Archive for the ‘Book Reviews’ Category

17 Stunning Friendship Stories to Read Now

Monday, February 5th, 2024
13 Stunning Friendship Stories to Read Now

Celebrate Galentine’s Day with these friendship stories for adults! These books about friendship include fiction and nonfiction- perfect for any book club!

Looking for a friendship story for your next book club selection?

What could be a more perfect excuse than a fictional Galentine’s Day holiday that will give you an excuse to brunch AND discuss a great book about friendship.

Galentine's Day Books to Read

What is Galentine’s Day?

I think of Galentine’s Day as an official holiday, but its origin story might surprise you. This catchy holiday wasn’t created by Hallmark.

Instead, Galentine’s Day was created by the fictional Leslie Knope in an episode of Parks and Recreation.

Aptly titled the same name as the holiday (Season 2, Episode 16), Leslie gathers a group of her closest gal pals for brunch full of waffles and love. 

In this memorable scene, Amy Poehler delivers these lines, “Every February 13th, my lady friends and I leave our husbands and our boyfriends at home, and we just come and kick it, breakfast style,” she explains in the episode. “Ladies celebrating ladies.”

When is Galentine’s Day?

On February 13th, the day before Valentine’s Day, you can devote a day to celebrating your friendship with your best gal pals.

We encourage our readers to embrace a book club selection together and have gathered 9 friendship stories you’ll love to celebrate. 

That’s not all though, if you are looking for great movie or tv recommendations, we have you covered with today’s podcast with Mary Carver.

Mary  is a regular contributor on MomAdvice and the host of The Couch With Mary Carver. Her podcast celebrates TV, movies, music, and books all year-long.

Head here to read these show notes and get a list of fun ideas to celebrate this holiday with your favorite gal pals.

Listen to this episode in the embedded player or subscribe to the Book Gang wherever you get your podcasts.

Let’s celebrate this fictional holiday with the best books about friendship in fiction and nonfiction!

17 Stunning Friendship Stories to Read Now

These seventeen books celebrate female friendship stories are PERFECT for your next book club gathering.


These friendship stories are the perfect book club books for historical fiction readers.


These nonfiction books about friendship are wonderful options for readers who want to dive deep into culivating friendships in their life.


If you have been with your gal pals as long as I have, I wanted to offer some great backlist friendship stories that you might want to host a “reunion” book club.

These are four modern-day classics you might have read in your earlier years of friendship that could be revived for your next gathering.

What friendship stories would you add to this list?

Stunning Friendship Stories to Read Now

The Best Fiction Books of 2023

Thursday, January 4th, 2024
The Best Fiction Books of 2023

Looking for your next page-turner? These are the best fiction books of 2023 we read, along with some of our favorite backlist books for your best reading year.

Happy New Year, friends! This reading recap has always been my favorite post of the year, and I’m so excited to share our favorite books from 2023 with you.

Storygraph Stats

This year, I devoured 102 books and over 35,000 pages. This number is less than the prior year, but I also made a goal to watch 52 films (or a TV season), which brought a beautiful balance into my reading life.

It was so fun to document that and share movie dates with the people I love in my life.

The 2024 MomAdvice Book Club Books Are Here

We ushered in our 2024 book club books, and I loved sharing almost every week with an author in conversation for the Book Gang podcast and MomAdvice Book Club.

Today, you can hear my incredible co-host Larry Hoffer and I discuss our top books of the year, including some excellent backlist books we just discovered.

The Best Fiction Books of 2023 Checklists


We want to thank our patrons who have helped fund this space and given us a platform to share each year.

To say THANK YOU, you received a printable version of this checklist to document your reading with us. There is no better time to join than now- we will shower you in bookish gifts.

Listen to the Book Gang Podcast:

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

There is truly something for everyone on this year’s fiction list. This list of best nonfiction books offers my top recommendations and will be updated soon with some newer selections from this year.

I have a long list of books I can’t wait to get into, and these three buzy books may be on next year’s list!

Chain Gang All Stars by Nana Kwame Adjei-Brenyah (I SNAGGED A SIGNED COPY!)

Heaven and Earth Grocery Story by James McBride

The Bee Sting by Paul Murray

The Best Fictions Books of 2023

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.


Browse my favorite books of the year to snag your next favorite fiction book.


These historical fiction books were among my favorites read in 2023.


These 2023 literary fiction books were among my favorite books of the year.


Craving a cozy fantasy or a fast-paced romantasy selection? These are my favorite fantasy books from 2023.


The majority of the books I read this year fall in the backlist books category as I was hosting a backlist book club year. A backlist book is a year older or more and likely available at your local library.


From today's transcript, here are a small portion of the best books of 2023 from Larry. We encourage readers to head to his blog, where he has documented even MORE books, including some of his honorable mentions this year.

Love this post? Be sure to check out these other great lists!

Best Books of 2022

Best Books of 2021

Best Books of 2020

Best Books of 2019

Best Books of 2018

Best Books of 2017

My Top Ten Books of 2016

My Top Ten Books of 2015

My Top Ten Books of 2014

My Top Ten Books of 2013

The Best Books Read in 2012

My Top Ten Books in 2011

TELL ME: What were YOUR favorite fiction books of 2023?

The Best Anthony Doerr Books (Exclusive Author Interview)

Monday, September 18th, 2023

Read my interview with the author on the All The Light We Cannot See book. Discover the Anthony Doerr books in order and details on the new Netflix TV series.

The Best Anthony Doerr Books (Exclusive Author Interview)

This exclusive interview with acclaimed author Anthony Doerr delves into the captivating world of Anthony Doerr’s  Pulitzer Prize-winning All the Light We Cannot See book. 

Join me as Doerr offers unique insights into the creation of this literary masterpiece, revealing the inspirations, challenges, and emotions that brought this unforgettable tale to life.

Anthony Doerr Books

Be sure to scroll down to see the FULL LIST of books from the author, and more details on the All the Light We Cannot See movie.

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

All The Light We Cannot See Summary

In this story, Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. 

When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind, and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. 

When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris, and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. 

They carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel with them.

Meanwhile, in a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. 

Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. 

More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

All the Light We Cannot See Themes:

This novel was selected for an Alex Award which is given to ten books written for adults that have special appeal to young adults, ages 12 through 18. 

You will find many powerful themes in this book including:

War and Its Impact: The novel vividly portrays the devastating effects of World War II on individuals, families, and communities. It poses moral dilemmas faced by characters caught amid the conflict.

Resilience and Survival: The story follows the journeys of two young protagonists, Marie-Laure and Werner, as they navigate the challenges of war. Their resilience, courage, and determination to survive against all odds highlight the strength of the human spirit.

Human Connection: Amidst the chaos of war, the novel emphasizes the importance of human connections and empathy. It explores the bonds formed between characters, emphasizing the capacity for kindness and compassion even in the darkest times.

