For some reason, January has become my “devour a bunch of books” month every year. And then I proceed to read only a small handful throughout the rest of the year. IDK, maybe I need to store up fabulous stories that I digest for the rest of the year?
Regardless, I LOVE it. I wish I could be such a voracious reader for the rest of the months, but alas, I’ll appreciate these winter moments indulging in beautiful tales. Pro tip: I’ve been doing my reading in my adorable TME x Printfresh pajamas, and it’s extra lovely.
I’m mostly a fiction reader, with some memoirs, autobiographies and food-related non-fiction thrown in. Turns out many of us here at The Mom Edit also love talking about our favorite reads (and some of us have for years!).
Dive In To A Good Book: Our Editors’ Fave (Fiction + Nonfiction) Novels
Historical fiction, magical realism and fantasy are some of our fave fiction genres. And we have a couple of really standout nonfiction reviews too for those of you that love that category.
There are so many of us on the team now that adore diving into a good book, and we have lots of literary loves to share, so stay tuned for the occasional roundup like this one!
Some Of Our Must-Read Book Recommendations: Fiction
Starting off with a few faves in the fiction category…here are the magical, historical, fantastical worlds we’re loving.
One of Jess’ Favorite Books: ‘One Hundred Years Of Solitude’
By Gabriel García Márquez
“One Hundred Years of Solitude” by Gabriel García Márquez holds a very special place in my heart. I first read it in an AP English class in high school, and it opened up a whole new world of literature for me. Growing up in a pretty religious household, I had no idea that books like this existed, and it was beyond an eye-opening and magical reading experience.
Marquez is considered one of the godfathers of the Magical Realism genre, which is set in a realistic setting — in this case Colombia — but where extraordinary things happen. I also learned so much about Colombian culture and developed a lifelong love of the country. Pretty much all of Gabriel García Márquez’s are some of my top reads of all time, including “Love in the Time of Cholera.” If you’ve read any of Isabell Allende’s books, you’ll love this one.
One Of Laura’s Favorite Books: ‘The Night Circus’
By Erin Morgenstern
It was really hard for me to answer my own question here. One of my favorite books of all time is like picking a favorite pair of shoes for me…impossible. In the running were “All The Light We Cannot See,” “Educated” and “Tuck Everlasting.”
But I decided to go with “The Night Circus” by Erin Morgenstern because, while many may have read it, sometimes it flies under the radar. If you like a little bit of fantasy, a strange love story and lots of magic, this is for you. It’s so beautiful and memorable…like a dream. I need to read it again. And next up, “The Starless Sea” by the same author.
One of Scotti’s Favorite Books: ‘The Shadow Of The Wind’
By Carlos Ruiz Zafón
“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruiz Zafón is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read. I have so many quotes and passages highlighted that have just taken my breath away. One of my favorites: “In the shop we buy and sell them, but in truth books have no owner. Every book you see here has been somebody’s best friend.”
I’ve since read it twice, along with the other three books in the “Cemetery of Forgotten” book series (which can be read in any order).
One of Lily’s* Favorite Books: ‘Their Eyes Were Watching God’
by Zora Neale Hurston
*Hi, I’m a copy editor on the team!
Did you read “Their Eyes Were Watching God” by Zora Neale Hurston in high school? Yes? Well, trust me — read it anew as an adult. Assigned this in school as a teenager, I vaguely remembered some sort of orgasm-masturbation scene, plus bad stuff about racism and rabies. But reading it as an adult, I was moved by Hurston’s choice to frame the whole novel as one long, proud “friend, you would not believe what I’ve been through” catch-up between girlfriends.
The novel celebrates friendship and homecoming, the beauty and challenges of both, particularly as shared between Black women. The main character is Janie Crawford, whom Hurston writes — in 1937— as a funny, strong-willed, spiritual woman wrestling with love(s) on a perilous journey in the post-Reconstruction American South. Hurston’s use of her own Black vernacular language, and resistance to reducing her protagonist to tragedy only, have perhaps dehydrated this novel in common perception into simply a girl’s coming-of-age story.
