Reading is a such a wonderful way to wind down and relax. Reading during the winter months feels especially cozy and comforting. Both Jess and I are big book lovers and we have found ourselves reading daily over the last few months. It’s a lovely way to start the day in a slow and easy way if you wake up early before the rest of your family. It’s also such a nice way to end the day, cozied up in bed with your favorite book. Reading in the afternoon is also a sweet luxury that can be enjoyed if a child is napping or you have time to take a break from chores or work.
I love to read a little bit of everything from suspense thrillers to rom-coms and self help. Jess gravitates towards historical fiction, memoirs and autobiographies. Some of my favorite books have been rich stories with beautiful wording, descriptions and characters. The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah will always be at the top of my list and I also love all of Taylor Jenkins Reid’s books including– Daisy Jones & The Six and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.
We both set goals to read more this year, and we are on a roll. We’ve read 8 books each so far and are excited to keep it going March. With so many excellent books to choose from, it is hard to know which ones to add to your reading list. We’ve got you covered!
If you have been looking for your next read, today’s post is for you. We are sharing the list of books we have loved so far this year and those we are eager to read next.
My Current Reading List
Jess’s Current Reading List
This is a list of books I’ve read so far this year or plan to read soon. Kelley and I have some overlap with books including Tomorrow, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and I’m Glad My Mom Died so I left those off since she included them in her list! Overall I have enjoyed every book I’ve read and would recommend any of them.
Hello, Molly!: A Memoir
My Aunt recommended Hello Molly! and it did not disappoint. I am a huge Molly Shannon fan and loved her time on SNL. My friends and I were obsessed with Superstar when it came out in the 90s. It was so fun to read about the background for so much of Molly’s work, but I had no idea what a tragic upbringing Molly had and her backstory was incredibly heartbreaking. She overcame immense trauma and she manages to stay upbeat, positive and funny as she tells her story. If you’re a Molly Shannon fan you will love her memoir.
I really didn’t know what to expect with Prince Harry’s Spare but given all the talk about it I wanted to see for myself. I actually listened to the audiobook for this one, which I think I enjoyed more because it’s narrated by Harry. There’s so much controversy around Harry & Meghan (and the royal family) but I really enjoyed Spare and thought it was interesting to hear from Harry’s perspective. One thing that really came across was his obsession and disdain for the British Press. At times it felt like the book focused on the press a bit much, but also understandable given how much they’ve harassed him, and impacted his life (not to mention the death of his mother). This was a long one and I think it could have been shortened a bit, but it was an enjoyable listen.
I loved Mad Honey and flew through this book by Jodi Picoult and Jennifer Finney Boylan. It’s a suspenseful and heartbreaking story that also makes you think and question “what would I do?”. There’s so many interesting characters and plot lines, and a beautiful love story woven in too. It’s a bit love story, a bit murder mystery, and a book I couldn’t put down. (TW: domestic and child abuse)
I wasn’t sure what to expect from Demon Copperhead but saw that Grace loved it and figured I’d give this book a try. I loved it and it was another one I couldn’t put down. Set in the mountains of southern Appalachia it’s a story of a boy born to a teen single mom and his fight for survival. This book has a lot of trauma, from foster care to addiction to abuse, but in the end, it’s hopeful. There’s little relief from the heartbreak in this book, but it’s a moving story that has you rooting for Demon throughout.
Notes on an Execution
This is the book I’m currently reading and whoa, it’s intense. Sort of a thriller it’s a page turning suspenseful book that reads like true crime. Ansel Packer is on death row, set to be executed in the next 12 hours. The book counts down the hours until his execution weaving through stories about Ansel’s upbringing filled with trauma and abuse, interspersed with stories from the women who’ve impacted or been victims of Ansel. From Ansel’s mother, a desperate teenager forced to make impossible choices, to his wife and her twin, to Saffy the homicide detective who has a hunch about Ansel based on her haunting past with him in foster care. This book is dark and will keep you hooked until the very end.
The Vanishing Half
The Vanishing Half is next up on my reading list based on so many great recommendations. It’s the story of twin sisters from a small Black southern community who run away at 16. The book follows their contrasting lives over the span of 40 years– one living in the south with her daughter and the other in California, hiding her past from her husband and family. Eventually the lies catch up to the twins and they must face the past and its influence on their present. Apparently HBO is going to turn the adaption of this book into a limited series too! Can’t wait to read this one next.
Kelley’s Current Reading List
Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin
After our Best Books You Read in 2022 roundup, Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow was a clear favorite for books of 2022 and so I made this my first read of 2023. Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow tells the tale of the unusual love story between two best friends and their journey through fame, loss, triumph and deceit. This book is unlike any I have ever read and is one that will keep you thinking for years to come. It is full of love and heart but also the reality of life’s biggest heartbreaks and tragedies.
I’m Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy
So I must admit, it was the shocking title that sparked my curiosity, but I’m Glad My Mom Died is both the fascinating and heartbreaking memoir from childhood actress, Jennette McCurdy which depicts the complicated and abusive relationship with her mother that sent her spiraling for many years of her life. McCurdy did an excellent job bringing you into her mind and sharing the trauma she experienced as a child. This story truly shook me to my core and gave me so much understanding and compassion for innocent children who are manipulated by parents and generational trauma. Trigger warning: this book discusses topics of anorexia and bulimia and as someone who has never struggled with these things, I still found it to be incredibly difficult to read during certain parts.