The Power of Knowledge: The novel celebrates the transformative power of knowledge and the way it can provide solace and hope. Marie-Laure’s love for books and Werner’s expertise in radio technology are symbolic examples of the intellectual pursuits that can illuminate even the darkest paths.

Moral Choices: Throughout the story, characters are faced with moral dilemmas and choices that challenge their values and principles. These ethical quandaries reflect the complexities of human nature and the blurred lines between right and wrong during times of war.

All the Light We Cannot See Quotes

 At the time of this interview, Anthony Doerr had already been on the New York Times best-seller list for twenty weeks. He certainly doesn’t need this interview for a promotion. 

Shortly after my interview, they awarded All the Light We Cannot See the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction.

Anthony Doerr All the Light We Cannot See

The Best Anthony Doerr Books (Exclusive Author Interview)

What was it like spending a decade on this book, and did you ever feel discouraged while writing it?

Oh, I was crazy with doubt almost of the time. 

You invest so many months into a single project—shelves stuffed with WWII books, three separate trips to Europe, dozens of scribbled notes, and the terror that you won’t be able to pull it all together keeps you up at night. 

I worried that if I abandoned the project, I’d let down my wife, kids, editor, and myself. 

And I never dreamed it would take so long—a quarter of my life!

The story beautifully centers around radio communication bringing unlikely individuals together. What inspired your choice to delve into radio, and did researching older radio models and their workings play a significant role in crafting this plotline?

I adored radios as a boy and often stayed up late listening to baseball games under my covers while my parents thought I was sleeping. 

But that passion had waned until ten years ago, when I took a train from Princeton, New Jersey, into New York City. 

I had just completed a novel and was searching for a new idea, and I had a notebook in my lap. 

The man in the seat in front of me was talking to someone on his cell phone about the sequel to The Matrix, I remember that very clearly, and as we approached Manhattan, sixty feet of steel and concrete started flowing above the train, his call dropped.

 And he got angry! 

He started swearing and rapping his phone with his knuckles, and after briefly worrying for my safety, I said to myself: What he’s forgetting, what we’re all forgetting, is that what he was just doing is a miracle. 

He’s using two little radios — a receiver and a transmitter — crammed into something no bigger than a deck of cards to send and receive little packets of light between hundreds of radio towers, one after the next, miles apart, each connecting to the next at the speed of light, and he’s using this magic to have a conversation about Keanu Reeves.

Because we’re habituated to it, we’ve stopped seeing the grandeur of this breathtaking act.

So I decided to write something that would help me and my reader feel that power again, to feel the strangeness and sorcery of hearing the voice of a stranger, or a distant loved one, in our heads.

That very afternoon, ten years ago, I wrote a title into my notebook: All the Light We Cannot See—a reference to all the invisible wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum (like radio waves). 

And that night, I started a piece of fiction in which a girl reads a story to a boy over the radio.

I conceived of her as blind and him as trapped in darkness, and the sound of her voice, carried by radio waves – the light we cannot see — through walls, as his salvation.

My heart went out to Werner, especially during his time in the Hitler Youth and the difficult choices he had to make for survival.

The book delves into themes of death, war, sadness, and poverty, despite the underlying hope in the story’s conclusion. Writing about this challenging period in history must have been tough.

Can you share which scene was the most challenging for you to write?

Yes, lots of the research for this novel was excruciating. 

The destruction of human beings during WWII, especially on the Eastern Front, occurred on a scale almost too large for the human brain to comprehend. 

Sometimes, the source material would send me to dark places, and I’d have to take breaks to work on other projects.

As for scenes that were hard to write, a writer faces many kinds of difficulties: technical, emotional, and syntactic. 

In terms of emotions, all the scenes involving Frederick were the most difficult because he reminds me of one of my sons.

Marie-Laure’s father’s intricate puzzles add so much beauty to your story. 

It made me wish I could find a puzzle for my kids to solve. 

How did you come up with this concept?

A friend of our family once gave me a Japanese puzzle box as a present.

 It was a wooden cube that looked like an ornate, solid block of wood. No visible doors, no knobs, no handles, no buttons.

But, as our family friend showed me if you knew what side to push in on, then various panels would start to slide down, and by manipulating all the panels in clever ways, you could eventually slide open the top and discover a hidden compartment inside.

I played with that thing for hours, showing it off to friends, examining its construction, etc., then eventually put it on a shelf and forgot about it. 

A couple of decades later, while working on this novel, the puzzle box came back to me, along with my fascination with it, and I decided to try writing a couple of scenes in which Marie-Laure’s father fashions puzzle boxes.

Which character do you identify the most within your book?

I do my best to identify with all my characters, even the bad actors—I think that’s probably part of the job description for any novelist, isn’t it?

This novel has 187 chapters beautifully segmented and sectioned for the reader in small doses. Why did you decide to structure your story this way?

Obviously, there are infinite ways to write a novel, but for me, “plotting it out” has always sounded scary and programmatic.

 I have to compose, revise, and re-revise scenes to understand what should happen.

So my process involves a lot of trial and error. I write hundreds of paragraphs trying to figure out where the story is going, and I usually cut most of them. 

I knew early on that I wanted the two narratives to feel like two almost parallel lines that gently inclined toward each other.

The structure was a big mess for a long time.

 It probably had 250 or 300 chapters at some points.

All I knew early on — and wanted a reader to intuit – was that Marie’s and Werner’s lives would intersect.

But it took me a long time to figure out exactly how that would happen.

If you could tell anyone to read one book (other than your own), what would that book be?

Oh, gosh, my answer to this question changes all the time, but a novel I’m absolutely in love with right now is Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

It’s about family, siblinghood, memory, storytelling, and particularly about our society’s treatment of animals.

It’s also structured in this beautiful, organic, perfect way—I hope a few of your readers will look at it!

*Editor’s Note: Read my interview with Karen Joy Fowler about “We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves” here!

Frequently Asked Questions About Anthony Doerr Books:

How do you pronounce Anthony Doerr?

Anthony Doerr’s last name sounds like “door.” For a pronunciation guide, it would look like this: Anthony Dor

What are the best Anthony Doerr books?

My favorite book by the author is All the Light We Cannot See.

This novel also is the highest-rated on GoodReads, followed closely by Cloud Cuckoo Land.

Is All The Light We Cannot See based on a true story?

All The Light We Cannot See is a work of historical fiction. 

While the characters are entirely fictional, the setting of Saint-Malo is a real place.

All the Light We Cannot See movie

When can I watch All The Light We Cannot See movie?

The book will become a Netflix TV series very soon! 

Directed by Shawn Levy, the Netflix adaptation stars Louis Hofmann, Lars Eidinger, Marion Bailey, Hugh Laurie, Aria Mia Loberti, and Mark Ruffalo.

With four hour-long episodes in total, the All the Light We Cannot See limited series will premiere on November 2, 2023, nearly a decade after the novel was published.

