The best part about a new year? New books to add to your stack. In honor of our Midyear Skimm Faves, we’re sharing all the books Skimm’rs haven’t been able to put down this year (so far). If you’re in a reading rut…you’re about to not be. Quiet time, here you come.
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“I Dream of Dinner” by Ali Slagle
This cookbook from Ali Slagle has 150 recipes that are fast and flexible. You’ll be able to use what you already have to make whatever you want with minimal ingredients. The book is organized by main ingredients, with tips on different cooking methods and easy flavor combinations. You’ll be whipping up delicious dishes in no time. Win.
“Romantic Comedy” by Curtis Sittenfeld
You’ve heard it before: Gorgeous female celebrity hosts iconic late-night sketch comedy show, starts dating nonfamous male writer on said show. But what if, for once, the reverse happened? Enter: This delightful novel from one of our all-time favorite authors. It follows Sally, a sketch writer and self-declared regular-looking person, as she gets to know Noah, an objectively hot and famous musician. It’s thoughtful, smart, and just the right amount of seriously sweet. Prepare to fall in love.
“What Happened to Ruthy Ramirez” by Claire Jiménez
What would you do if you thought you saw your long-lost sister on a reality show? Ruthy Ramirez was 13 when she disappeared 12 years ago. As this novel opens, her mother and sisters are still grappling with their loss. When they spot someone who looks like Ruthy on TV, they pile into the car to find her. Told through the Ramirez women’s alternating viewpoints, this is a layered twist on a true crime story – and a serious page turner.
“Pineapple Street” by Jenny Jackson
Brooklyn socialites, trust funds, and family secrets are at the center of this un-put-downable comedy. It follows the Stockton family, particularly two sisters and their sister-in-law. Darley, the oldest, has given up her inheritance and career for the sake of being an adoring wife and mother. Georginana, the baby, is living it up in her (extremely privileged) twenties. And Sasha, the sister-in-law, is struggling with where and how she fits into this elitist, closed-off family dynamic — especially with a working class background. With chapters that alternate between their viewpoints, this grabs your attention and keeps it. Now the real question is…TV show, please?
“Homebodies” by Tembe Denton-Hurst
When your work is your identity, and it goes away — what then? That’s one of the questions that propels this excellent debut novel. It follows Mickey, a Black beauty writer in NYC who’s let go from her buzzy, great-on-paper job...and then has to reckon with the way she was treated there, and what she really wants next. She flees the city (and the woman she loves) to try and figure it out. The book truly gets what it is to be young and confused in today’s world (worry about being iced out of the group chat, included).
“Sea Change” by Gina Chung
If you’ve ever been stuck in familiar patterns and felt yourself losing momentum, you’ll relate to this novel’s protagonist. When we meet Ro, she’s mourning a breakup, drifting away from her best friend, and letting childhood traumas lie. But as she prepares to say goodbye to Dolores — the giant octopus she takes care of at her aquarium job, who’s been sold to a wealthy investor — she goes through her own metamorphosis. Trust us: This unique, smart, emotionally rich book is a must-read.
“Happy Place” by Emily Henry
We’ve been waiting for this one from the rom-com queen (and we bet you have too). It follows Harriet and Wyn, who are college sweethearts…errr, were. Each summer, their group of friends head to a family home in Maine. But this trip will be the group’s last, as their go-to cottage is on the market. The twist? Our central couple recently ended their engagement — and their friends have no idea. In our humble opinion, this is Henry’s best work yet.
“Social Engagement” by Avery Carpenter Forrey
Picture it: You’ve just married a handsome, successful guy in a dream location…but somehow, it’s all wrong. In this darkly funny novel — written by an OG Skimm employee — we meet Callie in this very situation. The book takes us back through the preceding year, during which Callie moves in with her best friend from childhood, reignites an old flame with her friend’s cousin, and discovers family secrets lurking in forgotten drawers. If you’re looking for a page-turner with some bite, this one’s for you.
“The Half Moon” by Mary Beth Keane
Skimm-favorite author of “Ask Again Yes” returns with another all-timer. This one follows a married couple over the course of one week (and two snowstorms). Malcolm, who owns a local bar, is struggling without his wife Jess, a lawyer, who has moved out. Through intricate storytelling, we learn about their failed attempts to conceive, the ways their lives have surprised them, and how they ended up where they are. This is a quick and impactful read that will stay with you long after you finish it.
“I Have Some Questions For You” by Rebecca Makkai
In this delicious novel, from the author of “The Great Believers” — one of our absolute favorite books from the past five years — a podcast host returns to her New Hampshire boarding school alma mater to guest-teach a class. While there, she ends up reexamining a murder that happened on campus grounds back in the ’90s while she was a student. Anyone who loved Donna Tartt’s “The Secret History,” this has your name all over it.
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