40 Books To Add To Your 2024 Reading List

by | Mar 22, 2024 | Entertainment

Book enthusiasts know that starting a new book can inject some much-needed excitement into an otherwise dull life – while offering countless opportunities to escape to different worlds. In the spirit of helping you diversify your 2024 TBR list, our editors have compiled this list of enlightening and empowering books to help you navigate the rest of the year with much aplomb. Let’s dive in, shall we?

READ MORE: 18 Mental Health Books For Anxiety, People-Pleasing And More

Romance Books To Read In 2024

A Lady’s Guide To Scandal by Sophie Irwin

A Lady’s Guide To Scandal by Sophie Irwin

Bridgerton fans will love this lighthearted historical romance that’s full of scandal, mischief and most importantly, a can’t-stop-turning-the-page love triangle. Miss Eliza Balfour finds herself titled, rich and in control of her future for the first time ever after being widowed by a husband twenty years her senior. Now, with the chance to live by her own rules rather than society’s, Eliza truly intends to do just that with a little help from an infamous author. However when stories of her behaviour reach her late husband’s nephew (who *gasp* broke her heart years earlier) she finds her inherited fortune has strings attached; avoid all scandal or else. But of course, that’s no fun at all. Join Eliza as she discovers what happily ever after means for her.

The Thing with Zola by Zibu Sithole

The Thing with Zola by Zibu Sithole

When 29-year-old Zola’s visa finally expires, after a decade of working in Germany and no hope of an extended stay in sight, she packs up her life and returns to South Africa – where an uncertain future awaits. In this humorous and sexy read, defs fit for a beach or lazy afternoon hangout, we follow Zola as she navigates life (and an unexpected office romance) in a country that has her feeling misplaced half the time. A well-written narration of the lived Black experience.

Wildfire by Hannah Grace

Wildfire by Hannah Grace

If you’re already familiar with #BookTok sensation Icebreaker by Hannah Grace, the second book in the Maple Hill series shouldn’t need much introduction. Really there’s just one thing to say; this book is SPICY! After a steamy one-night stand, imagine Aurora and Russ’ surprise when they run into each other at summer camp where they are both counsellors. The first problem: there’s a strict “no staff fraternising” rule. The second problem: Aurora has never been very good at following rules. The perfect holiday read!

READ MORE: The Books WH Editors Are Loving Right Now, Plus Must-Have Reading Tools

Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey

Fangirl Down by Tessa Bailey

This book is hot.off.the.press! Having only been released in February. And yes, we know, sports romance books are having a serious moment right now. But if you’ve exhausted all the Formula One and football reads, might we suggest entering the world of golf? This grumpy vs sunshine book follows a bad boy down-and-out athlete who hires his #1 fangirl to be his caddy (yep, it’s colleagues to lovers so NSFW… even during your lunch break). It also features a shower scene we guarantee you’ve never read before. Trust us, it’ll get your pulse racing a whole lot more than actually watching golf does.

Countdown To Christmas by Jo Thomas

Countdown To Christmas by Jo Thomas

Who said Christmas books weren’t for all year round? It’s time to do some armchair travelling and escape load shedding and the summer heat with a feel-good Christmas book and Chloe, your lovable main character. With her son staying with his dad, Chloe is counting down the days with her advent calendar. An unexpected call that she might be the owner of some land in Canada changes everything. Now her Christmas countdown involves a log cabin in a snowy forest and gruff lumberjack…Need we say more?

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

The Perfect Find by Tia Williams

Haven’t watched the Netflix adaptation of this jaw-dropping love story yet? We recommend starting with the book. Following a publicised break-up with her college sweetheart, 40-year-old fashion editor Jenna returns to New York for a career comeback. What she hadn’t banked on, however, was falling madly in love with her nemesis’ son, who also happens to be eighteen years her junior. Expect the steamiest sex scenes and a startling happy ending!

Unfortunately, Yours by Tessa Bailey

Unfortunately, Yours by Tessa Bailey

This book is jam-packed with romance tropes that will have you grinning and kicking your feet. Marriage of convenience? Check. Enemies to lovers? Check. He falls first? Check. Great banter, undeniable chemistry and super steamy scenes? Check, check and check! It’s just the book to get you out of a reading rut or help you reach your reading goal because you’ll fly through it.

