36 of My Favorite Books

This weekend marks my 36thbirthday. I still like to deny the fact that I’m a full fledged adult, but I guess the fact that I have a career, a mortgage, and two little boys who rely on me for just about EVERYTHING further cements my title as an adult. So instead of dwelling on the fact that I am growing another year older with even more responsibilities, I am focusing on having a year that brings me so much joy: Reading. While we busy moms may not have time for it, escaping into a book is the perfect way to forget about all of our stresses and enter another world. So my birthday gift to you, dear reader, is a list of 36 of my favorite books. Enjoy!

My Favorite THRILLER Books

I know, I know…the world is scary enough nowadays. But a great book is one that will keep you up all night. Not because you are freaked out by a scary story, but because you keep telling yourself “one more chapter” and then your book is over and it is 2 a.m.

Gillian Flynn—Sharp Objects

William Landry—Defending Jacob

Karin Slaughter—The Good Daughter

Dennis Lehane—Mystic River


My Favorite Autobiographical Books

There is something so incredibly inspirational about reading the story of someone who has tried, tried again, and over again…to eventually gain success, whether it is championing for civil rights, surviving the death of a spouse, or creating a home decorating empire.

Chip and Joanna Gaines—The Magnolia Story

Carole Radziwill—What Remains

Cheryl Strayed—Wild

Nora Ephron—I Remember Nothing

Mindy Kaling—Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

John Lewis—Walking in the Rain


My Favorite Inspirational Books

I will never be the perfect parent. And neither will you. But there are some things we can work on in order to be the best versions of ourselves. Whether you are seeking a simplified home, an honest to goodness friend, or the inspiration to achieve your dream career, I guarantee these books will help.

Emily Ley—Grace, Not Perfection

Julie Klam—Friendkeeping

Rachel Bertsche—MWF Seeking BFF

Elizabeth Gilbert—Big Magic

Rachel Hollis—Girl, Wash Your Face

Joanna Gaines—The Magnolia Kitchen

Christian Owen—Florists to the Field


My Favorite Beach Reads

I know, I know…reading a book on the beach is something you did BEFORE kids. But if you can find a great babysitter, a grandparent who is actually helpful, or a doting and energetic aunt or uncle, these are some great reads to add to your beach bag.

Lauren Weisberger—When Life Gives You Lululemons

Jonathan Tropper—This Is Where I Leave You

Emma Straub—The Vacationers

Stephen McCauley—My Ex-Life

Katy Regan—Big Little Love


My Favorite Classic Books

If you didn’t already know, before I started my adventures in blogging and writing for local magazines, I was an English teacher. What made me choose this path? The wonderful and timeless books that my teachers introduced to me. They truly made classic texts come alive and I spent over a decade as an English Teacher and Reading Specialist trying to spark this kind of joy in each and every one of my students. Now my list of classics spans all different types of books, but I guarantee that these stellar titles stand the test of time for a reason.

Harper Lee—To Kill a Mockingbird

JK Rowling—Harry Potter series

William Shakespeare—Macbeth

JD Salinger—The Catcher in the Rye


My Favorite Books for Moms

Sometimes we moms need books that cater just to us, whether they are to make us laugh about the foibles of motherhood or give us a boost of confidence when all we want to do is ignore the mountains of laundry and hide under the covers watching Bravo all day long.

Mary Ann Hoberman—The Seven Silly Eaters

Jen Mann—I Just Want to Pee Alone

Myquillyn Smith—The Nesting Place

Kristin Van Ogtrop—Just Let Me Lie Down

Amy Krause Rosenthal—That’s Me Loving You


My Favorite Authors

So…I get girl crushes. On authors. I plow through every single book these ladies have written, follow them on Instagram, and become thoroughly convinced that we could be besties…but not in a creepy way, I promise! These are my five favorite ladies to escape into a good book with. Why are they my favorite? Because of the beautiful way they craft stories, tugging on heartstrings and leaving you to think about the story way past the final page.

Elin Hilderbrand

Emily Giffin

Liane Mortiarty

Jane Green

Jennifer Weiner

I hope you enjoy my 36 book recommendations. As for me, I will hopefully be spending my birthday with a glass of champagne and a good book! Be sure to check out my other book suggestions for your family here.

Happy Reading!
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  1. Marysa says

    What a great list! I haven’t had a lot of time for reading lately, since we are so busy with the kids. I have read a couple of those though, and would love to check out Magnolia Table.

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