You can watch the riveting movie trailer here!

What are Anthony Doerr’s books in order published?

  • The Shell Collector: Stories (2001) 
  • About Grace (2004)
  • Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World (2007)
  • Memory Wall: Stories (2010)
  • All The Light We Cannot See (2014)
  • Cloud Cuckoo Land (2021)
Anthony Doerr Books

Anthony Doerr Books

Anthony Doerr is the author of six books. He won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the 2015 Andrew Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction for his novel All the Light We Cannot See.

His talent extends to the world of short stories and essays, where he has claimed an impressive five O. Henry Prizes.

Anthony's work has been translated into over forty languages.

He has received recognition from the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize, the Rome Prize, the New York Public Library's Young Lions Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an NEA Fellowship, and an Alex Award from the American Library Association.

Other esteemed honors include the National Magazine Award for Fiction, four Pushcart Prizes, three Pacific Northwest Book Awards, five Ohioana Book Awards, and the coveted 2010 Story Prize.

Discover more about all six books in this book list today.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Love this author interview? Stream the Book Gang Podcast wherever you get podcasts. We discuss debuts, backlist, and under-the-radar book gems with your favorite authors.

Book Gang Podcast

TELL ME: What is your favorite Anthony Doerr book?

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Guide to the Celeste Ng Books and Exclusive Author Interview

Wednesday, July 26th, 2023

Celeste Ng discusses her debut novel in this author interview. Discover the Celeste Ng books in order & her writing process for “Everything I Never Told You.”

Let’s dive into the behind-the-scenes story of Everything I Never Told You with an exclusive interview with the author. 

Everything I Never Told You Book

Everything I Never Told You Book Synopsis

Everything I Never Told You is a beautiful character-driven debut novel set in 1970s Ohio.

When a family’s daughter goes missing, the lives of her family members begin unravel through Ng’s beautiful storytelling. 

From the inception of the parents’ relationship to the intricate dynamics of every family member, including the missing Lydia, this novel presents a profound exploration of untold stories.

Within its pages lie the unspoken narratives of each character – the parents’ feelings of disappointment, the challenges of belonging due to racial differences, and the burdens of fulfilling expected roles within the family, regardless of their desires.

This novel is an excellent choice for book club discussions, as it delves into significant themes like parental roles and expectations, the heartache of youth, and the struggles of fitting in.

However, it’s essential to clarify that this work leans more towards being character-driven story rather than a conventional mystery or thriller.

It is such an honor to have Celeste Ng join me today. in this special interview 

Guide to the Celeste Ng Books and Exclusive Author Interview

Celeste Ng Author Photo

You open with the death of Lydia in the very opening sentences of the book and then build the story from there. Why did you decide to start with her tragic death and then work your way out in the story?

In earlier drafts, the book began quite differently: “At first, they don’t know where Lydia has gone.” 

And neither did the reader until about thirty or forty pages in. 

What I realized, eventually, was that this pointed the reader in the wrong direction. It prompted the reader to focus on whether Lydia was alive or dead rather than on what happened within the family to lead to her death.

So in the last draft of the novel, I changed the opening and put Lydia’s fate right up front. Once you know that Lydia is dead, that information colors everything you read afterward.

Race plays a big part in this novel. I was embarrassingly unaware of racial discrimination among Asians in the 70s, particularly in the disapproval of the relationship between the white mother (Marilyn) & the Asian father (James) in the Lee family.

Was this something that you had heard about, researched, or have you experienced this discrimination firsthand?

Unfortunately, discrimination among Asians isn’t just limited to the 1970s. 

It still happens today, both overtly and in what we might now call microaggressions: small actions, often not intended as malicious, that remind people of their otherness. 

With one exception, every moment of racism or racial tension in the novel is something that I or someone I know personally has experienced firsthand. 

And these moments aren’t rare: every person of color I’ve spoken with has experienced something similar, no matter where they live.

How did you react when you learned that your debut novel was chosen as the Book of the Year on Amazon in 2014? 

And now, do you face greater expectations to produce a follow-up that matches the same level of greatness in your next book?

Here’s how I found out about the Amazon pick: I was sitting in my living room drinking tea and playing with my son when someone tweeted “Congratulations!” at me. 

I actually had to tweet back, “On what?!” So the whole experience has been surreal, and I’m very grateful to Amazon’s editorial team for championing the book.

I do feel some pressure to deliver another book that will live up to the response for this first one—how could I not?

But honestly, the expectations have an upside as well. 

Writing is such an uncertain job; you work for years on a single project and hope that when it’s done, someone will read it. 

Having so many people read and respond to the book makes me more optimistic that people will want to read the next one, too.

The title of your book, Everything I Never Told You, is the anthem of every character in this book, as they all have their own secrets and struggles that they can’t seem to share with others. 

Was there anything you have never shared with someone that you wished you would have, and what message do you hope your readers will walk away with from reading this book?

My father passed away unexpectedly over a decade ago, and I didn’t have a chance to say goodbye properly. 

(None of us did.) 

I think about that a lot, about what I’d have said if we’d had another chance to talk. 

And even now, I often think of things that I’d like to share with him—not important things necessarily, just jokes he’d have enjoyed or observations he’d have gotten a kick out of. 

 More than the Big Important Topics, those kinds of small things are the glue that holds a relationship together. 

I guess I hope that readers will close the book thinking about how life is short—and precious—and will make a conscious choice to never take the time they have with loved ones for granted.

As a mom, I really struggled with Marilyn leaving her family behind in this book because she felt she did not get to pursue her own dreams.

I admit, I was pretty angry with her as this family hobbled along in her absence. I think being a mom does mean sometimes we have to put our dreams on hold in order to make our family lives work. 

Did you sympathize with Marilyn? Have you ever had to put anything on hold in your own life because of your family?

It’s totally okay to be angry with Marilyn! (She makes some questionable choices, as do all the other characters.) 

But you’re right, being a mom, you’re in a constant juggling act trying to balance the needs of your family and your own needs. 

This is true for any parent, of course, but in today’s world, it’s especially true for mothers.

As a working mom myself, I end up putting my family before my own wants a lot of the time—as do most parents, I think. 

Sometimes these are small things: maybe I’d rather have chicken one night, but I cook spaghetti because that is what my kid will eat. 

Sometimes they’re larger: for example, I’d love to go on a writing retreat, like the ones at McDowell (where someone brings you your lunch every day while you work!). 

But that would be a huge strain on my family, so it’s off the table, at least for a while.

And in fact, I’d miss them too much if I were away for so long.  

That’s the thing that makes it hardest: you’re not just choosing between something you want and something they want; you’re choosing between something you want and something they want that you want too. 

Your desires get all mixed up with your family’s and it becomes hard to even tell what you yourself want.  So yes, I have a lot of sympathy for Marilyn.

