The Galentine’s Day Books To Not Miss (13 Friendship Stories You’ll Love)

January 20th, 2023
The Galentine's Day Books To Not Miss (13 Friendship Stories You'll Love) from

Celebrate Galentine’s Day with these 13 books with friendship stories in fiction and nonfiction for book club.

Looking for a friendship story for your next book club selection? What could be a more perfect excuse than a fictional holiday that will give you an excuse to brunch AND discuss a great book about friendship.

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 some of the best fictional (and nonfiction) friendship stories!

The Galentine's Day Books To Not Miss (11 Friendship Stories You'll Love)

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

Other Backlist Favorites that Celebrate Female Friendships

If you have been with your gal pals as long as I have, I did want to offer some great backlist friendship stories that you might want to host a “reunion” book club together. These are three modern day classics that you might have read in your earlier years of friendship that could be revived for your next gathering.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares

This friendship classic novel tells the story of four best friends who share a pair of magical jeans that fit each of them perfectly. Despite being separated for the summer, the friends maintain a strong bond through letters and the jeans that bind them together.

The Red Tent by Anita Diamant

The Red Tent is very loosely based upon the Biblical story of Dinah and a familiar classic passed on in many book clubs. The red tent is the gathering place where the women would commune during their cycles, to give birth, and where they went when they were ill. This little tent is a sorority of sorts where the women sit to share their stories and sing songs.

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This dystopian novel contains a beautiful blossoming friendship between our main protagonist, Katniss, and her friend Gale. The two garner each other support as they work to survive the game and the inevitable rebellion that comes after.

The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells

This backlist series follows the friendship of four Louisiana women, known as the Ya-Yas, over the course of several decades. The story explores the ups and downs of their friendship and how they support and rely on each other throughout their lives.

What friendship stories would you add to this list?

Looking for more great books? Check out these lists!

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

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New Family Movies From 2022 To Watch Now

January 12th, 2023

These family films include our top recommendations from movies we loved in 2022. While you wait the release dates of new films you can escape real life with this fun family movie streaming list!

From our marriage & parenting contributor, Mary Carver.

My family has always loved watching movies together, but since 2020, we’ve become a little obsessed with Family Movie Nights.

I am constantly on the lookout for family friendly movies new and old that might be, at the very least, acceptable to both my kids and my husband. 

(Obviously, I’m aiming for something they’ll love. But if you live with more than one person, I’m sure you understand the necessity of compromise and settling for “fine, I will sit here with you and watch this thing someone else picked but I’m gonna roll my eyes but maybe I also kind of like it but I’ll never say so and you can’t make me.”)

With a six-year age gap between my girls—one being a teenager and one a tween, both being quite opinionated—that’s no small task. It falls somewhere on the difficulty scale between fixing a meal that nobody complains about and making them both laugh at the same “dad joke.”

But I’m determined to make Family Movie Nights happen at least once every several weeks, so I persevere.

Fortunately for me—and for you—we are in a golden age of entertainment where we do not lack for options. In fact, we almost have too many options sometimes.

And with so many movies premiering or quickly appearing on streaming services, deciding what to watch has become even more complicated.

Well, you can scratch this whole issue off your list of things to worry about or be frustrated by, friends.

I’m here to help!

I have 12 movies that came out last year, along with reviews and where you can stream them.

Just like that, you’re halfway to one Family Movie Night a month!

Now you just need to pick a date and pop the popcorn!

New Family Movies From 2022 To Watch Now

New Family Movies 2022

The Adam Project (Netflix) – Are you sarcastic? Do you like action movies, buddy comedies, or time travel? If so, this Ryan Reynolds movie is for you! A time-traveling fighter pilot has to team up with his 12-year-old self to save the world, and it’s a blast. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

The Bad Guys (Netflix) – Based on a series of children’s graphic novels, this animated caper follows a group of notorious criminal animals (e.g. shark, snake, spider, wolf) who pretend to be “good” to avoid prison. I watched it with my girls and we loved it so much we watched it again with my husband so he could enjoy it, too! (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Better Nate than Ever (Disney+) – A 13-year-old and his best friend travel alone to NYC so he can audition for a Broadway play. This live action musical is based on a book, and it is the most beautiful, heartwarming movie I watched last year. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Cheaper by the Dozen (Disney+) – This is a modern-day remake of the 2003 movie starring Zach Braff and Gabrielle Union as an interracial couple with a blended family navigating complicated home life, a family business, and a new neighborhood that isn’t exactly welcoming. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Chip & Dale: Rescue Rangers (Disney+) – If you like your kids movies to come chock-full of references and jokes only the adults will get, you’re gonna like this return of our favorite crime-solving chipmunks. The jokes are nonstop and lean heavily on nostalgia, but both my youngest daughter and I had fun watching it. Voices include Andy Samberg and John Mulaney! (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

DC League of Super-Pets (HBO Max) – What if the fate of the world was up to Superman’s dog and a motley crew of other pets? Enter Krypto, the Super-Dog, here to save the day! This animated movie was cute (and not dark like most DC movies). (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Enola Holmes 2 (Netflix) – Sherlock’s little sister is back, solving mysteries and breaking the fourth wall and (oh yeah) maybe falling in love. This period piece based on a series of middle-grade novels is sweet, funny, and actually tells a solid mystery. I hope we get many more Enola Holmes movies! (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Luck (Apple TV+) – Ever wonder if luck is real and, if so, where it comes from? In this animated adventure, an unlucky young girl who’s just aged out of the foster system stumbles into the worlds of good luck and bad luck. Determined to improve her luck, she is pulled into the battle between good and bad luck, making friends and her own luck along the way. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Minions: The Rise of Gru (Peacock) – If you’ve wondered how Gru became Gru, this is your movie. If that’s never crossed your mind, it’s also your movie if you were born in the 70s or just love those crazy minions. (Banana!) This prequel to the Despicable Me movies is Gru’s origin story, and it’s both hysterical and heartwarming. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Paws of Fury: The Legend of Hank (Paramount+) – Only cats are ninjas, but Hank the dog really wants to become one anyway. He seeks out the ninja who once saved him but is now washed up and possibly high on catnip (voiced by Samuel L. Jackson). Reluctantly, the old ninja trains a new one and together (again, reluctantly) they save the cat ninja world. Full of jokes for grown-ups, this one made all of us laugh a lot. (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Secret Headquarters (Paramount+) – A middle school boy and his friends discover his distant dad’s secret underground lair. Because his dad is the most powerful superhero in the world! Hijinks ensue when the bad guys come after the kids and they have to save the day. If your family likes The Adam Project, this will be a hit as well, as it stars the same kid (Walker Scobell) and another lovable, sarcastic adult (Owen Wilson). (watch the trailer)

New Family Movies 2022

Turning Red (Disney+) – A 13-year-old girl enters adolescence and turns into a giant red panda. Like you do, apparently, when you’re a female in her family. She has to learn how to handle her inner panda, as well as a tricky relationship with her mom, along with the help of her friends. (watch the trailer)

A Note for Parents

Some of these movies are totally appropriate for little kids; some of them are better for older kids. Refer to Common Sense Media for parent reviews and guidance that can help you make decisions for your family.

Another note: I haven’t watched Lyle, Lyle Crocodile or Disenchanted yet. Based on reviews I’ve read and what I know of my family, we’re going to love that singing crocodile and his bonkers movie, but I don’t know for sure yet.

What’s the last movie you watched with your family?

Looking for more of the best family movies? Try these posts!

17 Movies From the 90’s You Must Share With Your Kids

22 Fall Movies & TV Shows to Cozy Up With Right Now

Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

January 6th, 2023

Celebrate the best books of 2022 & my favorite books of the year with these new selections including contemporary fiction, young adult, romance, and thrillers.

Best Books of 2022 to Read Now from

If you love to read books, today’s post is FOR YOU.

I know I love a good end of the year reading recap, but it took me some time to sort through all my feelings on the 109 books I read over 2022. For those curious about my reading life, I would love to share what I discovered from charting my reading year through the Storygraph this year.

The Storygraph Stats

My 2022 Reading Challenge Wrap-Up

As you can see from my Storygraph chart (learn how to use The Storygraph for tracking your reading year), my reading mood this year was emotional, reflective, dark, and mysterious.

For me, this was not unusual at all- I love a dark escape in my literature and have renewed my affection for those kinds of books that I had began to escape from when things were particularly challenging in 2020.

This year 41 of my books fell into the contemporary fiction category, and the rest of the best were literary, thriller, romance, mystery, historical fiction, young adult, and then memoir.

I loved seeing a renewed return to my love for contemporary and literary fiction this year, but I feel challenged to add more science fiction and horror novels back into my reading life.

When I compare this to 2022 though, my top category was contemporary, but my next two were thriller then romance and then mystery. I mention this because I was really in the thick of my health problems then and I could not focus and a large chunk of my reading matched my concentration levels.

While I would love to read more science fiction, fantasy, short stories, and spooky books, I think it is important to recognize that our circumstances can be a powerful part of what we lean into and that it is okay to adjust based on where we are at right now.

Listen to Book Gang Podcast

Many of these books have been included in today’s Book Gang episode. You can listen to the this wherever you get podcasts or stream it in the embedded player below. The show notes for this show (that include Larry’s reads ) are over here.

We have also made our top 25 selections into printables as a bonus perk for patrons. Joining the MomAdvice Book Club Patreon community is just $5 a month and gives you instant access to these digital downloads.


Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Let’s kick things off with my most well-read category this month!

Best Literary Fiction & Contemporary Fiction of 2022

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt 

The title originates from this charming line, “Humans. For the most part, you are dull and blundering. But occasionally, you can be remarkably bright creatures.” 

The audiobook narration may have added to my charm with this experience, and I highly recommend it if you need a soothing escape. Performed by two narrators, Marin Ireland & Michael Urie, it was a standout performance that brought me immense joy. 

I can’t say that I’ve read novels with the unique eye of an octopus, but this adds to this debut’s uniqueness and charm.  The story explores the unlikely friendship between a giant Pacific octopus, Marcellus, and a 70-year-old woman, Tova.

