11 Books To Add To Your Reading List

Reading is cool and the best way to teach that to kids is to lead by example. If you’re looking for a good read, try one of these stories. Each explores motherhood with a strong female protagonist or author, and will (hopefully) touch you in some way.


by Cheryl Strayed

This book is so good that I read it in one day. Following the death of her mother, the author finds her life spiraling downward. With little hiking experience, she decides to seek clarity by spending 94 days navigating the Pacific Crest Trail. If you haven’t seen the film yet, read the book first. If you’re as sensitive as me, both will provoke a good cry.

Stuck in the Middle With You: Parenthood in Three Genders

by Jennifer Finney Boylan

I’m proud to support the LGBT community and eager to learn more about the experiences of people with different sexual orientations and gender identities. This book explores the meaning of family relationships and the challenges the author faced during her transition from father to mother. Some of you may recognize Jenny from her appearances on E!’s “I Am Cait.”

Girl Walks Into a Bar…

by Rachel Dratch

If there’s a book authored by a female SNL alum, you can bet that I’ve read it. I love funny ladies. This book stands out because of Rachel’s unique path to motherhood. After giving up on finding love and having children, both happen at age 44.

Happens Every Day

by Isabel Gillies

Isabel Gillies is an actress (she played Elliot Stabler’s wife on Law & Order: SVU) who became an author after penning this story about the sudden dissolution of her marriage due to an extramarital affair, which is basically my worst nightmare. You might want to purchase her follow-up memoir, A Year and Six Seconds, to start reading immediately afterwards.

I’ll See You Again

by Jackie Hance with Janice Kaplan

When I said that Happens Every Day was my worst nightmare, I lied. This truly is. You might have heard of Jackie Hance, dubbed “The Taconic Mom” by the media after her three young girls were killed in a minivan driven by a family member. The courage shown by Jackie and her husband Warren in coping with such loss is nothing short of admirable.

A Short Guide to a Happy Life

by Anna Quindlen

This book is perfect for those who don’t have much time to read or the attention span to complete a novel. And if that’s the case, congrats on making it this far in my piece! Anyway, if it were up to me, everyone would own a copy of this book. It’s a beautiful reminder to treasure the splendid moments that make up our existence.

Still Alice

by Lisa Genova

I picked this book up in a pharmacy after Julianne Moore took home the Best Actress Oscar for her role as the protagonist in the film. This story illustrates the toll that Alzheimer’s takes on one patient and her family. When you’re done, you’ll want to hug your grandparents, parents, anyone you love, or anyone you know affected by this heartbreaking disease.

Little Children

by Tom Perrotta

This book’s major story arc focuses on the relationship between two stay-at-home parents, who begin an affair after meeting on the playground. A movie by the same name was released in 2006, which brings to life the chemistry between Sarah (Kate Winslet) and Brad (Patrick Wilson). You will never look at a dryer the same.

The Mothers

by Jennifer Gilmore

The Mothers tells the story of a fictional couple’s arduous experience with adoption, based on the author’s own personal experience. Though the story’s narrator, Jesse, is unsure why she feels such a desperate yearning to be mother, she endures the difficult process of an open adoption with its emotional and financial strains.

Love Me Back

by Merritt Tierce

The most recent release on the list, this could also be described as the most objectionable, and best suited for fans of Chuck Palahniuk. Criticized for being more of a character study than a plot-driven novel, it’s a raw, realistic portrait about a damaged, young woman trying to navigate life as a single mom.

They Were Still Born

by Janel C. Atlas

I was inspired to seek out personal stories of stillbirth after reading the poignant narrative of Dr. Eleni Michailidis as told to Catherine Saint Louis for The New York Times. Grieving parents can find comfort in the stories of They Were Still Born and the rest of us can learn a bit about how to permeate the silence and stigma surrounding this difficult topic.



by Jenna Gagnon

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