What can we expect from you in your next book?

The next book is still very much in draft form, so I won’t say too much about it yet—I’m still working out the details! 

But it takes place in my hometown of Shaker Heights, Ohio. It focuses on a family living there and a mother-daughter pair (with some secrets in their past) who move in from out of town and the ways those two families get entangled and stir up trouble for one another.

Editor’s Update: Can you guess what book this is? It’s Little Fires Everywhere! 

If you could tell anyone to read one book right now (other than your own) what would that book be? (read all the recommendations from authors HERE)

Just one? 

That’s a very hard choice to make. 

I’d go with The Bluest Eye, because Toni Morrison is one of my all-time favorite authors and that book says so much about race and culture, identity and love, and it’s beautifully written.

New to Celeste Ng? Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions!

How To Pronounce Celeste Ng

If you don’t know how to pronounce her name- check out her X handle

What are the best Celeste Ng books?

My favorite books by Celeste Ng are Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere.

Her highest-rated novel on GoodReads is her second book, Little Fires Everywhere.

What Celeste Ng Movies Are Coming Out?

Two of Celeste Ng’s books have been optioned for the tv screen, but no films yet. 

Little Fires Everywhere became a Hulu series and Everything I Never Told You series is currently in development. 

We have provided more information in the book list below. 

Is it necessary to read Celeste Ng’s books in a specific order?

No, each book is a standalone story.

What are the Celeste books in the order published?

Everything I Never Told You (2014)

Little Fires Everywhere (2017)

Six Shorts 2017 (2017)

Our Missing Hearts (2022)

Fourteen Days: An Unauthorized Gathering (2024)

Celeste Ng Books

Celeste Ng Books

Celeste Ng is an Asian American author known for her critically-acclaimed novels.

She pursued higher education at Harvard University and honed her writing craft through an MFA from the renowned Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan. 

Her writing extends beyond novels, with fiction and essays showcased in esteemed publications such as the New York Times and The Guardian

Notably, she has received several honors, including the Pushcart Prize, a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship, and a Guggenheim Fellowship, all celebrating her exceptional contributions to literature.

Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. 

Browse this list of all the Celeste Ng books. We also share where to stream the movie and tv adaptations.

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Love this author interview? Stream the Book Gang Podcast wherever you get podcasts. We discuss debuts, backlist, and under-the-radar book gems with your favorite authors.

Book Gang Podcast

TELL ME: What is your favorite Celeste Ng book?

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Andy Weir Exclusive Interview on The Martian

Thursday, July 20th, 2023

Andy Weir discusses his science-fiction debut novel, The Martian. Get the list of all the Andy Weir books and learn how The Egg brought him internet fame.

Andy Weir Exclusive Interview on the Martian

Andy Weir, a now widely acclaimed author, became a household name because of his remarkable science fiction debut, The Martian.

Did you know that this novel was initially self-published in 2011 but only gained widespread recognition after its rerelease in 2014?

Weir’s exceptional talent also earned him the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer at the Hugo Awards! 

Now a New York Times bestselling author, this mission to Mars is just the start of his career. It also was adapted into an Academy Award-nominated film starring Matt Damon in the lead role. 

The Martian Book

In this suspenseful and thrilling story, astronaut Mark Watney becomes one of the first to set foot on Mars. 

Little does he know that he’ll face the daunting possibility of being the first person to die on the red planet.

After a devastating dust storm nearly claimed his life, Mark finds himself stranded and utterly alone on Mars. 

With no means of communication with Earth and limited supplies, he must battle against the harshest environment to survive.

But Mark refuses to surrender to fate. 

Armed with his ingenuity and engineering skills, he tenaciously confronts each seemingly insurmountable obstacle. Will his resourcefulness be enough to bring him home?

Readers have loved his ingenious ideas for survival that enthralled the science geek in all of us.

The novel also has lots of unexpected humor, making Mark a character you can’t help but cheer for.

Andy Weir Exclusive Interview On The Martian

Having hit the front page of Reddit with your short story, The Egg you shared feeling sad that this debut novel wasn’t receiving as much attention. 

Now that The Martian is finally gaining the recognition it deserves, is the project proving more rewarding?

Oh definitely. That was before The Martian really took off.
Since then, it’s become more well-known than The Egg. It’s been a very exciting ride.

Some of my favorite scenes in your book are when Watney discovers what fills his crewmates USB drives. 

I love that they brought disco music and fabulous shows like Three’s Company. What would you put on your USB drive to take with you to Mars?

Probably a bunch of 1980’s music. And I’d bring the entire archive of Doctor Who. You may not have noticed, but I’m a nerd.

 Any thoughts on commercial space flight? Any plans to purchase a ticket?

It feels like it’s just around the corner. The trick is getting the price down. 

Most people can’t pay $200,000 for a trip to space. 

But if that were brought down to $10,000 it would probably have millions of customers. 

As for myself, I’m afraid to fly in ordinary planes; I certainly wouldn’t be able to go to space.

Do you see us putting a man on Mars in your lifetime?

That’s a tough one to predict. With our modern technology, we can make extremely effective rovers. 

It makes people ask why we should risk human life. 

There are many solid reasons to send people instead of robots, but that fundamental concern, and the tremendous cost increases associated with manned spaceflight, will always be a factor. 

Considering we haven’t returned to the moon yet, I’m honestly not sure if we’ll see anyone on Mars soon.

Which do you think is harder- the first time we put a man on the moon or when we put a man on Mars?

Putting a man on Mars is definitely the larger challenge. 

Even when you account for the technology level of the Apollo era compared to now. 

The Moon is just so much closer and easier to work with.

Do you have other great book suggestions for readers just jumping into the science fiction genre?

Yes, I recommend Ready Player One by Ernest Cline. 

It’s my favorite book of the decade so far, and it has excellent crossover appeal. 

You don’t have to be a “sci-fi person” to enjoy it.

Do you think you would survive if you were stranded on Mars?

I doubt it. It would require great bravery and fortitude and exceptional strength of character. 

I’m just a normal guy.

John Young

Who would you invite to dinner if you could dine with one astronaut, living or dead?

John Young. He’s the consummate astronaut. 

He was on numerous spaceflights, including Apollo 16, when he walked on the Moon. 

Fun fact: Apollo astronauts wore bio-monitoring equipment, so their heart rate was recorded throughout their missions. 

As you can imagine, during the launch, their heart rates tended to spike, usually to around 140 or 150 beats per minute. 

John Young’s heart rate never got above 70 during the Apollo 16 launch. 

Nerves of steel.

I understand that you started your computer programming career at 15. What came first, your love of computers or your passion for space?

Definitely my love of space. 

I grew up with it. I can’t remember any time when I wasn’t interested in space travel.

I am building a passion for science in my children. Do you have any suggestions for fostering that passion in them?

First, find their passion. 

Whatever it is. 

Art? Music? Fast Cars? 