Thank You for Sharing by Rachel Runya Katz

Thank You for Sharing by Rachel Runya Katz

Well here’s a new romantic trope that might just become a favourite: childhood friends to enemies to lovers. A conversation-gone-wrong fourteen years ago ended the friendship between Daniel and Aaliyah and that was that… until they found themselves seated next to each other on a plane… and then working together with potentially career-making opportunities or consequences. As Jewish people of colour, they find comfort in each other but can they just be friends who support one another despite their chemistry? We think you know the answer…

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

The Burnout by Sophie Kinsella

Sasha is burnt out. If she has to reply to one more email, eat another meal-for-one or fake another smile while participating in another employee wellness programme she’s going to lose it. Okay, maybe she has lost it already. That’s why she decides to reset at her favourite holiday resort she frequented as a child. But it’s far less glam than she remembers. And after an explosive meeting she also has to share the beach with one other grumpy guest; Finn. Then bizarre messages and gifts start appearing on the beach seemingly addressed to them and they’re forced to actually talk. It reads like a conversation with a friend over wine as they update you on what’s been happening in their life. Refreshing, romantic and real, we loved it!

READ MORE: 10 Wellness Quotes By Miss SA Natasha Joubert (That We Absolutely Loved!)

Self-Help & Self-Improvement Books To Read In 2024

The 5 Resets: Rewire Your Brain and Body for Less Stress and More Resilience by Dr Aditi Nerurkar

The 5 Resets: Rewire Your Brain and Body for Less Stress and More Resilience by Dr. Aditi Nerurkar

Is your New Year’s resolution to overcome stress and burnout this year? Or perhaps you just need a step-by-step plan to make this your best year yet. Either way, Harvard stress expert Dr Aditi Nerurkar is here to help you with “five small but mighty mindset shifts”. And if you’re someone who needs a good self-help spoiler, we’ll indulge you. The five resets are: 1) Get clear on what matters most. 2) Find quiet in a noisy world. 3) Sync your brain and body. 4) Come up for air. 5) Bring your best self forward. We’re huge fans of self-help books written by women in STEM and this one with its five mindset shifts and 15 (!!!) proven techniques will totally change your relationship with stress.

Stress Less: Managing Anxiety In A Modern World by Noa Belling

Stress Less: Managing Anxiety In A Modern World by Noa Belling

Another book about stress that we think deserves a spot on your bookshelf, this one is especially helpful for those who aren’t exactly avid readers. This is for anyone who gets overwhelmed by the huge, never-ending chunks of text in self-help books that makes it feel like even just reading the book is too much of a task, let alone putting the tips into practice. This tried and tested, scientifically-backed toolkit is broken up into exercises that make the entire experience of overhauling your stress response (and life) seem totally doable! Best part? Noa Belling is South African!

How To Be The Love You Seek by Dr Nicole LePera

How To Be The Love You Seek by Dr Nicole LePera

If you follow The Holistic Psychologist on social media or you’ve read How To Do The Work (and if you haven’t read it, add that to your cart ASAP) then you will have been chomping at the bit to get your hands on a copy of this. Using the latest scientific research, this book takes a revolutionary approach to strengthening your relationships, starting with yourself. It will help you take responsibility for your needs and take back control to make yourself feel whole rather than relying on the people around you. Through stories, exercises, journal prompts and practical tips, this will change the way you approach your relationships, be it a partner, parent, sibling, friend or coworker.

READ MORE: How To Actually Get Better At Talking To Yourself

When You’re Ready, This Is How You Heal by Brianna Wiest

Brianna Wiest is not just another TikTok sensation with no substance. In This is How You Heal, this New Age self-help writer helps readers curate their fresh starts – detailing exactly how to do it and some of the widely-held misconceptions that stand in our way of progress. Throughout, she also reminds us that where healing is concerned, we’re not in the process to someday be done. The journey, in itself, is continuous and never-ending.

Timeboxing: The Power Of Doing One Thing At A Time  by Marc Zao-Sanders

Timeboxing: The Power Of Doing One Thing At A Time  by Marc Zao-Sanders

Work emails. Gym classes. Meal prepping. Phone calls. Social media. We live in a world where everything is constantly vying for our attention all at the same time. It’s no wonder nothing ever gets ticked off the ever-growing to-do list. But Marc Za-Sanders is about to change that by introducing you to Timeboxing. Simple in its definition – doing one thing at a time – this book dives into why it works and shows you exactly how to incorporate this habit into your life. Basically, you can do less and achieve more, work smarter and not harder and isn’t that ultimately what we’re all searching for?

