Remember life before kids, when you could read a great book without any interruptions? As a mom of two, every book I read has to be put down roughly eight hundred times per page so I can play never-ending “pretend” games or watch my kids do a million tricks on their scooters.
I need some great books for busy moms that can handle all the interruptions and still have me coming back for more!
When I try to read at night after my precious book interrupters are asleep, I’m either snoring two words in or staying up way too late and then very much regretting it when my kids are awake at the crack of dawn.
But this doesn’t deter me from wanting to have a book club for moms, where we read fantastic books whenever we can, whether it be hiding in a bathroom or while trying to make dinner. It can take us two months or two days to read one, but whenever we finish everyone will tell us how amazing we are for reading a whole book that doesn’t include pictures. We can talk about them in person while kids play, or via text like real mom friends talk about everything else.
It can be our very own brand of book club, filled with great books for busy moms.
When I’m recommending books for my other busy mom friends, my favorite go-tos are short stories that are so exceptional each story feels like a whole book. That way, if you only get to read one story a week, at least it’s substantial. For novels or nonfiction, I love ones that are really fast-paced and hard to put down. I find books that are easy to take a break from often don’t get finished if you are dealing with constant interruptions and requests for snacks.
Since my days are filled with all things kid, including massive amounts of picture books and jokes about butts, I tend to skew more serious or darker in my own reading. But there is also something satisfying about a book that is a light and fluffy cloud to float away on too.
Here are some great books for busy moms that will have you hiding from your kids so you can keep reading:
1. The Mothers by Britt Bennett
If you haven’t read this one yet, what are you waiting for? Though the book starts with tragedies, including an unplanned and unwanted teen pregnancy, it quickly pulls you into Nadia’s life from teen to adulthood. An engaging and quick read, even if some of the subject matters are on the heavier side. Also, check out her book The Vanishing Half. One night I burned dinner while reading it, I just couldn’t put it down! Worth it.
2. Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
If you liked her book Normal People, which was made into a limited series for Hulu, then give this one a try. Granted, I am totally and very biasedly in love with all things Ireland, but this one hooked me just as much as Normal People, if not more.
3. Five Tuesdays in Winter by Lily King
This book is filled with beautifully-written yet subtle short stories that feel like life happening all around you. There is something so engaging about the characters I felt I knew them in real life and my younger self wanted to invite them on a road trip, when those were still a thing.
4. Of Women and Salt by Gabriela Garcia
This one was a New York Times Bestseller and for good reason. All about a family that possesses both strength and secrets, this one is a proverbial page turner. Once I got into this one I couldn’t put it down.
5. Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat
I wanted every single one of these wholly engaging stories to be a novel that never ended. So well-written I was hooked from the first sentence and didn’t want to come up for air until I read the last word.
6. The Secret Lives of Baba Sergi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin
Baba Sergi brings home his fourth wife and chaos ensues with his first three wives. Really well-written with interesting plot twists and great character development, this is one that’s hard to put down. It’s actually so good, it’s about to become a Netflix series!
7. Small Animals: Parenthood in the Age of Fear by Kim Brooks
Kim Brooks left her four-year-old in a car while she ran in Target for fifteen minutes to get some headphones and was subsequently charged with neglect. In a nutshell. She writes about this experience and how fear and judgment have shaped modern parenthood in a suffocating way. Don’t miss this one!
8. Stay With Me by Ayobami Adebayo
Okay, so this is one of the best books I have ever read, but it definitely comes with a trigger warning, especially for moms or those that want to be moms. It is heart-wrenching but so well-written that I was enraptured by it from the first sentence, and it lived on in my mind long after I finished the last page.
9. A Week In Winter by Maeve Binchy
I’ve already admitted my obsession with Ireland, so here’s another Irish writer I adore. Though her books aren’t necessarily fast-paced, this one is a real charmer. Each chapter is written like its own short story, interwoven into the larger story of Stone House, an inn nestled in rural small-town Ireland. I feel like I spent a week in winter there too, and still wish I could book a stay at Stone House.
10. I’ll Show Myself Out: Essays on Midlife and Motherhood by Jessi Klein
Okay, so parenting is hard and midlife can be crisis-inducing, now what? How about laughing at it all with this book of touching yet funny essays that will be sure to take the edge off while you lounge in a beach chair and get sand kicked onto you by your children?
So, who is with me for our dreamy Busy Mom Book Club? No pressure, just good books for busy moms. And snacks, lots of snacks! If you can read even one of the books or short stories on the list with less than 1,000 interruptions, you are in. Meet me at the playground and we’ll talk all about it.
And, if you’re interested in joining a virtual book club, check out Vermont Moms’ brand new book club with a twist, But the Book Was Better! This book club is not just for book lovers, it’s also for streaming fans.
Each month, we’ll select two books to read and we’ll also stream their screen adaptations. You can choose to just read, just watch, or do both!
At the end of the month, we’ll have a virtual book club hang-out where we discuss and dive deeper into what we’ve read and watched that month. Throughout the month, we’ll post in our book club Facebook group about the books and the movies or shows. We’ll also open polls from time to time to pick upcoming books, movies, and shows.
Check it out!
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