Columbus Moms Blog Summer Reading List


Ready to get your beach vacation book list started? Having kids, it’s hard to find the time to pick up a book, let alone find one that you know will keep your interest.

Look no further, we have a list for you! We have compiled our favorites from many of our contributors to put on your list for this summer. We have a variety of genres to keep you satisfied and wanting to turn the next page! Happy Reading!

CMB Must Reads 

The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware

The story is about a journalist on a luxury cruise that believes she witnesses a passenger go overboard. After she reports the story to the cruise ship, they tell her that all passengers are accounted for. The story unfolds with the journalist trying to prove them wrong as she knows something has happened while the crew questions her sanity. 

What Alice Forgot by Liane Moriarty

The main character Alice falls and hits her head and when she wakes up she thinks it is 10 years earlier in life. This book gets you thinking about how your own life has played out over the years. It’s another great book by bestselling author Liane Moriarty (The Husband’s Secret, Big Little Lies, etc.)

The Stolen Marriage by Diane Chamberlain

A novel that deals with secrets when Tess, the main character decides to leave her job and fiance to marry the father of her unborn child and move to a small town. The people of the town do not accept her and hold her responsible for a tragedy in the town. When polio strikes the town, Tess heads back to work as a nurse and tries to find true happiness while uncovering the secrets of her husband. 

Yes Please by Amy Pohler 

Juicy and witty personal stories on love, friendship, and parenthood!

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

A novel about love, marriage, family, and wine, where Georgia discovers a secret about her soon to be husband just a week before their wedding. She heads home to the family winery to feel safe and to be with her family but when she arrives, her family is unrecognizable as well. The story portrays the complicated relationships between a family. 

The Shadow Wife by Diane Chamberlain

The story of two friends- Mara has a brain aneurysm after having birth. Her best friend, Joelle feels grief after the experience and turns to Mara’s husband. Joelle suffers from extreme guilt because of her feelings and sets off to get help for her best friend, no matter what the circumstances are. A story of how love can survive anything. 

Hillbilly Elegy by JD Vance

This book looks at the struggles of the working white class and what the decline of this class feels like. The memoir describes what it looks like for a family to rise out of poverty as their grandson graduated from Yale Law School, but to still struggle with the burdens of alcoholism, abuse, and trauma. This is a very moving book. You won’t want to put this one down! 

Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson

A memoir written by an African American lawyer that fought against the injustices and prejudice in the court system since the 1960’s/1970’s.  The story focuses on one case where a black man was framed for someone’s murder even though he obviously was innocent, yet the system put him away. It can be a heavy book, but a tearjerker and very enlightening! 

Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher

A creative writing professor at a small liberal arts college faces cuts while the Economics department receives new offices. The professor dwells upon many woes in his life such as work, his romantic life, and everyday happenings. The avenue this novel uses to tell that tale is hilarious letters of recommendation that Fitger is time and time again called upon by his students to write. Our contributor states that as a high school English teacher of ten years, Schumacher’s novel struck a resonant chord. He’s written countless recommendation letters himself and Schumacher’s narrator writes the kind of letters he wishes he could write. (In fact, he may be inspired to begin adding the humorous flourishes and passive aggressive judgments Fitger so expertly crafts.) The letters are more than meets the eye, too. Our contributor wouldn’t hesitate to read this book again and he adds the next time you need to write a letter on someone’s behalf, you’ll have Jason Fitger to thank for your new found jaded, sarcastic perspective. Get ready for a good laugh! 

The Child Finder by Rene Denfeld 

 A suspenseful novel of an investigator trying to find a missing little girl who disappeared from her family while looking for a Christmas tree. The investigator has unique insights for she was once a missing girl herself. 

Sisters First by Jenna and Barbara Bush 

The story of how Jenna and Barbara Bush grew up in the public eye. 

The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin 

The author asked herself what do I want from life? She wanted to be happy and so the happiness project began for the next year and has now turned into a movement. Such an inspiring book!  

Midwife Confessions by Diana Chamberlain

A suicide note is all that is left for her friends to decipher what happened to this person they thought they knew. Read as the friends discover what really happened and the truth behind it. Diana is a favorite of several of our contributors! 

Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

A story that takes place in France and portrays the love and the life of two sisters in danger of World War II.

Forward by Abby Wambach

A memoir that inspires girls to believe in themselves. Abby is a well-known athlete and inspiration and is a huge advocate for women’s rights and equal opportunity. 

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult 

Written by one of my favorite authors, this novel tells the story of a teenage daughter on a quest to find her mother who disappeared after an accident at the grounds of an abandoned circus. 

Brooklyn by Colm Toibin

Set in the 1950’s in Ireland and the borough of Brooklyn in NYC, Brooklyn is the story of a young woman who is thrown from her comfortable, yet somewhat dysfunctional small town in Ireland and into the fast-paced and exciting life of a large city an ocean away. All women will relate to this tale of a woman finding herself, becoming her own person apart from her family, and ultimately choosing her own path. A charming read and even more charming narrative to listen to on CD with Irish accents included 🙂 

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons by Kevin Hart

Hilarious memoir on survival and success! 

The Years that Followed by Catherine Dunne 

A haunting and beautiful narrative that tells the parallel stories of two women, one from a wealthy family in Dublin, Ireland, the other a hardworking country transplant in Madrid, with one connection: Cyprus. As the tales unfold you will discover a surprising depth, an admirable strength, and true human faults in both characters that any women will find hard not to relate to. The story is unpredictable, yet fully satisfying, ending with a slight overlap in the two main character’s stories. 

