I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again; I’m something of a seasonal mood reader. But that doesn’t mean that every season prompts the same mood. This particular season, as winter is slowly coming to a close, I’m feeling partial to picking up a good contemporary book.
Today, I’d like to share five contemporary novels that I love recommending for a variety of reasons. Some of these are lighter in tone and some deal with more serious themes. But they all stuck with me after finishing. These are all backlist books, published in 2018 or earlier, and are arranged from most recent release to the oldest. I hope at least one of them will work for you!
Ready to see my picks?
The Book of Essie is about Esther Ann Hicks, the youngest child in a very religious family that has grown up on a reality TV show. When her mother discovers she is pregnant, she has to figure out how to proceed with this information to display the family in their best light. This compelling story deals with incredibly relevant themes, including fame, family, love, hypocrisy, and abuse to deliver strong messages wrapped up in an entertaining package.
Only Child starts out with first grader Zach squeezed into a closet with his teacher and classmates while gunshots ring out in his school. The rest of the book deals with the aftermath and how Zach and his family handle this traumatic event. Not only is this topical but it’s also superbly written, evoking a full range of emotions. Powerful and poignant, I highly recommend this one.
In Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, the title character is quirky, something of a loner, and lacking social skills. She is eccentric and utterly direct in a way that is delightfully charming. Over the course of the novel, the reasons why Eleanor is the way that she is are revealed as she comes to term with her past. This book deals with some tough themes, including loneliness, trauma, and mental health, but it does so in a way that is sympathetic and endearing.
Fangirl follows Cath, first year college student who is separated from her twin sister for the first time. Growing up, the sisters were big fans of a popular book series to the point of dressing up like the characters and writing fan fiction. Now that Cath doesn’t share these activities with her sister anymore, she has to learn to navigate life on her own and figure out who she is as an individual. Witty and sharp, I found this book to be incredibly relatable.
Any Lauren Graham fans out there? Someday, Someday, Maybe is her debut novel. Loosely based on her own life, it’s about an aspiring actress aspiring to make it in New York City. This starts to toe the line of what I’d consider contemporary as it takes place in the mid-nineties. Anyone who grew up during that time will appreciate some of the fun details but even if you didn’t, the content of this story is fun and engaging.
There you have five contemporary books to pick up this spring! I’d love to hear from you if any of these books are on your TBR or if you’ve already read them. If you’re a seasonal reader, what are your favorite types of books to read in the spring?