The Virtual Librarian Experience: Easy to Digest Books For Busy Moms

The MomAdviceVirtual Librarian (2)

Moms get busy and reading time ends up getting put on the backburner as so many of us struggle to keep with our kids, running a home, and jobs. I remember when I came to the revelation just a few years ago that I missed my favorite hobby and made a resolution to make reading a priority again in my life. I am so glad I renewed my commitment to get reading again and I am hoping that this series is inspiring to you so that you can find some new books for your stack. My hope is one of these readers sounds just like you and you will want to try out a few of the recommendations of your own.

If you would like me to pick some books for you, just fill out this quick questionnaire and submit it. I will send you an email when your post is live to let you know my favorite picks for you! You can also leave comments on books you would recommend for this reader too in our comment section below!


Reader Profile



What is Your Favorite Book Genre?


Who Are Your Favorite Authors?

Any who write well.

Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

What is Your Favorite Book of All-Time? 

Little Women by Louisa M. Alcott

What Do You Look for In a Book?

It must be fast-paced. 

Anything else I should know?

Right now, easier/quicker engrossing reads are what I am looking for! Honestly, I have been reading lots of YA books lately, but “grown-up” books are good, too!

The MomAdviceVirtual Librarian (2)

The Virtual Librarian Selects…

Easy and engrossing books are something many people look for especially in these dreary winter months when you need a quick pick-me-up. I love YA books and I also love to read lighter books in between heavier selections so I don’t get too bogged down with my reading. The first recommendation I would make for someone like AnneMarie is that she explore the world of audiobooks. Since I know that she happens to be a local, my favorite resource right now for audiobooks is through hoopla which is connected with our library. You can check up to ten out over the course of a month and this can be a great way to get in a easy read rather effortlessly between running kids and doing household chores! 

I love YA, but thought it might be fun to pick some books that are out of that genre, but easily as engrossing!

Here are my top selections for AnneMarie based on her reading profile:

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

Arranged by Catherine McKenzie

I know that AnneMarie will love this deliciously fast-paced chick-lit book because I count it among my absolute favorites in this genre. I admit that the premise sounds a little cheesy, but once I really fell in love with this one and think she will too.

Anne Blythe seems to have everything. She has sold her first book, has a fabulous life, and fabulous friends. When it comes to being lucky in love though, she can’t seem to ever find the right guy. novel. After her best friend announces her engagement and her latest relationship ends, she decides to take a risk and contact a dating service in hopes of finding the perfect match. Upon her first appointment with the dating service though, she realizes that it is not a dating service at all, but a matchmaking service for an arranged marriage.

Once she starts the process, there is no turning back and Anne finds herself traveling to a Mexican resort where she will meet and marry (all in the same weekend) her “perfect,” guy.

This book has great twists and turns that you will really enjoy and can be devoured in a single day making it a fantastic reading escape for AnneMarie! 

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Necessary Lies by Diane Chamberlain

Diane Chamberlain is one of those authors that I always recommend when people are looking for something quick and a book that is easy to fall into. Necessary Lies is the first historical fiction book I have read by her and one of her meatier novels! 

Necessary Lies is one of those books you just want to share with a book club because it lends itself to such a great discussion on what role our government should play (if any)  in our lives when they happen to be the system our families need to rely on in financial struggles. I know AnneMarie loves a good political discussion so that is why I am recommending it for her. 

Chamberlain weaves a fictional story about the very real North Carolina’s Eugenics Sterilization Program that was in effect from 1929 to 1975. In this story, 15-year-old Ivy Hart, her mentally slow 17-year-old sister, and young nephew “Baby” William all live with their grandmother who is in failing health. Jane Forrester becomes Ivy’s family’s social worker and she encounters the state program that seeks to sterilize “mental defectives,” among others with supposedly undesirable characteristics. Through every choice she makes from then on, Jane triggers an inescapable series of events that thrusts everything either she or Ivy ever held to be true into a harsh light, binding them together in ways they do not immediately comprehend or appreciate.

Although I felt this one had a slower build for me, it was worth powering through for the incredible discussion and the endearing characters that are told through this story.  I just can’t stop thinking about this one! If you love this book, be sure to check out her prequel!


The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion

I’m hoping that AnneMarie hasn’t tackled this one yet because I can’t recommend this one enough for an unusually fun & sweet love story.  I just know if she started this one, she couldn’t stop! 

