• Natasha Hart

Our 12 Favourite Books for Busy Mums

Life can be busy. We know this, and we understand the struggles that many busy mums have when they’re also booklovers, too. How do you find the time to read a book and deal with a 2-year old who constantly wants snacks? How can you keep-up with a hobby that’s integral to what makes you, well, you, when there’s a little human who you also have to entertain, too?

If you’re a mum, the best thing you can do for yourself is prioritise what makes you, you, once in a while. And if you’re a bookworm, that’s finding the perfect book that fits into your busy schedule without demanding too much of your time.

Because you don’t have the time to read massive novels or spend hours analysing stories wondering if the blue curtains are really blue curtains or if they mean something else entirely.

I mean, does anyone have time for that nowadays?

What you need is a book you can read quickly. Pick-it-up and drop-it within the same 10 minutes countless times, and still know what’s going on in the story. You need a book that respects you’re tight for time. It needs to be a book you can read between making the kid’s dinner and bedtime, or when you’re waiting in the car on the school run.

Books that you can read quickly, that you can blitz through, are a lifesaver for allowing you to dip in and out when it suits you, as well as stopping you from just spending another hour scrolling through Instagram.

With that in mind, here are our top 12 books that can be read here and there and everywhere, to fit around your schedule. It’s a selection of your usual feelgood books, but also some thrillers to keep you on your toes.

1. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This book was made to pull at your heartstrings. If you want a book that you’ll most likely finish in one sitting, this is it. It’s the story about Hazel, whose 16 and has cancer. Okay, this doesn’t sound that happy of a book, but hear me out. At her mother’s request she goes along to a cancer support group, where she meets Augustus Waters. Now, this is where the happiness starts. Their relationship starts to bloom, regardless of cancer and the hardships it brings. This book will definitely make you realise what’s important in life.

2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Now, this is a completely different story to the one above, but still a book you can pick-up and read whenever. It’s the gritty tale of three women: Rachel, Anna, and Megan. Rachel is a divorced alcoholic who becomes entangled in a missing person’s investigation. Anna is Rachel’s ex-husband’s new wife. And Megan, Megan is the woman Rachel watches from the train. Their lives become entangled in darkness, in secrets, and the not-so-perfect suburban life. It’s a fast-paced psychological thriller that’ll make the school runs far more entertaining.

3. Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is one of those books that is funny, captivating, and is truly an entertaining read. Cath is a fresher at University, along with her more outgoing and extroverted twin sister, Wren. Cath and Wren couldn’t be more different, with Cath suffering from severe social anxiety and Wren wanting to go out, party, and spend time with boys. Cath spends her time writing fan fiction, going to lectures and feeling completely outside her comfort zone. Cath needs to discover if she’s ready to open her heart to new people, and that sometimes the best things in life require you to take that leap of bravery. Just like fan fiction, you’ll be able to read this book in quick snippets around your daily life.

4. Some Kind of Wonderful by Giovanna Fletcher

This can only be classified as the ultimate feelgood book. Follow Lizzy as her life is turned upside down when her long-term boyfriend, Ian, takes her on holiday to Dubai, and instead of proposing to her (as everyone in her life thought he would) breaks-up with her instead. Lizzy is understandably heartbroken, but this reality-check on her life shakes her awake and she soon realises she needs to seize all the opportunities she’s missed out on whilst being in a relationship.

5. Five Years from Now by Paige Toon

This is the story of Nell and Van. It’s the story of how they meet and are drawn together and torn apart again and again over two decades, from when they’re children to when they’re adults. The main theme of the story is what would you do if you met the right person, but always at the wrong time?

6. The Lido by Libby Page

Libby Page has created an elegant inter-generational tale of how much community means to us, and how it’s slowly being eroded away, and how it just shouldn’t be. Rosemary, 86, and Kate, 26 are both drawn to their local lido in Brixton. For Rosemary, it’s a reminder of her husband, George, and the memories of her life in Brixton. Kate has just moved to the area, is lonely and feels like she’s drowning in the big city. When the lido is threatened with closure, Kate sees it as a chance to raise her career as a local journalist, but for Rosemary, it could be the end to life as she knows it. Rosemary and Kate must join together to prove this isn’t just a place to swim, but the heart of the community, too. This is an inspiring story and one that is not afraid of being called a feelgood read.

7. Where the Light Gets In by Lucy Dillon

If you’ve ever had a dream you wanted to come true, this is the book for you. Lorna escapes her hectic life in the city to open up an art gallery back in her hometown. A dream she’s always had, and one she’s finally able to realise. However, the town doesn’t hold good memories for her, in fact, there’re horrible memories she wishes she could forget. Yet, if she can only learn to let the light in, she might realise there’s such things as second chances.

8. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

This book has everything in it. It’s a coming-of-age story, with commentary on the environment and nature, as well as murder. It’s also about how society can ostracise those that are different. Kya Clark is known as the ‘Marsh Girl’. She calls the marsh home and her friends are the gulls. She’s entwined in the natural world, and those in the town just don’t understand. When handsome Chase Andrews is found dead however, the town all turn on Kya as the murderer. Owens reminds us that our childhood shapes us into who are now, and that all of us are different, in some way.

9. Blood Orange by Harriet Tyce

Follow attorney Alison as she takes on the case of a woman accused of murder. But not all is as happy in Alison’s life as it may seem. Alison has to answer the question of what it truly means to be innocent, or guilty. She has the perfect husband, the daughter, and the career, but she also drinks too much, ignores her family, and is having an affair with a work colleague. If you loved Pretty Little Liars, you’ll love this.

10. One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus

This is a young adult novel, but don’t let that put you off. It’s a quick, juicy read to keep you entertained at the school pick-up. 5 students go into detention, only 4 come out alive. Simple. Or is it? They’re all suspects, they all have motives. Investigators now have to solve the murder. But everyone has their secrets, so the question is: how far would you go to protect them?

11. Conversations with Friends by Sally Rooney

From the author of Normal People, this is Sally Rooney’s debut novel. It can be read in so many different ways; it can be read from a feminist perspective, as a romantic comedy, as a book about infidelity, or as a book about our bodies. It’s an unforgettable novel that delves into that age-old question of who we are, and how we communicate as we follow the relationships between Frances, Bobbi, Nick, and Melissa. Ultimately, this book is about love. How will you read it?

12. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

Another whodunnit tale from the great Lucy Foley. It’s the marriage of the year and 13 guests are gathered on a remote island. A remote, isolated island. Before the cake is even cut, there’s the sudden discovery of a body. And now these 13 guests have become 13 murder suspects. And all of them have their secrets. All of them have motive. None can leave the island. Who do you think did it?

What do you think of our list? Do you have any to add? Let us know in the comments below. We love books that don’t require us to have hundreds of free hours or a literature degree to understand. These are written in such a way that they hook you in and grab your attention instantly, allowing the words and the story to flow through you at whatever pace suits you. Just let us know if any of the above have caught your interest and we can order them in for you, or even have them delivered. Happy Reading!

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