Get Your Will Right by Chris Sloan and Wendy Mangin

Get Your Will Right by Chris Sloan and Wendy Mangin

Not sure where to start when it comes to a will? We weren’t either. But Chris Sloan and Wendy Mangin are here to take your hand and guide you through everything with this practical guide based on their experience managing 300+ deceased estates. From how to structure your assets to minimise estate duty and helping your family finalise your estate to what happens if your will is lost or incorrectly completed and more.

Your Life Matters: Why and How To Honour Your Existence Through Writing by Norma Young

Writing is one surefire way to offload those niggly emotions that weigh heavily on us. The lessons embedded in every page of Your Life Matters will have you feeling like a Pulitzer-deserving writer in no time. The book, curated for journalling enthusiasts and authors-in-the-making, makes a solid case for writing as a necessary exercise for overall well-being. Young touts writing as a tool that can be used to stay sharp or record and review emotions. It also offers guidelines on how to navigate the writing process.

Sex Tips For Creative Lovers by Jüne Plã

Sex Tips For Creative Lovers by Jüne Plã

Find yourself bored, unstimulated or repeating the same sex over and over again? This book is about to shake things up for you in the best way possible. Featuring tons and tons of illustrations, you’ll find new pleasure zones, moves, tips and tricks that will help please both your partner and yourself more than you even thought possible. Cheers to more O’s in 2024!

READ MORE: If ‘Waste Less Time On The Internet’ Is On Your 2024 Goal List, Try Timeboxing

Horror, Mystery & Thriller Books To Read In 2024

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang

Yellowface by Rebecca F. Kuang

A darkly funny satirical thriller, this ain’t your mother’s monthly book club thriller, and we love it even more for that. But don’t take our word for it, Yellowface won the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards’ Best Fiction category with 200 722 votes. When Athena Liu dies in a freak accident, June Hayward steals her unpublished manuscript and publishes it under the name Juniper Song. But when her stolen success is threatened, June discovers how far she is willing to go. Ultimately, it’s a gripping read that takes aim at the publishing industry and deals with the topics of race, cultural appropriation and social media’s role in today’s world. A must-read!

Penance by Eliza Clark

Penance by Eliza Clark

Find yourself bingeing every true crime series that makes its way to Netflix? Or maybe you’re never driving without your fave true-crime podcast hosts to keep you company? Whatever your true-crime flavour, if you read one book this year, it should be this. Nearly a decade after the murder of a 16-year-old girl, a journalist releases the definitive telling of what happened. The only problem is, how much is true? Penance is a harrowing explanation of our dark obsession with true crime, the ethics of it and the cost to the victims who become morbid superstars post-mortem for our own entertainment.

Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine

Delicate Condition by Danielle Valentine

Are you an American Horror Story fan? Did you love Rosemary’s Baby? Or maybe you just enjoy a good horror? This book is for you. Inside Scoop: The latest season of American Horror Story starring Kim Kardashian is actually based on this book. And it reads exactly like a season of AHS (read: you’re confused and horrified but can’t look away)! It’s an absolutely gripping read about a pregnant woman convinced that someone is going to great lengths to make sure her pregnancy never happens; except the men in her life don’t believe her. There is nothing quite like it right now and for that reason alone, you won’t be able to put it down.

Anna O by Matthew Blake

Anna O by Matthew Blake

Can you really commit murder in your sleep? The world wants to know if Anna O could’ve. There’s just one problem, she hasn’t woken up for the four years since she stabbed her two best friends to death while supposedly sleepwalking. Now forensic psychologist Dr Benedict Prince is tasked with the challenge of waking her up from this unconscious state so they can finally find out what happened. Did she really commit murder? Was she awake when she did it? What is the truth? Told through the voices of the characters involved, past and present, you’ll be desperately turning pages, with the need to uncover the real story. It’s in-depth, well-written and paced to give maximum angst.

The List by Yomi Adegoke

The List by Yomi Adegoke

Everyone has had the gut-wrenching, ringing-in-your-ears moment in which one piece of information causes your whole world to feel like it’s falling from right under your feet. That moment that makes you want to time travel to the seconds before you knew; except now you do and you have to act. The List perfectly captures that inner turmoil and while the story might be different from yours, you’ll feel like you’re right there beside feminist journalist Ola Olajide when she wakes up to find her fiancé’s name appears on a list posted on social media with allegations against men. Usually, she’d be covering this list, sharing it far and wide but now, she’s not sure what to do or who to believe.

