By Guest Blogger Ellen Bryant Lloyd 

“So, what are you reading these days? I just finished a great book and need another suggestion. What do you recommend?” This is a common exchange between my friends and me, especially over the last few months.

We live in an age when we rely on recommendations from trusted friends. Whether we need a plumber, painter, hairdresser, doctor, attorney, accountant, upholsterer, housekeeper, piano teacher, repair person or someone else to help us in an area of our life, we usually ask friends for a referral. Among my book-loving friends, this same approach applies to books. I love to learn what my friends are reading and why they love certain titles. I also enjoy brushing the dust off of older titles that deserve to be read again.

This month I decided to poll my friends for titles of some of their favorite reads. Some are books they recently read, and some are long-time favorites. I have assembled a list of newly published and older titles, mainstream books and some that may not be familiar. The list covers a wide range of topics and genres that reflect the variety of reading tastes and preferences among my friends — which I love. The expansive variety of literary works in the world offers a fabulous feast for the mind!

Review the list and if a title strikes your fancy or piques your interest, check it out. If a book seems out of your comfort zone, why not give it a try and expand your reading horizons? If you have a favorite title, please share it in the comments so we can all add more to our “want to read” list. Happy reading!

  • All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin
  • God Shot by Chelsea Bieker
  • On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong
  • Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
  • Topics of Conversation by Miranda Popkey
  • Little Fires Everywhere by Celest Ng
  • Educated by Tara Westover
  • The Help by Kathryn Stockett
  • The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
  • The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty
  • Her Sister’s Shoes by Ashley Farley
  • Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • The Girls with No Names by Serena Burdick
  • A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway
  • The Friend by Sigrid Nunez
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Marcus Vega Doesn’t Speak Spanish by Pablo Cartaya
  • Little Women by Louisa May Allcott
  • The Ten Thousand Doors of January by Alix E. Harrow
  • A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
  • Miss Jane by Brad Watson
  • Sweet Hush by Deborah Smith
  • The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain
  • Every Breath by Nicholas Sparks
  • An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
  • The Mists of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
  • Every Time I Think of You by Tracey Garvis Graves
  • Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds
  • Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett
  • Housekeeping: A Novel by Marilynne Robinson
  • Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah
  • Chesapeake by James A. Michener
  • Confessions of a Bookseller by Shaun Bythell
  • The Thorn Birds by Colleen McCullough
  • The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah
  • Gone With the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
  • The Jane Austen Book Club by Karen Joy Fowler
  • My Antonia by Willa Cather
  • The Dearly Beloved by Cara Wall
  • The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein
  • To Get to You by Joanne Bischof
  • A Place for Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza
  • The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris
  • The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
  • Mother of Pearl by Chambers Stevens
  • The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan
  • The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides

Ellen Bryant Lloyd is the author of FRECKLES and FRECKLES and The Great Beach Rescue. Please visit and to learn more about Freckles. Ellen writes a blog about her perspectives on life and parenting at and tweets at @EllenBLloyd. She lives in Greensboro with her husband and two children.

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