Marcellus, nearing the end of his expected lifespan, is held in captivity at the aquarium where Tova works as a cleaner.

As she struggles with the loss of her husband and her son’s disappearance, Tova forms a special bond with Marcellus, who may hold the key to solving the mystery of her son’s disappearance. 

This literary fiction novel is a magnificent debut that is both charming and compulsively readable.

The book’s thematic of friendship, redemption and hope resonated with me. I also love the exploration that sometimes we must confront our past to move forward.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry is no stranger to the best books of the year lists, but I still have to co-sign my adoration for the fictional journey of Elizabeth Zott.  Plus, this book will surely win you over with an endearing cast of supporting characters and an adorable dog.

Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind read because it is a soon-to-be upcoming TV series on Apple+ starring Brie Larson.

It is the early 1960s, and our main character, Elizabeth Zott wants to do her job and get credit for it. Unfortunately, as a chemist, her work environment is less than desirable, with a boy’s club mentality among her coworker at the Hastings Research Institute.

As you can imagine, young women did not get the respect they deserved.

One man, though, treats Elizabeth the way she’s always desired, and their relationship evolves into a mutually beneficial exchange that brings them both unexpected joy. 

In a pivotal plot point, Elizabeth has unexpectedly become a single mother and an incredible television star on a cooking show called Supper at Six.

What makes the show such a success is Elizabeth’s refusal to see women as just housewives and to see them as aspiring chemists too. 

The leading lady isn’t the only notable character because Garmus has made an entire beloved cast of characters to adore, including an adorable dog (named Six-Thirty)  that has imprinted on my heart since I finished the final pages of this quirky and delightful story.

Notes On An Execution- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Notes on an Execution by Danya Kukafka

With breathtaking suspense and astonishing empathy, this atmospheric thriller offers a thought-provoking exploration of womanhood, the justice system, and the search for meaning in the actions of violent men.

This gripping work of literary suspense that tells the story of a serial killer on death row through the perspectives of the women in his life. 

Ansel Packer is scheduled to die in twelve hours.

He’s awaiting his execution, the consequences of what he did to girls years ago. Yet, Kukafka paints a portrait of Ansel that is far from one-dimensional as we learn about his troubling childhood and what begins to trigger Ansel to commit acts of violence. 

We grow to learn about him through his own mother, a sister, and a homicide detective.

With each paint stroke, we discover a beautifully fleshed-out character that yields motivation and is ripe with intent to build a story that has you flipping those pages quickly.

Will you find sympathy in this character? 

One quote that really stood out to me that I think explains what made this such a compulsive read is this one- “She had known from a young age that everyone had darkness inside-some just controlled it better than others. Very few people believed that they were bad, and this was the scariest part. Human nature could be so hideous, but it persisted in this ugliness by insisting it was good.”

As the reader is drawn into this complex character’s backstory, we are forced to consider our feelings about his actions.

This novel would be an excellent choice for a book club. However, it should be noted that the book contains trigger warnings for violence against humans and animals and may not be suitable for highly sensitive readers. 

If you like this one, you will fall in love with The Enchanted by Rene Denfeld. It’s one of those rare books that tackle similar themes but that I don’t hear as many people talking about.

One's Company by Ashley Hutson- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

One’s Company by Ashley Hutson

This fearless debut won for the most inventive storyline as it explores a world of obsessive imagination. 

Bonnie Lincoln just wants to be left alone and watch her favorite TV show, Three’s Company, in peace. But when she wins the lottery, she decides to broaden this idea: escape her old life and move to a mountain retreat where she can recreate the apartment set from Three’s Company and live out the lives of its main characters.

There is, of course, a deeper-rooted reason for Bonnie’s escape that lies within her pain and trauma.

But when reality starts to intrude, Bonnie’s carefully constructed world is threatened. 

I appreciated this book’s immersive and unique experience Bonnie constructed that mimicked many storytelling elements of Wandavision

Bonnie is an unlikable character; her minimal evolution might turn some readers off. But if you’re willing to go on this weird and strange journey with her, you might find it worth it. 

If there ever was a book to buddy-read with a friend, it is this one. I can’t wait to discuss it next month in our Patreon community. 

Cleopatra and Frankenstein- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Cleopatra and Frankenstein by Coco Mellors

Are you looking for a hilarious and poignant novel that will have you laughing and crying all at once?

You can look no further than this debut gem that grabbed me from its first page. 

This love story chronicles a relationship between Cleo, a young British painter, and Frank, a self-made man twenty years her senior, as they navigate their impulsive marriage and the challenges it brings.

As the story unfolds, Cleo and Frank’s relationship’s highs and lows begin to impact the people around them. This book covers everything from the beginning of their unlikely love affair to the monotony of married life and the struggles of mental illness. And with plenty of humor to lighten the load, you won’t be able to put it down.

This great read has been polarizing with readers. Some reviewers (like me) found it a quirky and poignant love story, while others dismissed it as shallow and pretentious. 

While this book may not be for everyone, I loved it from start to finish and can see why it draws comparisons to Sally Rooney’s writing. The dry humor and memorable characters make it a standout and an alluring debut that I had difficulty putting down.

It’s a great addition to the millennial fiction genre and a perfect pick for anyone who loves relatable characters with compulsively readable chapters.

We All Want Impossible Things- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

“A Funny Book About Dying,” was not on my Reading BINGO card this year, but that’s exactly the kind of book that you will get in this book had me laughing and crying simultaneously. 

This short and compelling novel ticked every box. It was an incredibly memorable audiobook experience if you are on the hunt for your next outstanding audio performance. 

This tear-jerker of a line says it all:  “Everyone dies, and yet it’s unendurable. There is so much love inside of us. How do we become worthy of it? And, then, where does it go? A worldwide crescendo of grief, sustained day after day, and only one tiny note of it is mine.”

Edith and Ashley have been best friends for over forty-two years and shared many of life’s joys and challenges. When Edi is diagnosed with ovarian cancer and begins living in a hospice, Ash is there by her side, struggling to be the best friend, wife, and parent she can be. 

With a rotating cast of hospice characters and “Fiddler on the Roof” as their soundtrack,  Edi and Ash spend these last days together, reminiscing with hilarity over all their years of friendship. The scenes are painted so vividly as they create their own shenanigans to pass the time and find inventive ways to keep the pain at bay while they near their last day together. 

Described as both “devastatingly humorous and humorously devastating” (by one of my favorite authors, Katherine Heiny), this book celebrates the beauty of enduring relationships. It is a must-read for anyone seeking hope and healing in the face of loss. 

In just 217 short pages, Newman achieves what few could do in several hundred, writing a story of friendship that I will remember forever. 

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot by Marianne Crouch

Sometimes, our Reader’s Choice book club selections end up making my Best Books of the Year lists and this story was the surprise hit of my reading year. 

The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a charming, funny, and heartwarming debut novel about an extraordinary friendship between Lenni, a seventeen-year-old girl living in the Terminal Ward at a hospital in Glasgow, and Margot, an 83-year-old rebel who is also staying there. 

Despite being told that she is dying, Lenni joins the hospital’s arts and crafts class and meets Margot, who transforms her life unexpectedly. 

The two decide to take advantage of the arts and crafts room and begin a unique project together when they discover their combined age is one hundred years.

They will create one hundred paintings that tell the story of their lives and find joy and comfort in sharing the stories they have never spoken aloud. With the help of a nurse and a chaplain, they share tales of love, loss, courage, kindness, and joy. 

Though their time is running out, Lenni and Margot are determined to leave a lasting legacy and enjoy their remaining days to the fullest. The One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot is a poignant reminder of the power of friendship, the beauty of life, and the importance of positively impacting others.

Margot’s story, in particular, is so beautiful as she reveals these deeply hidden truths that truly, brought tears to my eyes. Yet, Lenni’s storyline shines as she questions faith and strikes another unlikely friendship with the hospital’s patient chaplain. 

This book is a perfect book club selection and reminds me how vital these reader’s choice selections are for our group. This story is life-affirming and uplifting, even in its sad moments. This book is cinematic in nature and yielded one of my favorite discussions in 2022. 

Carrie Soto is Back- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Carrie Soto is Back by Taylor Jenkins Reid

In this thrilling novel, Taylor Jenkins Reid tells the story of Carrie Soto, a fierce and determined tennis player who is considered past her prime when she decides to make a comeback. This is a captivating and unforgettable tale of one athlete’s epic journey to prove herself once again.

At thirty-seven, Carrie retires from the sport after becoming the best player the world has ever seen, with twenty Slam titles under her belt.  Her nickname, Battle Axe, was hardwon through her years playing a ruthless game. 

Six years later, she finds herself watching from the stands as a young British player takes her record. Determined to reclaim her record, Carrie comes out of retirement and is coached by her father for one final year.

This training challenges her body beyond its capabilities, but that is not the only challenge. She also discovers that it is okay to be loved and needed by others along the way.

As Carrie faces her own limitations, she must overcome the doubts of the sports media and work with Bowe Huntley, a man she almost opened her heart to once before.

The cinematic nature that this story is written left me breathless, particularly, the way that Reid captures these tennis matches. 

Reid has written another fully fleshed character that makes this book feel like a memoir. Was Carie real? Is there a Wikipedia page on her?

Since her debut, I have followed her career and have read her entire backlist in real-time. You can even find an interview with the author on our site, a moment that I’m thankful for as she has found such success in her writing career. 

Bitingly feminist-forward, it is equal parts an escape and a social commentary on women athletes. Why must we be likable? Why are men held to different standards? What does it mean to age out? How can we find joy in the later years? 

This concludes Taylor’s writing journey with famous historical fiction women, and she ended it on a strong note. I can’t wait to see what she writes for us next and loved this final love letter to tennis.

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

This adult debut novel from Nina LaCour is a gentle and quiet Sapphic romance that I adored. While this had many romantic elements, it firmly sat in the literary fiction space for me, as a reader.