End Of Story by A.J. Finn

End Of Story by A.J. Finn

The author of The Woman In The Window (and yes, the movie starring Amy Adams is based on this novel) has returned after six years with a second book. Reclusive and ailing, mystery writer Sebastian Trapp invites Nicky Hunter, expert in detective fiction, to write his life story. 20 years earlier, Sebastian’s first wife and son disappeared and were never seen again. One question needs to be answered: did the perfect crime writer commit the perfect crime? She might be there to draft his life story, but Nicky becomes obsessed with finding the truth of that night. And when a body appears in Sebastian’s koi pond even more questions come up.

One Of The Good Guys by Araminta Hall

Cole is the ideal husband– attentive, romantic and supportive of his wife Mel and an involved father – which explains why he’s gutted when his wife leaves him. Desperate for a do-over, he accepts a job on the coast and quickly settles into his new life where he meets Lennie, a reclusive artist, who lives in a dilapidated cottage in a remote area of town. Finding themselves at the heart of a police investigation police investigation and media frenzy after two young women go missing while on a walk protesting gendered violence, right by where Cole and Lennie live, it soon becomes clear that they don’t know each other at all.

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General, Literary & Historical Fiction Books To Read In 2024

Under The Tamarind Tree by Nigar Alam

Under The Tamarind Tree by Nigar Alam

If you’re a fan of debut novels, dual timelines, historical fiction and secrets, this book is for you. The first timeline is set in 1964 in Karachi, Pakistan and dives into the effects of the 1947 Partition of India; a seldom-covered area of historical fiction. It’s about four friends, one night and many, many secrets. The second timeline is in 2019 and is the catalyst for unearthing these secrets. Look forward to chapters ending and timeline shifts just as you’ve been hooked that will keep you turning pages and have you finishing this book in record time.

The Divorcees by Rowan Beaird

After assuming that marriage would cure her loneliness, Lois Saunders finds herself suffocating in a loveless marriage. However, it’s 1951 and unhappiness is hardly a solid enough reason for a divorce – except, of course, if you’re living in Reno, Nevada. Lois moves to Reno, where she shacks up with other pending divorcées, for the six weeks’ residency that is the state’s only divorce requirement. It isn’t until Greer Lang arrives that Lois’s world becomes truly interesting. Drop-dead gorgeous and indifferent to societal norms, Greer sees something in Lois and ends up influencing her. But, exactly how far will Lois go to forge her independence, on her own terms?

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown

Nineteen Steps by Millie Bobby Brown

Yes, this is in fact the debut novel of *that* Millie Bobby Brown and yes, it was written by a ghostwriter. This novel is inspired by Millie’s Nanny Ruth and the real experiences of her family during World War II. The year is 1942 and 19-year-old Nellie has a chance encounter with Ray, an American airman. But soon after a devastating air raid incident tears Nellie’s world apart; the Bethnal Green disaster, one of the worst civilian disasters of World War II. This coming-of-age historical fiction is about loss, longing and love that can blossom in even the darkest of times. You can’t help but fall in love with the characters, especially Nellie. If you’re looking for a tear-jerker, grab your box of tissues, your favourite blanket and this book (you’ve been warned!)

Maktub: An Inspirational Companion to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Maktub: An Inspirational Companion to The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

First published in 1994 and recently republished with an eye-catching cover you’ll want to use as decor, comes a collection of short stories from one of the greatest writers of our time. Gathered from Paulo Coelho’s daily column of the same name, Maktub (meaning “it is written”) each story invites you to reflect, rediscover and see the world, people and your life through a different lens. At 224 pages it is the definition of dynamite in small packages and it is great to help reach that 2024 reading goal.

When The Filter Fades by Janine Jellars

When The Filter Fades by Janine Jellars

A debut novel about three young women in Johannesburg, where the new age of internet celebrities throws obstacles – and opportunities – in their paths. One of the characters, Lin, reflects on the true nature of fame in a city where ‘fame’ is glaringly hierarchical. You get the ‘Real Celebrities’ – the well-known ones with a mostly profitable skill.

White Chalk by Terry-Ann Adams

White Chalk by Terry-Ann Adams

“Above all, you will remember where you were when you read White Chalk,” reads a line from the book’s summary. And we can’t think of a more apt description of the joyride this collection of short stories is about to take you on. Gripping, with an easy-to-follow writing style, the themes range from topics as silly as what to wear to a matric dance if you’re from Eldorado Park and the obsession with acing fahfee numbers to death, grief and pregnancy.

