Looking for a list of fiction books for women (or men) who are busy and don’t have time to research?

I don’t blame you, to me there’s nothing better than a book which takes us to another time or place. A book which keeps us from thinking about the chores at home or tasks at work we need to complete.

For me, there are few things which rival the joy of being able to get out of my head for awhile and concentrate on something else. But if you’re like me, your time is limited and you don’t always know when you’ll have a couple of hours to spare for a great read.

I put this list together of 6 fiction books for women who are pressed for time. You have a mountain of schedules to keep up with – either your own or your spouse and kids, or all of the above. You need to cut to the chase and find out which ones are worth reading!

These are on my go-to list when I need a good laugh, cry, or just feel better about my circumstances. And another bonus – these are all great audio books so you can listen no matter where you are.

Let’s not waste any more time, shall we? Here’s my list of 6 fiction books for women that I personally recommend – complete with vague descriptions so I don’t ruin the plot for you.

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

This is one of my all-time favorite fiction novels. The themes Hannah weaves throughout the story are strong, resonating with you long after you put the book down. Women overcoming incredible hardship, the bond between sisters , and mothers and daughters, and the spirit of perseverance are found throughout the book.

Set in the beginning of World War II, it’s a story of how two sisters endure – and fight – the German occupation of France. Even though the characters are fictitious, it’s not hard to imagine how this could have happened during such an ugly time in our world’s history.

I’ll be the first to admit there were moments of ugly-crying as I was reading this. It’s not the most uplifting tale I’ve ever read, but it’s certainly one of the most memorable. If you enjoy reading about the lengths people had to go through to survive World War II, then you will love The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah.

Oh, one more thing, my investigation on the internet revealed The Nightingale will be made into a movie soon! Real-life sisters Dakota and Elle Fanning are supposedly starring in the adaptation. I can’t wait!! This is all the more reason you should read it soon, so you’ll be ready when the movie gets here.

The Great Alone : A Novel by Kristin Hannah

In case you can’t tell, I’m a big fan of Kristin Hannah’s work. Once I recovered emotionally from The Nightingale, I had to find something else to wrench my heart out. The Great Alone was my next choice.

Set in the turbulent 70’s , it’s about a family who moves to Alaska on the promise of a new beginning to their life, post-Vietnam war. They get there, only to find out how tough the living conditions in Alaska really are, and the strength it will take to survive the winter. The story follows the life of Leni, the young daughter who comes of age while her family is dealing with the challenges of learning to navigate life in Alaska.

The story is completely different than The Nightingale, but the theme of resiliency and human spirit is definitely still there. The Great Alone tackles tougher subjects such as mental illness and abuse, but it’s an amazing tale of surviving the most treacherous conditions.

Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

If you’re looking to be transported to a fictitious Southern town and feel like you’re part of someone else’s family, then you have to read this book. Slightly South of Simple is the first of 3 in the Peachtree Bluff series and I think it will become the standard in modern, Southern fiction.

This stories follows the lives of a Mom (Ansly) and her 3 daughters. This book is mostly centered on the oldest of the 3 daughters – Caroline. It’s a simple story of forgiveness, family, and picking up the pieces of your life when you get knocked down. But I love it so much because the characters are so charming and witty. You will feel like you’re sitting there having lunch with the ladies.

The other reason I loved this book is because I thought I had the premise all figured out early on. Sure enough, I was wrong. Harvey manages to give you several surprises with each character along the way.

If you love Southern fiction then you have to add Slightly South of Simple to your list!

A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean

I’ll be the first one to admit, I wasn’t sure if I would like this book. I don’t know why I had a predisposition to it either, maybe it’s because it’s set in Nova Scotia and I’ve never been there before? I’m still not sure, but thankfully I got over it quickly.

From the very beginning I identified with the main character – Abbie – who is a busy wife and mom, just like me. Oh, and she’s a brilliant surgeon too – which is not like me at all, but adds a depth to her character.

Of course it wouldn’t be a great book if the story didn’t go beyond talking about how busy a mom is. She’s involved in a terrible car accident, which she barely survives. But then, what happens after the accident will blow your mind. The accident completely unravels life as she knows it and MacLean keeps you guessing throughout A Curve in the Road.

Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick

The first time I heard about this book was after seeing the amazing movie with Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence. And as much as I loved the movie, the book was even better.

The main character, Pat Peoples, is one of the quirkiest, oddest characters you’ll ever come across. But you can’t help but root for him. Somehow I only wanted the best for him as I kept reading through this novel. The author managed to bring humor and wit to a couple of very complicated subjects – mental illness and dysfunctional families. 

This story is about Pat’s struggles to get back into normal routines after he’s been in a mental institution for a few years. It chronicles his journey with his family and ex-wife and the new relationships he forms along the way. Silver Linings Playbook is one for the ages, you won’t be disappointed.

The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

I’m a sucker for anything with “Paris” in the title. Not only is Paris my favorite city in the world, but I’ve been there so many times I feel as if I have to read about it to compare notes. The Paris Wife is intriguing because it’s a historical fiction piece, but based on the marriage of Ernest Hemingway and Hadley Richardson. I’m not sure how much is fact and how much is fiction, but I couldn’t put this book down.

You’ll get an insider’s view of the complicated personality of Ernest Hemingway. It’s all set against the backdrop of their married life in Paris. I love how it’s a story told from the wife’s point of view, when we so often only hear about the genius of Hemingway. You can tell the author has completed an extensive amount of research to make this marriage so vivid.

The Paris Wife will make you feel you have a front-row seat to Hemingway’s first marriage.

6 Fiction Books for Women Who Want to Escape Their Responsibilities a Little Longer

So there you have it, my favorite 6 fiction books for women. Even when life gets crazy and busy, you can always find time to listen to or read a great book. What about you? Do you have your go-to list of favorites that you would recommend? Share them with me!