That’s some nonsense. Hurston’s pro-Black, proto-feminist (and in today’s language, I would also add queer) views during the Harlem Renaissance made her a controversial figure, often at odds with her peers. We have, in large part, writer and activist Alice Walker to thank for bringing much of Hurston’s work to light. This book is the shit. Please read it.
If you like “Their Eyes Were Watching God”… check out Hurston’s incredible autobiography “Dust Tracks On A Road” (sit down, Kerouac). Hurston also wrote short stories, essays, plays, anthropological studies, and a collection of incredibly funny and gut-wrenching African American folktales — the first written by an African American person — called “Mules and Men.”
One Of Syd’s Favorite Books: “The Knife Of Never Letting Go”
By Patrick Ness
I was (and still am) split between two series that I’ve loved for years, BUT I settled on “The Knife of Never Letting Go” by Patrick Ness. (That being said I’m still putting a link right here to “The Old Kingdom” trilogy because “Sabriel” was a life-changing book for me to read in high school.)
Quick note on me: My attention always jumps around the page when paragraphs get too long. I thrive on reading dialogue, and my brain cries out when a writer takes more than two pages to describe what a setting looks like.
I picked up this book on a random walk through Barnes and Noble years and years ago because I thought the title sounded really cool. After reading the summary, and already being on board because I love a good sci-fi/fantasy novel, I flipped through the first couple pages just to get the gist of the writing style. And WOW. It was like this book was made for me.
I don’t want to say too much about the plot, but it follows a boy named Todd who lives in a world where all thoughts from everyone are heard all the time. Ness does an incredible job of showing how loud thoughts can be even on a page. I also fell in love with the way he writes about someone put under pressure, thinking in tense situations in short bursts and gut reactions.
There’s something about the way he structures sentences and paragraphs that really puts you in the shoes of the main character, whether it’s rambling run-on sentences or single words taking up whole pages. The “Chaos Walking” trilogy is amazing, and I’ve reread it a few times, so I highly, highly suggest giving it a shot!
Some Of Our Must-Read Book Recommendations: Nonfiction
And now a couple of nonfiction books that encourage some serious introspection.
One of Abby’s Favorite Books: ‘Period Power.’
by Maisie Hill
My favorite genre of books is, without a doubt, self-help. I love learning about ways to better my life/relationships/body/mind/literally anything. I’d consider “Period Power” by Maisie Hill of the self-help category because, um, HELLO, how didn’t I know all of this about my own body? Help!?
Why isn’t this stuff more widely known (like understanding what to eat, do, avoid during certain times of my cycle for optimum health & happiness), and how don’t we all know that certain lifestyle choices can immensely positively or negatively impact us because of our cycles & hormones alone? Sheesh. I wish someone would have told me about this stuff. Or that looking it up would change my life.
I’m SO darn thankful that I randomly picked up this book. If you’ve closed your period chapter, Maisie Hill also wrote a version about navigating perimenopause. She’s the sole reason I have less cramping and shorter headaches, and bounce out of pessimistic PMS fogs with ease! (My friends and fam are probs equally as happy about that as I am…heh.) Learning more about your own body and how it works (no matter how late in the game it is) is life-changing, you guys. I love this book.
One of Julieta’s Favorite Books: ‘All About Love’
By Bell Hooks
My ADHD and thirst for knowledge often has me reading five books at a time, but this time I decided to stick to this one, and guess what! I’m about to finish it.
I chose “All About Love” by Bell Hooks because I’d never thought about love — or “the art of living” as Hooks calls it — this way. It’s one of those books that is so eye-opening and liberating, you need to take all the notes and take some time to process it. It’ll give you another perspective about loving yourself and others. I highly recommend it.
Another book I have read, reread, recommended, and even listened to on audiobook while I do my makeup is “For Brown Girls with Sharp Edges and Tender Hearts” by Prisca Dorcas.
As always, leave us some of YOUR favorite reads of all time in the comments below! I finally joined a book club this month, and we’re bringing suggestions for what to read next. We just finished “Lessons in Chemistry” by Bonnie Garmus, and I highly recommend! Until next time…
Laura + the team
Hey, Pinners… Check this out.