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult 

An African American nurse is reassigned to a newborn patient because her parents are white supremacists. The next day the baby goes into cardiac arrest and Ruth, the nurse, is alone with the baby. She hesitates to do CPR and is taken to court because of her actions. It becomes a wonderful story about compassion, justice, and takes on complex issues such as race and prejudice. 

Wonder by RJ Palacio

The main character has a facial difference and the story begins from his perspective. It then incorporates his classmates, his sister, her boyfriend, and others. The different perspectives combine empathy and compassion in this heartfelt book. This is a great book to read with or to your children.

Grace, not Perfection by Emily Ley

Learn how to embrace simplicity and create joy in your everyday life. 

Present Over Perfect by Shauna Niequest

This one really resonated with me as it was a way to say no to the busy frantic life and to learn how to be in the moment and to be fully present in the moment. 

The Underground Railroad by Coleson Whitehead

Cora and Caesar, two slaves escape from a cotton plantation in Georgia. They travel state by state, as they are hunted to be captured. The narrative weaves together the brutal treatment of slaves then and looks at the empty promises of today as well. 

The Magnolia Story by Joanna and Chip Gaines

A detailed look at the life of the Fixer Upper pair. 

The Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes

The creator of Grey’s Anatomy embraces a challenge to say yes to everything for one year that scared her. It tells how her life was before when she afraid of saying yes and then after the year of yes. 

Girl, Wash Your Face by Rachel Hollis

Popular online personality invites women to break free from the lies keeping them from living their best lives in a funny and witty way!  

Bossypants by Tina Fey

The story of Tina’s rise and how she reveals you are no one until someone calls you bossy! 

Magician’s Trilogy by Lev Grossman

This trilogy is reminiscent of a grown-up Harry Potter discovering Narnia. Although the start of the first book may have been slower paced, it really takes up speed and all of the sudden you have devoured all three books. The story follows Quinton Coldwater discovering magic is real and his academic study of it. He discovers that the fantasy books that he loved as a child based in a magical land called Fillory, turn out to be real. The book has also been turned into a tv show and you can find seasons 1 and 2 on Netflix. 

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

One of our contributors states this book is unlike anything she has ever read before. It is a beautiful love story of two dueling magicians. The stunning imagery makes you feel like you are fully encapsulated in the story as you follow along with their intricate, magical, life-long competition. The traveling circus opens without any notice, one day it’s there and then it’s not. You feel as though you are transported into the charming mystery and fantasy of the novel with each page! 

The Chemist by Stephanie Meyer 

This book will grab you in from the first page. The main character worked for the government and is now on the run trying to save her life. It’s written by Stephanie Meyer who is the author of the Twilight series, but this book is geared towards adults. 

The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls

The author tells her story of growing in a complex family full of twist and turns. It really gets you thinking about the differences in the lives of people and how everyone has a story to tell. This one is shocking.

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Each day Rachel watches out the window as she sits on the train. She begins to notice a couple living in one of the houses she sees and starts to put together a theory on their perfect life. It’s a thriller. A lot of people compare it to Gone Girl

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

You’ll probably cry reading this book. Louisa Clark is leading an ordinary life and becomes the caretaker for Will Traynor who is now wheelchair-bound after an accident. This is the first book in three-part series.

Parenting Books

Peaceful Parent by Laura Markham 

Making a real emotional connection with your child makes a lasting impact. 

Bringing up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman

A fresh take on parenting that can be read over and over again. 

All-time Favorites 

  1. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen 
  2. Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  3. Harry Potter Series by JK Rowling
  4. Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury
  5. Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

Did your favorite book make our list? If not, please share! The more choices, the better. 🙂 

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Maureen Ingham
Maureen Ingham has enjoyed living in the great city of Columbus for nearly 13 years! Originally from Canton, Ohio, Maureen attended Ohio University and will always be a bobcat at heart! After completing her education degree in Athens, she made her way to The Ohio State University to obtain a Masters degree in Special Education. She fell in love with Columbus then and convinced her now husband to join her in this awesome city! She taught 5th grade for 6 years, before deciding to stay home to raise two beautiful girls. Their family has recently moved to Worthington with their two girls and are excited to plant their roots here! Their first daughter, Maeve is 6 and her sister, Reese will soon be 5 years old. They welcomed a son, Miles in March 2020. Maureen has been with The Columbus Moms Blog since the beginning and now enjoys working on editing and events for the blog. She also works as a Postpartum Doula with her sister at a company called Together Wee Grow. They provide night nursing services, as well as daytime support to local families and babies in Columbus. It is a wonderful job to work along her sister and help families with their precious little ones in a vulnerable time period. In between the night shifts, sweeping up crumbs, exploring Columbus, and getting kids to where they need to be, Maureen enjoys working out, trying new recipes and restaurants, traveling, spending time with family, being crafty and trying to help others whenever she can! Maureen has many Columbus favorites. Her go-to restaurant is Third and Hollywood, she enjoys a sweet treat at Sassafrass Bakery or Fox in the Snow, a slice of pizza at Dewey's Pizza and a warm cup of joe at Highline Coffee. A perfect Saturday involves an outdoor activity with her family and trying a new restaurant when they can! She is excited to be a part of an excellent team here at Columbus Moms blog and hopes to be able to inspire mothers that small acts of kindness go a long way in raising their kids and the city they live in!