Recent Reads Guide 2.0

More great, current books. Check out these reviews to find new authors and fantastic books for your TBR pile.

Find your next book with this list of books recently read by Rebecca. Most of these choices were published in the last year. Each one is tagged with similar books, movies, or themes, so you can easily find a book you’ll love.

Happy reading.


The Choices We Make by Karma Brown = My Sister’s Keeper x Baby Mama

The Choices We Make by Karma Brown

Hannah spends years trying to conceive as she watches her best friend, Kate, raise two little girls. Hannah runs out of possibilities and learns from her doctor that she will never carry and birth her own child. Kate wants to resolve Hannah’s heartache by becoming a surrogate, but no one knows what the gain will cost.

The Mars Room by Rachel Kushner =Orange is the new black x Girl, Interrupted

The Mars Room by Rachel KushnerRomy Hall is facing two life sentences in a California women’s correctional facility. The why and the how, and indeed everything outside of prison, stop mattering to Romy. Everything except her little boy on the outside. She’s quickly part of the hustle to get hold of any connection to the world in hopes of gaining information, and she has her sights set on the GED teacher.

The Merry Spinster: Tales of Everyday Horror By Mallory Ortberg = Cinderella x King Lear

The Merry Spinster by Mallory OrtbergHow much ownership can the mermaid and the prince, two strangers, pretend to have over each other? What would happen if Beauty hadn’t fallen in love with the Beast? In the Merry Spinster, you’ll find reworked tales from Grimm brothers and Hans Christian Andersen, but also unexpected choices like The Velveteen Rabbit, all looked at in the light of the 21st Century.

You Think It, I’ll Say It by Curtis Sittenfeld = Mid-life crisis x 2018

You think it, I'll Say it by Curtis Sittenfeld

You Think It, I’ll Say It is a collection of short stories that try to make sense of adulting, gender, and feminism in the Trump Era. In the title-inspiring short story, Julie bares her soul and socially-judgmental mind at every neighborhood party and soccer game to fellow school parent, Graham, to a disastrous ending.


One Day You’ll Thank Me: Lessons from an Unexpected Fatherhood By David McGlynn = David Sedaris x Dennis the Menace

On Day You'll Thank Me by David McGlynnDavid and Katherine are parents of two boys that won’t stay in bed and color on the couch (well, somebody did but nobody’s speaking up as to who). When the boys get older, they forge the muddy pre-adolescent waters of swearing, sports, and human biology. This collection of unabashedly truthful essays on family and parenting will make you laugh out loud and then maybe cry a little bit.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood By Trevor Noah = Last Comic Standing x Long Walk to Freedom

Born a Crime by Trevor NoahHe cannot walk next to his mother on the street. There’s no spot on the playground that belongs to kids that look like him. In the divided South African landscape, Trevor Noah, current host of The Daily show, was rejected from the worlds of his black Xhosa mother and white Swiss father.  Trevor’s only option is to build his own place in the world through language, comedy, and crime.

Where the Past Begins by Amy Tan = On Writing by Stephen King x The Valley of Amazement

Where the Past Begins by Amy TanAmy Tan, acclaimed author of The Joy Luck Club, delves into her own childhood and presents readers with the true stories that inspired her character’s mishaps and heartbreaks. Photographs and drawings paint a rich portrait of Tan as a writer, but it is her essays and experimental writings that highlight the complicated nature of being a human.

YA Fiction

Children of Blood and Bone By Tomi Adeyemi = Harry Potter x The Power

children of blood and bone by Tomi AdeyemiOrïsha is stripped of its magic and the royal family intends to keep it that way. Zélie, and the other decedents of maji are heavy taxed or enslaved. Then, a princess finds a sacred scroll and opens her eyes to her father’s violence. When she is saved by Zélie, the scroll ignites Zélie’s powers, setting off a chain reaction that will shape the kingdom and its inhabitants forever.

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban By J.K. Rowling & Illustrated by Jim Kay = writing x drawing

Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. RowlingHarry is eager to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, but when Sirius Black escapes from Azkaban, the wizard’s prison, no one will tell Harry why the Ministry of Magic expects that Sirius’ first move will be to find Harry. This illustrated edition by Jim Kay will show you Hogwarts as you’ve never seen it before, even in your imagination.

Salt to the Sea By Ruta Sepetys = The Book Thief x Titanic

Salt to the Sea by Ruta SepetysThere’s no refuge left in East Prussia during WWII. Not the city. Not in the countryside. Joana and a group of others fleeing the violence make for the Baltic Sea. They secure a spot on a ship, but the approaching true tragedy, one historians will later compare with the Titanic, is something no one can stop. Salt to the Sea is the 2018 Fox Cities Reads choice.

Let us know in the comments what book you decided on or what genre you’d like to see more of.

You can also check out this book list from earlier this year: Find your next book with our Recent Reads Guide

///You can purchase these titles and more from our affiliate partner, A portion of your purchase will support Conquer Books. supports independent bookstores.///


Keep In Touch

Stay up to date with book news, author updates, writing tips, and more