50+ Books I Would Recommend to My Girlfriends

I read a lot of books this year. It was a goal of mine to read more and I think I did a decent job. By the end of the year, I'll be up to 50 books read in 2021! That's about four books a month or one book a week! Do you set reading goals for yourself each year? I feel like as soon as someone finds out that I read a fair amount, we always launch into a discussion about books and I'm happy to oblige! I'm going to break it down into a few different categories to make it easy for you to decide what to tackle next! If you want to scroll to the bottom you can see my top 5 favorite books of 2021! Are you ready to find your next good book?

books I'd recommend to my girlfriends

Books I Would Recommend to My Girlfriends

books to read

I'm going to break this down into a few different categories. First, books I'd recommend for vacation {easy beach reads}. These are the ones I'd bring along if I had a few hours to sit on the beach or curl up in front of a fireplace for a few hours. Books that don't require a ton of concentration but are fun to dive into. 

Next, books I think are better on audiobook. Full disclosure, I listen to most books I "read". My husband says it's cheating. I experienced a traumatic brain injury a handful of years ago, and I found it difficult to follow a book and comprehend what was happening. When I listen to audiobooks, I can actually get into a book and find that I enjoy it again. Some authors do a great job of creating audiobooks, and I listed the ones I think were best experienced in that format.

I'll share books I think would make good book club books. Many of the ones I read were for our book club. Book club book suggestions offer really good group discussion and often make you think and share some perspective you might not have otherwise thought of.

And finally, I don't want to say I'm sharing books I didn't like, but I'm sharing books I thought were just ok. Take this mediocre recommendation with a grain of salt. I say that because I know friends who liked some of the books that landed on my "meh" list. If I'm honest, if I hate a book, I will stop reading it. I have a few of those I read a handful of chapters and quit on, the books on the ok list were ones I actually completed so I guess that's saying something. Books I started and hated, didn't make this list.

I'm not going to write out descriptions of the books because you can click the links of the titles and find a good description there. I always like to see what books are frequently bought together to see if I've read the other books. It's often an indicator if I'd like the book or not if I like one or more of the similar titles.

I borrow most of the books I read from the library. I stop often at our neighborhood free library book boxes and find books there too. I'm sure authors hate me. I don't buy the book, but I know lots of people do...just not me.

Find surprising benefits of your local library here!


Books I'd Recommend for Vacation

Four Winds by Kristen Hannah
The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry
The Midnight Library by Matt Heig
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner
In Five Years by Rebecca Serle
Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell
The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn
A Good Girls Guide to Murder and the sequel Good Girl Bad Blood by Holly Jackson
The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell
Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Bell
Open Book by Jessica Simpson
Summer at Tiffany by Marjorie Hart
The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin
Apples Never Fall by Liane Moriarty
Verity by Colleen Hoover

Books I'd Recommend on Audiobook

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
Anxious People by Fredrik Backman
Yearbook by Seth Rogan
Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Books Good for Book Club

We are Not Like Them by Jo Piazza and Christine Pride
The Vanishing Half by Brit Bennett
Know My Name Chanel Miller
Transendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett
A Burning by Megha Majumbar
Panchinko by Min Jin Lee
Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemie
Behold the Dreamers by Imbolo Mbue
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi {there is a sequel I'll put on hold called The Secret Keeper of Jaipur}
Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetey
There There by Tommy Orange
The House of Broken Angels by Luis Alberto Urrea
Three Sisters by Heather Morris {actually this whole series from Tattooist of Auschwitz to Cilka's Journey were amazing!}

Books That Were Just OK

These books were just meh. I wouldn't NOT recommend them. I just wouldn't recommend them if you had something else to read {see the lists above}

Disclaimer: Some people I have talked to LOVED these books. I just didn't.

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Hiney
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab
Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Moriarty
Baby Doll by Hollie Overton
Anne of Manhattan by Brina Starler
The Kindred Spirits Supper Club by Amy Reichert
Meet Me at the Museum by Anne Youngson
Hidden Valley Road by Robert Kolker
Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson
Unbound by Tarana Burke
The Stranger in the Lifeboat by Mitch Albom

Books I Have on Hold

I keep a running list of books I hear others talk about that they loved or books that have been recommended to me. These are the ones I currently have on hold. Here's hoping they don't all come available at the same time!

Girl, Woman, Other by Bernardine Evaristo
The Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley
The Girl with the Louding Voice by Abi Dare
Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowly Heller
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult
The Shadow of the Wind by Carols Ruiz Zafon


My Top 5 Books of 2021

1.Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid

This book was so well written. It had me in awe of the author and how she was able to write from several different voices and perspectives. Plus the ending took me by surprise. I didn't see it coming, and I kind of like that in a book. I listened to this book on audio and I honestly think it's probably the best way to experience this book. There were different voices and actors used for each person and it felt like listening to a good podcast. I devoured this one!

2. Four Winds by Kristen Hannah

I'll always have a sweet spot for historical fiction. I loved this one. I generally like this author {she also wrote The Great Alone and Winter Garden} and love how she creates characters that you just really want to root for. Start to finish, I was glued to this one. 

3. Three Sisters by Heather Morris

This book was so hard to read at times because the atrocities that these three, real-life sisters faced are unbelievable. It's a heartbreaking tragic story that is just so beautifully told. The story will stay with me forever.

4. Fifty Words for Rain by Asha Lemie

This is the story of the life of a mixed-race child born into royalty in Japan. She's seen as a disgrace to the family and is kept locked in an attic, beaten and humiliated. It follows her life and the twists and turns that it takes through the years.

5. Verity by Colleen Hoover

So I hate to admit that I liked this one as much as I did. I think because it was so different from most books that I read {take note: there is some explicit sexual content in this book}. This book was creepy like, you just watched a scary movie when you were 11 that you weren't supposed to and you are home alone now, creepy. I could not put this one down because I was never sure where this one was going. 

I read a lot of good stuff this year, so I'm not going to lie, it was hard to narrow it down to a top 5. Seriously, anything up there {with the exception of books I have listed that were just ok} are all going to be books you will probably enjoy. Go put a few on hold, check some out at the local library and order a few for those rainy days or upcoming vacations and enjoy! Let me know what you think. I'd love to hear it!

Want more book recommendations?
Check out these past lists I've made

10+ Books I Always Recommend to Friends
Complete Collection of Summer Beach Reads
Must Read Books

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