Doesn’t matter. 

Then show them how science makes those things possible. 

Because in the modern era, everything is a science. 

If they like art, show them the science of computer modeling. 

If they like Music, show them how musical instruments are made with modern machinery and precision. 

If they like cars, well you get the idea.

If you could tell anyone to read one book (other than your own), what would that book be?

I, Robot” by Isaac Asimov. In my opinion, it’s one of the greatest sci-fi books of all time.

New to Andy Weir? Here are some answers to your most frequently asked questions!

The Martian Movie Poster

Where can I Watch The Martian movie?

You can stream the movie on Prime Video or wherever you rent your films for purchase.

Director Ridley Scott and stars Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Daniels made this book a fan favorite. 

Below we have also included important Andy Weir movie updates, including the Project Hail Mary movie information. 

Is it necessary to read Andy Weir’s books in a specific order?

Each of his books can be enjoyed as a standalone story except the books in The Martian series.

Diary of An AssCan is considered The Martian #0.5 prequel.

What are the Andy Weir books in order published?

  • The Egg (short story), 2009
  • The Martian, 2011
  • Diary of an AssCan, 2015 (The Martian #0.5)
  • Artemis, 2017
  • Cheshire Crossing, 2019
  • Randomize, 2019
  • Project Hail Mary, 2021
Andy Weir Books

Andy Weir Books

Andy Weir, a former software engineer, turned his dream of writing into a reality.

A lifelong space nerd, he now resides in California, captivating readers with his compelling stories and passion for space exploration.

Browse this list of all the Andy Weir books, including his self-published works. We also share where to stream the movie adaptations.

Love this author interview? Stream the Book Gang Podcast wherever you get podcasts. We discuss debuts, backlist, and under-the-radar book gems with your favorite authors.

Book Gang Podcast

TELL ME: What is your favorite Andy Weir book?

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2023 Summer Reading Guide (37 New Books)

Thursday, May 11th, 2023
2023 Summer Reading Guide (37 New Books)

Discover your perfect summer read with our ultimate summer reading guide! Explore 37 handpicked books across romance, historical fiction, thriller, and more.

It’s summer reading season, and I am so excited to share this year’s SUPER-SIZE guide with you with the best books to read this summer.

This year’s guide is more robust than any other year I’ve offered it, with 37 carefully screened books. 

I have read and reviewed each book, ensuring that only the best and most engaging titles make it to your summer reading list. These aren’t just the beach reads this year but an eclectic collection of literary fiction, nonfiction, contemporary, and nonfiction. 

But that’s not all!

We will share exclusive conversations with many talented authors featured in this guide throughout the summer. I hope you’ll connect more deeply with the books and the person who penned them through this summer author series.

Each author has also been assigned a fun summer topic (dates and topics are listed at the end of the guide).

The honest truth, though, is that there will never be a time when I feel like I am done with this guide. Many books will miss the list, but they will be beautiful discoveries for later. 

You can listen to today’s Book Gang podcast with a few highlights from this year’s selections.

Please Support My Small Business

If you love the guide, I would be SO GRATEFUL if you would consider making a small one-time donation through our new Buy Me a Coffee page! It will help keep the lights on at MomAdvice and fund our future author conversations.

If you are feeling generous, join my Patreon community and unlock a printable guide along with over 200 bookish benefits, including a guide like this EVERY MONTH.

The Best Beach Reads for 2023 from

2023 Summer Reading Guide (37 New Books)

2023 Summer Reading Guide (37 New Books)

Let’s dive into this year’s incredible selections! Here are my 37 picks for the best year of summer reading! Thank you to the publishing houses that submitted advanced copies for this year’s guide.

Best Romance Books for 2023

Best Romance Books for 2023

Discover the best romance books to curl up with and lose yourself in a world of love, passion, and happily ever afters. From steamy contemporary romances to heartwarming closed-door romance, I've got you covered!

Best Historical Fiction Books for Summer

Best Historical Fiction Books for Summer

Step back in time with these handpicked selections of the best historical fiction books for summer. From epic sagas set to intimate portraits of everyday people in times of significant change, these gripping tales will transport you to another era. If you love these, don't miss our historical fiction book list with the most-anticipated books for summer.

Best Contemporary Fiction Books for 2023

Best Contemporary Fiction Books for 2023

Discover a world of captivating storytelling this summer with the best contemporary fiction books and women's fiction books. Whether you're a fan of immersive family sagas, coming-of-age journeys, or even time travel, this curated page-turning book list is for you.

Best Literary Fiction Books for 2023

Best Literary Fiction Books for 2023

This list of captivating stories offers thought-provoking narratives with my collection of the best literary fiction for your summer.

Best Books in 2023

Best Fantasy Books in 2023

I know this fantasy book list for 2023 is short, but I promise to expand this later throughout our summer! Please leave a comment and let me know what YOUR favorites were this year.

Best Nonfiction Books of 2023

Discover the captivating world of nonfiction with this curated selections of the best books of 2023. These nonfiction books are as compulsively readable as any fiction read, including memoirs and narrative nonfiction.

Best Thriller Books in 2023 (Mystery and Suspense Novels)

Best Thriller Books in 2023 (Mystery and Suspense Novels)

Experience spine-chilling suspense and heart-pounding thrills with our curated selection of the best thriller books in 2023. We also will delve into the captivating world of mystery and suspense novels that will keep you on the edge of your seat from start to finish.

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Meet the Authors on the Book Gang Podcast

You can stream Book Gang wherever you get podcasts or check this page for all the past episodes. Please see above for the descriptions and links to purchase these books!

Best Book Club Books to Spark Conversation (Meagan Church, Author of The Last Carolina GirlSTREAMING NOW)

The Spectacular Life Lessons from Books About Road Trips (Colleen Oakley, Author of The Mostly True Story of Tanner and LouiseSTREAMING NOW)

The Best Historical Fiction Books for Summer (Crystal Smith Paul, Author of Did You Hear About Kitty Karr?STREAMING NOW)

The Best Escapist Books Set on Islands (Meg Shaffer, Author of The Wishing Game, airing on May 26th )

The Best Wedding Rom-Com Books (Byron Lane, Author of Big Gay Wedding, airing on June 9th)

The Best Debut Novels of 2023 (Thao Thai, Author of Banyan Moon, airing on June 23rd)

The Best Con Artist Queens in Literature (Wendy Heard, Author of You Can Trust Me, airing on July 7th )

The Best Old Hollywood Books for Summer (Molly Fader, Author of The Sunshine Girls, airing on July 21st )

2023 MomAdvice Summer Book Club (see the full list)

Please note, you must be a member of the FREE MomAdvice Book on Facebook to join these discussions. To interact with our book club bonuses (author interviews, playlists, and extra podcast episodes), join the Patreon!

May Book Club: (Magic Season by Wade Rouse, meeting on 05/26 at 8 PM, RSVP!)

