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What to read while quarantined: Read With Jenna book club members share top picks

There's nothing like a good book recommendation from a trusted friend.
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By Stephanie Larratt

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As people around the world adjust to staying inside and keeping their distance from friends and family, many have turned to reading to pass the time. With endless options on the shelves, picking the perfect book can be a challenge.

Luckily, the Read With Jenna book club community has taken to social media to recommend a few of their favorites outside of the 13 books Jenna Bush Hager has selected.

From memoirs to thrillers, there is sure to be a book for every type of reader on this list.

Inspiring memoirs

1. "Educated" by Tara Westover

"Educated" is a memoir by Tara Westover that details the author's life growing up in a Mormon, survivalist family in the mountains of Idaho.

Through grit, determination and genuine curiosity, Westover receives an education that allows her to see her upbringing from a new perspective and to experience life outside of her family's isolated home.

It is a fascinating exploration of Westover's life from a young girl to a Harvard-educated doctor. Westover observes her life with enough intimacy to feel like an expert but also the distance required to be reflective and neutral. It is also a courageous story that emphasizes the power of education to unlock opportunity and a new perspective.

2. "Untamed" by Glennon Doyle

As a mom, daughter, motivational speaker, friend and many other things, Glennon Doyle has felt an overwhelming need to be good at every role she has been called to play. Instead of feeling fulfilled though, Doyle finds herself in discontent and overwhelmed.

It all comes to a head for Doyle when she is speaking at a conference and looks across the room at a woman and instantly falls in love. This book tells Doyle's story of learning to trust herself, listening to the voice within her and shedding years of cultural conditioning and numbing addictions. She shares how she became a mom who could inspire her children to live full lives, rather than a mom who suffered in the name of parenthood.

Doyle's "Untamed" is both a deeply personal memoir and a call to action. It will inspire readers to follow their instincts so they can create strong families and lives they can be proud of.

3. "Open Book" by Jessica Simpson

In Jessica Simpson's revealing memoir, she opens up about her most intimate struggles. Through humor, honesty and heart, Simpson tells the story of her career as a pop phenomenon, reality TV star and fashion mogul.

The book is filled with laughter, heartbreak and wisdom. It will inspire and motivate readers to live their most authentic lives, in the same way she has learned to live hers.

4. "The Glass Castle" by Jeannette Walls

Boasting more than seven years on the New York Times bestseller list, Jeannette Walls' captivating story of resilience and redemption comes highly recommended from fans in the Read WIth Jenna book club.

Walls tells the story of her life, growing up with a brilliant father who suffered from alcoholism, a free-spirited mother who shied away from the responsibility of raising a family and her three siblings who learned to care for one another when their parents could not.

The book is an honest and compelling look at a peculiar but loyal family. Wall's gift for storytelling shines as she shares the intimate details of her unconventional upbringing.

Captivating mysteries and thrillers

1. "The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides

An instant New York Times bestseller, "The Silent Patient" by Alex Michaelides is a psychological thriller that will keep you fully engrossed on every page.

As a famous painter and wife to an in-demand photographer, Alicia Berenson lives in a fancy home in a desirable London neighborhood and seems to be living the perfect life. Then one night, she shoots her husband in the face five times and never speaks another word.

The murder is shrouded in mystery and public interest is amplified by the fact that she refuses to speak. As the price of her artwork skyrockets, she is swept away to a secure forensic unit, outside of the public eye, where a criminal psychotherapist becomes obsessed with finding the meaning in her actions.

2. "Verity" by Colleen Hoover

A chilling romantic thriller, this book follows a young, struggling writer named Lowen Ashleigh after she is asked to complete the life's work of the bestselling author, Verity Crawford, following an accident that leaves Crawford unable to do so.

When Lowen goes to the Crawford home at the request of the author's husband, she expects to spend only a few days there gathering information. But as Lowen spends more time with Crawford's husband, she finds herself wanting to stay longer.

During her extended stay, she uncovers a hidden manuscript of an autobiography written by Crawford that reveals the dark truth behind her accident. Knowing her husband has no knowledge of her secret, Lowen is suddenly forced to make a choice about what to do with the truth she has uncovered.

3. "Once Upon a River" by Diane Setterfield

This story begins in an inn along the River Thames when a stranger bursts through the door in the middle of the night, holding the lifeless body of a young girl in his arms. The mystery has only just begun when hours later, the child miraculously returns to life.

Who is the child in question? Was her return to life caused by magic? Could it be explained by science? As questions swirl, three families emerge, claiming the child as their own.

Setterfield brilliantly weaves together myth, science and folklore as she takes readers on a journey through a world that is both real and unimaginable.

4. "The Last Mrs. Parrish" by Liv Constantine

Daphne Parrish is a socialite, a philanthropist, the mother to a lovely young daughter, the wife to a real estate mogul and the envy of Amber Patterson. In the exclusive town of Bishops Harbor, Daphne seems to have it all while Amber is left to live life as a dissatisfied nobody.

That is, until Amber hatches a plan to scheme her way into Daphne's life by taking advantage of her compassion. Before long, Amber is Daphne's closest confidante, but the secrets of her past threaten to ruin her carefully laid plan.