Strength in the Storm: Creating Calm in Difficult Times by Eknath Easawaran
I just finished taking a yoga course and one of our assigned readings was, Strength In The Storm. I loved Strength In the Storm so much more than I thought I would. In fact, I often find self help books to be hard to get through and sustain focus. But this one was so different. It only took me a few hours to read and was so incredibly transformational. Written by, Eknath Easawaran, an Indian-born spiritual teacher, this book includes so many helpful nuggets. It is organized in such an easy to digest manner. Easawaran includes easily applicable ways to find calm and peace in your life that could be helpful to anyone! You don’t need to be a yogi to read this. I know I will keep coming back to this one for years to come!
Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez
By mid-February I got plagued with sickness after sickness and switched over to the easy, breezy rom-com genre to help distract and make it through. Part of Your World was just what the doctor ordered! My friend calls these, “feel good, real goods” and it did just that. The classic city girl, meets country boy romance with some fun modern twists that will entertain and give you an escape from those winter blues.
Someone Else’s Shoes by Jojo Moyes
I couldn’t wait to get my hands on JoJo Moyes new book, Someone Else’s Shoes. I loved the original storyline, unexpected twists and turns and the highlight on wealth, class and how quickly you can lose it all. JoJo Moyes goes far beyond your classic “rom-com” with even more depth, humor and warmth to bring her story to life. I could totally see this becoming a fantastic movie someday!
Things We Never Got Over By Lucy Score
This is a fun romance you will enjoy. In Things We Never Got Over, Naomi finds herself unintentionally thrown into taking over her “bad news” twin sister’s life in small town Knockemout, Virginia. When Naomi’s twin sister steals her car and leaves Naomi to care for her 11-year-old daughter, she must navigate this new town, niece and a love interest that leave her questioning who she is and what she truly wants in life.
Bringing Yoga to Life by Donna Farhi
Another favorite assigned reading from my yoga class was, Bringing Yoga To Life. Again I don’t feel like you need to be a “yogi” to read this story. Farhi keeps it real in her break down of how principles of yoga can be applied to everyday life in a way that will make your life so much richer and more meaningful. I loved the stories and lessons weaved into each chapter and how relatable, yet wise Farhi is.
Ejaculate Responsibly: A Whole New Way To Think About Abortion By Gabrielle Stanley Blair
Ejaculate Responsibly was such an informative, insightful and honestly rage-inducing read. Blair has such a fresh, practical and indisputably rational perspective and insight into abortion. I found it so interesting and surprising to see my own bias come up as I listened and felt angered by how this problem has come to rest on women, when it is so clearly a man’s problem. I think this should be necessary reading for every high school student and adult.
The Writing Retreat by Julia Bartz
This is next on my list, as I think I’m ready to dive back into some suspense! Suspense is one of my favorite genres and this new release from Julia Bartz looks so intriguing! The Writing Retreat tells the story of a young author’s experience at an exclusive writer’s retreat where things take a turn for the worst. Alex finds herself feverishly writing to win the publishing deal at the end of a surprise writing retreat competition, but when one of the writer’s disappears after mysterious happenings, Alex must get to the bottom of it.
The Anatomy Of Anxiety by Ellen Vora
I follow psychiatrist, Ellen Vora on instagram and always love her insights and perspectives on anxiety. A friend of mine recently recommended, The Anatomy of Anxiety and it is on my list for March. Vora digs into “how anxiety manifests in the mind and body– and what we can do to overcome it.”
Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life by Dacher Keltner
I listened to Krista Tippett’s interview with Dacher Keltner on On Being and found it to be so thought-provoking and insightful. I am excited to read his book, Awe: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life. This act of presence and awareness is such a simple way to tune into nature, the ones we love and those small moments we miss each day because we are too busy or moving too fast to appreciate them. This book seems like the perfect reminder of what is most important in life.
Happy Place by Emily Henry
I’m a big Emily Henry fan and I can’t wait for her new release, Happy Place at the end of April. Another great rom-com just in time for beach read season, I know this one won’t disappoint. Henry’s latest release tells the story of a couple that have been split up for months, but pretend to be together again for a vacation with friends. Can’t wait to get my hands on a copy of this!
The Soulmate Equation and True Love by Christina Lauren
Another rom-com I’m cuing up is The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren. Said to be “laugh-out-loud, sweet, charming and humorous” The Soulmate Equation chronicles the story of a single mother, Jess and her experience using a new DNA-based matchmaking company. When Jess is paired with the company’s founder who she believes she is very incompatible with she loses hope. But she offered payment to give dating him a try and Jess suddenly wonders if maybe they are more compatible than she originally thought.
Beartown by Fredrik Backman
I gifted Beartown to my husband for Christmas and I’ve decided to read it as well. Beartown tells the story of small town and the ice rink that keeps the community together and gives them hope for a better tomorrow. When tragedy strikes in Beartown, the community must decide whether they will let it tear them apart or bring them back together.
What’s on your current reading list? Let us know what you’ve loved and books you’re looking forward to!
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