After more than a year of Mom’s Book Nook, with greater participation than ever, I’ve decided to start sharing all of our favorite part of the monthly discussion as part of the monthly post: the book recommendations! At the end of each month’s book discussion, we field recommendations and vote to select next month’s read. And there are always so many more recommendations than we can ever possibly choose. This month’s selection features one of just many great authors I love to follow, so as part of this month’s book selection announcement, I’m also including all the awesome authors I love to follow and read everything they write!
15 Great Authors You’ll Love to Follow
There is no better feeling than finishing an amazing read, and turning back to the front of the book to discover the author has a complete cannon of literature published! I love it when that happens – almost as much as when I discover one of my favorite authors has published a new book.
July 2016 Mom’s Book Nook Selection
This month’s selection for Mom’s Book Nook is from one of those authors I love to follow… Liane Moriarty. She has a new book out this summer (Truly Madly Guilty) that I pre-ordered months ago and is FINALLY coming out at the end of this month. But in the meantime, we are fulfilling our love for Liane by reading Big Little Lies for July.
Joining our virtual book club is simple – read the monthly selection, join the Mom’s Book Nook group on Facebook, and hop on to chat with us the last Monday of the month (July 25th!) at 9PM ET.
About Big Little Lies
Big Little Lies tells the story of three different mothers, brought together when their children are all in the same preschool class… and all the schoolyard scandal that comes with it. Characteristic of all Moriarty books, I love the real life feel it conveys combined with a bit of mystery and melodrama. Madeline’s daughter is now in preschool with her ex-husband’s child. Celeste, the beauty of the bunch, harbors a harrowing family secret, while mothering her preschool twin boys, and Jane is the new single mom in town, with secrets of her own. It all comes to a head at the preschool’s annual Trivia Night fundraiser.
An HBO series based on the book is currently in production with Nicole Kidman, Reese Witherspoon and Shailene Woodley playing the three lead roles.
About Liane Moriarty
Liane Moriarty is the Australian author of six internationally best-selling novels, Three Wishes, The Last Anniversary, What Alice Forgot, The Hypnotist’s Love Story and the number 1 New York Times bestsellers: The Husband’s Secret and Big Little Lies. The Husband’s Secret has sold over three million copies worldwide, and CBS Films has acquired the film rights. With the launch Big Little Lies in July 2014, Liane became the first Australian author to have a novel debut at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Liane’s newest novel, Truly Madly Guilty, will be released in July 2016.
Liane lives in Sydney with her husband, son and daughter. She is one of those great authors I discovered and after reading one of her books, had to read them all. I started with The Husband’s Secret, quickly followed by What Alice Forgot, and all the rest. The only one I haven’t absolutely loved was The Last Anniversary.
More Authors You’ll LOVE to Follow
So you already know that Liane Moriarty is on my list of great authors I love to read… here are 14 more you’ll want to add to your Must Read lists too!
Lighter, Summer Reads
I won’t go so far to call them beach reads, because these books are better than that. They delve deeper into relationships, have solid plot lines, and once you read one, you’ll want to read all the author has written. I would put Liane Moriarty in this group, along with the following authors.
Colleen Hoover is a young adult writer, who writes of young love and the complexities of maturing from adolescence into early adulthood. Hopeless was the first book of hers I ever read, followed by Slammed. And I was super excited she has since written more with a new book, It Ends with Us, coming out this summer!
Elin Hilderbrand’s novels are all set on the idyllic summer beach setting of Nantucket. The stories vary, but I love the constant setting – I’ve read so many now, it’s like I can almost envision the characters on the same set as the new story unfolds.
If you’ve never read a Nicholas Sparks book, or seen one of the countless of his novels that have been turned into a movie (The Notebook, anyone???), you probably have been living under a rock for the last 10 years. But I have a soft spot of these novels, not only because they are awesome love stories with complexity, but also because Sparks is a fellow Notre Dame alum. If you come out for a game, check the ND bookstore calendar, as he often appears there for book signings too!