When Sara Foster runs away from home as a teenager, she leaves behind her ability to trust and to be truly loved.  Now a successful bartender in Los Angeles, she is known for her cocktails and the air of mystery that surrounds her. Across the city, 

Emilie Dubois struggles to find her place in the world, longing for the sense of community and beauty that her Creole grandparents cultivated. When she takes a job arranging flowers at a luxurious restaurant named Yerba Buena, she begins an affair with the married owner. 

When Sara and Emilie meet at the restaurant for the first time, they feel an instant connection, but their pasts and choices keep pulling them apart.  LaCour takes us on a beautiful journey as the two must find themselves before they can find each other. 

This novel has evocative storytelling that made me hungry and craving a well-made drink as it descriptively shares the meals and beverages made in this restaurant setting. 

The attention to detail and the overall moodiness of the writing transported me as a reader. It encompassed all my senses and described loneliness and longing in ways I rarely see written so clearly in black and white. 

I loved how these two characters must decide if their love is strong enough to overcome their pasts and how to create a home together with one another. 

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven by Nathaniel Ian Miller 

The top pick for my favorite book of the year goes to this memorable read that I can’t wait to discuss with our book club this year. 

Hailed as “briskly entertaining” by the New York Times Book Review and “transporting and wholly original” by People Magazine, this sweeping historical fiction story follows the story of a man who retreats to a solitary life in the Arctic Circle. He finds he is never alone as he finds unexpected companionship in good friends, a loyal dog, and a visit that upends his world. 

In this poignant debut, a mining accident leaves Sven Ormson disfigured, and he retreats to an uninhabited fjord in the Arctic circle to escape society’s reactions. 

He struggles to survive in the brutal conditions with the help of a Finnish trapper and a Scottish geologist. As the years pass, the arrival of a relative force Sven to confront the possibility of a different kind of life.

If you love introverted, bookish, and surprisingly funny characters, this book will be for you. Sven is richly imagined and described beautifully, and I found myself highlighting my entire book. The bond between Sven and his dog is one of this story’s most magical elements.

What more could a reader want? 

Miller’s turn of phrases and descriptive language made an already uniquely written plot even more unique. It is just the book you want to share with a friend. 

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow by Gabrielle Zevin

This book was my favorite of the year until The Memoirs of Stockholm Sven knocked it out of position. Zevin does not need my stamp of approval as this novel has received enormous commercial success. 

In Gabrielle Zevin’s latest novel “Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow,” readers are taken on an epic journey through the lives of two friends, Sam and Sadie, who meet in a children’s hospital and bond over their shared love of video games.

Their friendship is short-lived, however, when Sam feels used by Sadie. 

Later in life though, they reconnect in college and decide to develop a game together, leading to enormous success in the gaming industry. However, their success also causes tension between them as one partner is given more credit and resentment grows.

Marx, a friend, and colleague, becomes both a crucial part of their newly formed company and their lives, acting as a mediator and helping to keep their business together. Unfortunately, a tragic turn of events from their virtual world-building leads to unexpected violence and the end of their partnership. 

The book chronicles Sam and Sadie’s journey over three decades and the intricacies of the games they create. Zevin’s writing is beautiful, and the portrayal of Sam’s chronic pain is particularly poignant. 

I think you may need to have a small passion for gaming or coding to appreciate all of the intricacies of this one. As someone who lives with a family of gamers, this book not only brought a new appreciation for my family members’ gaming pastime, it encouraged me to pick up a virtual life of my own in Stardew Valley

Best Thriller Book of 2022

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham Grant- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

These Silent Woods by Kimi Cunningham

“These Silent Woods” by Kimi Cunningham Grant is a must-read for anyone who loves a captivating and suspenseful story. I know this book will not be new to our listeners as it has appeared on our best audiobook podcast episode with Meg Tietz (from Sorta Awesome).

This atmospheric novel is set in the remote Appalachian mountains and follows the tale of Cooper and his daughter Finch, who have been living in isolation for eight years. 

The turning point for Finch and Cooper’s existence is in what doesn’t happen that particular winter; the delivery of their food and supplies needed. Each year this annual delivery of supplies comes from an old friend named Jake. When Jake doesn’t arrive, the two are forced to go out and get these supplies themselves, risking being discovered and opened the door on an old case. 

As it turns out, it also opens the doors for an unexpected visitor, reminding Cooper of the beauty of companionship and what he has been missing for many years. 

Grant’s writing is beautifully crafted, weaving in themes of forgiveness and trust that will leave you deeply moved. This memorable read has been one of my top recommendations since I read it this year. 

 If you have the opportunity, the audiobook narrator is Bronson Pinchot (from Perfect Strangers), and came highly recommended by Meg. 

Not only will Pinchot’s narration add to the atmospheric and suspenseful tone of the story, but it’s an excellent opportunity to discover a beloved narrator. 

 Grant’s writing is beautifully crafted and will leave you enthralled from beginning to end. This book was haunting, suspenseful, and thoroughly engrossing.

Best Horror Book of 2022

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Tender is the Flesh by Agustina Bazterrica

The novel was originally published in Spanish in 2017 and became available in English translation in 2020 ended up packing a powerful dystopian punch.

This disturbing story explores the complex relationship between humans and their food sources. 

Set in a dystopian world where a virus has made animals unsafe for consumption, the government introduces a program called “Transition,” in which human meat becomes the new source of meat. 

Marcos works at a plant that processes this human meat, known as “special meat,” in a world where an infectious virus has made animal meat poisonous to humans. His personal life is in turmoil, with his wife leaving him and his father, who has dementia, and he tries not to think too deeply about his job. 

However, when he is given a “specimen” as a gift, he begins a intimate relationship that could have dangerous consequences. Despite the dangers of developing personal relationships with the specimens, Marcos finds solace in this relationship as he grapples with the loss of humanity in the world.

The story also touches on themes of disassociation from food production and the role of social class in access to food. Based on real-life factory conditions, the processing scenes are disturbing to read about when humans are the food source. 

However, the author does not shy away from these difficult themes; the result is a thought-provoking and impactful novel. Instead, she uses gore and violence to make a point rather than for gratuitous shock value. 

The twist at the end of the story was surprising and stayed with me long after reading the book. 

This short dystopian novel is now being used in schools, similar to classics like The Handmaid’s Tale and Fahrenheit 451!

Best Romance Books of 2022

Before I Let Go- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Before I Let Go (Skyland #1) by Kennedy Ryan

This grown-up romance novel did not shy away from complex themes and explored them with such maturity that  I found myself highlighting passage after passage in this evocatively moving second-chance romance.

When Yasmen and Josiah’s marriage falls apart, they struggle to navigate their new dynamic as co-parents and business partners at their family-owned restaurant.

The dissolution of their marriage partnership is rooted in a deep loss of not only a close family member but in the loss of their child. 

Despite their best efforts to move on, their attraction to one another remains strong. As they begin to rekindle their romance, they must confront the wounds of the past and decide if they are truly ready to love each other for a lifetime. 

What I appreciated the most about this book was the dialogue as they navigated this with their children and also how they navigated discussions around sex 

Also, what could be more steamy than a MAN GOING TO THERAPY to deepen his relationship with his kids and former partner? 

As this rekindled affair must be done with some secrecy, in the beginning, it multiplied the steamy factor for this reader. 

Please note this does explore pregnancy loss, and I would read through content warnings before engaging with this selection. 

Although this was my first book by the author, it won’t be my last.

This book was also notably selected as a Book of the Month Club selection, NPR Best Book of 2022, Washington Post’s 10 Best Romances of the Year, Women’s Health’s Best Books of the Year, and as one of Publishers Weekly’s Best Romance Books of 2022.

Seven Days in June- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

“Seven days to fall in love, fifteen years to forget, and seven days to get it all back again…”

This book made my Best Books of the Year list, and this second-chance romance has also made my ALL-TIME favorite romance list.

Eva Mercy is a single mom and bestselling erotica writer living in Brooklyn, and Shane Hall is a reclusive and award-winning author. 

When the two authors meet at a literary event, their chemistry is undeniable, but they pretend not to know each other.

What the reader discovers is these two childhood friends had a steamy love affair as teens and have been secretly writing to each other in their books ever since. 

As they reconnect for a week in the middle of a hot Brooklyn summer, Eva has to decide whether she can trust Shane after his track record of breaking her heart. 

A Reese Witherspoon book club selection rarely ticks the right boxes for me, but this storyline did.

There is so much to unbox with this captivating story, with surprising depth from difficult childhoods to their more grown-up challenges as Black authors.

I love that you feel like you get a peek behind the curtain at both the writing process and the creative challenges of creation. 

As someone with chronic pain, I welcome storylines with personal experiences like mine. As so many books focus on opioid addiction and the crisis surrounding that, it is refreshing to see conversation around the daily realities of pain management.

This book tackles Eva’s journey with debilitating migraines and chronic pain, and I loved that this character was still so sexy and confident while battling these health issues.

The Dead Romantics- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

In Ashley Poston’s sparkling adult debut, a disillusioned millennial ghostwriter must confront her own ghosts when she returns home for the first time in a decade was, by far, one of my favorite romances this year. 

Florence Day writes for one of the most successful romance authors in the industry, but a recent breakup has left her believing in love’s demise. When her editor refuses to grant her an extension on a book deadline, Florence faces the end of her career. 

However, a call from home forces her to confront the past she’s been running from for a decade, returning to her eccentric family and their funeral parlor in the Southern town where she grew up.

There, she discovers a ghost standing at the front door, just as broad and handsome as her editor, who is also deceased.

As she navigates the unfinished business of her new editor, Florence begins to question everything she thought she knew about love stories. 

As most of you know, magical realism is one element that I adore in my fiction. Poston writes this beautifully with some sweet plot twists that make this so beautifully moving without slipping into sappy waters. 

Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books of 2022

Legends & Lattes- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Legends & Lattes by Travis Baldree

Be warned; this cozy book brought my blood pressure to dangerous levels.

Legends & Lattes was the book I didn’t know I needed, and I couldn’t be more thankful to have discovered it. The book is high fantasy with low stakes, and what one GoodReads reviewer  billed it as, “Dungeons & Dragons if it had a baby with Animal Crossing.” 

