43 books directly related to pregnancy 📚

All 43 pregnancy books as recommended by authors and experts. Updated weekly.

Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--And What You Really Need to Know

By Emily Oster,

Book cover of Expecting Better: Why the Conventional Pregnancy Wisdom Is Wrong--And What You Really Need to Know

Why this book?

This has become a classic pregnancy book, and for good reason. Oster is an economist who reevaluates often faulty maternal health studies and presents her conclusions in an accessible and sometimes light-hearted style. This is the book for expecting moms who want to know the why of restrictions and recommendations, as well as their importance, in order to make the best decisions for themselves and their babies.

Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy

By Kaz Cooke,

Book cover of Up the Duff: The Real Guide to Pregnancy

Why this book?

Every woman needs at least one practical book to read along with their pregnancy. There are several good options, but Up the Duff has the advantage of being highly entertaining and easy to read. It always made me giggle. It is a great book to have by the side of your bed all pregnancy through.

What Makes a Baby

By Cory Silverberg, Fiona Smyth (illustrator),

Book cover of What Makes a Baby

Why this book?

I have read a lot of sex-ed books because I used to be an educator for Planned Parenthood and I think this book is 100% perfect. It contains delightfully colorful illustrations about how a baby is made without ever making anyone feel that they are different for the particular way they conceived a baby.

Cory writes, “Not all bodies have sperm in them.” as opposed to “most men have sperm and most women have eggs, but…” like every other sex-ed book I have ever read, making trans, intersex, and non-binary folks feel that they are an exception to some rule. I love everything Cory Silverberg does very much! And not just because we had brunch once in New York City.

Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy

By Angela Garbes,

Book cover of Like a Mother: A Feminist Journey Through the Science and Culture of Pregnancy

Why this book?

This book delves into the science of pregnancy, but through a feminist lens. Through extensive research, Garbes details just how the female body creates life, a sometimes grisly and often wonderous process, as well as pans across our culture, with all its pitfalls, to explain just why women deserve better support through medical care and social nets.

Rosemary's Baby

By Ira Levin,

Book cover of Rosemary's Baby

Why this book?

Now this is definitely a cult classic. The devil, a woman, the baby she wants desperately, and a deal that haunts everyone involved. I don’t have much to say about this book's style, it was good but nothing to write home about. The story, though—the very concept—was brilliantly done. Sharp twists and turns keep you gasping, which is nice for a read. I loved the imagery in this book and lost some sleep over it. Definitely recommended. 

Drinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom-To-Be

By Diana Licalzi, Kerry Benson,

Book cover of Drinking for Two: Nutritious Mocktails for the Mom-To-Be

Why this book?

Unlike many non-alcoholic recipe books, this one's for women who are trying to conceive, are already pregnant or are breastfeeding, or individuals who are looking for a little bit more nutrition in their sips. This collection of more than 40 nutritious mocktail recipes are unique and the book also includes tips for sustainable mixology

Cravings: An Extreme Horror Novelette

By D.E. McCluskey,

Book cover of Cravings: An Extreme Horror Novelette

Why this book?

Some might say that this is a really crappy story. I will agree only to the extent that this book does, in fact, center on feces. Sara Todd is pregnant and she’s not craving pickles and ice cream!

This book is brilliantly written. McCluskey presents a most vile and disgusting story—one that is ripe with imagery and depravity. There’s not much that shocks and disturbs me, to be honest, but this book had me muttering, “No, oh no, no, no” in anticipation of the nasty deeds. Each one seemed progressively worse. It will likely turn your stomach and surely disgust you!

Making a Baby

By Rachel Greener, Clare Owen (illustrator),

Book cover of Making a Baby

Why this book?

This inclusive guide to how every family begins is exactly the book I was looking for to help my daughter understand such important topics. Covering everything from sex, IVF, adoptions, surrogacy, vaginal birth, cesarian, miscarriage, and more. I believe starting these conversations young helps to build trust and confidence in the parent-child relationship. To make a baby you need one egg, one sperm, and one womb. 

Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

By Stephanie Dueger,

Book cover of Preparing for Parenthood: 55 Essential Conversations for Couples Becoming Families

Why this book?