Science Fiction Book To Read In 2024

The Future by Naomi Alderman

The Future by Naomi Alderman

If you’re looking for a fast-paced book to get you out of a reading slump, we recommend this nominee for the 2023 Goodreads Choice Awards’ Best Science Fiction category. This book is set in the near future and gives insight into a world we might see come to fruition if we carry on the way we are (read: like our world with fancier tech and worse conditions). It sees three billionaires attempt to assure their survival of an imminent apocalypse with no concern for anyone but themselves. But could a group of vigilantes pull off the ultimate heist to save the world from these tech giants whose greed threatens to end the world? If you were a fan of The Handmaid’s Tale, you’ll like this. Expect so many twists and turns you’ll experience whiplash trying to keep up! 

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Fantasy Fiction Books To Read In 2024

Herc by Phoenicia Rogerson

Herc by Phoenicia Rogerson

Calling all fans of The Song of Achilles, this is a queer, feminist retelling of the classic Hercules myth you’ve known since you were old enough to watch the Disney classic. Giving voices to the silenced NPCs (non-player characters) of everyone’s favourite hero, you’ll fall in love with the stories of Hercules’ friends, enemies, wives, children, lovers, rival gods and victims. But don’t be put off that it’s a Greek mythology retelling if you’ve yet to dive into the world of fantasy fiction. The story is not only immersive but the language is accessible too, so there’s no need to worry that you’ll spend more time googling words than actually reading words!

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Biography & Autobiography Books To Read In 2024

The Woman In Me by Britney Spears

The Woman In Me by Britney Spears

There’s the woman you know from her family, her exes, the media and then there’s the real woman you don’t know; the real Britney Spears and what she’s gone through. This was the Winner of Goodreads’ 2023 Best Memoir & Autobiography category with almost 133 000 votes and it will take you on a journey through Britney’s past; a heartbreaking, shattering and challenging past. You’ll close this book angry at the world and maybe even yourself for judging her all those years ago.

The Race To Be Myself by Caster Semenya

The Race To Be Myself by Caster Semenya

You know the story, the headlines, the controversy. But you definitely don’t know her story. Caster Semenya was only 18 years old when she shot to fame and endured rumours, attacks, legal battles and even bans. She kept quiet and let her running speak for her until she was banned from defending her title at the Olympics in 2020. Now she’s ready to tell you her story in her words. This is a truly captivating read about Semenya’s upbringing, her life in the spotlight and her fight to be able to run free. You’ll want to pass this one along to every one of your friends once you’re finished.

Fraud: How Prison Set Me Free by Nikki Munitz

Fraud: How Prison Set Me Free by Nikki Munitz

Fraud is a powerful memoir about the unmasking of the self. It’s the tale of a young Jewish mother who is forced to examine a life of lies and deceit from behind bars, until an unexpected encounter in the grimy prison gives Nikki her wings to fly free.

Rebel Rising by Rebel Wilson

The hilarious Pitch Perfect and Bridesmaids star pens an inspiring and authentic memoir that follows her from Australia to Hollywood, sharing intimate details of her steady rise in Hollywood, the sacrifices she made on the journey to the top, the importance of celebrating self, the high and low moments. Today, as LA’s favourite funny girl she still has questions such as ‘Am I good enough?’, ‘Will I ever find love?’ and ‘Will I ever become healthy?’ that hound her daily. 

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Paris: The Memoir by Paris Hilton

Paris: The Memoir by Paris Hilton

Don’t let the pink cover and what you think you know about Paris Hilton fool you, this is a truly deep and harrowing exploration of what Paris has been through including her experience with ADHD and being kidnapped on her parents’ orders and sent to a series of emotional growth boarding schools. Expect to laugh out loud one moment and be reduced to tears the next.

The House of Hidden Meanings by Ru Paul

In this heartwarming memoir, founder of the revolutionary drag reality TV show RuPaul’s Drag Race, trades in his fabulous wigs and make-up for countless moments of reflection that give us a full view of his naked truth and self. The memoir is a window into the background scene of the world of drag but most importantly, it offers an “introspection of his life, relationships and identity.”

Maria’s Keepers by Sam Human

Maria's Keepers by Sam Human

Maria is a young woman raised as a Jehovah’s Witness in South Africa, and this book documents her experiences of gender victimisation, sexual abuse and cover-ups within the church, as well as her eventual ‘escape’ from its doctrines and control.

Health and Wellness Title To Read in 2024

The Mind-Gut Connect by Dr Emeran Mayer

The Mind-Gut Connection explores the relationship between the digestive system and the mind, detailing the newest discoveries in the emerging field of neurogastroenterology. It provides valuable insights into how we can improve our physical and mental health by understanding and nurturing this connection.

Women’s Health participates in various affiliate marketing programmes, which means we may get commissions on editorially chosen products purchased through our links to retailer sites.

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