15 Books To Binge Read While Quarantined

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15 Books To Binge Read While Quarantined

We know, we know. You have small kids. You are now a teacher. You are trying to work and cook and do all the things. We fully understand that most of us are not sitting around aimlessly looking for projects right now even though our calendars have been cleared. However, we do have more free time than we did a few weeks ago, and we also believe that sometimes zoning out with a book is truly the best medicine. Whether it’s 15 minutes on your back porch or at night before you go to bed, books can be a wonderful way to disconnect and get lost from the real world for a bit. Below are our 15 recommendations for books to binge read. And if we’re lucky enough, maybe we will even get to read some of these on an actual beach this summer!

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1. We Were The Lucky Ones

This is a true story, and it is an incredibly well-researched tale about a family during World War II. While the topic is on the heavier side, this is one World War II book that we firmly believe everyone should read. We promise you won’t be able to set this one down; you can get our full, thorough review here if you need more convincing (but you shouldn’t!). And if you have not read read The Tatooist of Auschwitz, it’s another well done World War II story.

2. Verity

We are huge fans of Colleen Hoover around here as a general statement. Her books tend to be fast, easy page turners whose characters pull you in such that they feel like family. Her writing style is easy to follow, which makes reading with kids around palatable. Verity is a book that several of us devoured in 1-2 days. If you’ve already done Verity, we’d also strongly suggest It Ends With Us and Regretting You.

3. The Silent Patient

Anther page turner, this one starts off a little slow for some people but pulls you in within a few chapters and is worth sticking with for a bit. Most of us agree that we did not see the ending coming, which is always a good way to finish a book. This is a fictional thriller.

4. Bad Blood

Holy moly, this story is nuts. This is based on a true story and company and has more plot turns and twists than a really good Dateline episode. The craziest part about this book is that absolutely none of it is made up, and you almost cannot believe what you’re reading. Then, once you’re done devouring the book, you can watch the HBO documentary with your mouth wide open.

5. Educated

Another true story, this is the tale of a woman who grew up largely off the grid and recounts her quirky childhood in a gripping memoir. She did not receive a traditional education in any sense of the word, yet the vivid details she can retell about her youth will mesmerize you. This one reminded us of The Glass Castle, another easy to binge memoir. We always love when someone who has the odds stacked against them ends up thriving and is able to share their journey in a captivating way.

6. The Mother In Law

If you’re anything like us, you won’t be able to put this page turner down. The Mother In Law is the quintessential poolside or beach read with lots of twists and turns. You may have to close your eyes to imagine you’re on vacation right now, but we don’t think this one will disappoint you even if you’re just in your backyard!

7. The Wife Between Us

Similar to The Mother In Law, this is just a fast-paced, quick read. Sometimes you just want to zone out in a soap opera story and get lost in the characters for a bit. Some people find this title a tad TOO fluffy, but it just depends what you’re in the mood for. An easy, fast read? This one fits the bill.

8. It’s Always The Husband

The title alone should sell you, are we right?! In all seriousness, we like this author as much as we like Colleen Hoover mentioned above. Her stories and writing are consistently good and easy to follow, and these are books you can devour in a weekend or pick up and down due to their easy plot lines. Michele Campbell also wrote She Was The Quiet One, which some of us liked even more than It’s Always The Husband.

9. Things You Save In a Fire

Oh how we loved this unique and easy read! This is a unanimous “must read” from bookworms, and the plot is fairly unique compared to some of the thrillers that circulate and recycle similar storylines. The protagonist is a female firefighter and paramedic, and her girl boss status is enough to hook you from the beginning of this charming read.

10. Maybe You Should Talk to Someone

Oh how we loved this book about therapy written by … a therapist! They say that you should never hire a therapist who is not also in therapy, and this book lends incredible insight into why almost everyone could use a place on the proverbial couch. Sometimes it helps to know that even therapists struggle and that we aren’t alone in this thing called life. This is a slightly deeper book that requires some introspection, but if you like digging below the surface of feelings, you’ll adore this read.

11. I Miss You When I Blink

This is actually a collection of essays, not a novel, but it is incredibly endearing and fun to read. You will laugh, smile, get a little sad and experience every emotion as you turn the pages of this witty author’s memoir. We think this is a must read for moms, especially right now when life feels kinda crazy and out of control. You will realize that you are truly not alone, and motherhood – heck, life – is just plain challenging.

12. Save Me The Plums

We adore Ruth Reichl’s writing style, and this upbeat memoir is a fun nod to the days of print magazines. Remember those? Ruth worked her way up in the journalism world, eventually landing at Gourmet which she always perceived as her dream gig. This tale is one of being a working mom, upward mobility and the challenges of navigating an often male-dominated world.

13. The Only Plane In the Sky

This is admittedly a very heavy topic, but if you read one book about the events of September 11, we can’t recommend this one enough. It is an oral history of the tragic events that happened on that fateful Tuesday, and it weaves hundreds of firsthand accounts together in a unique way that make you feel as if you are re-living the experience. Because it is so vivid, you may find you have to put this one down at times, but the pages move fast when you’re engrossed in these pages.

14. Someone We Know

Shari Lapena is a household name for a lot of us, and her latest book does not disappoint. We finished this one really quickly, and the plot kept us guessing until the very end. Someone We Know is a fictional thriller, and while this one borders on far fetched, sometimes you just need a good escape! While we enjoyed An Unwanted Guest, we thought Someone We Know was a much stronger novel.

15. A Long Way Gone

This book was published many years back, but it deserves a read. A Long Way Gone chronicles the (very sad) life of child soldiers in Africa and what being on the front lines means for little ones in some parts of the world. We could not put this story down, but it will definitely make you sad, mad and frustrated. It is a gut wrenching yet necessary story to endure.

Next On The Nightstand…

Because of their incredible reviews, the other books sitting patiently on the nightstand are Untamed (Glennon Doyle’s new book, receiving tons of acclaim from people we trust like Brene Brown) and Open Book (Jessica Simpson’s memoir). If you have others we should put in the pile, drop a comment below!

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Ashley is the Co-Owner of New Orleans Mom, Red Stick Mom and Lafayette Mom, now the largest network of parenting websites in South Louisiana. Proud graduates of the University of Virginia, she and her husband Blaise spent time in Tampa and Scottsdale prior to settling down back home in New Orleans, something they both said "would never happen." An avid runner, she'll try any workout at least once and is always up for sweating with friends. When she’s not shuttling her 3 very active kids to school, gymnastics or baseball, you can find her cheering for the Saints, trying new restaurants or spending time with family and friends. She's also not afraid to return mediocre books to the library before finishing them because life is too short for bad books. A native New Orleanian, Ashley loves exploring and discovering the beauty of South Louisiana through her growing children's eyes.

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