new books

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this month and

why the

critics are


about them.





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Too many books, too little time?

Need a Read picks the highlights from new titles each month to help you find just the right book!

March 2024

Book of the Month – The Hidden by Fiona Snyckers

February 2024

Book of the Month – The Women by Kristin Hannah

November 2023

Book of the Year – The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

June/July 2023

Book of the Month – Finding Endurance by Darrel Bristow-Bovey

May 2023

Book of the Month – Romantic Comedy by Curtis Sittenfeld

April 2023

Book of the Month – I Will Find You by Harlan Coben

March 2023

Book of the Month – Birnam Wood by Eleanor Catton

February 2023

Book of the Month – Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes

November/December 2022

Book of the Month – Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

September 2022

Book of the Month – Fight Night by Miriam Toews

August 2022

Book of the Month – Lost & Found by Kathryn Schulz

June/July 2022

Book of the Month – Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

May 2022

Book of the Month – The Paris Aparment by Lucy Foley

April 2022

Book of the Month – Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

February 2022

Mysteries, love and addiction – what’s not to love?

Book of the Month – The Christie Affair by Nina de Gramont

January 2022

Fabulous new fiction to kickstart your year.

Book of the Month – Christopher by Nozuko Siyotula


I’m Karen Lane

I’m always delighted to meet a fellow reader.  My favourite phone calls are from friends standing in a book store asking advice on what to read next; which is why I’ve started Need a Read!  The books I chat about in the Need a Read newsletters are all lovely new titles which have been highlighted by publishers, raved about by critics, recommended by friends and enjoyed by me. I tend to favour fiction so that’s the main focus.

Whether you read to be entertained, enlightened, enchanted or energized; thrilled or educated or just to escape I hope you’ll be inspired by the books and book news featured in these newsletters.

As C.S. Lewis said, “We read to know we are not alone.”


Karen is such an insightful source for book recommendations. She combines her own astute observations with loads of research into the reviews of leading book critics and the result is a brilliantly curated must-read-list. I suggest Need A Read as your first stop when you’re searching for your next novel or non-fiction book.

– Nicky R., Johannesburg

I love reading Karen’s recommendations from the other side of the world. Always brilliant.

– Steph L., Auckland

I can’t think of anyone better than Karen Lane to take you by the hand and lead you on a reading journey. Trust her.

– Jenny CW., Johannesburg

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