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Article  •  19 December 2023


Penguin picks: 6 employees share their favourite books of 2023

See what Penguin Random House employees chose as their favourite books of the year.

As the year draws to a close, we asked Penguin Random House employees to reflect on their favourite books of 2023.

From literary picks to page-turning thrillers, their selections showcase the wide range of incredible books published this year.

Keep reading to see their ‘Penguin Picks’ – we hope you find a new favourite on the list!

Bec holding Question 7.

Bec, Head of Young Readers Marketing & Publicity

I can’t help but agree with author Peter Carey who has said that ‘Question 7 may just be the most significant work of Australian art in the last 100 years.’ 

Truly a masterpiece, Richard Flanagan’s latest book will completely absorb you within the first few pages and transform you by the time you put it down. There’s nothing else like it – you just have to read it to find out!

Question 7 book cover.

Question 7 by Richard Flanagan

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Brandon holding Wifedom.

Brandon, publisher

Wifedom was without a doubt one of my favourite books of 2023. George Orwell is a household name, but few know about his wife, Eileen O’Shaughnessy. Anna Funder artfully explores Eileen’s story while asking bigger questions about what it means to be a wife and woman in society.

Geraldine Brooks said it best when she called Wifedom 'Simply, a masterpiece.'

Wifedom book cover.

Wifedom by Anna Funder

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Lydia holding Good Material.

Lydia, insights analyst & project developer

Like so many of us at PRH, I’m a MASSIVE Dolly Alderton fan. She articulates the nuances of interpersonal connections like nobody else! Good Material was already my most anticipated book release of the year, but I didn’t expect the story to impact me so profoundly.

I went from hysterically laughing at Andy’s post-breakup antics in the beginning to sobbing within a matter of pages. After I finished it, I wanted to shove it into the hands of everyone I knew, especially friends in my life who are in long-term relationships.

Good Material book cover.

Good Material by Dolly Alderton

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Belinda holding The Secret.

Belinda, Head of brands, parternships and campaigns

It’s that time of year when you just need a compelling book to read at the beach, one you can’t put down, one where you can’t guess the ending, one where you absolutely have to turn the page to see what will happen next. The Secret is the perfect holiday companion because when you enter the world of Jack Reacher, everything else fades into the background.

The Secret book cover.

The Secret  by Lee Child, Andrew Child

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Rowena holding Outlive.

Rowena, Senior designer

I don't often reach for health books, so I was surprised by how much I loved Outlive! Dr Peter Attias's tips and strategies made me feel like I have the power to create a longer and higher-quality life for myself.

I also highly recommend the audiobook. So glad I reached for something new. 

Outlive book cover.

Outlive by Peter Attia, MD

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Maria holding Everyone On This Train is A Suspect.

Maria, HR advisor

This book was just as good as the first one. I rarely read crime novels, but Benjamin Stevenson's writing is so fun that I thoroughly enjoyed it. Having the entire Penguin Random House ANZ team named in the book's acknowledgements (including myself) made it extra special!

Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect book cover.

Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect by Benjamin Stevenson

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Featured Titles

Question 7
Beginning at a love hotel by Japan’s Inland Sea and ending by a river in Tasmania, Question 7 is about the choices we make about love and the chain reaction that follows.
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A blazing, genre-bending masterpiece from one of the most inventive writers of our time.

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Good Material
Every relationship has one beginning. This one has two endings.
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The Secret
Jack Reacher, "the coolest continuing series character" (Stephen King), returns in a brand new, pulse-pounding read from Lee and Andrew Child.
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A groundbreaking manifesto on living better from the world's top longevity expert.
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Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect
The eagerly awaited follow-up to the international bestseller EVERYONE IN MY FAMILY HAS KILLED SOMEONE - another deliciously witty locked room mystery, for fans of Richard Osman and Anthony Horowitz.
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Put your sleuthing to the test with this train- & crime-themed crossword inspired by Benjamin Stevenson's Everyone On This Train Is A Suspect.

See what reviewers are saying about Wifedom

‘One of the most startling explorations of life-writing in recent times . . . a genre-bending tour-de-force that resurrects an invisible woman.’

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