My 10 Favorite Books that I’ve Read Recently + Top Recommendations from Local Moms

We asked our readers to share with us their favorite book(s) from the last year and they gave us some really great suggestions and recommendations! I love to read – but I never seem to find the time to read. And since reading is something I love – I want to prioritize it this year. To me, THAT is self-care… making time for something I enjoy.

Here are my favorites that I’ve read recently: 


The Idea of You by Robinne Lee (My friend highly recommended this. I am currently reading and cannot put it down…!!!!).

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens (This was also recommended by several of our readers).

Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner (I don’t think I have ever read a Jennifer Weiner book that I didn’t love). 

Happy and You Know It by Laura Hankin (I read this in just a few days — I loved that it was mindless and a good escape from reality).

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin (I love ALL of Emily Giffin’s books!).


The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown (A couple years ago I got to see Brene Brown speak in person. Her words are powerful). 

Fierce, Free and Full of Fire by Jen Hatmaker (I have been a Jen Hatmaker fan for years, and also have read all of her books. I got through this one quickly!).

How I Built This by Guy Raz (Based off the NPR Podcast, this book is inspiring).

Humans by Brandon Stanton (I am always fascinated by the stories on Humans of New York — and this is a book FULL of those stories!).

…and a new one I got for Christmas and can’t wait to read: 

  • Make Life Beautiful by Syd and Shea McGee (I am a big fan of Studio McGee and their design work. So I cannot wait to read this one!).

And the top recommendations from moms in our community!

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Anxious People by Fredrik Backman

A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza

Educated by Tara Westover

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

Nala’s World:One Man, His Rescue Cat, and a Bike Ride around the Globe by Dean Nicholson

Orphan Train by Christina Baker Kline

Rage Against the Minivan: Learning to Parent Without Perfection by Kristen Howerton

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

The Home Edit by Clea Shearer + Joanna Teplin

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett

Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

What is your favorite book that you read recently? 

Alisa Sleep
Alisa was born and raised in Iowa before attending Arizona State University. She then lived in Chicago, Georgia and Florida before settling in Madison. From her nomadic lifestyle grew a love for the beach, as well as a fondness for spicy food, sushi, white wine, southern charm, Diamondbacks baseball and idyllic ocean sunsets. Alisa and her husband, Joe, are parents to Ava Mae (August 2012) and twins, Nora & Jacob (March 2014). Alisa is a work-from-home mompreneur with a passion for business, fashion, fitness, community and all things mom. When she’s not enjoying time at home with her family, you can find her sweating it out on the tennis court, training for the next big race, pinning her heart out on Pinterest and exploring Madison with her little ones (and sweet Boston Terrier, Peaches) in tow.


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