I’ve been reading a ton this year, and today I’m excited to share some of my favorite recent reads with you guys!
I’m going to split the books up into two posts; this one will feature fiction, and the second post will include memoirs and non-fiction. I was originally going to do just one post until I actually counted how many books I’d want to feature, and realized… wow! I’ve apparently been a reading machine!
The last book round up post I did was in October (12 Books I Read Recently and Loved), so I guess that makes sense since it has been awhile!
I know you fellow parents are like: “Wait, what? How do you have time to read, especially nowadays?” I hear you!
I always read in bed, right before I go to sleep. Some nights I’m so tired I only read 5 minutes; other nights I get so into what I’m reading that it ends up being closer to an hour. I’d say my average is about 20 to 30 minutes. I’ve always been a fast reader so that means I can pound through books pretty quickly, especially if they are engaging and draw me in!
Reading in bed is my favorite way to unwind from the day and reset before going to sleep. It helps me to fall asleep to have that time to reset a bit, too, vs. just going straight from my computer or my phone to bed!
Anyway, if you’re looking for something interesting to read, let’s get to it!
Fiction Books I’ve Read Lately
Most of the fiction books I’ve read lately fall into the historical fiction or mystery/thriller categories. But there are also a few romance, contemporary, and fantasy books, too! Something for everyone. 🙂
I only included the books that I particularly liked in this post, so while I’m more enthusiastic about some of them than others, they made the cut, so I’d still recommend them all either way.
Please note the links in this post are affiliate links.
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
When Libby Jones inherits an old mansion from her birth parents, she’s looking forward to finally finding out who she is. But she doesn’t realize how many family secrets might be buried with the past.
Like many of the fiction books I’ve read recently, this is a thriller, and it’s a really engaging, twisty-turny one that will keep you guessing until the very end.
It’s dark but really good. I couldn’t put it down!
A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson
High school senior Pippa Fitz-Amobi decides to do a her capstone research project on a years-old murder that happened in her small town. She knows the boy who everyone thinks killed Andie Bell, and she’s not so sure he’s guilty.
This is one of my favorite thrillers that I read this year!
It’s really well done, the story of an investigation turned obsession. I did start to expect the ending a bit towards the very end, but it was still very engaging and one of those books I was thinking about when I wasn’t reading it.
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
When they turn 16, identical twin sisters Stella and Desiree Vignes decide to run away from the small Black community they grew up in. When one twin chooses to pass as white, we watch as their lives diverge over the next few decades, spanning from the 1940s to the 1990s.
This was a really interesting book because while it is fiction, it touches on a lot of important topics, like race and identity. It’s an insightful and fascinating read that will make you think.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Based on a true scandal in the 1930s where an adoption organization kidnapped and sold poor children to rich families, this story follows a family of five children who are forcibly taken from their shantyboat home on the Mississippi river and put into an orphanage.
It’s horrifying that this book is based on a true story. It’s riveting and engrossing and you won’t be able to put it down.
The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
Set during World War II, The Tattooist of Auschwitz follows Lale Sokolov as he tries to survive imprisonment in a Jewish concentration camp. When it’s discovered that he can speak many languages, he is forced to work as a tattooist to mark new prisoners – including Gita, a newcomer to the camp whom he falls in love with.
This is a beautiful story of courage and hope amidst horrific atrocities.
The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager
Fifteen years after a girl goes missing at Camp Nightingale, artist Emma Davis returns to the summer camp – this time not as a camper, but as a painting instructor. But when more memories of the girls’ disappearance start to surface, Emma starts to realize the camp might be holding onto deadly secrets.
This is one of my absolute favorite of the fiction books I’ve read recently – the nostalgia of the summer camp setting combined with excellent storytelling and a really twisty tale that left you guessing had me hooked from page one.
The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams
The Glass Ocean follows three women – all in different time periods – as they each discover they are somehow linked to the sinking of the passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.