In our story, we have Viv, an orc that has spent decades as a swordfighter but has decided to start a new chapter for herself. More than anything, she wants to open a coffee shop in the City of Thune. 

The thing is that this is the first time anyone has experienced coffee, and it is going to take a village to get people on board with this new feature. 

Viv finds an unexpected partner in her quest to establish the coffeehouse. Tandri is a succubus who has come to work at the cafe and helps Viv as she makes the necessary changes to lure in customers and turn her space into a community hub. 

That isn’t the only side character to love, though- the town is FILLED WITH THEM. Of course, some low-stakes bad guys threaten to shut down the establishment, but it will all be okay. 

This cozy town is written in a way that envelopes all of your senses. I loved the descriptions of their baked goods, the aromatic nature of coffee descriptors, and the way we feel transported to these cobbled streets. This book was immersive in every way. 

As each discovery about coffee habits is made, the coffee shop’s chalkboard is changed to reflect the new decisions. This menu board ended up adding a satisfying rhythm to my chapter reading. 

If you are unfamiliar with Baldree’s publishing story, he is a Booktok self-published sensation who later acquired a deal with Macmillan. I’m thrilled to see that the second book in this series, Bookshops & Bonedust (a prequel or sequel of sorts), will be available on November 7, 2023! 

The House by the Cerulean Sea fans will adore this relaxing fantasy escape that embraces the found family trope with heart and humor. 

Best Memoirs of 2022

Glorious Rock Bottom- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Glorious Rock Bottom by Bryony Gordon

This profoundly moving memoir inspired me so much that it changed my relationship with alcohol, an admittedly easier journey than the one the author endured. 

 Bryony Gordon’s powerful and inspiring memoir explores her journey to recovery from a twenty-year addiction to drugs and alcohol. 

As a respected journalist and bestselling author, Gordon’s struggles with addiction were unknown to many, but her recovery story is one of the best I have ever read. Bryony was a journalist at The Telegraph, a bestselling author, and launched an award-winning mental health campaign.

She’s so well-known that when I found her podcast, I discovered her first episode on mental health was with Prince Harry. 

This memorable one expanded beyond the rehabilitation process and followed her journey after leaving the treatment facility- much longer than most.  We discover what it was like to navigate sober holidays and the dangers of replacing one addiction with another, even ones that may seem healthy. Her addiction to running, for example, reeled her into unhealthy waters as she took her addictive nature into less extreme waters, but with damaging results. 

This expanded look at recovery makes the book compelling and challenging to put down. I highly recommend this memoir to anyone seeking inspiration or a greater understanding of recovery. Its beautiful transformation makes it a must-read for anyone looking to transform their relationship with alcohol or for more empathy towards others on this journey.

I cannot say what clicked with my brain, but I knew I wanted more of the “after” part of Bryony’s journey for my own life.

This Will Be Funny Later - Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

This Will Be Funny Later by Jenny Pentland

It was a joy to interview Jenny Pentland this year on the Book Gang podcast, and it might have further solidified my deep love for her storytelling to learn her story behind this magnificent laugh-out-loud debut. 

The clever cover immediately caught my attention, but the fascinating tale of Jenny Pentland’s childhood truly won me over.

Imagine if your real life became the storylines for a sitcom – that was the reality for Pentland and her siblings, as their experiences were used as inspiration for the hit show “Roseanne.”

Pentland’s mother, Roseanne Arnold, is a compassionate side note in her journey. Still, the focus is mainly on Pentland’s struggles with anxiety and obesity and her journey through various programs like wilderness camps and fat camps in an attempt to address these challenges. 

Pentland’s story has some surprisingly heart-wrenching moments, but even sad and difficult moments are infused with signature humor that makes this a book you can’t put down. 

Pentland, who is now happily married and raising five sons on a farm, has dedicated herself to building the stable family she always wanted and finding peace with her longstanding anxiety.

This deeply moving and entertaining memoir is now one of my all-time favorite memoirs. 

Best Young Adult Books of 2022

Better Than the Movies- Best Books of 2022 to Read Now

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

I thought I had discovered an under-the-radar book gem this year…that is, until I discovered that this adorable YA read had over 84K reviews on GoodReads and is a New York Times bestseller.

If you are looking for a read to share with your teen daughter, I can think of no better book club night than to read and discuss this book that takes our deep affection for rom-com movies to this adorable love story. 

Liz Buxbaum has always known that her next-door neighbor, Wes Bennett, is not the type of guy she should be interested in. Wes has been a pain in the butt, causing trouble since they were kids.

However, when Liz’s senior year of high school arrives and her crush, Michael, returns to town and starts hitting it off with Wes, Liz realizes that she needs Wes’s help if she wants to finally get noticed by Michael and possibly be her prom date.

As these two work together to make Liz’s prom dreams come true, she realizes that she actually enjoys being around Wes and begins questioning everything she thought she knew about love and what a happy ending should look like. 

This had Tell Me Three Things Things charm with an equally heartwarming story between Liz and her stepmom. It explores the meaningful loss of Liz’s mother and how she navigates these milestones with the bittersweetness and beauty required.

Each chapter has a quote from a familiar rom-com, and it also embraces music moments that you can find on a Spotify playlist that Painter has created.

It inspired my daughter to jot down all the titles and kick off the movie marathon of my dreams with my girl. 

We both agreed that this storyline was predictable, and we loved that about it.

In an unbelievable twist for my reading life, it turns out that this story brings me immeasurable joy this year.

This is now one of my top gift ideas to share with your teen!

 Big Buzzy Books I Can’t Wait Read In the New Year

I know that I missed many buzzy books this year and these are just a few that I’m excited to read in 2023.

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Fairy Tale by Stephen King (I am halfway through and loving it)

Candy House by Jennifer Egan ( a sequel to Goon Squad that is also on my list this year)

Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng (another that I’m just at the halfway point)

The Glass Hotel by Emily St. John Mandel

Demon Copperhead by Barbara Kingsolver

The Heartstopper Graphic Novels Series

Jessie Klein’s Short Story Collections

Invisible Kingdom

 Invisible Child: Poverty, Survival & Hope in an American City, by Andrea Elliott (a Pulitzer Prize-Winning novel this year)

What were your favorite books this year? Do we share any favorites this year? I’d love to hear about them!

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

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

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Best Books To Read From 2022 (Podcast)

January 6th, 2023

The BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR is here! We read a combined 481 books and tell you our top book recommendations! Listen to today’s podcast to discover what books we loved in 2022. 

We are so lucky to have Larry Hoffer (@getbookedwithlarry) back because he read 372 books this year and share his favorites today.

Combined, we have read a total of 481 books that include all of your favorite categories- historical fiction, young adult, science fiction, literary fiction, contemporary fiction, and ONE outstanding thriller. If you are on the hunt for your next debut novel, this stack is filled with them because there is nothing better than celebrating new authors.

As readers that love to make discoveries, we were surprised by how many many big blockbuster books ended up making our top ten lists. I guess the New York Times bestseller list wasn’t so bad this year.

The best part is that Larry and I share many a top pick for the first time. We made some space to reflect on our end of the year reading and how we plan to better shape our goals for a happier and healthier new year of reading in 2023. I also appreciate the personal experiences that we bring to this years book and I think you will too.

If these new books for your stack aren’t enough, we are offering a part two of this episode in the Patreon community. Along with this bonus episode is a 20-page reading guide AND printable checklists with our top 25 books so you can take these to your next library day.

We can’t wait to hear if a few of your favorite books of the year made the cut.

Best Books To Read From 2022 (Podcast)

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

SUPPORT MY WORK through Patreon (download our top 25 lists AND unlock 189 bookish bonuses INSTANTLY)

Helpful Articles Mentioned Today:

Best Books of 2022 To Read Now (BLOG POST- Full list & Reviews)

Tutorial on How to Use the Storygraph App

Tutorial on How to Use the Scribd App

Books & Authors Mentioned:

In the Wild Light by Jeff Zentner

The One Hundred Years of Lenni & Margot by Marianne Cronin

The People We Keep by Allison Larkin

Fire Keeper’s Daughter by Angeline Boulley

The Nine Lives of Rose Napolitano by Donna Freitas

The Lady’s Handbook for Her Mysterious Illness by Sarah Ramey

A Cosmology of Monsters by Shaun Hamill

A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

This Boy We Made by Taylor Harris

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Remarkably Bright Creatures by Shelby Van Pelt

The Dead Romantics by Ashley Poston

The Kindred Spirits Supper Club

Seven Days in June by Tia Williams

Before I Let Go by Kennedy Ryan

When You Call My Name by Tucker Shaw

The Prettiest Star by Carter Sickels

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

You Know Me Well by Nina LaCour with David Levithan

Beautiful Little Fools by Jillian Cantor

Better Than the Movies by Lynn Painter

Tell Me Three Things by Julie Buxbaum

Mr. Wrong Number by Lynn Painter

The Do-Over by Lynn Painter

Self-Made Boys by Anna-Marie McLemore

We All Want Impossible Things by Catherine Newman

Look Closer by David Ellis

Connect With Us:

Amy’s Website-

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

Larry is @getbookedwithlarry on Instagram

Book Gang T-Shirts and Merchandise

Join the Book Gang Patreon

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)

December 29th, 2022
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial) Header

This homemade laundry detergent recipe can save your family lots of money at the grocery store. Try this powdered laundry detergent made with Borax, washing soda, & a laundry soap bar. Try this recipe

A homemade laundry detergent recipe can save your family lots of money. Try this DIY powdered detergent made with Borax, washing soda, & a castile soap bar.

As we look to reduce our spending this year, I wanted to revive a few of our most popular DIY projects and this is one my FAVORITE DIY projects we have done for our family. 

This homemade laundry soap has been one of our tried-and-true projects for both savings AND for getting our clothes clean even with our most sensitive skin problems. 

I made this tutorial WAY back in 2013 and have adjusted the prices to the current pricing to ensure that this is as accurate as possible. 

As you can imagine, materials pricing went up, but not as much as I had expected. 

This is still much more economical than buying store-bought detergent. To add to the cost savings, I’ve included some ways that you can make it even more economical. 

