Menu

12 buzzworthy new books on our 2015 summer reading list

From 'The Girl on the Train' by Paula Hawkins, to Gretchen Rubin's lifehacking "Better than before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives," here's the books we've packed in our beach bags.

12 buzzworthy new books on our 2015 summer reading list

You know that exact moment in reading a book when you're totally hooked? Like full-attention-avoid-all-life-responsibilities-so-you-can-finish-it engrossed?


Sorry, honey, grab some take out on your way home. I can't cook, I'm reading.

One second, they *just* kissed!

Change your own diaper, cutie pie, I'm finishing chapter 20.

Maybe we don't actually say these things, but maybe sometimes we want to. Escaping our own lives for a little while and diving into a good book isn't just fun, it's good for you—a 2009 study by the University of Sussex found that reading for just six minutes can reduce stress by 68%! Just make sure you don't actually avoid *all* of life's responsibilities.

FEATURED VIDEO

We've gathered up 12 great, buzzworthy new books that are on our list for this summer that we know you'll love too. What are you reading?

Beach Reads

A movie location scout, romance, Hollywood?
Beach Town, by Mary Kay Andrews is the *perfect* choice for a beach read this summer.

All Fall Down, by #1 Bestselling Author Jennifer Weiner is a story about a woman who appears to "have it all" —including a pill addiction. Weiner has given us a character to root for in this one and a struggle that is all too real for some.

With a title like All the Single Ladies: A Novel, (by Dorothea Benton Fran) how could you go wrong? Plus it's on the 2015 New York Times Best Sellers list, and examines the power of female friendships.

Suspense

People have called The Girl on the Train (by Paula Hawkins) "addicting". The Boston Globe says, "Like its train, the story blasts through the stagnation of these lives in suburban London and the reader cannot help but turn pages."

Suspense. Two mysterious disappearances. A haunting. We're scared already, but we're adding The Weight of Blood: A Novel, by Laura McHugh to our Amazon cart and checking out before we chicken out.

Luckiest Girl Alive: A Novel (by Jessica Knoll) is described by Reese Witherspoon as "one of those reads you just can't put down!" Sign us up for this dark, twisty page turner.

Another heart-wrenching World War II drama set in France,
All the Light We Cannot See, by Anthony Doerr is about a blind French girl and a young German boy whose paths to survival are crossed.


Throwback Authors

Remember Are You There God? It's Me Margaret from your adolescence? Well, it's time to read one of Judy Blume's highly acclaimed adult novels like her latest,
In the Unlikely Event, about three generations of people affected by a series of plane crashes in 1950's New Jersey.


The manuscript to Harper Lee's first ever novel,
Go Set a Watchman: A Novel, was recently discovered in 2014. If you've ever wondered what Scout and Atticus were up to some 20 years after To Kill a Mockingbird, your chance comes when Go Set a Watchman is released on July 15.

Non-fiction

This remarkable, hugely inspirational memoir from the youngest winner of the Nobel Peace Prize,I Am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban, by Malala Yousafzai (Author), Christina Lamb (Contributor) is a must-read. This National Best Seller is a true story of heroism, and one that will leave you in awe of young Malala.

Called 'irresistible', 'razor-sharp', and 'hilarious' by critics,Happily Ali After, by Ali Wentworth covers everything from parenting to relationships and everything in between. Lots of LOL moments here.

The New York Times Sunday Book Review says of Gretchen Rubin's Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, "The Happiness Project lays out life’s essential goals…Her new book, Better Than Before: Mastering the Habits of Our Everyday Lives, serves as a kind of detailed instruction manual on how to achieve them." We could all use a little help achieving our goals, can't we?

In This Article

    You will always be their safe space, mama

    You are their haven. Their harbor. Their sanctuary, their peace. You are comfort. Deep breaths. Hugs and back rubs. You're a resting place, a nightmare chaser, a healer. You are the calm within their storm. You are their mother.

    To your child, you are safety. You are security. You are where (out of anyone or any place), they can come undone. Where they can let it all out, let it all go. Where they meltdown, break down, scream, cry, push.

    Where they can say—"I AM NOT OKAY!"

    Where they can totally lose it. Without judgment or fear or shame.

    Because they know you'll listen. They know you'll hear them. That you will help piece the mess back together.