This is another of my absolute favorites that I’ve read recently – I couldn’t put it down. So many layers of stories on top of stories and the setting of the high seas added to the allure of this historical fiction novel (with some romance in there, too)!
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins
Lydia Quixano Pérez lives a comfortable life with her husband and young son in Mexico City. But when her husband publishes a tell-all about a new drug cartel boss, Lydia and her son are forced to flee Mexico. We follow their extremely perilous journey as they travel north in search of safety.
Oof. Suspenseful and intense, engrossing and horrifying, hopeful and crushing all at the same time.
Definitely worth a read, but just a heads up it may give you nightmares… I definitely had some really intense dreams while reading this book.
The Forgotten Room by Karen White
This novel, set in alternating time periods, follows a young doctor in 1945 as she tries to solve the mystery of her family’s past. She discovers that three generations of women are somehow all connected to one particular room in a Gilded Age mansion.
I loved this book – it was really well done and kept me engaged and interested the whole time. Even when I thought I had the ending figured out there were some more twists!
Normal People by Sally Rooney
Set in Ireland, Normal People tells the story of Marianne and Connell, who meet in high school and begin a secret relationship. As the years pass and they go off to college, they are drawn to and from each other for different reasons. Will they self-destruct, or can they find a way to save each other?
I read this book after first watching the Hulu series it’s based off of and loving it. The book delves more into the inner thoughts of the characters, so it was interesting to understand a bit more about what was going on in their heads during some of the scenes in the book.
It’s really intense and raw – I’d highly recommend both the show and the book, but just an FYI that it is quite racy. 🙂
Chosen Ones by Veronica Roth
Years ago, five teenagers defeated an ancient evil in Chicago and saved the world. Ten years later, they’re reunited at a funeral for one of their own, and find out the world is still in danger – and they’re the only ones who can save it.
This book is by the same author that wrote the Divergent series, which I LOVED (yes, Young Adult novels, no shame), so when I saw she had a new book I knew I had to read it.
I was not disappointed – the book drew me in immediately and it was a really interesting mix of a creative fantasy world plus some romance for good measure. 😉
The Lost Girls of Paris by Pam Jenoff
This story follows a group of female spies during World War II: the brave sacrifices they made, and the mystery of their disappearance.
I’ve been really into books that jump back and forth in time and share stories from the perspectives of different characters, and this one fit the bill.
It’s a fascinating historical fiction novel that you won’t be able to put down.
Followers by Megan Angelo
How much ambition is too much? Friends Orla and Floss will do whatever it takes to make it big – using social media as a catalyst. But they don’t realize their actions might have dark consequences that change the world and its future.
This is another book that does a great job keeping you guessing by jumping back and forth in time and in whose perspective you are reading from. It’s a dark, creative look at what can happen when we take obsession with social media too far.
The Marsh King’s Daughter by Karen Dionne
Helena Pelletier has a dark past: her father was her mother’s abductor. He took her and kept her in a remote cabin in the marshlands, where Helena was born after two years. Now, Helena’s father has escaped from prison, and she’s the only one who knows the swamps well enough to track him down.
This book was a fascinating, engrossing psychological thriller. I especially appreciated the complex character development.
The Banker’s Wife by Christina Alger
When a banker dies tragically in a plane crash, his widow is left to pick up the pieces. But she discovers that her husband had many secrets to hide – and that maybe his death wasn’t an accident, after all.
This thriller will have your heart hammering until the very end. The character development could have been a little better, but the twists and turns kept me interested regardless!
This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel
This is How It Always Is is the story of a family and their little boy who wants to be a girl when he grows up. It navigates the triumphs and difficulties of parenthood, identity, and change.
As a parent, reading this book gave me a lot to think about. It’s an interesting exploration into the emotions of parenthood, and how to best support children who don’t fit into the boxes the world has set out for them.
Whew – that was a lot of books. I think that should keep you guys busy for now!
Have you read any great books recently?
Let me know in the comments. I’m always down for more book recommendations. And stay tuned for my non-fiction/memoir books I’ve read recently edition coming next month!