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Money-Saving Infographic

What are the Benefits to Making Your Own Detergent?

The top question I get asked is if these homemade detergents work and if it is worth the effort. Not only does it work AMAZING,  but the cost savings (detailed below) is also worth it as we combat these rising grocery prices. 

Not only does making your own laundry detergent save you money, but it can also reduce your environmental impact. 

For example, homemade detergents have a smaller carbon footprint than store-bought detergents, simply from a plastic packaging perspective alone.  

On top of that, you can control the ingredients that go into your laundry detergent.

What Ingredients Do I Need to Make My Own Laundry Detergent?

Homemade laundry detergent is a simple and cost-effective way to clean your clothes. It can be made with just three ingredients: Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap, washing soda, and borax.

The Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar Soap is a powerful stain remover that can help to lift dirt and grime from your clothes. It is a staple ingredient in many homemade laundry detergents and can be found at most grocery stores or online.

Alternatively, you can also use Zote, Ivory Bar Soap, or Dr. Bonner’s Castile Bar Soap as a substitute.

Washing soda, also known as sodium carbonate, is a powerful cleaning agent that can help to remove stains and brighten whites.

Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a natural mineral used for cleaning and laundry for centuries. It is a powerful stain remover and can help to brighten whites and remove odors.

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent- Supplies

How Much Does It Cost to Make a Homemade Batch of Laundry Detergent? (pricing updated for 2023) 

The current pricing on these three ingredients is:

Fels-Naptha Laundry Bar– $2.59 per bar (currently unavailable online at a reasonable price through Walmart- check on your store shelves)

Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (55 ounce box)- $4.59

20 Mule Team Borax (65-ounce box)- $5.97

One batch of laundry detergent takes one cup of the borax, one cup of the washing soda, and one bar of soap.

Using these current prices, if the total cost of the ingredients is $2.59 for the laundry bar + $4.59 for the washing soda + $5.97 for the borax, the total cost is $13.15.  Dividing this by the number of batches you can make,  it gives us a cost of about $0.83 per batch! 

If you use one tablespoon of detergent per load, it will cost you just $0.06 per load! 

If you have a particularly dirty load, you can use two tablespoons, then it would cost  just $0.11 per load.

It is possible that buying these items locally will yield even more savings versus buying the ingredients online.

Where Do I Buy the Ingredients for My DIY Laundry Detergent?

Walmart can be a great option (only purchase IN STORE to avoid those third-party online prices). These supplies are all right in a row at your local store and are located on the opposite side of the laundry detergents, over by the stain remover. 

If you don’t have success at your store, another unexpectedly frugal spot to shop is your local hardware store. 

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)

How Do you Grate the Laundry Soap Bar?

You can definitely use an old-fashioned cheese grater, but the soap can clump up and not completely dissolve in your load unless you grate it extremely fine. 

I allow my food processor to do the work for me because it is much easier to do and allows you to also double or triple your batches of laundry detergent in no time flat.

What Can I Use if I Prefer to Use a More Natural Homemade Laundry Detergent? 

One update to this recipe we will try this year is substituting our Fels-Naptha with Dr. Bronner’s Bar Soap

Although we have never had any sensitivities to the current recipe, castile soap is made from plant-based oils (olive oil, coconut oil, and hemp oil), and I think it will be a smart switch for a greener formula. 

In case you didn’t know, castile soap is known for its more gentle and moisturizing properties, as well as its versatility in a range of cleaning applications. 

It is why it is often used as a base for homemade cleaning products, such as laundry detergent, dish soap, and all-purpose cleaner.

Because it is made from plant-based oils, Castile soap is biodegradable and environmentally friendly. It is also typically free of synthetic fragrances, dyes, and preservatives, making it suitable for people with sensitive skin or allergies.

Keep in mind, making this switch will add to your cost per  load of laundry. Right now the pricing is roughly $4.50 per bar.  Even with the higher cost of this bar, it is still much cheaper than conventional laundry detergent prices. 

To save on this item, shop through the Rakuten app to get money back on your grocery purchases (including Instacart!). I’ve also written a full tutorial on how to get cash back on lots of common items you buy for your household.  

Is Homemade Detergent Safe to Use With High-Efficiency (HE) Washers?

The true beauty of using this homemade detergent is that it doesn’t have a lot of suds. You can’t use laundry detergents not made for high-efficiency washing machines because of the suds factor in many store-bought detergents. 

Thanks to the small amount of suds and the minimal amount of soap you need to wash your loads, it is the perfect detergent to use with your HE washer! You can use this homemade laundry detergent with confidence!

Is This Homemade Laundry Detergent Septic Friendly?

The ingredients in this soap contain zero phosphates and zero fillers (like montmorillonite clay) that cause commercial powder detergents to clog lines. 

I am sure other items you have lurking in your home are less septic friendly than this one, so this is a perfectly safe product to make and use.

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)

How Do I Store Homemade Laundry Detergent? 

I love to store my detergent in a glass jar, but you could also store this in a plastic container with a tight-fitting lid. 

How Can I Prevent Static When Drying My Clothes? 

You can use vinegar as a natural fabric softener by adding it to your fabric softener compartment in your washing machine. To use vinegar as a fabric softener, you can add 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your laundry.

Keep in mind, vinegar can be harsh on certain types of fabrics, such as wool and silk, so it’s best to test a small, inconspicuous area before using it on your entire load.

Personally, I have become a big fan of these wool dryer balls and love to add a few drops of essential oils to my dryer balls to add a fresh scent to my loads. This one natural homemade laundry routine that our whole family has gotten behind. 

Now that you know all about it, let’s get started on our project!

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)

Supplies Needed

1 box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap or Dr. Bonners Castile Bar Soap (or more if you plan to double, triple, or quadruple your batch) 

1 box 20 Mule Team Borax

Food Processor

Large Mixing Bowl

Measuring cups

Jar for Storage (found in the kitchen supplies)

Coffee Scoop (found in the kitchen supplies aisle, optional, but is great for perfect measuring of your detergent)

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent- Fels-Naptha Soap Cut in Half

Cut your bars of soap in half lengthwise so that you can feed them through the shoot of your processor. 

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent- Feeding the Soap in a Food Processor

Assemble the processor with your cheese grater attachment and feed your soap in slowly and gently through the top shoot. 

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent-Grating Soap in Food Processor
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent-Grated Fels-Naptha Soap

Once all the soap has been grated, dump it into a bowl and remove the cheese grater attachment. 

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent- Switching Food Processor Blades
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent- Laundry Soap After Second Processing

Reassemble the processor with the basic blade and then put the grated soap back in. Spin it again until the soap resembles fine small pellets. Your soap is now ready to be incorporated into your laundry detergent!

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)- Pouring Soap Into Bowl
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)- Pouring Borax
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)- Pouring Washing Soda

In a large mixing bowl, combine the grated soap, borax, and washing soda. Mix well until the ingredients are well incorporated.

Transfer the mixture to a glass jar or well-sealed plastic container. Be sure to label the container with the ingredients and the date, so you know what’s inside.

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)- Mixing Homemade Laundry Soap
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)- Jar of Homemade Laundry Soap
How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent (A Picture Tutorial)- Jar of Homemade Laundry Soap

To use the detergent, add one tablespoon of the mixture to a load of laundry (or two tablespoons for heavily soiled loads). You can adjust the amount as needed depending on the size of the load and the soil level.

Store the detergent in a cool, dry place. It should last for several months if kept sealed and dry.

You now have a simple and effective homemade laundry detergent that can save you money and customize your laundry routine. Enjoy the savings and the satisfaction of making your own cleaning products!

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

Prep time: 15 mins
Total time: 15 mins
Homemade laundry detergent can be made with just three ingredients! Try this simple recipe and enjoy the savings!

1 bar (or 4.5 ounces) of shaved bar soap (Ivory, ZOTE, Fels-Naptha, or Dr. Bonners Castile Bar Soap)
1 cup of borax
1 cup of washing soda

Shred your bars of soap as shown in the tutorial above.
Mix one cup of borax, one cup of washing soda and the grated soap in a large bowl until incorporated
Store in a glass jar or well-sealed plastic container.

Love this tutorial? Don’t miss these other money-saving ideas!

Grocery Tips for Shopping at ALDI Supermarket


Earn Money Investing In Women With Ellevest


The Best Libby Tips & Tricks for Using the Library App


Do you make your own laundry detergent? What is your winning recipe for the perfect homemade laundry detergent? Feel free to share your tips!

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent Infographic
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The Best Libby App Tips And Tricks

December 16th, 2022
The Best Libby App Tips And Tricks from

New to the Libby app from Overdrive? Don’t miss this tutorial showing you how to check out free ebook and audiobooks from your local library.

Sometimes I create content for you, and sometimes I create content for me. This tutorial and podcast episode offered the information I needed to make the switch from the Overdrive platform to Libby.

It is no secret that the topics for our podcast and website often find a way of infiltrating my daily life. For example, one of my favorite podcast episodes we’ve ever done so far was teaching people how to the Storygraph app for those interested in leaving the GoodReads platform.

Hearing from the company’s CEO motivated me to switch from the GoodReads app over to their platform. The transcription from our Storygraph became a written tutorial for new users. The truth is, since that encounter, HUNDREDS of people every month come to the site to use this as a guide for their transition to Storygraph.

My goal is to do this AGAIN, but with a free tool from your local library!

Cue the Jazz Hands!

Today the Libby team is here to help us transition from Overdrive to Libby, learn what makes this public library tool so great, and learn how to borrow and enjoy those eBooks and audiobooks with your library card.

So if you’re struggling to switch from Overdrive to Libby like me, or if you’re looking for fun new ways to use their features, today’s post and podcast are for you.

The Best Libby App Tips And Tricks from

What is the Libby App?

Libby is a free app where you can borrow ebooks, digital audiobooks, and magazines from your public library. You can stream titles with Wi-Fi or mobile data, or download them for offline use and read anytime, anywhere. All you need to get started is a library card.

How to Get Started With the Libby App

If you are just getting started with the Libby App, I wanted to provide the quick instructions on how to get started.