What I love most about this journal-type workbook is how practical and easy to digest it is. The book doesn’t give specific advice but provides prompts and worksheets for couples to focus on the most frequent topics of concern for new parents so they can plan ahead for how to manage them. The book poses thought-provoking questions for partners to learn more about their own and each other’s experiences, values, and hopes and discover where both their challenges and strengths may be. Couples can pick it up, open it to any page, and have conversation prompts as well as an action item that can help them to move forward. I can imagine couples revisiting these conversations again and again over time to see how they’ve progressed and where any sticking points might still need to be worked through.

Best for: expecting couples or those who are thinking about having a baby with good self-awareness and for professionals to recommend to expecting couples with good self-awareness.

Happy With Baby: Essential Relationship Advice When Partners Become Parents

By Catherine O'Brien,

Book cover of Happy With Baby: Essential Relationship Advice When Partners Become Parents

Why this book?

I love Catherine’s sense of humor. Even the contents page makes me laugh out loud! Catherine shares anecdotes from her own relationship with her husband Rick and examples from other couples that make this book really relatable and easy to digest. Happy With Baby provides concrete, real-world advice, lots of compassion, and inspiration for some specific topics not covered by other books including: overcoming a hard pregnancy, three questions to ask daily for better communication between partners, what to say when mom needs to take self-care and handling unwanted parenting advice that can sometimes create conflict between parents. There’s plenty of empathy in here and also some good laughs.

Best for: new parents and friends of new parents to recommend to them.

Learning to Breathe

By Janice Lynn Mather,

Book cover of Learning to Breathe

Why this book?

Learning to Breathe tells such an important side of the #MeToo Movement, with sixteen-year-old Indira (Indy), a Black Bahamian girl who struggles to find her place in the aftermath of an assault that leads to an unwanted pregnancy. Set in the Bahamas, a place so often portrayed in Western culture as idyllic, it depicts a very different gritty and authentic lived reality for the main character. This heart-rending, yet empowering novel is enlightening on so many levels. Not only does it offer the unique and all-too-often overlooked point of view of a young person of color, but it also deals with complex family issues, homelessness, and a young woman’s path to claiming power over her own body and future. 


By Megan McCafferty,

Book cover of Bumped

Why this book?

In Bumped, a worldwide pandemic of the Human Progressive Sterility Virus renders the adult population sterile. About three-quarters of teenagers are infected and will go irreversibly sterile sometime between their eighteenth and twentieth birthdays. This changes attitudes about teen pregnancy. The survival of humanity depends on it.

The situation spurs a variety of responses. Trendy stores at the mall sell provocative clothing and “fun bumps,” strap-on bellies that show the girls how sexy they’ll look when pregnant. School clubs put the focus on procreation. The main character’s parents are determined to cash in on their daughter’s great genes and virginity and broker her first child to the highest bidder.

I read this book when my daughter was a teenager. Yikes! I know how much teenagers are influenced by social media, advertising, and their peers. It was horrifying how the government tried to manipulate the teens into having as much sex as they could and to get pregnant as often as they could, while downplaying the teen parents’ natural attachment to their children.  

The Rosie Effect

By Graeme Simsion,

Book cover of The Rosie Effect

Why this book?

You’ve probably read The Rosie Project, but have you read the prequel? I’ve always been a sucker for back story and what happened before the moment a movie or novel starts. Well, that’s what you get in The Rosie Effect. And even better, its setting in the vibrant and thrilling New York City only adds to the romance and excitement in this beautiful romantic comedy.

Light in August

By William Faulkner,

Book cover of Light in August

Why this book?

I have colleagues in the STEM fields, on the other hand, who brag about not having read fiction since sophomore lit. This is a mistake. Faulkner observed that the only worthy subject for the poet and novelist is “the human heart in conflict with itself.” They must portray “love and honor and pity and pride and compassion and sacrifice.” Novels, then, can help you develop an intuitive feel for empathy and so for human behavior. Where the heart leads, after all, the mind will follow. Much of this comes, of course, from personal experience, but great novels can add depth to our inventory of experience and so produce a deeper understanding of the “heart.” Faulkner has a reputation for being difficult. Ignore it. Here’s a master storyteller at the top of his game. Just pick it up and read it. 

Be Pregnant: An Illustrated Companion for Moms-To-Be

By Eugenia Viti,

Book cover of Be Pregnant: An Illustrated Companion for Moms-To-Be

Why this book?

I’ve never been pregnant before, but Viti’s book is one of the few things I’ve ever read that makes the idea seem appealing. Not because she sugarcoats the rougher parts, but because I now know that if I do get pregnant, I’ll have this hilarious book to keep me company. I’ve shared this book with all my friends who have ever been pregnant, and they agreed that it was a wholly original take on the endeavor. 

Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir

By Aileen Weintraub,

Book cover of Knocked Down: A High-Risk Memoir

Why this book?

This new memoir (out 2022) is about a New Yorker who marries, buys a decaying farmhouse, and shortly thereafter is diagnosed with a high-risk pregnancy, committing her to five months of bed rest. While horizontal, she confronts grief over the death of her father and struggles to hold her marriage together. Though this story is narrated in a humorous voice, Weintraub deals with tough issues, including the merits of prenatal restrictions, demanding we take better care when handling maternal mental health. 

Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood

By Kate Rope,

Book cover of Strong as a Mother: How to Stay Healthy, Happy, and (Most Importantly) Sane from Pregnancy to Parenthood

Why this book?

This pregnancy and postpartum guide is compassionate, inclusive, and practical. It’s broken down by stages of the journey, inviting the reader to bounce around to the chapters of pertinence, and covers Rope’s personal experience, contributions from experts, as well as anecdotes from other mothers. Apart from providing critical information, the author’s goal here is to make the reader feel more confident and comfortable with her motherhood experience and to normalize the perfectly healthy responses that are often stigmatized.  

The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be

By Armin A. Brott, Jennifer Ash Rudick,

Book cover of The Expectant Father: The Ultimate Guide for Dads-To-Be

Why this book?

I highly recommended The Expectant Father because it’s packed with month-to-month essential emotional and even physical changes that fathers-to-be may experience. One of the most outstanding features of this book is that it incorporates the knowledge of expert OBs, parent educators, and researchers in the field. This wonderful book also covers all issues regarding infertility and various birthing methods.

Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

By Penny Simkin, Janet Whalley, Ann Keppler, Janelle Durham, April Bolding

Book cover of Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn: The Complete Guide

Why this book?

I love this book because it puts parents in control and because it's based on the latest medical research and recommendations. It provides the information and guidance that pregnant families need to make informed decisions that reflect their preferences, priorities, and values. Throughout, the presentation is crystal-clear, the tone is reassuring, and the voice is empowering. And the language is inclusive, reflecting today's various family configurations such as single-parent families, blended families formed by second marriages, families with gay and lesbian parents, and families formed by open adoption or surrogacy. From sensible nutrition advice to realistic birth plans, from birth doulas when desired to cesareans when needed, from reducing stress during pregnancy to caring for themselves and their babies after birth, this pregnancy guide speaks well to the needs of parents-to-be.

Half Broken Things

By Morag Joss,

Book cover of Half Broken Things

Why this book?

Okay, so…once again, there’s a personal angle. I often find myself - at the end of a holiday at an amazing spa resort, for example - genuinely wishing in a quite ferocious way that I could just...not leave. I know many people say jokingly that they wish a holiday could last forever, but I suspect I'm the only one who really means it. If I could, I would actually live, on a full-time basis, at the Vila Vita Parc in the Algarve or at the Grand Hotel Tremezzo on Lake Como. Sadly, that is impossible for a number of reasons - but when I first read Half-Broken Things, my empathy for the central characters was sky-high (until they turned murderous).

This is a novel about a completely irrational grudge, but one that makes perfect sense according to the internal logic of the characters. A middle aged house-sitter, Jean, and her two misfit friends form a sort of commune/substitute-family in the enormous country mansion that Jean has been employed to house-sit. There’s only one problem: when the house-sitting gig comes to an end, Jean and her gang decide that this mansion is their true home and they’re not willing to leave it…even if that means committing murder in order to stay. One of the best psychological thrillers I’ve ever read.


By Jill Day,

Book cover of Breastfeeding…Naturally

Why this book?

If you are intending to breastfeed, then it is important to pick up a book on breastfeeding. Don’t make the mistake of being so focused on pregnancy and birth that you forget about lactation. There are several good options for breastfeeding books. As an Australian mother, I turned to the Australian Breastfeeding Association and I made sure I read Breastfeeding…Naturally. It gave me the knowledge I needed to know.

The Testaments

By Margaret Atwood,

Book cover of The Testaments

Why this book?

