books + reading

Books I couldn’t put down

I have always loved to read, but my reading life has changed since becoming a parent.

I’ve always loved reading the kind of book you can’t put down – a page-turner, a book that’s so good I want to keep it on the passenger seat of the car so that I can read a paragraph during red lights. (True story.) However, since becoming a mom, I’ve found that “can’t put down” is practically a requirement.

For me, I typically don’t have an endless amount of time to read. I read in little pockets of time – ten minutes while the boys play cooperatively in the backyard, and then I pause to help the boys navigate a sibling squabble. Twenty minutes at bedtime, and then I remember I need to pack lunch for the next day. It’s rare for me to be able to sit and read for an hour or longer.

And so – I need these books to pull me in with an element of can’t-put-it down suspense. If there’s no dead body, no compelling mystery that I am dying to find the answer to, the book simply doesn’t grab my attention strongly enough. I lose interest, and I end up abandoning it in favor of a new title.

A thriller can be a great read for someone like me; they can be incredibly suspenseful and compelling, and I do often enjoy this category of books. But I also don’t want to only read books that are thrillers. That said, I am often in search of books that are can’t-put-down page-turners that are NOT thrillers.

If you’re like me and occasionally want a can’t-put-down book that I wouldn’t label as a murder mystery or thriller, here are a few of my favorites:

  • An American Marriage by Tayari Jones. 
  • The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett.
  • The Plot by Jean Hanff Korelitz.
  • Dear Edward by Ann Napolitano.
  • Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid.
  • Before The Fall by Noah Hawley.
  • The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.
  • Fleishman Is In Trouble by Taffy Brodesser-Akner.

If you DO love a thriller – and believe me, I do! – here are a few of my favorite thrillers:

  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides.
  • Darling Rose Gold by Stephanie Wrobel.
  • Dark Matter by Blake Crouch.
  • Falling by T.J. Newman.
  • The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian. 

I have many other recs for thrillers I’ve enjoyed, so feel free to reach out if you want more! If you have recommendations, please share. Parenting is hard – we need good books to give our brains a break.

Happy reading!

Photo by Oladimeji Ajegbile on

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