Curl Up with a Good Book: Handpicked Recommendations for Your Next Read

All books featured have been specifically selected by the author of this post. When you purchase something through our retail links, Pensacola Mom Collective may earn an affiliate commission.

Reading is something that, as an adult, I have come to like more and more. I want to learn more than ever, and it’s fun being immersed in something other than my messy world sometimes.

I thought I would share a few of my all-time favorite reads so far this year. I love to dive into a great book during the afternoon carpools and even on the weekends. Lately, I have even enjoyed audiobooks when it is hard for me to hold a book in my hands.

Sidenote: since I DO LAUNDRY NON-stop, this allows for the time to pass and sometimes makes it fun (win-win for all of us)!

Let me know what some of yours are too, and if you are on Goodreads, let’s be friends! I love following along and seeing what others say about a book before I pick it up as well.

Here are some of my favorite book recommendations:

Spare by Prince Harry

First things first, I LOVE all things Royal, so it was on my list to read no matter what the haters were saying. This was such a great one for me! Also, I highly recommend listening to this one on audiobook (I don’t know about you, but Harry’s voice is swoon-worthy to me). It was about SO.MUCH.MORE. than Harry JUST being royal. He really digs deep into who “he is.” The headlines/media outlets tell the story of his life so differently than he is living it, and I found that to be endearing in this book. I am not choosing a team when it comes to the royal family, but I enjoy learning all the inside scoop, and this certainly shares that side of it all too.

Do the audio version; you won’t be disappointed. So good.

Overall score: A

Download on Audible

Every Summer After, by Carley Fortune

Oh, I adored this sweet, nostalgic book. I was hooked from the very start. It was a great read about young love, summer memories, and how important the choices we make are. Honestly, these types of books are fun for me because I can read them quickly, and they captivate my attention. I adored Percy and Sam, and I truly felt like I knew them, and often times I wanted to say things for them that they weren’t saying to each other. I could easily see myself in this story and could feel all the things they felt.

I loved how the book went back and forth between now and then, so you could really understand the depths of what happened. Great book.

Overall score: A

Purchase on Amazon

The Royals Next Door by Karina Halle

Such a fun book, so this was NOT related to an actual story on the royal family but a story similar to someone at that level moving into your town. Since I am enamored with the royal stuff, I thought this one would be fun, and it didn’t disappoint. Piper is a teacher and podcaster who is fun and lives at home, and cares for her mom because she struggles with a mental illness. Harrison is the bodyguard who moves to town with the royal couple next door to Piper. This story is sweet and a little spicy, thanks to Harrison and Piper’s crush on one another.

I enjoyed this lighthearted read and found myself smiling the entire time. Every time I put it down, I couldn’t wait to pick it back up to continue.

Overall score: A-

Purchase on Amazon

Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren

I am noticing a trend here as I write this review; there is a reading trend of books I ENJOY! I love a lighthearted, sweet, romantic novel. I promise I also read serious books, just NO scary ones! It is just that the fun books end up on my lists to recommend more often. This hits that target of books I enjoy and is beautifully written. From childhood friends to lovers, then to strangers, and then a possible second chance for Macy and Elliott. I was intrigued and on the edge of my seat during this entire book. I enjoyed the mystery of wondering what happened to them and then the back and forth of timelines in the way the story is told in then and now.

Christina Lauren writes a great book, and this is definitely one you want on your list.

Overall score: A

Purchase on Amazon

The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

This is my favorite book I have EVER read, hands down!!! I couldn’t make a list of my recommendations without passing this book by. It is truly a beautiful book on sacrifice, love, and dedication, and is a World War 2 historical fiction. I love a good histrorical fiction and this didn’t disappoint. I couldn’t put it down!!! It was to the point that I was ignoring my friends’ phone calls because I wanted to get a few more pages in before picking the kids up from school! Eva is a Jewish girl who the book is centered around during World War 2. She helps Jewish kids escape from France during WW2 and ultimately saves their lives from being killed. It is compelling and full of creative ways people helped and loved one another through something so hard and tragic.

This is a book you definitely want to add to your list. It is a bit heavier than some of the others but beautiful indeed.

Overall score: A+

Purchase on Amazon

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry

This is a WIN for an easy beach or vacation read! It is fun, cute, lighthearted, and just what you want to pick up for those relaxing days. Poppy and Alex are great characters in the book that you ultimately want to invite over to dinner and get to know better. Poppy is a wild spirit, and Alex is all put together, and their vacations together are the best until it ended abruptly two years ago. They casually decide to take one more trip together, and this is where we learn all the ins and outs of who they are,  and watch and decide if it all works out.

Overall score: B+

Purchase on Amazon

The Idea of You by Robinne Lee

What A READ! This was not what I expected when I started reading this book, but I couldn’t get enough!!!! I wanted to fully find August Moon and Solene in the real world and sit down for a LONG talk 🙂 It was SO good, and I was on my toes the entire time. It sort of felt wrong, but OH SO RIGHT for all the good things to happen to Solene! This was an immediate share with my friends.

Solene is a newly divorced, single mom who wants to win her daughter over and is convinced to take her to see her favorite boy band in concert. Insert August Moon (who I am convinced was a total vibe of Harry Styles), and this leads to a journey you do not expect at all when you start the book!!!! Self-love, journey to happiness, intrigue, passion, and figuring out what she cares most about.

This is a page-turner, and you don’t want to miss it.

Very sexy, and I hope there is another book (hint, hint Robinne Lee).

Overall score: A

Purchase on Amazon

Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch

I am so excited to learn as I do my reviews that this book has been made for a movie on NETFLIX . I will be watching it as soon as I finish posting!! This was a sweet story about a girl named Lina, who goes to Italy because her mother’s dying wish was that she meet her father. She arrives and is very homesick until she is gifted a journal of her mother’s time in Italy, and she is sent on a journey of understanding of who her mom was, and what her trip to Italy meant (and even some love & gelato).

Overall score: A-

Purchase on Amazon

Thanks for listening to me ramble about my all-time favorite books to date.

ENJOY, and let me know in the comments below what I need to add to my list!

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Jane Lauter
Jane was born and raised in Pensacola, left in her teens for school and returned 12 years later with her husband, Pete. They have two kids, Jack (12) & Sabel (8). Jane can often be found wearing many hats in her daily life. She is the proud co-owner and co-founder of Pensacola Mom Collective, President of The Kugelman Family Foundation & CEO of her household. She is passionate about family, friends, and the Pensacola community. She has embraced her role as a mom but feels compelled to help other moms in this journey of parenthood. When she’s not out and around town, volunteering with Rally Pensacola, Covenant Hospice- My Wish, Sacred Heart Foundation Board, Pensacola's Finest Foundation or playing Uber driver to her kids (her favorite role) she can be found with her family on the boat, at the beach or in the countryside. Her family loves to stay active, wake up early (chosen only by the kids), travel, and enjoy all Pensacola has to offer. Pete and Jane enjoy teaching their children about life through activities, being involved, and doing things in community. They have a special place for the people and businesses of Pensacola and are always doing their best to support everyone. Find her on Instagram (@jmlauter) or contact her via email at [email protected]


  1. Love BooKs!📚❤️
    There’s a New Shop in Pensacola!
    Mrs Jones Cold Brew AND…. drum 🥁 roll, please BOOKSHOP… gently used. Perfect place to sit around, relax grab a coffee & search for a great book❤️🥰


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