With the new year in full swing, we’re starting to talk about book club meetings again. We don’t judge if your friends meet to dive into bestsellers or into everyone’s favorite bottle of bubbly. Either way, we have eight book recommendations you won’t want to miss.
If you worry about the pressures of competitive sports
Megan Abbott explored the world of glittering, competitive cheerleading in Dare Me. She returned this summer to stare down the explosive ambition behind Olympic-caliber gymnastics. You Will Know Me tells the story of Olympic-hopeful Devon Knox, whose icy eyes and powerhouse vaults catapulted her into the darling of her gym. In addition, the novel explores the effect of prodigal talent on a family — and the lengths to which ambition will stretch in the face of unthinkable circumstances.
If you’re looking for a heartstring-pulling love story
A story beginning with a romantic dinner doesn’t promise to end with the same. Kailey Crain feels like the luckiest woman alive when she hands her doggie bag to a homeless man on the sidewalk, coming face-to-face with someone from her past. Suddenly, Kailey’s present and future don’t seem as certain as she expected. Always: A novel by Sarah Jio gifts Kailey Crain with two great romances — and the gripping decision about how much she’s willing to sacrifice for true love.
If you’re a little suspicious about that perfect marriage
Newlyweds Grace and Jack live a charmed life. Wealth, good looks, impeccable manners promise a future that’s sure to be the envy of all their friends. Getting to know Grace, though, is harder than it seems. She and Jack live inseparable lives, which seems incredibly romantic — until it doesn’t. Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris will make you glad for the imperfections that make your life exactly your own.
If you need to escape the cold
Reading a book seeped in sunshine during the winter months is either torture or the best sort of escape. The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand deals with the way gossip spreads in a sleepy, buzzing beach town and how those rumors test the bonds of previously unshakeable friendship. Though perhaps not her strongest novel to date (we loved The Island!), this queen of romance again spins a tale that will take you off your couch and onto a sandy beach.
If you’re trying to understand your teenager
The minds of teenage girls can be mysterious land mines of secrets and unrealized longings. Navigating the space between childhood and adulthood means trying to figure out who you are, and trying to extricate yourself from the people who want to define you. The Girls by Emma Cline chronicles how one girl, Evie Boyd, becomes entangled in a 1960s cult marked by free love, freedom from parental expectations and the specter of an unfathomable crime.
If you like to sleep with the lights on
Travel writer Lo Blacklock accepts her latest assignment in a heartbeat. After all, what could go wrong during a vacation on an exclusive, luxury cruise ship? The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware answers that question. Ware keeps you turning pages until you find out exactly what happened the night Lo sees a woman being thrown overboard.
If you read in bits and pieces
What is Not Yours is Not Yours by Helen Oyeyemi gifts readers with a series of stories about keys. Her figurative and literal keys unlock doors between parallel realities while keeping others locked — for good reason. The stories can be read consecutively or in bits and pieces over time, the perfect reading experience for busy moms.
If you can’t get enough memoir
Most of us have time to grow into parenting an eight-year old. College senior Dave Eggers inherits his younger brother after his parents both die of cancer in a five-week span. A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius unfurls true events through fantastic scenes that highlight Eggers’ vast storytelling ability.