Don Tillman, professor of genetics, has never been on a second date. He is a man who can count all his friends on the fingers of one hand, whose lifelong difficulty with social rituals has convinced him that he is simply not wired for romance. So when an acquaintance informs him that he would make a “wonderful” husband, his first reaction is shock. Yet he must concede to the statistical probability that there is someone for everyone, and he embarks upon The Wife Project. In the orderly, evidence-based manner with which he approaches all things, Don sets out to find the perfect partner. She will be punctual and logical—most definitely not a barmaid, a smoker, a drinker, or a late-arriver.

Yet Rosie Jarman is all these things. She is also beguiling, fiery, intelligent—and on a quest of her own. She is looking for her biological father, a search that a certain DNA expert might be able to help her with. Don’s Wife Project takes a back burner to the Father Project and an unlikely relationship blooms, forcing the scientifically minded geneticist to confront the spontaneous whirlwind that is Rosie—and the realization that love is not always what looks good on paper.

I fell in love with Don and found myself laughing out loud often at so many of the scenes in this one. I wish the ending had not felt so rushed and I did have a hard time figuring out The Father Project results (told from Don’s perspective), but I adored this book anyway! This was a great summer read!

Did you read the sequel to this one? I’m not seeing great reviews on it so I’m on the fence if I want to read it or not! Let me know!

Tell the Wolves I'm Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt

The story is set in 1987. June Elbus is at the tender age of fourteen and her uncle (and best friend), a renowned painter has passed away from AIDS. At the time, it is still an illness that few people understand and there is much shame and secrecy about Finn’s death.

At Finn’s funeral though, June notices a strange man lingering just beyond the crowd. A few days after the funeral, June receives a package that has a note from a man named Toby, who claims to be a friend of Finn’s. He sends to her Finn’s teapot, a treasured item that June has always loved, and says that he woud like to meet with her.
An unlikely friendship is forged, but it is a secret friendship that threatens her family in unlikely ways.
This book is so beautiful it makes your heart hurt and pitch-perfect. Brunt writes the angst and emotions of a teenage girl in an achingly beautiful way that will remind you of your own youth.It is a really beautiful coming-of-age story that I think AnneMarie will really appreciate. I also though this one moved at a good pace so it will easily grab her attention. 

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

Since I know AnneMarie loves classics, I am going to add one classic to today’s book selections because this one is such a readable and enjoyable classic. 

This book was one of the most unbelievably beautiful, heart-wrenching, unexpectedly laugh-out-loud funny in portions, make me weep in others, and heartwarming books that I have read in my life.The story is about Mary Frances Nolan (also known as Francie) and she shares the story of her life from the tender age of eleven until she turns sixteen.

Growing up as a poor girl in Brooklyn, she shares the story of the survival that they must go through to keep food on the table and the difficulties of family life when ends just don’t meet. With a mother who is doing the best she can to keep their family afloat and an unreliable, but loving father who works as a singing waiter and takes to drinking at night to cope with the realities of his life, the family lives in a tiny flat in Brooklyn where they try to make the most on the very least.

Francie is forced to be older than she is from the very beginning of her life. Often saddled with the task of bartering at the grocery store, figuring out a way to get into a better school so she can get her education, and made to get jobs to help with the family finances or assist her mother on jobs, you can’t help but admire Francie’s resourcefulness throughout the book.

The Christmas scenes, the things that the children treasured the most, the tin can filling with pennies of earnings that would later feed them, the diary entries carefully edited because of her mother who didn’t want Francie writing about her father’s alcoholism, the impractical gifts that the children gave to each other (and their mother let them) only to discover their mother was right, those feelings of first love- all beautifully captured in prose that held me and wouldn’t let me go.

While I can’t say that there is a definite plot to the story, the book is told almost in short story format sharing the daily trials and tribulations of growing up in a poor family, it really did not need a focused plot because the writing was so beautiful. Since it is written in this format, I think AnneMarie will really enjoy it since it can be read in small batches like a short story collection. 

I would say that it mainly focused on the self-discovery that Francie makes about herself and about her parents as she becomes more aware of what is happening around her and as the responsibilities later shift to Francie’s shoulders when she struggles with wanting to be an adult and support the family, but also desires to get an education.

No words can describe what a treasure this book is to read. Despite being written so long ago, the themes are still so current- the need to keep up with one’s reputation, the importance of hard work and honesty in life, the discovery that money isn’t everything, but that it does make it easier when you don’t have to focus on it, and the importance of loyalty to your family.

What would you pick out for AnneMarie based on her preferences? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!

This post contains affiliate links. I only recommend what I love though! 


Published January 21, 2016 by:

Amy Allen Clark is the founder of You can read all about her here.

comments powered by Disqus