Filled with twists, Constantine's brilliant book keeps the reader on edge until the very end. You won't see the ending coming from a mile away.

Beautiful love stories

1. "The Two Lives of Lydia Bird" by Josie Silver

After nearly a decade together, Lydia and Freddie are just about to get married when he tragically and unexpectedly dies on her 27th birthday.

Then something magical happens. Lydia is given another chance at her old life with Freddie.

Should Lydia take the opportunity to relive her great love? What if someone new makes Lydia want to stay in the present?

In a new twist on the classic love triangle, Silver writes a novel that will make you laugh, cry and think about the precious gift of being in love.

2. "The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo" by Taylor Jenkins Reid

From the author of "Daisy Jones and the Six," comes a riveting book about an old Hollywood actress and the young, eager reporter tasked with telling her life story.

No one was more surprised to learn that reclusive Hollywood icon Evelyn Hugo wanted inexperienced magazine reporter Monique Grant to write her tell-all life story then Monique herself. Still, Monique jumped at the opportunity to launch her career.

As the tale of Hugo's extraordinary life is dictated to her, Monique comes to learn that her life intersects with the Hollywood star's life in a tragic and irreversible way.

Reid tells a mesmerizing story about Hollywood splendor and present-day realities with unexpected twists and heart-wrenching drama.

3. "When We Believed in Mermaids" by Barbara O'Neal

Kit's sister has been dead for 15 years. She passed away during a terrorist attack on a train or so that's what she believes. While watching the evening news one night, Kit's world is turned upside down when she catches a glimpse of her sister running out of a burning building in Auckland, New Zealand.

To try to make sense of it all, Kit makes her way from Santa Cruz, California to New Zealand. Once there, she must sort through the memories of the past and a trauma that has haunted her and her sister their entire lives.

"When We Believed in Mermaids" is an emotional story about the relationship between two sisters and the difficulty of facing the truth head-on.

4. "The Unhoneymooners" by Christina Lauren

If you're wishing you could go to Hawaii for a getaway right now, this book is the next best thing.

Olive and her twin sister, Ami, have existed on two ends of the spectrum when it comes to luck. Ami has managed to fund her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests but Olive is going to be stuck spending her sister's special day with the best man and her sworn enemy, Ethan Thomas.

When Ami's wedding rolls around, the entire wedding party, excluding Olive and Ethan, comes down with food poisoning. Suddenly, a fully paid for honeymoon in Hawaii is up for grabs.

Can Ethan and Olive put aside their differences to enjoy a once-in-a-lifetime vacation?

This lighthearted romantic comedy will keep you entertained through the very end.

Other popular novels

1. "The Jetsetters" by Amanda Eyre Ward

As Reese Witherspoon's book club pick for March, "The Jetsetters" has garnered a lot of buzz in the literary community.

The story is about Charlotte Perkins, 71, who submits an essay to the "Become a Jetsetter" contest with high hopes of reuniting her dysfunctional family. When she wins, she and her three estranged kids pack their bags and their emotional baggage for a ten-day cruise from Athens, Greece to Barcelona, Spain.

Ward explores family relationships, adulthood and childhood wounds in an intelligent and fun way and you won't want to put down her novel until it's done.

2. "A Good Neighborhood" by Therese Anne Fowler

A provocative and powerful story, "A Good Neighborhood" explores themes of class and race in America with an underlying love story at its heart.

Valerie Alston-Holt is a professor of forestry and ecology, who is raising her biracial son in a tight-knit community in North Carolina. They are living a happy and modest life until their new neighbors, the Whitmans, demolish the home next door to build a showy new one.

The two families find themselves at odds while a budding romance begins between Valerie's son and the Whitmans' troubled daughter.

3. "Little Fires Everywhere" by Celeste Ng

Just released as an original series on Hulu, "Little Fires Everywhere" is about a cookie-cutter town in Cleveland that receives an unwanted disruption when Mia Warren, an artist and single mother, moves to town with her daughter.

When a custody battle over a Chinese-American baby erupts, the town is divided, leaving Mia on one side and her by-the-book landlord, Elena Richardson, on the other. Elena, suspicious of Mia, starts to dig into her mysterious past, but what she finds has devastating costs.

Ng's story explores the consequences of secrets and the danger of blindly following the rules.

4. "Oona Out of Order" by Margarita Montimore

Oona Lockhart has her whole life ahead of her. It's New Year's Eve 1982 in Brooklyn, New York and Oona is about to ring in the new year along with her 19th birthday. As the crowd begins to count down, she suddenly faints and awakens 32 years in the future.

Oona learns that from that moment on, rather then aging year by year, each birthday will jolt her to a new random age.

Her "out of order" life is full of surprises and sure to delight any reader. The heart-wrenching book explores themes of time, love and the power of family.

If you would like to help booksellers during the coronavirus pandemic, you can donate to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation here.

For more #ReadWithJenna selections, you can take a look back at all of Jenna's book club picks. Also, check out our Read With Jenna page.

To join in the #ReadWithJenna conversation, be sure to follow us on Instagram (don't forget to tag your photos with #ReadWithJenna), join our Read With Jenna Facebook group and follow along on Goodreads to continue the conversation about the March pick, "Writers & Lovers."

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