If you are already a user, scroll down for the Super User information that Libby has so kindly provided for our show and site.

  1. Download the Libby app on your device from the app store.
  2. Open the app and find your library. You can search for it by name or zip code.
  3. Sign in to your library account using your library card number and PIN.
  4. Browse the available books, audiobooks, and other materials. You can search by title, author, or subject.
  5. Select the item you want to borrow and tap the “Borrow” button.
  6. The item will be added to your library account and will be available for a certain loan period (usually two weeks). You can view your borrowed items in the “Loans” section of the app.
  7. To start reading or listening to the borrowed item, tap on the item in the “Loans” section and then tap the “Read” or “Listen” button.
  8. When you’re finished with the item, you can return it early by tapping the “Return” button in the “Loans” section. This will make the item available for other users to borrow.

The Best Libby App Tips And Tricks

These questions were answered by the Libby Team- what an incredible honor to share space with their team! Listen to the full episode below or check out the excerpt from today’s transcription below. I encourage you to subscribe to the Book Gang podcast to listen to more episodes like this one. Today’s show notes are located here.

If you find this episode to be helpful, your written reviews are INCREDIBLY HELPFUL to help me grow my new show.

Get to Know the Libby Experts that Answered Today’s Questions:

These three voices also run the podcast Professional Book Nerds, with new episodes that come out every Monday and Thursday.

Joe Skelley is one of the co-hosts of the Professional Book Nerds podcast and has been at Overdrive for five years. He is part of the digital book mobile team which is a truck that goes across the US and Canada that does free stops at libraries and schools and helps people get started with their library.

Emma Dwyer is also one of the co-hosts of OverDrive’s Professional Book Nerds podcast and an avid user of the Libby app. She has been at Overdrive for eight years now in varying roles, and is currently as a product trainer on the Overdrive training team, training our library partners and their staff on how to use Libby and other Overdrive products and services. 

Jill Grunenwald is the creator and the third co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast. She works on OverDrive’s marketing team as a Marketing and Communications Specialist for the North American public library. Her role is to communicate with  library partners to let them know about all the fun new services and features that Libby has to offer. 

This is an excerpt from today’s show. Where necessary, this transcription has been modified for clarity for written context. To reduce visual clutter, we have combined their three voices into one to make this tutorial easier to navigate today.

What is Libby and why are we replacing the Overdrive app?

“I just wanted to start by mentioning that Libby is made with love from us here at Overdrive.

It’s the same wonderful collection you’re already used to and built by the same people who have been taking care of you for a decade now on the Overdrive app.

We decided to build a new app after taking all of the feedback from users so it could be a fresh space.

Libby has all of the same amazing content that you can access in Overdrive, and actually some libraries offer even more types of content in Libby that you can’t access in Overdrive. But now we are working towards the sunset of that flagship app.

Libby is growing and evolving as new readers join and as existing readers make that switch. So still the same company you love, but with a cleaner and hopefully less confusing approach for everyone. “

Landing page for the LIbby app for new users

Regarding changes that we would like to see happen, what is the most effective way to let you know if there’s something that we’d like to implement in the Libby app?

“The first thing is, what’s really cool about Libby that doesn’t exist in Overdrive is you can contact our tech support team directly anytime, anywhere.

And in the same place, you can find help and support; we also have our Suggestion Box. So in the menu, under the help and support section, there’s a button that says Get Some Help. And then, under the Common Solutions section, there is a big button that says Suggestion Box

And you can type through and say, I want to recommend titles to my library. I like this kind of feature added. Or, I find this confusing. You can send all of that feedback through. 

If you think it needs to be done, we recommend submitting that suggestion because if you’re thinking it, someone else is thinking it. And that helps our developers see what they need to prioritize.

Are the catalogs currently identical in Libby and Overdrive with our library systems? 

“Yes, the collections your libraries offer and your digital libraries in Overdrive are the same in the Libby app. 

There are those exceptions. 

You can access more content in some cases using Libby. 

There’s that extra content available, like Kanopy, which is a platform for movies and television shows. There are things like Craftsy, which is hobbies, DIY and other things, and Universal Class, which is continuing education.”

Will my current holds and loans be moving to Libby when I switch? 

“Yes, which is awesome for those of us who keep very long wait lists.

When you log into Libby and sign in with your library card, your hold will be waiting for you on the shelf in Libby, so they’ll be right there for you to okay.”

What about those Overdrive wishlists that we have? How can we transfer them?

“So happy to say that, yes, Libby will prompt you to actually move over your wishlists from Overdrive directly using one of our smart tags.

The first time you get signed in and set up, you’ll get comfortable that first day or so.

And then Libby will send a little notification in the menu that says it looks like you were an Overdrive user. Do you want to bring over your wishlist?

I mean, how easy is that?”

Can I access my Libby app from my computer or laptop? 

“Yes. You can access Libby from a browser on your laptop.

You can go to and do all the same things in the app except downloading or reading offline on your computer.

Everything you’re doing on will sync to the Libby app on your phone or tablet.” 

Can I access Libby on my Android devices? 

“Yes, absolutely.

Libby is available for Apple and Android devices through the App store and Google Play Store.

You can also side-load the app onto a Kindle Fire tablet. (editor’s note: scroll down for more information on this feature)

Additionally, you can listen to your audiobooks via Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Download the Libby app on those devices.

We also have direct integration with Sono speakers. So you can listen in your kitchen while making dinner or anywhere in your house with a speaker if you have one of those.

The app experience is exactly the same if you’re on Apple, or Android, or even if you’re using libby, there’s only a few differences, like downloading.

The Apple version is the same as the Android version.”

When I’m in my car and I’m using your audiobook feature, am I able to download from Libby if I don’t have the internet?

“Absolutely. A lot of people do a lot of traveling with their audiobooks, and that is one thing that is really important to people when they’re doing audiobooks.

Libby’s default is to download all titles specifically when you’re connected to wifi.

So Libby, by default, won’t use your data.

That’s a feature you can turn off.

You can have Libby download pretty much anytime you’re connected to wifi or cellular data.

Still, you can turn off the unit, like you can go into airplane mode, be up in a plane, be in the car on that long road trip, and that book is downloaded onto your device now.

This is why Libby is amazing and the superior experience.

In the Overdrive app, I’m sure many of you who love audiobooks know you could occasionally lose a chunk of your audiobook because it was broken up into multiple files.

With Libby, it’s all one clean, neatly packaged file, so you’ll never lose a part of your audiobook.”

How much storage does the Libby app take up on your phone- where to check

Are you taking up more storage on your device by using Libby? 

“Libby doesn’t take up more storage than the Overdrive app, and Libby has several different settings that you can adjust depending on your download preferences.

The default for Libby is to download all titles when you’re connected to a wifi connection to conserve any cellular data you might be using; if you don’t want to do that, you can again adjust this under settings and you can specify what gets downloaded.

You can say everything, no matter what will be downloaded, you can specify for titles under 20 megabytes, or you can have it download nothing.

You can go in and select what you want, and then specify to download things on wifi only.

That is the default, but you can ensure that that’s enabled, which is a setting I use pretty often.

Easy enough to download when I’ve got a connection and then have it for listening to audiobooks.”

Am I able to rate my books on the Libby app?

“Currently, there is no way to rate titles in Libby, but as we discussed at the beginning of this, our team and I take suggestions and love user feedback.

So go under the Menu, Help, Support, Get Some Help, and then there’s a Suggestion Box, and you can let them know you want to be able to rate books in Libby.”

How do tags work and have you guys witnessed any really cool tagging systems?

“I love tags, and I recognize that they can be a little daunting at first because, coming from Overdrive, you are used to having your history and your wishlist, and that’s it. 

What I’m about to say could be amazing and, also, scary for folks, but I always like to say that the limit to tags is your imagination. 

You can create a tag for, truly, anything. 

I create lists based on interest, so I always like to suggest tags for genres you love. 

If you are a mood reader, having that mystery, that historical fiction or thriller tag is helpful. 

You can truly create whatever you’d like. 

I also like to make ones for narrators I don’t love. So if I see their name again, I’ll likely read this one instead of listening to it. 

One of our teammates actually has a tag for gift-giving. 

Her father-in-law is tough to buy gifts for, but he’ll always read a book. 

So she picks things and pops them in his tag. 

So when shopping season comes around, it takes her five minutes, and she’s like, it’s mainly selfish because then she can spend more time shopping herself. 

Personally, I have a tag for my niece and I pull anything that I think she might like to make my sister’s day a little easier. 

I have a tag specifically for Reagan, and then I text it over to my sister every once in a while and just kind of keep it updated. 

I also have one for cookbooks. 

So I always have that handy if I’m in a recipe slump.”

How do I add my tag when I am wanting to tag a book? 

“Tags are super cool. You can create them either when you’re scrolling through the experience or if you’re in a curated list and you see something and think, “I don’t have a tag for this yet.”

It says Borrow, Play Sample (if it’s an audiobook), and Tag. If you tap on Tag, you see your existing tags or the option to make a new one. Also, the tags all live on your Shelf, so you can also make them from your Shelf.”

Editor’s Note: Don’t forget to tag your “MomAdvice Book Club Books,” if you are reading with me this year.

I did notice that you guys also have some suggestions for tags when you’re first starting. Even something like tagging Young Adult if you’re just getting right into categories and you get more inventive over time as you begin to get more comfortable with utilizing tags?

“Yes, a tag tip for people that are maybe Libby super users or just people that are really into books – you can use a tag to keep better track of things that you want to make a note to come back to or add to your TBR list.

This advice is for super users that are working, their library’s wait lists and are borrowing things all the time. I do that as well, and that can get overwhelming at times, especially if all my holds come in at once or I just have tons of books to read, which is always a good problem!

But something I’ve been relying on recently instead of borrowing something just because I do happen upon it. If it’s available for placing a hold or if I know that’s going to overwhelm me later, I’ve been using a tag to keep better track of things that I want to make a note to come back to, but I’m not ready to take any big action with.

So I tend to get like “tap happy” in Libby, placing lots of holds or borrowing things because they’re all at my fingertips, but I’ve been relying on tags a lot more so that I can not overwhelm myself with things in Libby.”

