Can Instagram ever replace Goodreads? Maybe not yet, but with the rise of Bookstagrammers taking amazing photos of the books they have read combined with their candid reviews. A community of book lovers is slowly being developed on Instagram.

Today, we are featuring a Bookstagrammer all the way from Australia, and she will be sharing her top 5 books that she highly recommends.

A quick note before we begin, the reviews below are taken directly from her Instagram posts with minor edits. If you enjoy her reviews and perspective on these books, you can find more at

@gretasbookclub

Without further ado, let’s get into it.

Beartown

By Fredrik Backman

Beartown explores the hopes that bring a small community together, the secrets that tear it apart, and the courage it takes for an individual to go against the grain. In this story of a small forest town, Fredrik Backman has found the entire world.

Greta’s Review

This is one of the best books I have ever read. Fredrik Backman is now an instant must-read author for me. I cannot get over how beautifully he writes and creates characters.

This book is something else, and I have no idea how I can do it justice. It is a clever and scathing investigation into sport and hyper-masculine culture in the context of a small community. Backman explores these difficult issues with such depth, insight, and kindness. Don’t be put off by the fact this book is about ice hockey. I couldn’t give a toss about ice hockey, but I devoured this book!

This is such a character-driven book and actually involves around 20-30 different characters, most of whom you get to explore their intricacies and layers. It might sound daunting, but this is actually what makes this book so amazing. Never have I rooted so hard for so many different characters, it felt like watching a TV show where you just love everyone! Also, the female characters are some of the most admirable and strong women I have ever read about (I mean Maya! Ana! Kira! Fatima! Jeanette! Ramona! All just bloody incredible).

While reading this book, I genuinely took pauses to be grateful for the experience of reading this book for the first time. This is also one of the first books I have read that I can see myself regularly re-reading.

Beartown Book cover
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The Narrow Road to the Deep North

By Richard Flanagan

In The Narrow Road to the Deep North, Richard Flanagan displays the gifts that have made him one of the most acclaimed writers of contemporary fiction. Moving deftly from a Japanese POW camp to present-day Australia, from the experiences of Dorrigo Evans and his fellow prisoners to that of the Japanese guards, this savagely beautiful novel tells a story of the many forms of love and death, of war and truth, as one man comes of age, prospers, only to discover all that he has lost.

Greta’s Review

This is potentially my favorite book of all time. If you listen to anything I say, read this book! The Narrow Road to the Deep North had such a profound impact on me. I often had to stop mid-sentence and contemplate everything; this book, people, life. I didn’t even realize at first that it had drawn me in so deeply, but when I finished, I was in awe.

The Narrow Road to the Deep North book cover
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Know My Name: A Memoir Book

By Chanel Miller

She was known to the world as Emily Doe when she stunned millions with a letter. Brock Turner had been sentenced to just six months in county jail after he was found sexually assaulting her on Stanford’s campus. Her victim impact statement was posted on BuzzFeed, where it instantly went viral–viewed by eleven million people within four days, it was translated globally and read on the floor of Congress; it inspired changes in California law and the recall of the judge in the case. Thousands wrote to say that she had given them the courage to share their own experiences of assault for the first time.

Greta’s Review

“I write, most of all, to tell you I have seen how good the world can be”

I remember when this case happened, and I was still at school, an all girl’s school. I remember as we sat around in disgust at the outcome of this case, wondering how justice had so drastically failed Chanel Miller and how justice could easily fail any of us. This is such an empowering depiction of how one woman stood up and fought hard and what a difference it made. Chanel Miller, you are an inspiration to me – and I will never forget your name.

There is no way I can put this story and these words into justice. It is inspirational how Chanel writes with such eloquence and articulation as she recounts her trauma. Finishing this book has given me so much hope – hope for women everywhere to be able to speak up and tell their truths, hope that there are good and justice, and hope that it really does get better. I implore all of you to pick this book up in order to learn (just a little) of what it must be like to be a survivor of sexual assault.

Know My Name: A Memoir Book book cover
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A Little Life: Novel

By Hanya Yanagihara

A Little Life follows four college classmates—broke, adrift, and buoyed only by their friendship and ambition—as they move to New York in search of fame and fortune. While their relationships, which are tinged by addiction, success, and pride, deepen over the decades, the men are held together by their devotion to the brilliant, enigmatic Jude, a man scarred by an unspeakable childhood trauma. A hymn to brotherly bonds and a masterful depiction of love in the twenty-first century, Hanya Yanagihara’s stunning novel is about the families we are born into, and those that we make for ourselves.

Greta’s Review

This book was certainly an epic; both in size and story. There is so much about this book, which is absolutely fantastic, and I would highly recommend for everyone to read it when the time is right. Although this book is massive in size, the way it is written makes up for it. It is certainly one of those reads where you just delve in, and suddenly 50 or 100 pages are gone!

You will hear that this is a book about four friends. It’s not. They’re a nice framing device, but this is a book about one person and the people who are connected to him. His life is made up of extremes. Whilst some aspects of the book are difficult and troubling to read, it certainly is one that will stick with me for some time. The author astonishingly manages to capture the nuances of human emotion, physical space, and change over time with eloquence and heart. That is what makes this book so beautiful and special.

The characters of Jude, Willem, and Harold, were a massive standout to me in this book. I have not read a book like this where I came to care so deeply about the characters for quite some time. I also (weirdly) enjoy books, which makes me cry as I think this is a huge testament to how well written they are and how the author has managed to draw you so far into their world and characters with just words on a page. But be prepared. There will be a significant amount of crying in this one.

A Little Life: Novel book cover
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The Last Migration

By Charlotte Mcconaghy

As animal populations plummet and commercial fishing faces prohibition, Franny talks her way onto one of the few remaining boats heading south. But as she and the eccentric crew travel further from shore and safety, the dark secrets of Franny’s life begin to unspool. A daughter’s yearning search for her mother. An impulsive, passionate marriage. A shocking crime. Haunted by love and violence, Franny must confront what she is really running towards – and from.

Greta’s Review

I went in thinking this book was about climate change and the subsequent loss of animals, but it turned out to be much more than that. The story explores the connection humans have to nature, and it explores some of my favorite themes of late: loneliness, belonging, and our need to find a connection. This book had beautiful undertones of philosophical musings on the meaning of life and the importance of our planet.

The Last Migration book cover
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