June Book Club: (The Secret Life of Albert Entwistle by Matt Cain, meeting on 06/30 at 8 PM, RSVP!)

July Book Club: (Breathe & Count Back from Ten by Natalia Sylvester, on 7/28 at 8 PM RSVP!)

TELL ME: What book are you most excited to read this summer?

Loved the guide? We are grateful for your support through the Buy Me a Coffee page or Patreon! We can’t fund this space without you- xx

Every Last Word: Tamera Ireland Stone Exclusive Interview

Friday, April 28th, 2023
Every Last Word Tamera Ireland Stone Exclusive Interview

Discover the inspiration for “Every Last Word” with Tamera Ireland Stone in this exclusive interview. Learn the true story behind the YA Booktok sensation!

Today I get to introduce you to my daughter’s favorite book and author! This book discovery was made long before it became a Booktok sensation or New York Times bestseller, and her beloved copy is so lovingly worn.

Every Last Word Book by Tamara Ireland Stone

Every Last Word Summary

Every Last Word is a must-read book, shedding light on teens’ struggles with OCD. As we know, mental illness is an important topic in YA literature, and Stone’s beautiful story was inspired by someone special to her. 

This novel illustrates our common misconceptions of OCD (the main character doesn’t even have a tidy room!). 

It tackles the more complicated stuff, like the stream of dark thoughts. For example, being obsessive with something like the number 3 and unable to drive your friends because your odometer must always have that number on it.

What is Age-Rating for Every Last Word?

Common Sense Media shares that the YA novel is recommended for readers that are 14 years old or older. Check their site for content warnings for this selection and if it is right for you.

Every Last Word: Tamera Ireland Stone Exclusive Interview

Sam, the main character in your story, is a teen secretly struggling with OCD. Why did you decide to talk about this illness, and what do you hope your YA readers will gain from sharing this story?

I first became interested in telling a story about a teen with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) when a close family friend was diagnosed four years ago, at age twelve.

We’re keeping her identity under wraps, so I call her C.

It was heartbreaking to hear how the disorder affected her. She couldn’t sleep. She felt powerless to a stream of negative, often terrifying thoughts. 

And her group of friends unknowingly made things harder. I couldn’t imagine dealing with something so intense, especially at such a young age.

In the years that followed her initial diagnosis, I’ve been so inspired by the way C and her family tackled this disorder—together. 

They worked in lock step with her psychiatrist, who prescribed medication to help her sleep at night and quiet her mind during the day. 

They interviewed therapists until they landed on one their daughter felt she could trust and confide in. And they helped her channel her energy into activities that made her feel good about herself.

They’re the reason I wanted to write this story. They set such a positive example, and it was one I felt inspired to share.

C hoped this story would help teens who are struggling with mental illness know they’re not alone, and not “broken.”  And she hoped that this story would help people who don’t have to deal with mental health conditions see those who do through a kinder, more sympathetic lens.

This story is for her, and for all the special, powerful, brilliant, not-at-all-broken minds like hers.

There seems to be a growing trend to talk about mental illness right now in YA fiction. Why do you think it has become an important theme in this genre of literature?

It’s interesting to me that all of these stories are coming out this year. As authors, we obviously didn’t intend to start or be part of a “trend.” We all just happened to start writing books we thought needed to be written.

Many people in my life are dealing with various mental health conditions, personally or with their children. 

We talk about it. And as parents, we’ve opened the conversation with our kids in an effort to make it a safe, judgment-free topic. I think that’s a crucial real-life trend.

My son had some anxiety issues when I started writing Every Last Word. He was barely 11 years old at the time. 

I bought an illustrated book about anxiety, and we sat down and read it together. When we got to the symptoms—racing heart, shortness of breath, stomachaches—he broke into tears. He finally said, “It’s anxiety? I thought I had cancer!”

The fear he’d built up in his mind was much worse than the reality.

Anxiety. There. It had a name. Rather than feeling the emotion accelerate and letting fear turn it into something completely different, he had a word. He could say, “I’m feeling anxious,” and we’d know what to do.

Words have such power.

As parents, we actively talk about exercise and eating well with our kids. We take them in for checkups and closely monitor their physical health and development. Why do we tend to treat mental health so differently?

I’m thrilled to see so many novels tackling mental illness in teens. 

Together, I hope we’re helping to change the narrative, using fiction to spread the message that it’s okay to talk openly about what’s going on in your brain, it’s okay if your mind works differently, and it’s okay if you need help.

Teens are under more pressure to be “perfect” than ever before. Let’s tell them they’re perfect exactly the way they are.

Sam really struggles to fit in with her peers and particularly struggles with a group of fake friends that don’t honor the real rules of friendship. Did you relate to Sam’s struggle to fit in from when you were in high school?

I was lucky to have great friends in middle school and high school, but my family moved a lot, so I was constantly making new ones. 

I was the new kid. 

And I was awkward. 

My friends never made me feel like the odd girl out, but I always felt like I was.

And yes, I’ve had those “mean girl” friends at a few points in my life, too. I definitely channeled a lot of my own challenges with female friendships into this story.

I love books with a twist, and you created a solid one for readers. Did you always know you were going to twist the plot this way or did it come to you as you wrote it?

I did. That was always a huge part of the story, from the original outline. 

It was the trickiest aspect of the novel to write, but without question, my favorite.

In one line, you state, “Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.”  What is one thing you have acted your way out of in your own life that people might be surprised to know?

In my mid-20s, I landed my dream job with a fast-growing public relations firm. I climbed the ladder quickly, and before long I was managing some of our largest accounts. I loved my job, even though it was often stressful and overwhelming.

But there was one job requirement I couldn’t stand: Presenting. I hated speaking in front of people, with all eyes on me, and I did everything I could to avoid it.

I finally confided in one of the partners.

He reminded me that I was the expert. That I knew the client and the material better than anyone else. And then he smiled and said, “You know what they say, ‘Fake it till you make it.’”

I needed that. I made that my mantra.

Over the years, I’ve had this conversation with many business professionals, and more recently, with my author friends. 

Some of the most polished presenters have admitted that they feel terrified before they step up on that stage. That it takes a big dose of courage and a lot of “faking it” to make it through.

The poem in Every Last Word called “As If” was inspired by this idea. Sometimes we need to act our way out of fear.

Oddly, now I’ve gone and put myself in a career where I present on bigger stages, to more people than I’ve ever addressed before, where the stakes are even higher. And yes, it’s still scary. 

I always feel like I’m faking confidence when I fist step on stage and begin talking. But at some point, I begin to relax. I connect with the crowd and start to have fun, and pretty soon, I’m no longer faking it.

I’m still wondering when I’ll actually feel like I’ve made it.

Tamera Ireland Stone Books

Tamara Ireland Stone is a New York Times bestselling author of YA and middle-grade books. Her novels explore themes of mental health, technology, and the power of human connection. Here are a few recommendations for books to check out!

