Book Picks for Moms

I know, I know, we hardly have time to read a magazine article, let alone read a book.  But here’s the thing.  We need to start making time for things that we just simply love and for many of us, reading is one of them.

One of my tricks is to either read the first ten minutes of the day (along with my coffee in bed) or the last ten minutes of the day (with chamomile tea or just plain H2O) so I can ease in and out of the day doing something that I love.  Yes, that means that I set an alarm every morning so I can have some quiet time before my kids wake up, but it is so incredibly worth it.

So without any further ado, here are some of my top picks for books to lose yourself in.



Nobody’s Cuter Than You: A Memoir About the Beauty of Friendship—Melanie Shankle

A laugh out loud book that celebrates REAL friendship: unfiltered, unedited, messy, smelly, and PHENOMENAL friendship.

Girl on the Train–Paula Hawkins

From the minute you begin reading, you get swept up in what you can readily identify with: a ride on a train.  But after witnessing a shocking event, this thriller takes twists and turns, keeping you riveted on the emotional storyline.

Everything I Never Told You—Celeste Ng

A thought provoking and intriguing debut novel about the complex relationships in a Chinese American family dealing with the death of their beloved daughter.

This is Where I leave You–Jonathan Tropper

The Foxman clan comes together, with their odd personalities and complicated relationships, to sit shiva after their father dies.  Reading about this hilariously dysfunctional family will remind you that your family isn’t that bad after all.

Friendkeeping—Julie Klam

A candid and hilarious account of true friendship, as told by Klam.  It truly is a guide to the people you love, hate, and can’t live without.

Defending Jacob—William Landay

In this page turning thriller, a father is stuck in an incomprehensible situation, leading you to wonder how far you would go to protect your child.  Such a quick and mind blowing read.

The Sharper Your Knife the Less You Cry—Kathleen Flinn

Flinn’s escape from the rat race in American to a prestigious spot at Le Cordon Bleu will not only have you salivating over the dishes she creates, but also cheering her on and she cooks fearlessly in the City of Lights.

The Happiness Project—Gretchen Rubin

Every time I read Rubin’s book about her year long Happiness Project, including learning a new skill, adopting new housekeeping practices and so on, I learn something new that inspires me to become the best woman possible and work on myself—the most important project I will ever have.

My Paris Dream—Kate Betts

Betts’ empowering memoir about her post-college move to Paris and how she not only devoured delicious pastries, but also how she climbed the ranks of the fashion industry.  A beautiful and inspirational read.

And if you are looking for something great for your kids to read, be sure to check out our Ultimate Book List.

Happy Reading!



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  1. Kristen says

    I have heard great things about the Girl on a train. I plan on picking that up before I go on vacation in wisconsin next week. What a great list of books!

  2. Briton says

    I am loving this list! I read This Is Where I Leave You last year…it is really well written but I could have done without all the bedroom details. I am going to put all your other suggestions on my To Read list 🙂 Right now I’m working on Yes Please by Amy Poehler and The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo.

    • amandasimkin says

      I’ve heard great things about Yes Please…adding it to my Summer reading list. Great idea!

  3. Alanna says

    I LOVE reading! Thank you for these suggestions! I will pick out one of the books. The one that looks most interesting to me is: The Happiness Project!

    • amandasimkin says

      Gretchen Rubin has a follow up to it as well, called Happier at Home. I haven’t read that one yet.

  4. Jeanine says

    I haven’t heard of some of these! I’ve been reading a lot the past few days. I just got a kobo and am getting over being sick with the flu. I forgot how much I love and miss reading so I’m looking for new reads myself. The Sharper your knife the less you cry sounds interesting. I may have to check it out!

    • amandasimkin says

      Isn’t reading one of the best ways to spend your time? Flinn’s book is fantastic (and the food descriptions will make you drool).

  5. Stephanie says

    I’ve been looking for a good book: a beach read – so to speak, light and funny and the Nobody’s Cuter Than You – sounds perfect! I’m also really interested in the Girl on The Train a friend told me about that one and it’s nice to get another opinion – I hate it when I buy a book and it’s a dud, but it sounds worth it. 🙂
    Many Thanks!

  6. Tammilee Tips says

    I have been looking for new books to read when we travel. I love to grab new books to keep on my kindle we had a couple of flight delays lately. Thanks for the book recommendations!

  7. Fi Ní Neachtáin says

    I really need to begin reading more, I only ever seem to read blogs. I dd bring a book to bed last night but my little one was sick so I didn’t even get to open it. Thanks for the recommendations though, I definitely have to check these out.

  8. Nicci says

    I go through phases of reading. Once I decide to read a book I can’t put it down. So I only read an actual book a couple times a year. The Paris ones you mentioned look cool though. Maybe they’ll be my next read.

  9. Myrabev says

    These all look and sound like great books, I love reading and try to do it as much as I can but I love the idea of 10 minutes before bed or after bed so cool. I am not a mum yet though but I still want to check these out.

  10. rochkirstin says

    There are some things that we need to do to learn and become more inspired. Reading books is definitely one of them. I was just searching for really good titles last week. Good thing I found this list of books, now I am interested to read them all.

  11. Nicole says

    Amanda, you are spot on about us making time to do things we love. It is so important. Reading is one of my favorite pastimes, yet I don’t spend nearly as much time doing it as I would like. I love your tip to do so when you rise or go to bed. I also love how simple you kept the synopsis of these books to give me a quick glimpse into what it’s about. I’m going to look into a few and put your tips to use. Thank you!

    • amandasimkin says

      If only I could wake up early enough to enjoy a few minutes of reading before starting my day…this Mama is tired!

  12. jared's mum says

    reading is something i totally love doing + i try to squeeze it into my schedule as much as i can. i wish i can do it regularly, though. the last time i read a book was while keeping watch of my son at swimming class. this is also an interesting selection. i hope i can get my hands on The Happiness Project and My Paris Dream soon!

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