Once you become a mama, reading a good book usually means you’re making the most of a precious hour or two to yourself—or you’re attempting to read in tandem with parenting. No matter which scenario awaits, as we prepare for warm-weather reading, we have a pick for you. These 11 reads are a thoughtful and captivating mix of books you can pick up and put down with ease, and recs you’ll likely power through with engrossing vigor. If you’re taking a mama moment with a book this spring or summer, we’re here to help you make the most of it.
What Kind of Woman – By: Kate Baer
An unmissable collection of poems for women and mothers that will take your breath away. If you want to feel seen and heard with as little effort as reading a single page of a book, add to cart immediately.
Wahala – By: Nikki May
A non-stop page turner that peeks at the complexities of being a modern Anglo-Nigerian woman. Meanwhile, you get a front seat to what can happen when a wild card joins up with a seemingly rock solid group of female friends. Drama? Check. Murder? Check. Now all you need is some peace and quiet to dive right in.
Gift from the Sea — By: Anne Morrow Lindbergh
One of those beautiful little books you may feel compelled to carry around like a talisman. Read with a pen or pencil because nearly every word is something a woman and mother might feel compelled to underline. The author, Anne Morrow Lindbergh, was an aviator and lyrical author. Let that sink in. She was married to famed pioneer aviator Charles Lindbergh. This collection of writings came together while on an escape to the ocean during the years Anne’s children and family were young.
Crying in H Mart – By: Michelle Zauner
There has been no shortage of women-led book clubs on this viral New Yorker essay turned memoir. Crying in H Mart digs deep into the complexities of growing up Asian-American, the high expectations often laid on immigrant children by their parents, the slow and messy rollercoaster of grief—all whilst eating a whole lot of food. Don’t miss it.
Where the Crawdads Sing – By: Delia Owens
There’s a reason this pick made Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club a few years back. Delia Owens paints a picture of the North Carolina marsh landscape so vivid you can almost reach out and touch it. Kya, the young female protagonist of the story is near impossible to not root for as she journeys through a challenging youth coined as “The Marsh Girl” and into adulthood. You’ll find a haunting mystery that needs solving, a girl’s deep and artful love for the natural world, and the risk we’ll take to find not only ourselves, but also loving connection.
The Sun and Her Flowers - By: Rupi Kaur
Complete with illustrations by the author and poet herself, The Sun and Her Flowers is the unmissable follow-up from Rupi Kaur’s debut best-seller milk and honey. Divided into five thoughtfully titled sections of poems, The Sun and Her Flowers follows a journey of wilting, falling, rooting, rising, and blooming. What could be more relevant to young mothers than that?
But Did You Die? – By: A Bunch of Know-It-Alls
An easy-to-pick-up-where-you-left-off collection of hilarious and accurate (and hilariously accurate) parenting advice. If you need a laugh about the irony and often uphill struggles of parenting, this 5th installment from the New York Times “I Just Want to Pee Alone” series is here to “set the bar low,” enabling you to discover just how good a parent you really are.
Amateur Hour: Motherhood in Swear Words and Essays – By: Kimberly Harrington
The title of this read says it all. Consider every “well-intended” piece of advice you received leading up to pregnancy, birth, and life as a parent that turned out to be either incorrect or more harmful than helpful. Prepare to feel seen as you rage and laugh yourself to tears in Kimberly’s collection of essays.
Little Fires Everywhere – By: Celeste Ng
A riveting and complex story of what happens when two women’s opposing worlds collide in an idyllic, affluent Cleveland suburb. Meet Elena Richardson, the poster mom and wife for a town that screams “little boxes on the hillside” vibes. When Mia Warren and her daughter come to town and take up residence in Elena’s guesthouse, it’s only a matter of time before the slow burn of their differences becomes explosive.
Three Women – By: Lisa Taddeo
A female journalist spent 10 years following and recording the lives of three unique American women, and this riveting book is Lisa’s interwoven retelling of these true stories. Meet Lina, a midwestern mother and homemaker who is starved for affection in a passionless marriage. Then there’s Maggie, a 17-year-old student who becomes the center of a local scandal involving her high school English teacher. Rounding out the group is Sloane, a successful restaurateur in a happy but conflicting marriage. Follow along as these women struggle and strive to find themselves.
Heart Talk – By: Cleo Wade
Think small doses of spiritual and emotional adrenaline to keep you going on the best and most challenging of days. Artist, poet, and speaker Cleo Wade has been coined “the millennial Oprah” and once you dive into these daily bites of poetry, mantras, and affirmations, you might just agree. Think of this book as a portable well of replenishment, easy to access when you need support and encouragement most.
What other titles are stacked up on your nightstand? We’d love to hear your recommendations, too!