Atwood has written extensively about the relationship between humans and nature in many of her books, in many different forms. But I’ve chosen to highlight The Testaments because of the way Atwood explores the fallout of ideologies that stemmed from an environmental collapse. What Atwood does so brilliantly in her writing is continually revealing how human reaction to climate change can be as harmful as the mass ecological destruction and extinction itself. She serves up a cautionary tale for how our response—and our beliefs—will play a large role in what kind of changes define the future.

Something Happened

By Cathy Blanford, Phyllis Childers (illustrator),

Book cover of Something Happened

Why this book?

Children who have known their mother was pregnant with their sibling and then had a miscarriage have psychological needs that must be met. They notice an emotional change in their parents, but don’t understand why that is. And their own hopes, or fears, about a sibling -  companion or rival - are likely still there, unanswered. The best course is to give the child the opportunity to address these feelings and fears. As a psychiatrist, I am keenly aware of the child's need for this - as well as the difficulty it may pose for the grieving parents. A sensitive and informed picture book like this one is a good tool for parents to use with young children.  

Who I Am with You

By Robin Lee Hatcher,

Book cover of Who I Am with You

Why this book?

This novel is beautifully written, a gentle, faith-filled love story with characters I couldn’t help but care about from the start. Recently widowed and expecting a baby, Jessica is struggling with the tragic loss of her husband and daughter—and the secret knowledge of her late husband’s betrayal. Her new next-door neighbor, Ridley, has his own secrets, which is why he’s attempting to keep a low profile in this small-town setting. I loved watching their friendship evolve into something more and how their faith grew as they dealt with the difficulties they faced. And as a lifelong animal lover, I have to say I was especially fond of Ridley’s dog, Kris, who played the perfect little matchmaker!

Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives

By Elly Taylor,

Book cover of Becoming Us: 8 Steps to Grow a Family That Thrives

Why this book?

As a therapist and coach for expectant and new parents, this book is always near the top of my list of recommendations. Taylor does a wonderful job of normalizing the difficult transition for most from “couple” to “parents.” She uses her background as a couple’s therapist to help people build tools to navigate the emotional upheaval that is incredibly common (and backed by extensive research) in the transition to parenthood. I appreciate Taylor’s honesty and her inclusion of stories from couples as examples. Reading this book feels like having a conversation with a good friend, who focuses first on your strengths, but who isn’t afraid to help you learn some new and helpful ways of interacting.

It Will Just Be Us

By Jo Kaplan,

Book cover of It Will Just Be Us

Why this book?

There’s no place like home, especially when it’s Wakefield Manor, where ghosts and memories are trapped in an endless loop. When the introverted, quirky protagonist Sam (who reminded me of my favorite Shirley Jackson character—Merricat Blackwood) is forced to welcome her estranged, pregnant sister back to the decaying family manor, Sam’s already-frayed nerves are pushed to the limit. But when her sister’s arrival becomes the catalyst for disturbing visions of a faceless boy with a penchant for cruelty, Sam seeks answers in the claustrophobic halls of her ancestral home. Who is this monstrous, cruel boy? What does he want? Seething with tumultuous family dynamics and a plot as complex as it is unsettling, the atmosphere of It Will Just Be Us had me enraptured from the very first pages and didn’t let go until the gasp-inducing ending. 

Mommy Laid An Egg: Or, Where Do Babies Come From?

By Babette Cole,

Book cover of Mommy Laid An Egg: Or, Where Do Babies Come From?

Why this book?

When my daughter was in first grade in Germany, her teacher read this book to her entire class. Sex education is considered a right in Germany since knowing how your body works is essential for your reproductive health. In the U.S. it’s left to us as parents to teach sex ed to our kids—which I’d argue is less than ideal, given the high costs of keeping kids ignorant. (The U.S. has higher rates of teen AIDS, teen pregnancy, and abortion than Germany.) If you don’t know how to broach this subject, this book is a good, age-appropriate, place to start when your young kids first begin asking questions.

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

By Elizabeth McCracken,

Book cover of An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

Why this book?

This extraordinary book combines a lived experience with the powerful writing of an accomplished author.  Unexpectedly, in her mid-thirties, she finds a man to love and a baby is on the way. But then, the agony:  the baby dies in utero in the ninth month. She tackles head-on the deepest feelings and questions this brings. I like the way she unsparingly describes her experience and her grief, and then how she processes this and finds a way to move on. 

The Miscarriage Map: What To Expect When You Are No Longer Expecting

By Sunita Osborn,

Book cover of The Miscarriage Map: What To Expect When You Are No Longer Expecting

Why this book?