Love this author interview? Stream the Book Gang Podcast wherever you get podcasts. We discuss debuts, backlist, and under-the-radar book gems with your favorite authors.

Book Gang Podcast

Love this? Check out these fun book lists!


13 Coming of Age Stories Any Adult Will Love from


13 Friendship Stories You'll Love

Have you read Every Last Word? We would love to hear what you thought of this YA Booktok Book?

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My Top Celebrity Book Club Picks (How to Join)

Friday, March 3rd, 2023
My Top Celebrity Book Club Picks (How to Join) from

Discover my five favorite books from top celebrity book clubs. From Reese to Oprah to Jenna, the ultimate must-read list awaits. Get the scoop on them all!

Celebrity book clubs have become quite influential in my reading life, and I’m sure I’m not alone. From Reese Witherspoon to Oprah Winfrey, these celebrity book clubs are taking the literary world by storm! 

On this week’s Book Gang podcast episode, we spill the literary tea on some of your favorite celebrity book clubs. In this episode, Josh (from @tellthebeees on Tiktok) joins me to discuss how Hollywood and literature can collide.

We discuss the celebrity power of Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, and Jenna Bush on the publishing industry. We also discuss the Noname Book Club and her mission to get books into the hands of incarcerated individuals.

Listen to the full episode (the show notes are located here) below and subscribe to the Book Gang podcast for more episodes like this one.

How Did Celebrity Book Club Get Started?

In 1996, Oprah introduced her on-air book club with a simple goal: “to get the whole country reading again.” Her first book selection was The Deep End of the Ocean by Jacquelyn Mitchard. 

Oprah’s book club quickly became a cultural force in the literary world. She has been estimated to drive sales anywhere between 20 to 100 times more than any other media personality.

It is fun to reflect on the response of writers in those early days. Initially, some authors hesitated to have their work endorsed by a celebrity book club. Still, as time passed, Oprah’s approval became an author’s badge of honor, with many seeing a significant boost in sales after selection.

Thanks to Oprah’s influence, many celebrities are leading book clubs, each with a unique approach. In fact, during the pandemic, many celebrities started book clubs, but not all of them had staying power.

One of the most legendary of these book club stars was Kim Kardashian & Chrissy Teigen. After announcing that they were starting a book club in 2017, they got as far as meeting once and posting a few tweets about it – and no further. Kim said, “It never took off because we were lazy.”

One thing that has become increasingly clear about celebrity book clubs is that they are a driving force within the publishing industry and bring much success to these chosen writers.

Today I am sharing five of my favorite selections from these three featured celebrity book clubs in honor of today’s discussion. As we discuss more book clubs in the future, this book club list will later expand beyond this initial list. We hope to explore many other book clubs in the future, including an Oprah’s Book Club Deep Dive! 

MomAdvice Book Club Books 2023

Don’t Forget to Join the MomAdvice Book Club

Of course, I can’t encourage you enough to join MY book club, The MomAdvice Book Club! Not only do I curate twelve books for discussion each year, but we enhance this experience through our Patreon group. By joining, you gain access to exclusive author interviews and book club playlists that immerse you further in these book selections. To learn more about that, visit our 2023 book club books list

Read With Jenna Book Club Logo

Meet Jenna’s Book Club

Jenna Bush Hager, a former First Daughter of the United States, author, journalist, and television personality, founded Jenna’s Book Club. The club was launched in March 2019 as part of the Today Show on NBC.

Jenna’s Book Club features a new book selection every month, announced on the Today Show and on Jenna’s social media channels. The books selected are a mix of genres, including fiction, non-fiction, memoirs, and other types of literature. The club also provides discussion questions for each book selection to help facilitate conversations and engage readers. You can see the full list of Jenna’s picks here.

Read With Jenna Book Club Best Books

I’ve read nineteen of Jenna’s selections and have loved them all. These are five of my favorite Read With Jenna Book Club selections from my years of reading along with her.

Reese's Book Club Logo

Meet Reese’s Book Club

Reese Witherspoon’s Book Club is an online book club founded by the actress and producer Reese Witherspoon. The club focuses on promoting and celebrating books written by women, with a particular emphasis on uplifting and amplifying the voices of underrepresented authors.

Each month, Witherspoon selects a new book to feature on her book club Instagram page and share with her millions of followers. The books chosen are often contemporary fiction, memoirs, or compelling and thought-provoking essays.

In addition to her monthly book picks, Witherspoon also interviews the authors of the selected books on her Instagram page and shares their insights and inspirations behind their work. This provides a unique opportunity for readers to learn more about the books and their authors. You can see the full list of Reese’s picks here.

Reese Witherspoon Book Club Best Books

I’ve read twenty-four of Reese’s selections with mixed results. The earlier years yielded the majority of my favorites. Here are my five favorite picks from Reese’s selections. 

Noname Book Club Logo

Meet the Noname Book Club

Noname is a rapper, singer, and poet from Chicago known for her socially conscious and introspective rap lyrics.  She’s also the founder of the Noname Book Club, a Black-led cooperative that connects community members, including those in carceral facilities, with radical books written by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.

Noname’s mom owned a bookstore in Chicago for 20 years, so she grew up around books her whole life. The library was a big part of her younger years; she even started recording her music in her local library. It’s clear that books have always been a big part of her life, and she’s using her platform to share her love of reading with others.

Since its founding in 2019, the club has established 12 chapters across the US and sends books to hundreds of incarcerated individuals.

The club’s mission is to provide free resources to incarcerated individuals and make revolutionary literature available in local communities. They’ve faced challenges in navigating what is and isn’t against prison rules for literature, but they’re working hard to get their books into the hands of those who need them.

They currently have local chapters in Chicago, London, Los Angeles, New York City, Oakland, Philadelphia, Phoenix, San Antonio, and Washington D.C. If you’re interested in joining, they pick one or two new books every month and ask that you pick a Black-owned bookstore to purchase from or grab a copy from your local library.

What I love about their monthly picks is that they tell you exactly the focus, so you can find books with themes you want to explore and learn about every month. The list is robust and eclectic, which matches Noname’s artistic style. You can see the full list of Noname’s picks here.

The Noname Book Club Best Books

The Noname Book Club only recently came on my radar so these are the four selections I’ve read from her list with plans to read more starting this year.

Love this post? Don’t miss these budget-friendly reading resources!

How to Get FREE Kindle Books from

Find the Best Places to Get FREE Kindle Books

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Learn How to Use the Libby App (WITH LIBBY) In This Tutorial

What have been YOUR favorite celebrity book club books? Do we share any favorites?

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How to Get FREE Kindle Books Now

Saturday, February 25th, 2023

I’m sharing my four strategies for free Kindle Books that will give you an unlimited collection of FREE ebooks. Don’t miss this if you are on a budget!

