Look, we know it’s hard to find time as a parent to dive into a good book; heck, even reading this article may take some precious minutes out of your life (and we appreciate you being here). But with the holidays coming—along with some much-needed relaxation time—we know you may want to catch up on that reading. So, we rounded up a collection of addictive books to curl up with, while the kids are napping or playing with all their new toys.
The list below includes romance novels with fresh takes, page-turning thrillers, and escapist fantasy series to pull you out of your post-holiday doldrums. Do you have any recommendations to share? Let us know in the comments or over on Instagram.
Browse By: General Fiction // Romance // Thrillers // Fantasy // Humor
Have you seen the Hulu series starring the luminous Kerry Washington and always compelling Reese Witherspoon? The book is just as good, if not better. It centers around the intertwined lives of a white family from the Midwestern suburbs, and the magnetic yet mysterious mother-daughter duo who enters their lives. Rich, complex, and thrilling, this book is a life-changer.
This book has topped must-read lists for the last few months and was a #1 New York Times bestseller, for good reason. The plot circles around twins who find their separate ways in the world as young adults—one moves away and passes as a white woman, and the other reinvents herself, only to return home. After the sisters have children of their own, the mystery around their separation only intensifies, coming to an electrifying head.
Riveting and tragic, this book feels like an incredibly necessary story about race, bias, and social justice. Though it was written and marketed as YA fiction, the writing is so smart and compelling that anyone could pick it up and immediately fall for the beautiful characters and invest in their story.
This modern-day romance is so well written, with vivid descriptions and steamy love scenes, as well as heart-stealing tenderness. The protagonist, a brilliant analyst with Asperger's, hires a Vietnamese-Swedish escort to help coach her in the ways of romance. That’s a compelling intro if I ever heard one. The rest of the book does not disappoint.
Following the formula of many-a-beloved romcom, The Wedding Date follows two strangers who agree to pose as wedding dates. Their fun banter and sweet chemistry light up the pages, making you root for them, even as they find themselves torn apart by modern inconveniences, like jobs across the country from one another.
No matter how lovely your mother-in-law may be, there’s no denying that there are often tensions when combining families. This book takes it to the extreme, with the introduction of the sudden and mysterious death of the protagonist’s mother-in-law. The flashbacks and present-day narration fills this book with suspense and anxiety. I flew through this one in a couple of days.
A psychotherapist enters an institution and meets a silent patient, a woman who is assumed to have shot her husband in cold blood. Theo, the therapist, is fascinated by his patient’s case, especially when he finds out that she’s been keeping a journal—her only form of verbal communication since her husband’s murder. The book is edged with spiky secrets and dark flair, making for a riveting read.
Told from the perspective of various guests at a posh, secluded wedding, this thriller really captures the layers of emotional intensity that goes into the “happy day.” Of course, even by wedding standards, this one is extraordinary… especially when an epic storm hits and a dead body is found. The shifting voices in each chapter as well as the pointed dialogue contribute to a tense but totally satisfying book.
Maas has quite the fan following, and it’s not hard to see why. Her series are consistently immersive, with funny, memorable characters and incredible landscapes. And the plots are always filled with romance and surprises. This first book of four takes a spin on the Beauty and the Beast trope … but it lands somewhere totally different. Once you start the first in the series, you may want to set aside some time for the rest.
A tale of loss and heroism, this beautiful story tells of an uprising against a monarchy and the return of a mysterious magic. Zélie is determined to strike against her enemies, with the help of a runaway princess, but she must first confront her own power first. Epic, inspiring, and full of social justice themes, this book is just as wonderful to read as an adult as it is for young adults.
Set in the lofty realm of Yale’s secret societies, Bardugo explores the power of the occult and the privilege those secret societies offer. A fresh take on magical realism, this book straddles that line between gritty, realistic characters and completely mystical circumstances. I’m already eager to read the next in the series.
These quick and digestible essays (which can be bought one at a time through Amazon Kindle) feature Kaling’s signature brand of self-effacing humor and relatability. She describes her experience as a single mother, the pitfalls of fame, as well as her many thoughts on the dating scene in LA. Each essay feels like you’re laughing until your stomach hurts with a good friend over wine. And YES, B.J. Novak makes an appearance or three, leaving us once again to puzzle through the nature of their will-they-won’t-they relationship.
Trevor Noah’s comedy specials on Netflix gave me all kinds of life, and his book feels just like a return to his distinct form of storytelling. His wit and poignant observations weave together in this memoir of his upbringing in post-apartheid South Africa, where the nature of his existence as the son of a Black woman and a white man became the basis for criminality. His teenage exploits and laissez-faire storytelling undergird a story of incredible humanity.
Ali Wong is my forever girl crush. This book is just so wonderful, like a warm hug punctuated by some hilarious truths. Wong offers a totally unfiltered take on Asian culture, sex, and her career in comedy. Her voice is strong and confident, and best of all, absolutely unapologetic. It’s just the feminist manifesto I need to reread to start the new year.