What's Natalie Ridley Reading?

We asked WCNC's Charlotte Today producer and Library superfan Natalie Ridley what's on her bookshelf:

From the moment I learned to read, I was on a life-long journey. It’s a journey that’s taken me to far-away places, to different eras in history and to different worlds all together.  As I’ve grown, the types of books I’ve read have changed too. The books I’ve read at any particular part of my life tell a story about who I am.  The books I’ve selected to share below are those that are part of my journey into my 30’s and my experiences as a parent. They are all books I’ve read, thought about, talked about and learned from over the past 4 years.

Gummi Bears Should Not Be Organic, by Stefanie Wilder-Taylor. This was one of the first books I read when I became a parent. It took me a long time to read (hello, new mama exhaustion!) but that wasn’t because it was boring. This one had me laughing out loud and highlighting nearly every page.  It taught me to give myself grace, cut the comparison to other parents who (seemingly) have it all figured out, and laugh at this crazy ride called parenting.

Nine Perfect Strangers, by Liane Moriarty. I love how this author can take you right into the lives of a group of people and tell an incredible story through the eyes of several different characters at the same time.  In this book, a group of strangers arrive at a health and wellness resort.  Over the course of the next week, the reader gets to piece together an unbelievable experience and ends with some tense drama. It had me turning pages faster and faster to find out what was happening. I’ve read many books by Liane Moriarty and she never disappoints.

Stretched Too Thin: How Working Moms Can Lose the Guilt, Work Smarter and Thrive, by Jessica N. Turner.  This one has been a lifeline for me in my current stage of life. Jessica hits the nail on the head writing about struggles working moms face and how to navigate through them.  It gave me great perspective on work (it is a blessing), parenting (relax and enjoy the little moments) and housekeeping (Pinterest perfection is not real life!)  If I were going to write a book, this is exactly what I’d say to other moms out there.  

The Woman in the Window, by A.J. Finn. I love psychological thrillers and this one did not disappoint.  It’s the story of a woman who is afraid to leave her own house but she loves to spy on her neighbors. One night something horrible happens across the street, or so she thinks. Throughout the book I was left wondering what was the truth and what was imagined.  There are twists (some that left me completely shocked and re-reading entire pages) and it’s not until the very, very end that the reader finds out what really happened in the house across the street that night.

The Wife Between Us, by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen. Just like I love a good thriller, I love a good novel where nothing is as it seems.  The first half of this book is told through the lens of two different characters, which is different from any other book I’ve read lately.  It’s not until the second half of the book that the reader realizes there is much more to the story and so begins another fascinating journey – just remember, nothing is as it seems and there is much more to the story than a reader assumes – up until the very end!

The Child of the Forest, by Jack Grossman.  This is the book I’m currently reading and I can’t put it down. It’s the true story of a 12 year old girl who escaped the ghetto during the Holocaust and survived on her own for two years in the forest.  It’s a captivating story in itself – I cannot believe the things this young girl went through on her journey alone – but it’s also an important story in history and the very intricate details take you into one of the darkest parts of history. You cannot read this book without feeling something really powerful.  By the way, Jack is a local author!