My Maternity Leave Booklist

I love reading and maternity leave can be a great time to sneak in some extra books. I decided to write up a quick post of what I’m looking forward to reading during my own maternity leave. If you love Jane Austen, James Herriot, L.M. Montgomery, and more then you might love some of these reads too!

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A grid of nine different book covers with the words, "Maternity Leave Booklist".

After having my first baby, I realized I clocked a lot of hours reading. Some audiobooks and lots of library loans on my phone.

It was rather encouraging to have something to distract from the sleep-deprivation that comes with life with a newborn. I knew I wanted to make a list of reads that I could access easily when I began that season again with our second baby.

I’m always finding books that I want to start and my “TBR” list has become a little out of control. Making this list helped me select a few books I was extra-curious about and arrange them all in one place.

Will I Like the Books On This List?

Reading is SUCH a personal thing that it can be hard to find booklists that resonate! I don’t want to waste your time, so the following summary of what I usually like to read will likely help you decide if this booklist is for you.

What I Like Reading: I usually like classics, biographies, Christian historical non-fiction, and Christian non-fiction. Some of my very favorite books are The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery, The Betsy-Tacy Series from Maud Hart Lovelace, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell, Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion by Jane Austen, Beverly Cleary’s memoirs, and Mere Christianity and Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis.

If some of those books make your list of favorites, then you’ll likely find a few more to love on this list of maternity leave reads.

Note that this list isn’t exhaustive, as I tend to get sucked in by new titles and recommendations, but it’s pretty close. Also, it’s in no particular order. Enjoy!

Yesterday’s Tides by Roseanna White

I usually like Roseanna’s books, so I was excited to see she had a WWII story coming up. This one looks like it weaves between the 40’s and the Great War so it should prove to be interesting.

I’ll be honest that the book cover is compelling me more than the plotline here–I want that dress!

Persuasion by Jane Austen

I love all Jane Austen, but Pride and Prejudice and Persuasion are my very favorites. Persuasion is on my re-read list for sure.

The Sound of Light by Sarah Sundin

While this isn’t technically part of a series, the book is lightly connected to its two predecessors, so I’d start with When Twilight Breaks and Until Leaves Fall in Paris. Both of those books proved to be intense, so buckle your seatbelt!

Sarah writes sweet romances as well, so there’s a bit of that too. I’m expecting this latest book will feature all the best elements of her prior stories.

All Creatures Great and Small by James Herriot

I so enjoyed reading all the James Herriot books and plan to re-read at least a few. They are delightful. Cozy comforting reads with plenty of humor to keep you going. Plus, the bite-size stories are excellent if you are getting interrupted frequently. The audiobooks (read by the lead actor in the new Masterpiece series) have great reviews too.

If you haven’t read them yet, go ahead and get started with the first one:

Little Men by Louisa May Alcott

I read Little Women during my first maternity leave (if you have only ever seen the movies, make time for the book!), so I figured Little Men would be a good choice to place on my list this time around.

Night Driving: Notes from a Prodigal Soul by Chad Bird and Mike Galli

A rave-review from a friend prompted me to add this one to my list. Sounds like a solid story of pride, healing, and repentance. I’m curious!

The Real James Herriot: A Memoir Of My Father by Jim Wight

I’ve checked this out from our online library, but it’s insanely popular. So I haven’t gotten very far before having to return it back. I’ll likely purchase a hard copy so I can finish it at my leisure. And yes, my James Herriot obsession was absolutely inspired by the new Masterpiece series All Creatures Great and Small (I’m really enjoying the series–but the books are far and away my favorite!).

Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits and Break Bad Ones by James Clear

I could use a reset for daily habits as I’ve fallen into several bad ones as a result of being busy or tired. This book has had so many positive reviews I think it ought to help jumpstart my progress!

The Blackstone Legacy Trilogy by Elizabeth Camden

Elizabeth Camden writes historical Christian fiction (usually with romance in there) and her background as a research librarian has made her books some of the most compelling Christian fiction I’ve read. Her Facebook page is always filled with interesting historical tidbits and archived photos if you are into that sort of thing. It’s like a tiny dose of the history channel whenever I check her feed.

This 3-part series looks like a great distraction from sleep deprivation.

Here’s a link to the first book, Carved in Stone:

If You Lived Here You’d Be Home By Now by Christopher Ingraham

As a Minnesota girl, I have to give this one a try. A Washington Post reporter ends up moving to a small Minnesota town after mocking it in an article he wrote about “the worst place to live in America”.

Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan

I stumbled upon a review for this one from World Magazine and was compelled to add it to my list.

The book description reads, “Already an international bestseller, Small Things Like These is a deeply affecting story of hope, quiet heroism, and empathy from one of our most critically lauded and iconic writers.”

The French Chef in America: Julia Child’s Second Act by Alex Prud’homme

I enjoyed My Life In France by Julia Child & Alex Prud’homme so much that when I realized there was a “part 2”, I knew I’d have to read it. If you’ve ever watched the “Julie and Julia” movie, you’ll love getting to read more about Julia Child’s story (just be sure to start with My Life in France).

Friend-ish: Reclaiming Real Friendship in a Culture of Confusion by Kelly Needham

Friendships can be challenging. I recently read another book on the topic that didn’t really satisfy my questions and pain points. This one was suggested in a GoodReads review for the book that I didn’t like as a better option so I thought I’d give it a try!

The Air We Breathe by Glen Scrivener

This one won a few awards (from The Gospel Coalition and Christianity Today) and is supposed to be a closer look at historical Christianity and where western society derives its values.

50 Things Every Child Needs to Know Before Leaving Home by Josh Mulvhill, Jen Mulvihill

This one looked interesting! I’ve read several parenting books that were helpful, but didn’t include a lot of practical advice like this one does. Glance through the table of contents for a deeper look at the content.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

Watched the movie, haven’t read the book, so naturally I must rectify that!

Worthy of Legend by Roseanna M. White

I’ve read the first two in this series and am excited to tackle the third. Some of the content/themes in the first two books bothered me so I’ll be interested to see how this third installment goes.

If you are in a season of pregnancy, waiting, or managing life with littles, what are some of the books you are reading and loving these days? I’d love to hear!

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