    Keep reading Show less
    Life

    Tips parents need to know about poor air quality and caring for kids with asthma

    There are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    When wildfires struck the West Coast in September 2020, there was a lot for parents to worry about. For parents of children with asthma, though, the danger could be even greater. "There are more than 400 toxins that are present in wildfire smoke. That can activate the immune system in ways that aren't helpful by both causing an inflammatory response and distracting the immune system from fighting infection," says Amy Oro, MD, a pediatrician at Stanford Children's Health. "When smoke enters into the lungs, it causes irritation and muscle spasms of the smooth muscle that is around the small breathing tubes in the lungs. This can lead to difficulty with breathing and wheezing. It's really difficult on the lungs."

    With the added concern of COVID-19 and the effect it can have on breathing, many parents feel unsure about how to keep their children protected. The good news is that there are steps parents can take to keep their children as healthy as possible.

    Here are tips parents need to know about how to deal with poor air quality when your child has asthma.

    Minimize smoke exposure.

    Especially when the air quality index reaches dangerous levels, it's best to stay indoors as much as possible. You can find out your area's AQI at AirNow.gov. An under 50 rating is the safest, but between 100-150 is considered unhealthy for sensitive groups, such as children with asthma. "If you're being told to stay indoors, listen. If you can, keep the windows and doors closed," Oro says.

    Do your best to filter the air.

    According to Oro, a HEPA filter is your best bet to effectively clean pollutants from the air. Many homes are equipped with a built-in HEPA filter in their air conditioning systems, but you can also get a canister filter. Oro says her family (her husband and children all suffer from asthma) also made use of a hack from the New York Times and built their own filter by duct taping a HEPA furnace filter to the front of a box fan. "It was pretty disgusting what we accumulated in the first 20 hours in our fan," she says.

    Avoid letting your child play outside or overly exert themselves in open air.

    "Unfortunately, cloth masks don't do very much [to protect you from the smoke pollution]," Oro says. "You really need an N95 mask, and most of those have been allocated toward essential workers." To keep at-risk children safer, Oro recommends avoiding brisk exercise outdoors. Instead, set up an indoor obstacle course or challenge your family to jumping jacks periodically to keep everyone moving safely.

    Know the difference between smoke exposure and COVID-19.

    "COVID-19 can have a lot of the same symptoms—dry cough, sore throat, shortness of breath and chest pain could overlap. But what COVID and other viruses generally cause are fever, chills, vomiting, diarrhea and body aches. Those would tell you it's not just smoke exposure," Oro says. When a child has been exposed to smoke, they often complain of a "scrape" in their throat, burning eyes, cough, shortness of breath, chest pain or wheezing. If the child has asthma, parents should watch for a flare of symptoms, such as coughing, wheezing or a tight sensation in their chest.

    Unfortunately, not much is known about long-term exposure to wildfire smoke on a healthy or compromised immune system, but elevated levels of air pollution have been associated with increased COVID-19 rates. That's because whenever there's an issue with your immune system, it distracts your immune system from fighting infections and you have a harder time fighting off viruses. Limiting your exposure to wildfire smoke is your best bet to keep immune systems strong.

    Have a plan in place if you think your child is suffering from smoke exposure.

    Whatever type of medication your child takes for asthma, make sure you have it on-hand and that your child is keeping up with regular doses. Contact your child's pediatrician, especially if your area has a hazardous air quality—they may want to adjust your child's medication schedule or dosage to prevent an attack. Oro also recommends that, if your child has asthma, it might be helpful to have a stethoscope or even a pulse oximeter at home to help diagnose issues with your pediatrician through telehealth.

    Most importantly, don't panic.

    In some cases, social distancing and distance learning due to COVID may be helping to keep sensitive groups like children with asthma safer. Oro says wildfires in past years have generally resulted in more ER visits for children, but the most recent fires haven't seen the same results. "A lot of what we've seen is that the smoke really adversely affects adults, especially older adults over 65," Oro says. "Children tend to be really resilient."

    This article was sponsored by Stanford Children's Health. Thank you for supporting the brands that support Motherly and mamas.

    Our Partners

    100 unusual + surprising baby name ideas

    From Adelia to Ziggy.

    Our list of 100 baby names that should be on everyone's list this year includes more choices than in the past of names that are obscure and surprising. That's because there are so many more unusual baby names coming into widespread use and baby namers have become a lot more adventurous.

    Expectant parents do not need to be told to move beyond Jennifer and Jason. Their thinking about names has evolved to the point that the most useful thing we can do is offer a large menu of intriguing choices.

    Here are our picks for the 100 best surprising + unusual baby names now.


    Keep reading Show less
    Learn + Play