This is a book written by a psychologist who herself experienced a miscarriage that traumatized her. The author is frank and open about her own feelings and those of her husband. I like how beneficial this is: it brings a sense of normality to feelings women have that may seem frightening to them. There are also suggestions of what can help, as well as supplemental recommended readings. The book is a combination of memoir, reading companion, and advice-provider. 

Miss Ophelia

By Mary Burnett Smith,

Book cover of Miss Ophelia

Why this book?

Part coming-of-age story, part slice of adult drama and misbehavior, this book impressed itself on my memory with its deceptive sweetness and heart-wrenching likability. It touches on teenaged pregnancy while examining infidelity stemming from a faulty marriage between a likable man and a bitter woman. I loved its honest examination of problematic, complex relationships—husband to wife, and child to adult. It is beautifully drawn, complex, and definitely on my "Books I can Re-Read Endlessly” list.

What I Thought I Knew

By Alice Eve Cohen,

Book cover of What I Thought I Knew

Why this book?

A surprisingly funny and poignant memoir, What I Thought I Knew does at least two things brilliantly—gives us a window into Alice Eve Cohen’s hopes and fears of motherhood and simultaneously gives us a window into the broken medical system here in the U.S. At 44, after a series of medical tests, Cohen finds herself not sick, but pregnant. What unfolds from there veers from an absurd comedy to a horrific nightmare, all while crashing headlong into hers and everyone else’s expectations, assumptions, and morality. This book had me laughing out loud and sobbing simultaneously. It moved me at a core level to examine my own limiting beliefs and the things I thought I could count on. What I soon discovered was that nothing was certain and everything was up for grabs—regardless of what I had previously believed.

I Like Myself!

By Karen Beaumont, David Catrow (illustrator),

Book cover of I Like Myself!

Why this book?

"I like my eyes, my ears, my nose. I like my fingers and my toes. I like me wild. I like me tame. I like me different and the same."

Saying "I like" something about myself is self-affirmation. This book is special to me because this is the first book I read to my daughter during my pregnancy. I remember receiving this book from a dear friend at my baby shower. I always knew that words are powerful, especially words from parents or guardians. Our words promote cognitive functioning. I used this book as the foundation to start incorporating positive reinforcement into my daughter through self-esteem, self-acceptance, and self-love. Besides the message, I love the wild and colorful illustrations.

Small Pleasures

By Clare Chambers,

Book cover of Small Pleasures

Why this book?

An unwanted pregnancy of a different kind is at the center of Small Pleasures. When Gretchen Tilbury becomes pregnant with her daughter Margaret, she is absolutely convinced she had a virgin birth. How could it not be? Gretchen was bed-ridden, convalescing in a hospital run by nuns when she was impregnated. In 1957, Margaret is ten-years-old and Gretchen is now married. Journalist Jean Swinney—who herself had an unwanted pregnancy in the past—is assigned to write an article about Gretchen, uncovering once and for all if she had a virgin birth.  A lovely sense of mystery develops as Jean unravels what may have happened, all the while Jean becomes a bit too entangled with this family she so admires.

The Mothers

By Brit Bennett,

Book cover of The Mothers

Why this book?

In a certain light, Nadia Turner has much to apologize for. Pain, grief, and alienation throb in the background of some of her teenage decisions, which are rife with consequences that ripple through generations. Though various characters try to shame Nadia, box her in, and wield their judgment, they don’t quench her spirit as she forges ahead–imperfectly, messily–to find her way and finally break free of secrets and the sickness they bring. The way The Mothers collectively narrate sections of this story makes clear how the actions of individuals reverberate in a community, for better or worse.

Hurrah for Gin: A Book for Perfectly Imperfect Parents

By Katie Kirby,

Book cover of Hurrah for Gin: A Book for Perfectly Imperfect Parents

Why this book?

So funny! Diary of a Wimpy Kid for adults. Just love these fun little cartoons, easy reading, you don’t need your brain at all, just relax and enjoy.

Home Birth On Your Own Terms

By Heather Baker,

Book cover of Home Birth On Your Own Terms

Why this book?

This book is comprehensive: it describes self prenatal care, what to do if you encounter complications during labor and birth, and discusses postpartum care. Photos and birth stories can put a couple at ease as they plan for their upcoming birth. My daughter birthed her first baby unassisted and this was her favorite book during pregnancy.

The Monster I Loved: The true story of a young girl and her father's betrayal.