How to tag books on Libby

If I want to see all the tags together, where am I able to view them? 

“You’ll see all of your tags on your shelf in Libby.

That will show your Loans, Holds, and Tags all on your shelf, but you also have the option to click into your tags and sort through your tags on that shelf page.”

What are some unique accessibility features with Libby? 

“We’re always trying to improve and refine accessibility in Libby, and we’ve made some big improvements over the last couple of years. We do quite a bit of user testing on that accessibility to get feedback from real users with those accessibility needs. 

Libby supports screen readers, keyboard navigation, voice control, and other assistive technologies. Libby Read From Here is an ebook reading mode tailored to screen readers. Voiceover or Talk-Back Mode reads the text of the books aloud. 

You can use the keyboard to tap around Libby’s interface; we have keyboard shortcuts for the e-reader and audio player to make accessing each feature and button easier. 

We also have configurable appearance settings for ebook pages, including tech scale, background page, color, and book design. 

The custom book design lets you choose a font line spacing and other settings to really personalize your reading experience. 

For those who want to personalize their audiobook experience, there are playback speed controls for audiobook speed ranging from half the Normal Speed of the audiobook to three times the Normal Speed. 

And then Dark Mode supports operating systems or browsers that provide that option. It can be based on your phone settings as well. 

If you have your phone set to Dark Mode, Libby will automatically update to be in Dark Mode as well.”

You have a dial at the bottom of your audiobook. Is that something special about Libby and what does this style do for us? 

“I think there is an accessibility element to it. In your audiobook player, up at the top, you have your overall progress, and then at the bottom, of course, you’ve got those Play and Pause buttons. And then that, that bar underneath that has those little ticks will allow you to skip around. So there are dark, bold marks for each chapter or at a major page break.

It will also show you, at the bottom, where your notes and highlights are if you’ve made notes and highlights in the audiobook. So it is overall a slider.”

When are we going to be able to recommend our books to Libby? 

“That’s the top question that we receive. Truly, we are developing a fresh solution for this feature in Libby, and we look forward to sharing more soon.

I can’t give you a solid answer, but it is coming in 2023.

We want to ensure we’ve got all those major features that everyone is looking for before the Overdrive app is sunset.

It will involve the tagging system, so it will act a little differently than what you’re used to in Overdrive, but it will have the same end product.

But for now, you can use Libby for your reading happiness and use the Overdrive app to recommend those titles while it still exists.

Or you can go to your library’s Overdrive website. Hopefully, we’ll have that new solution up and running for all of you soon.”

When are we going to be evicted from Overdrive?

“That’s funny!

The plan is to discontinue the Overdrive app in 2023. But don’t panic – we want to ensure that everyone has lots of time to prepare.

That’s why we’ve been talking about it a lot in 2022, giving people time to use both and get comfortable.

And then, certainly, knowing that we’re not going to discontinue that Overdrive app until some of those key features we’ve talked about are offered in Libby or there’s a solution to them in Libby.

It’s not just going to vanish without any notice, so keep an eye out on Overdrive social media.”

If we want to get some additional training or support on using the app, where would we access that? 

“I am so excited to help encourage and facilitate folks making the switch. 

I host monthly getting started sessions for new and transitioning users. It’s about an hour, and we will take you through the basics. 

We point out what’s different from Overdrive to Libby, and we’ll be doing that through 2023. 

I do them with my teammate Marissa, and she is, TRULY, the Libby extraordinaire. 

She’ll take you through everything you need to know, and we’ll answer your questions live. 

We’ve got a lot of amazing people. 

You’ll get a chance to have your questions answered, get support and see what Libby’s all about. 

I would also shout out our help site. We have a specific tab called Switching from the Overdrive app. It’s right up at the top of the page. You can’t miss it!

It will cover everything we cover, anything you’re looking for. 

All of our monthly sessions are recorded. So even if you can’t attend live, we still encourage you to register to receive that recording in your inbox. The help site can be found HERE.

Questions from the MomAdvice Book Club Members

Thank you to our readers for these wonderful questions that were asked for our podcast today. These will be helpful to so many!

How to switch to dark mode on Libby

What’s the best way to manage multiple library cards on Libby?

All your library cards live in your Menu right in the center under your Libraries. 

You can tap and see all the library cards you have; tapping on the name will also switch your active libraries. 

So it’s easy to switch back and forth between all the libraries and cards you have; even with multiple library cards, all of your loans and holds live on one shared shelf. 

No matter where you check a book out, they’ll all be on the same shelf. 

And when you run a Search, you can also tap the name of the library under the Search Field and after you tap the name of your library, you’ll see all of your libraries and can easily switch between them that way. 

When you search for a book and look at the titles details list, if you tap on the little library icon next to the titles, it will show you availability at all of your libraries.

How do you put Libby on a Kindle Fire and a Kid’s Fire Tablet?

We do have some step-by-step instructions to add Libby to Kindle Fire tablets. It is a side-load because we are still waiting for Libby to be added to the Kindle Fire app store.

That’s entirely on Amazon’s approval.

It’s a super simple step-by-step process that walks you through downloading the APK files and adding them, following the steps to your tablet.

And then Libby will function the same way on an Android device. You can find the tutorial HERE.”

How do I put Libby audiobooks on my Apple Watch to listen to without my phone nearby? 

“This is a really wonderful question.

Currently, there is not a way to play audiobooks through your Apple Watch. Still, we have heard this request, especially as the popularity of Apple watches has exploded over recent years.

And so this is a request that our Libby development team is aware of and has received. So certainly keep an eye out for future developments on the Apple Watch.

Is there a way to sync my Goodreads account to my Wishlist on Libby? 

You can export your tags from Libby into Goodreads, but there is no way to bring Goodreads into Libby.

So that is an excellent suggestion and opportunity to use our Suggestion Box and give feedback if that’s something you want to see.”

How do you guys feel about the loophole of putting your Kindle in airplane mode to keep library books from returning?

“Kindle fulfillment is tricky. When you borrow a book from your library and use the, “Send to Kindle,” feature which I have to say is the US only, Amazon fulfills it.

So that’s where it breaks from Libby or Overdrive and switches to Amazon’s fulfillment.

On our end in Libby, the app has internal timers to keep everyone honest and on or offline; it doesn’t matter if you put your device into airplane mode or change the date, Libby knows. And it keeps us honest, on or offline, with copyright policies.

What Amazon does is totally up to them, but we’re respecting those publisher agreements and copyrights, in general.”

Thank you to the Libby team for their generosity with our community! To see the show notes for this podcast today, head HERE!

To help fund the work at MomAdvice, consider joining our Patreon Book Club for our exclusive buzzy books podcast (FULLY BOOKED), author interviews, and music playlists to enhance your reading experiences. To learn head to the Patreon Book Gang! The funding helps us to create quality shows and tutorials like the one you have read today.

Looking for more ways to enhance your reading life? Check out these articles!

Join the 2023 MomAdvice Book Club (and read all year with me!)

How to Use Scribd for Your Reading Life from

Learn how to use the Scribd App (when the library holds get too long)

Learn how to get a free book every dang month

Get the Most Out of the Libby App (Podcast)

December 16th, 2022
Get the Most Out of the Libby App Podcast from

The Libby team is HERE to help us transition from Overdrive to Libby. Learn what makes this public library app so great and how to borrow and enjoy ebooks and audiobooks with your library card.

Are you struggling to make the switch from Overdrive to Libby? As many of you know our time with Overdrive will come to an end in 2023. As I make the switch myself, I thought it would be fun to bring you along on this journey and learn how to load up our Kindle in new ways.

Today I am honored to share an episode with the Libby team on our show.

The Professional Book Nerds (Joe, Emma, and Jill) are this week’s tour guide You may recognize their from their own podcast where work as staff librarians and offer book recommendations.

They love discussing books with their listeners and sharing what you can check out from your local public libraries and school systems, AND they love talking about what makes the Libby app so unique.

Today’s episode walks you through navigating this reading app, the best way to transition our reading history from Overdrive, and what updates are in progress.

Today’s episode includes listener questions that were submitted before taping.

Libby answers these questions (and more) in today’s episode:

  • How to use their new tagging system and some clever tagging categories you might not have explored.
  • Learn the new features for listening to audiobooks and how to download them (without taking up all your phone storage)
  • Discover the accessibility features they offer for ebook readers to make reading easier for ALL readers.

Check out Today’s Tutorial for the Libby App & Switch from Overdrive- Don’t Miss This Reading Guide

Meet our Libby Guests:

Joe Skelley is one of the co-hosts of the Professional Book Nerds podcast and has been at Overdrive for five years. He is part of the digital book mobile team which is a truck that goes across the US and Canada that does free stops at libraries and schools and helps people get started with their library.

Emma Dwyer is also one of the co-hosts of OverDrive’s Professional Book Nerds podcast and an avid user of the Libby app. She has been at Overdrive for eight years now in varying roles, and is currently as a product trainer on the Overdrive training team, training our library partners and their staff on how to use Libby and other Overdrive products and services. 

Jill Grunenwald is the creator and the third co-host of the Professional Book Nerds podcast. She works on OverDrive’s marketing team as a Marketing and Communications Specialist for the North American public library. Her role is to communicate with  library partners to let them know about all the fun new services and features that Libby has to offer. 

Get the Most Out of the Libby App (Podcast)

Listen to Book Gang below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

Book Gang listeners, if you love our commercial-free podcast, please consider supporting me on Patreon! As a patron, you’ll receive a monthly “FULLY BOOKED” show, featuring the latest in buzzy books reviews in newsletter and podcast format, co-hosted with @getbookedwithlarry.  You’ll also get an exclusive monthly author interview and a book club music playlist for the MomAdvice Book Club. Membership is just $5 per month, or you can pre-pay to save 10%.

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A Psalm for the Wild-Built by Becky Chambers

2023 MomAdvice Book Club Announcement Podcast Episode

Check Out the 2023 MomAdvice Book Club List

This Boy We Made by Taylor Harris

Winter Atmospheric Reads- My Guest Spot on the Professional Book Nerds Podcast

Professional Book Nerds Libby Podcast Episode

You can find Libby Help directly in the app or visit this help link.