It is no secret that I’m frugal so today I wanted to share my favorite ways to read for free and on a budget. Although this tutorial is for Kindle books, I want to remind you that these strategies can also be done with the free Kindle reading app. 

As I’ve been exploring these themes on the blog and Book Gang podcast, I wanted to share some of my favorite free reading tools. 

How to Get FREE Kindle Books Now

Get Free Audiobooks and Ebooks Through the Libby App

If you want to begin checking out Kindle books, you will need to begin by getting a library card from your local library. This card number is what you will use to access your account and allows you to get these free Kindle library books and audiobooks for free. 

When you get this card, you are typically assigned a pin that you will then use to access the Libby app (learn how to transition from Overdrive to Libby with our tutorial) that allows you to search for the books that you are interested in. If you have trouble figuring out a great library PIN, a local librarian offered the tip to make your pin the last four digits of your library card so you never forget it.

You can listen to the Book Gang podcast with the Libby team as they discuss how to create an account and tag your virtual library! 

Once you have this, you can download the Libby app to borrow ebooks, digital audiobooks, and magazines from your public libraries. 

After it is downloaded, simply search for your library by name or zip code. Sign in using your library card number and PIN, and then you can browse the available materials by title, author, or subject. 

To borrow an item, select it and tap the “Borrow” button. You can read or listen to the item with Wi-Fi or mobile data or download it for offline use and read it anytime, anywhere. The item will be available for a loan period, usually two weeks. 

When you’re finished, return it early by tapping the “Return” button in the “Loans” section of the app.

Don’t forget to check your library’s website to see what other apps you have access to so you can maximize ALL the freebies. Our library,  for example, offers Hoopla, Flipster, and the Kanopy app. 

What is Amazon First Reads?

Get a FREE Kindle Book Through the First Reads Program

Many readers aren’t aware that their Prime membership comes with many free books. Of the perks offered, my favorite is through the Amazon First Reads program. You can read all about this free reading program through this tutorial that I wrote

Each month, they offer one early release ebooks for free and the selection is often pretty amazing. These books are handpicked by Amazon editors and are made available a month before their official release date. The program was previously known as the Kindle First program.

The genres of books offered in this program are diverse, covering everything from mystery and historical fiction to true crime, children’s books, and more. This program is a great way to get a first look at upcoming releases and discover new authors and genres. And the best part is, it’s available for free to Prime members.

Download Free Classic Books from Project Gutenberg

Did you know that you can access over 60,000 free eBooks from Project Gutenberg?

This is the oldest digital library collection that includes works of literature, music, and even some non-fiction texts. The project’s goal is to provide free access to literature and other cultural works, which are in the public domain, meaning their copyrights have expired or were never enforced.

In fact, many classic works of literature such as Pride and Prejudice, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are all available for free on their site.

The project is run by literary volunteers who digitize the books, proofread the texts, and make them available for free download. You can send these books to your Kindle by downloading the book in Kindle format (MOBI) from the Project Gutenberg website onto your computer.

Then, connect your Kindle device to your computer using a USB cable and transfer the MOBI file to your Kindle’s documents folder.

Alternatively, you can also send the MOBI file to your Kindle email address (which can be found in your Amazon account settings) and the book will be delivered wirelessly to your Kindle device.

Borrow  Books From Amazon Prime Reading For Free

Did you know that you can check out up to TEN books for free with your Amazon Prime membership?  The Amazon Prime Reading is a service exclusive to Amazon Prime members that offers unlimited acccess to a rotating catalog of ebooks, magazines, comics, and audiobooks that members can access for free.

Members can borrow up to 10 titles at a time, with the ability to return titles to borrow new ones. The selection of titles in the library rotates over time, with Amazon adding new titles as others are removed.

FYI- This is NOT the same as the Kindle Unlimited paid program (another confusing element to the Amazon services). 

Willing to Pay For a Deal? Check my Kindle Deals List! 

As an avid reader, I love curating a Kindle deal list for my readers that I update (almost) daily! You can browse this list each morning, join the MomAdvice Book Club to see them posted in the group,  or get them sent straight to your inbox daily.

This list is rather diverse since I love reading across genres. If you love thrillers, literary fiction, science fiction, thrillers, nonfiction, or young adult- you will likely spy your favorite genres on my list. 

Please note, this newsletter is different than the pop-up you might see on the site.

Have any questions about reading for free on your Kindle device or app? Leave them below and I will be happy to answer them. Happy FREE reading, everyone! 

Please note, this post contains affiliate links.

Looking for ways to enhance your reading life? Try these posts!

Join the 2023 MomAdvice Book Club

How to Use Storygraph For a Better Reading Life

Learn how to use The StoryGraph App to Track Your Reading

Learn How to Use the Libby App (WITH LIBBY) In This Tutorial

14 Books By AAPI Authors to Read Right Now

Thursday, February 16th, 2023

Celebrate Asian American and Pacific Island Heritage Month (all year long) with these 14 AAPI authors.

Looking to expand your stack with more Asian American voices? Today’s podcast and book list are for you. We wanted to celebrate reading diversely all year-long and share some new incredible additions to your book stack in this week’s podcast and book list.

When is AAPI Heritage Month?

May is AAPI Heritage Month, and we want to celebrate these voices with a well-curated book stack. The month of May was chosen for AAPI Heritage Month because it commemorates the immigration of the first Japanese people to the United States on May 7, 1843. 

However, let’s diversify our stack beyond this celebration month, and today’s show and bonus post offer the best in summer releases and new titles that have just launched for readers along with a few backlist favorites.

In this week’s podcast episode, debut novelist Kristen Mei Chase discusses her book “A Thousand Miles to Graceland” (learn more about this selection below) and her favorite Asian American and Pacific Islander authors in literature. We are discussing the latest publishing news for Asian authors that you won’t want to miss.

As a bi-racial Asian American herself, Kristen writes to share the little stories of bi- and multi-racial Americans in a big way.

Listen to the full episode below and subscribe to the Book Gang podcast for more episodes like this one.

14 Books By AAPI Authors to Read Right Now

Discover the rich and diverse voices of Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) authors with this curated list of fourteen must-read books. From poignant memoirs to thought-provoking fiction, this selection includes anticipated new releases and beloved backlist favorites.

Fables Books Recommends:

In honor of AAPI month, Kristin from Fables Books joined the show to talk about the bookstore’s StoryGraph reading challenge and share some of their best picks for a memorable reading month too. Here are some of those selections from my favorite bookseller. Listen to the show or scroll below for some of our favorite recommendations!

She Who Became the Sun by Shelley Park Chan

The Tangleroot Palace: Stories by Marjorie Liu

Monstress by Marjorie Liu 

Sari Not Sari by Sonya Singh

Monstress by Marjorie Liu 

Blue Skinned Gods by SJ Sindu

What books would you recommend we add to this growing list?

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