By Shannon Clifton,

Book cover of The Monster I Loved: The true story of a young girl and her father's betrayal.

Why this book?

The Monster I Love is written by Shannon Clifton by the same publisher as myself Fortis Publisher and it is the true story of this beautiful young woman who was subjected to the worst abuse from the very person that should have been looking after her the most, her father. 

He stole her innocence and childhood and even took her on the run with him whilst heavily pregnant with his child. She paid the ultimate price for loving her dad who became the ultimate monster in her life. This young woman is the strongest woman with the most resilience I’ve ever come across. To go through such abuse at such a young age and yet empower herself to be the best version of herself today made me incredibly proud to be a woman. After her father got sentenced Shannon took back her power and has become a fabulous champion for survivors to now thrive. A hard-hitting story that some parts stay with you forever but a true courageous story of the resilience of the human spirit.

Harnessing Peacocks

By Mary Wesley,

Book cover of Harnessing Peacocks

Why this book?

Ms. Wesley didn’t publish until she was seventy, which I find inspiring. She produced ten slim interconnected novels. Like the heroine of Delicious although a century later, this one cooks. She cooks for elderly ladies, visiting for a week or two to stock their freezers with fabulous meals. Her less innocent sideline is “visiting” with men. These occupations earn her enough to keep her fatherless son in an excellent private school. Then, the unthinkable happens: two men who were previously unknown to each other discover they may be sharing the same mistress. The problem is they thought their arrangements were exclusive. A comedy of manners ensues. Wesley’s prose cuts like a finely honed knife. And she does her cutting with very few words. I so admire that skill!  

Taking on the Billionaire

By Robin Covington,

Book cover of Taking on the Billionaire

Why this book?

I don’t usually read billionaire romance because the billionaires are often crappy humans, and I don’t enjoy reading about crappy people getting a happily-ever-after. This book was a great exception. Adam Redhawk isn’t just a billionaire, he’s an Eastern Band Cherokee billionaire who was taken from his home and community when he was a child. Now he’s hired a PI to help him find his long-lost siblings to reconnect with the past that was stolen from him. I enjoyed the romance and the characters a lot. If you read billionaire romance, let this be one of them.

The Argonauts

By Maggie Nelson,

Book cover of The Argonauts

Why this book?

Described as a “genre-bending memoir,” The Argonauts is a beautiful, life-affirming meditation on the nature of desire, intimacy, self-identity, love, and the way in which our inevitable blind spots make the confronting of these themes fraught with confusion and contradiction. Nelson allows us to be a fly on the wall of her mind as she works through her concerns in a stream-of-consciousness manner. The New Yorker called The Argonauts, “An exceptional portrait… of the collaboration between Nelson’s mind and heart.” Indeed, The Argonauts is a much-needed reminder for us (both as writers and as human beings) not to shy away from the complex, often contradictory, nature of human experience. That’s where the good stuff lives.

The Dandelion Field

By Kathryn Springer,

Book cover of The Dandelion Field

Why this book?

This is an engrossing tale of love, loss, trust, and life-changing choices. Springer’s endearing, well-drawn characters sucked me in from page 1 as they faced a myriad of real-life challenges while struggling to both maintain old relationships and develop new ones. But as Springer demonstrates, real love—not just the romantic variety—can see us through the messiest of situations. While none of the situations depicted in this book were ones I had personally experienced, the author’s deep-dive depictions gave me exactly the kinds of character insights I look for in my reads.

Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life

By Abigail Thomas,

Book cover of Safekeeping: Some True Stories from a Life

Why this book?

Abigail Thomas likes to say that she didn’t know what she was doing when she set out to write Safekeeping. Memories returned and she wrote them down. Sometimes she wrote of herself in first person. Sometimes in second. Sometimes in third. Sometimes she wrote of apple cake, and of people she loved, and of unsustainable loss. No one remembers their entire life in systematic order. Few lives conform to outlines. That is why Thomas needed to invent the shape of her memoir in essays—to arrange all of its idiosyncratic pieces into an utterly compelling idiosyncratic whole.


By Emily Conrad,

Book cover of Justice

Why this book?

A contemporary retelling of the story of Dinah in the Bible, Justice deals with the effects of pregnancy resulting from rape and I was overwhelmed with the way Ms. Conrad resolved the issues facing her hero and heroine. The story is well-written and fast-paced without sacrificing God’s truth and redemptive powers.