiring masterpiece by Khaled Hosseini. The storyline, which follows two young girls from Afghanistan, walks us through the dark realities of living under Taliban rule as a woman in the 1990’s. While it doesn’t sound like a light-hearted poolside read, the undertones of love — both platonic and romantic — and the strength we see both women embody throughout, makes this recommendation one you can enjoy just about anywhere. It also serves as one of the most interesting history lessons you’ll ever have.
If you didn’t see the masses absolutely rave about this novel on BookTok at least eight times this month, you have to have been living under a rock. Bringing back ultimate Wattpad vibes, this heart-wrenching storyline reminds us that while love is beautiful, it can often come at the ultimate price. I’d suggest packing some tissues too, because let’s just say, you’ll need them for this one.
If you can’t get enough for TikTok’s fave author, Colleen Hoover, her other title Verity is another truly worthy read about a struggling writer on the brink of financial ruin who accepts the job offer of a lifetime. What’s the job, you ask? She’s tasked to complete the remaining books of a successful series as the author has become injured — but what happens next might just be more than she bargained for…
What can I say, the hype is 100 percent warranted on this best-seller that follows fictional Hollywood star Evelyn Hugo on her journey from making it to Los Angeles in the 1950s, to the end of her show business career in the ‘80s. We, of course, also hear about her seven husbands along the way, and as you can imagine, it’s as spicy as it sounds. Thank you, BookTok!
Want to line your shelves with more books because just these seven won’t cut it? Check out these best-sellers by Australian female authors ahead of International Women’s Day!