You can register for the monthly Getting Started sessions

You can find steps for sideloading Libby on your Kindle Fire

A Crown of Ivy and Glass by Claire LaGrand

The Secret History by Donna Tart

Wicked Little Things by Justin Arnold

Connect With Us:

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Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

The Professional Book Nerds Website

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Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

Looking for more great reading resources? Don’t miss these posts!

Join the 2023 MomAdvice Book Club

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What is Amazon First Reads?

Learn how to get free books through the Kindle First Reads program

Amazon First Reads for December (Get Your FREE Book)

December 6th, 2022
Amazon First Reads for December (Get Your FREE Book) from

Prime members shouldn’t miss access to this FREE Amazon First Reads program. Learn how to cash in on your free book selection for December.

Can you believe it is already time to select our next book? I had the BEST time gathering the reviews for this month’s offerings.

Amazon First Reads: The Prime Reading Perk I Love For My Reading Life

For my new readers, each month you have access to a free Kindle book just for being a Prime member.

If you aren’t familiar with how this program works, head to this post that shares everything you wanted to know about the Amazon First Reads program (formerly the Kindle First program).

Each month I put together this post that is intended to make selection easierThese posts share the names of each selection, a small blurb, critical reviews, reader feedback, and the ratings (so far) on the GoodReads app.

I will also tell you which book I chose so don’t forget to scroll to the end on this month’s post!

Everything You Wanted to Know About Amazon First Reads

Make sure that when you add these to your cart, it shows the BUY IT NOW FOR FREE!

If it does not, you are not signed into your family’s Prime account.


Amazon First Reads for December (Get Your FREE Book)

Select one FREE Amazon First Reads book for December. Follow today's post's instructions to ensure your free book is activated.


This month was REALLY tough. It was a toss up between Five Winters & The Blue Bar!

After reading the phenomenal feed back on The Blue Bar, it sounded like the perfect option to armchair travel. I can’t recall a book set in Mumbai that I’ve read recently.

As I’m in the mood for something fast-paced to meet my reading goals, this sounds like the perfect pick for me.

SOUND OFF: Have you read any of this month’s selections? Tell me what you plan to pick this month!


The 2023 MomAdvice Book Club Selections Are Announced

December 1st, 2022
The Best 2023 Book Club Book Selections Are Announced on

Discover the 2023 MomAdvice Book Club Books I have curated for our reading year. These fifteen selections will yield dynamic discussions for any group.

It is finally time to turn this stack around! Today I get to reveal our 2023 book club selections for our best reading year ever.

I have learned so much from leading this club over the years, and this year, I believe, is our best one yet. While we still have a few books with challenging themes, this year’s stack offers more life-affirming and heartwarming stories than any other year.

We have joyful traditions, meaningful coming-of-age stories, found families, and found loves.

We also have some dynamic discussions in store around challenging topics like the disparities in our medical system, reproductive rights, body autonomy, and disability awareness.

As I’ve learned so much through this selection process, I am confident that you will also walk away with a new understanding of the world.

What is the MomAdvice Book Club?

The MomAdvice Book Club is a carefully curated book club year designed with busy budget-minded readers in mind.

Each year I select twelve book club books for discussion, so you can make necessary library hold requests for materials early or to take advantage of our partnered bookshop savings.

Why Should You Join This Book Club?

The goal of my book club is to sample a wide variety of books that I feel will offer dynamic discussions, give us a new viewpoint on the world (and the people in it), and introduce you to your new favorite author (that you may have never heard of before).

This year’s stack includes literary fiction, memoir, historical fiction, contemporary fiction, women’s fiction mystery, and young adult.

Where Do Book Club Chats Happen?

First, request to join the MomAdvice Book Club on Facebook.

The Book Club Chat is held on the last Friday (of the month) at 8 PM EST. All events for the year will be posted by January 1st.

Once you RSVP to an event, Facebook will send you the reminders.

As so many readers have Zoom fatigue, we do a typed chat. I provide the typical book club discussion with questions about the book, but I also supply 5-7 quotable news articles and facts to round out that chat.

Discussion questions are posted throughout the event and you can hop on at any time during the evening (or when you finish that book) to answer the questions at a time that is convenient for you.

All events (starting by January 1st) will be listed under the Events tab of our group. Click to RSVP on any (or all) events.

What New Book Club Features Can I Access in the MomAdvice Patreon?

Joining the Patreon group is just FIVE DOLLARS A MONTH or you can pre-pay for a year for a ten percent savings.. Your membership includes MORE perks than EVER. Most of all, your dollars fund our book club so we can continue to expand your reader perks and help this small business grow.

Without our patrons, this group would not be possible. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Let’s discuss the new benefits offered for 2023!

The Best 2023 Book Club Book Selections Are Announced on

Monthly in-depth video interviews with each of our chosen authors– We have a commitment from 11 authors this years to participate in our EXCLUSIVE Author Interview Series. I spend an hour recording an interview with each of our authors discussing their books from start to finish.

This will GREATLY enhance your connection to each of these books, and they have become a patron favorite. These are posted on the fifteenth of every month, so you have two weeks to watch them before our discussion.

These conversations are recorded in video AND audio format so you can access whichever format works best with your reading month.

Exclusive Book Club Playlists- Each month you receive a curated music playlist around each of our book’s themes.

I take the books chapter-by-chapter to tell their story through music. It has become one of our patron’s most special perks and an excellent way to use my background in music to immerse us further in these selections.

Exclusive Bookstore Coupon Discounts- Our Fables Bookstore partnership will give Patreon members 15% off ALL the book club selections for our year. This can be applied to paperback and hardback selections from our 2023 year.

Take advantage of this discount savings to make your holiday shopping easy AND affordable. You will find the coupon code loaded in your account today.

Three Bonus Selections- This year we will offer three bonus selections (perks listed below) with exclusive interactive live discussions around the book’s themes. I hope to form deeper friendships and a stronger sense of community around these fun reads that beg to be read with a buddy.

The FULLY BOOKED Podcast & Newsletter– Each month we offer a 37-page reading guide with reviews on all the buzziest books, book adaptation news, and what upcoming releases will hit store shelves.

This is co-hosted with my well-read co-host (Larry), who reads hundreds of books and shares his top recommendations.

Print or screenshot the monthly written guide for your library day AND listen to a podcast with our uncensored opinions on the books coming out.

The Best Book Shirts for a Book Club

Don’t Forget to Grab Your Grown-Up “Book-It Pin” Shirts

This cult-classic merchandise is what I call our “Grown-Up Book-It Pin.”

Not only do our readers love it, but our writers love it too.

These buttery soft shirts, durable totes, and generously shaped coffee mugs are bought over and over again by repeat customers.

Sizing is true to size and these do not shrink. We stand behind the quality of our supplier and the durability of these designs.

These fundraiser shirts help offset the numerous expenses of running a book club of this size. All funds raised will go towards our administrative expenses, software, and equipment.

Products Available This Year:

Coffee Mug With All Fifteen Books

Coffee Mug With The Classic Dozen Books

Library Tote With Fifteen Books

Library Tote With The Classic Dozen Books

Book Shirts (All Styles Available) With Fifteen Books

Book Shirts (All Styles Available) With Twelve Books

Shop the whole rest of the collection HERE

Listen to Today’s Announcement on the Book Gang Podcast

You can listen to today’s Book Gang episode below to get the behind-the-scenes scoop on what I’m offering for your stack this year. If you are planning to join in on the fun, this episode is essential to understand how our club works and why I have chosen these books, in particular, for you.

Thank you to my dear friend AND excellent host, Meagan Francis. Be sure to check out The Mother of Reinvention, a beautifully cultivated community and podcast for women in a new season of rediscovery.

Listen to the Book Gang Podcast Below or Stream Wherever You Get Your Shows:

The 2023 MomAdvice Book Club Books

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Check out our past book club books:

Check out our 2022 selections

2021 MomAdvice Book Club Selections

Check out our 2021 Selections

Join in on the MomAdvice Book Club HERE! Looking for book ideas? Check out our entire Book section of the site!

You can also sign up for the MomAdvice Daily Book Deals Newsletter with the latest book news!

The Best 2023 Book Club Book Selections Are Announced

Take a Reading Challenge for a Better Reading Year

November 18th, 2022
Take a Reading Challenge for a Better Reading Year

Improve your reading habits by committing to reading in your first reading challenge this year. Book Girls’ Guide share what they’ve learned from creating their challenge prompts and what advice they would give if you want to DIY a challenge of your own.

Today we discuss their book lists and how they can help you have a more diverse reading experience. These great challenges can not only teach you about the world, but also help you read more books a week.

Get their reader’s favorite books for reading around the world and through the decades.

Book lovers, let’s read more books this year with these reading lists and advice from Melissa and Angela.

Take a Reading Challenge for a Better Reading Year

Listen below or listen on your favorite podcast listening platform!

Mentioned in this episode:

One Hundred Years of Lenni and Margot by Marianne Cronin

Book Gang on Facebook

November Book Discussion

Intelligent Change Journal

Okay Fine, I’m Grateful Journal

The Book Girls’ Guide

The Book Girls’ Guide Facebook Group

Email Sign Up

A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea by Melissa Fleming

The Secret Life of Albert Enwhistle by Matt Cain

The Magnificent Lives of Marjorie Post by Allison Pataki

The Incredible Winston Browne by Sean Dietrich

Fountains of Silence by Ruta Sepetys

I Must Betray You by Ruta Sepetys

Salt to the Sea by Ruta Sepetys

Connect With Us:

Amy’s Website-

Amy is @momadvice on Instagram

The Book Girls’ Guide

The Book Girls’ Guide Facebook Group

Email Sign Up

Book Gang T-Shirts and Merchandise

Join the Book Gang Patreon

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores

This post contains affiliate links.

Shop the above (Amazon) links or shop through my new MomAdvice Book Gang Bookshop Page!! They pay a 10% commission on every sale and give a matching 10% to independent bookstores