Summer Book List :: Light Reads for Busy Moms


I used to be that annoying friend who would say, “Oh, I read that,” whenever someone brought up a new book. My commutes to work and child-free nights and weekends gave me much more time to devour good books. Now, I can’t muster the energy for anything more than a scroll through my Facebook newsfeed before bedtime. 

When I do manage to pick up a book, it’s a light read, if not in subject, than in style. Young Adult (YA) novels are my jam, as are other quick reads. If becoming a busy mom has put you on the same reading level as me, then check out some of these fantastic books that will feed your brain without exhausting it. Feel free to say, “I read that!” in the comments, and let me know what other books you’re loving right now.

summertime light reading suggestions

The Age of Miracles 

By Karen Thompson Walker

Tween-hood is hard enough without having to come of age during the slow end of the world (i.e. an apocalypse), which is exactly what Julia faces in this creative and stunning novel. 

light summer reading suggestions

Memoirs of an Imaginary Friend

By Matthew Dicks

Budo, the imaginary friend of a boy with autism, narrates this unique and endearing story. I promise you, when one of your kids introduces you to his or her imaginary friend, you will think back fondly to this book.

light summer reading suggestionsThe Nightingale: A Novel

By Kristin Hannah

This one tugs on your heart strings and forces you to think about what you’d do if faced with the same grave situations that these two sisters endure in France during World War II. It’s a fast read because you won’t be able to put it down. 

light summertime reading suggestionsEverything, Everything 

By Nicola Yoon

Madeline has a rare disease that makes her allergic to everything. She stays home with her mother and nurse, but that doesn’t stop her from falling in love with her new next door neighbor. The permanently teenage part of your heart will flutter over the description of her love interest. What will we do for love? A must read.  

light summer reading suggestions

Eleanor & Park

By Rainbow Rowell 

This teenage love story takes place in the 1980s between two misfits who find love on the school bus and triumph over darkness at home. You’ll enjoy the ’80s references. You’ll root for these two to make it together, and you’ll wish Rowell would write an update, so you can see how they faired as adults. 

light summer reading suggestionsThe Arrangement: A Novel

By Sarah Dunn 

Follow Lucy and Owen as they trade in their too comfortable suburban marriage for the risks and adventure of an open marriage, no questions asked. After their six month trial period, what do they decide to do? You won’t want to wait to find out.  

light summer reading suggestionsOn the Island 

By Tracey Garvis Graves

If you have a fear of plane crashes, power through the opening chapters because discovering how 30 year old Anna and her student, 16 year old TJ, learn to survive and fall in love on a deserted island is totally worth it. 

light summer reading suggestions

Barely Breathing Series

By Rebecca Donovan

In this three part series, readers take an emotionally intense journey with 16 year old Emma Thomas who endures unspeakable physical and emotional abuse and tries to cover it up, until Evan Matthew notices and doesn’t let her hide anymore. You will alternate between wanting to hug Emma and shake some sense into her, and you will definitely cry, but the characters will stick with you, making it a worthwhile journey.

light summer reading suggestions But Did You Die?: Setting the Parenting Bar Low

By Various authors

The 5th installment in the “I Just Want to Pee Alone” series offers hilarious and relatable stories from funny parents whose work you’re probably already familiar from their articles on the world wide web. The beauty of this book is that it’s a collection of short stories, making it super easy to put down and pick up at your convenience.  
light summer reading suggestions

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (and Other Concerns)

By Mindy Kaling

You probably know writer and actress Mindy Kaling from her roles in “The Office” and “The Mindy Project,” so you won’t be disappointed by this funny lady’s memoir. She’s engaging and charming as she shares insightful personal stories and observations on friendship, love, and work.

light summer reading suggestionsBossypants 

By Tina Fey

Fey writes this memoir with her trademark wit and candidness. You’ll get a behind the scenes peek at “Saturday Night Live” and “30 Rock,” as well as useful insights on how to come into one’s own as a successful woman.
light summer reading suggestions

The Big Fat Activity Book for Pregnant People

By Jordan Reid and Erin Williams 

Even if you’re not pregnant, flipping through this book will make you chuckle as you recall the wild journey that is pregnancy and new motherhood. With irreverent wit and smart illustrations, the book is a mixture of commentary about the woes of pregnancy and newborns and funny activities like word finds, mad libs, and mazes. 

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Rebecca is the former Managing Editor for both Mid-Peninsula Moms Blog and San Francisco Moms Blog. She and her husband moved to San Francisco from the East Coast in 2008 and love raising their two children in the city. Rebecca worked for two Fortune 500 companies in a variety of HR roles before surprising everyone, including herself, and leaving her job to stay home with her kids. She's written for a variety of online parenting publications including Scary Mommy, Motherly, and YourTango, but promises that she can talk about non-parenting stuff in real life. Follow her on social media at @rlang165 and on


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