Epic Generational/Family Sagas
If you like a bit of a deeper read that spans family generations, you’ll love reading the collections from these authors. We have featured a few of their novels as Mom’s Book Nook selections in the past already, but there are plenty more where those came from!
A New England author, Haigh’s novels take place between her childhood home of the coal mining towns of Western Pennsylvania and her present day home of Boston. All tackle complex issues – from genetic conditions to abuse – with fully developed characters and families. I’ve read all four of her novels, and she just released a new one, Heat & Light, last month.
I stumbled upon these books by accident – attracted at first by the authors’ and my shared Texas roots. But from page 1 of Roses I was drawn into the characters, and Dallas-esque storyline (with much better characters!). While compiling this list, I was so excited to discover she has released more since I finished Tumbleweeds!
Quindlen is my most recent great author discovery – her latest book, Miller’s Valley, was on all the Summer’s Must Read lists and had a long waiting list at the library, so I turned to her earlier works. I just finished a fourth book by her, and am on my library ebook waiting list for 2 more. They all tackle complicated modern realities, while narrating the trivialities of daily life in a way that breathes life into every character and their families. I started with Every Last One (you’ll be expecting the unexpected and still won’t believe it), followed by One True Thing, Blessings and Black and Blue, each one better than the next.
Kristin Hannah’s books tend to be more about female friendship, than family. Though her most recent, The Nightingale, ventured more into the realm of historical fiction (my absolute favorite genre), and probably ranks as my favorite pick we have ever shared as part of Mom’s Book Nook Her earlier works are not to be missed though – all depicting strong, female protagonists and the power of friendship, through trials, tribulations, decades and more.
Genova achieved great notoriety when her novel, Still Alice, about the trials early onset Alzheimer’s in a highly educated, and distinguished professor, became a critically acclaimed movie staring Julianne Moore. Her stories all handle similar life-changing upheaval, and explore its radiating impact beyond the protagonist through their extended family.
Without a doubt, the genre I love most is historical fiction. Stories set in bygone eras, bring history to vivid life. The research, attention to detail, and historical accuracy is a talent possessed by all these authors, and make their books truly masterpieces.
I discovered Erik Larsen while I was still living in Chicago – and there is no better story to read about the Windy City’s history and evolution of its architecture than The Devil in the White City, which tells the tale of the Great Fire, the World’s Fair and the serial killer on the loose in its midst. I loved it so much, I make it a point to read everything he writes.
I’m pretty sure Follet is synonymous with historical fiction. His series are like a grown-up version of Harry Potter. Lengthy tomes, they are totally worth the time investment. His first series, The Pillars of the Earth features two books spanning the medieval era and construction of a gothic cathedral. His second trilogy, The Century Triology, follows a group of families before, during and through the two world wars across countries and continents.
The rest of my favorite authors don’t fit together in any neat and tidy category. I love Jodi Picoult for her willingness to tackle legal gray areas, and bring them to life through heart-wrenching family narraties.
I love Jon Krakauer for his ability to bring investigative journalism to life in novels that read more like great works of historical fiction, only they are completely and spellbindingly true.
I’ve read everything John Steinbeck has ever written because as a once-upon-a-time English double major I had to, and re-read them as an adult because they are classic allegorical tales of good/evil and the human condition everyone should read at least once.
And last, but not least, I’m somewhat obsessed with Steig Larsson. The personal tragedy of his death before his books were ever published drew my attention initially, but his stories and female protagonist, Lisbeth Salander, captured me from the first page of his trilogy. An international sensation, Lisbeth Salander’s story has recently been continued by a new author, now on my to-read list!
If you haven’t joined us for Mom’s Book Nook yet, I hope sharing some of our favorite part of the monthly discussion – what or WHO to read next – entices you to join our discussion group. Who is your favorite author? I’m always looking for someone new to read, and would love to share it as a recommendation to the group at the end of this month!