10 Best Fiction Books to Read When Pregnant

Pregnant woman reading in garden

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By now, you've most likely heard about the non-fiction classics to read during pregnancy, which lend advice about the gestational period and raising children. While these books can be helpful, sometimes an escape is just what you need to relax your mind.

Reading fictional books provides you with just that, allowing you to get lost in the characters and the storylines while also giving you the ability to unwind. Of course, babies are on your brain right now, so it's expected that stories about pregnancy are currently piquing your interest.

We've rounded up a diverse list of titles that shine a light on the challenges and joys of pregnancy and parenthood that you, as an expectant parent, are sure to enjoy. There are even a few on the list that will pique the interest of those who enjoy mysteries and thrillers. So, kick up your feet and relax as you get ready to find your next favorite read!

Baby Proof

Book Details

  • "Baby Proof" was written by Emily Giffin.
  • The book was released in June 2006.
  • This 352-page book has been called a "thought-provoking meditation of our culture's focus on parenthood and family" by "The Washington Post."

Why It's a Winning Pick

In "Baby Proof," the main character, Claudia, has just about given up on love until she meets Ben, who, by all accounts, is the perfect man. Initially, their relationship is smooth sailing with both of them agreeing to marriage without children—that is until one of them has a change of heart.

Full of humor and heart, this novel gracefully explores what happens when two people who are deeply in love decide they want different things out of life. They come face-to-face with heart-wrenching decisions about what matters most in life and then have to determine what they will—and won't—do for love.

Where to Find It

"Baby Proof" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple Books, GooglePlay, and more.

Someone Like You

Book Details

  • "Someone Like You" was written by Sarah Dessen.
  • The book was released in May 1998.
  • Hailed for its perfectly depicted characterizations by "Publishers Weekly," this 281-page book highlights the importance of true friendship.

Why It's a Winning Pick

This novel is a great pick for those who prefer a simpler read. The subject matter is heavy, though. Scarlett, a high school student, discovers she is pregnant soon after her boyfriend dies in a car accident.

With her best friend away at camp, she must navigate her unplanned pregnancy without her support system by her side. The topic is serious, but it's presented in a way that's light and easy to digest, tapping into the ever-important bond of true friendship

Where to Find It

"Someone Like You" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and more.

Nobody's Baby But Mine

Book Details

  • "Nobody's Baby But Mine" was written by Susan Elizabeth Phillips.
  • The book was released in February 1997.
  • This 384-page book was described as "heartwarming" and "outrageous" by bestselling author Jayne Anne Krentz.

Why It's a Winning Pick

Jane is a brilliant physics professor who desperately wants a baby, but she fears her child will grow up uncomfortable in their own skin due to their intelligence, much as she did. To remedy this, she wants to find someone of lesser intelligence to father her baby, settling for someone whose smarts she greatly underestimated. This fun read explores what happens when two stubborn people connect under unconventional circumstances and unexpectedly fall in love. 

Where to Find It

"Nobody's Baby But Mine" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and more.

Eleven Hours

Book Details

  • "Eleven Hours" was written by Paullina Simons.
  • The book was released in June 1998.
  • Called a "harrowing, hair-raising story" by critics, this book will keep you turning the pages late into the night.

Why It's a Winning Pick

This psychological thriller isn't for the faint of heart. The novel's protagonist, Didi, is a compulsive shopper who also happens to be nine months pregnant. Consequently, when she's approached at a mall by a man who later makes her his captor, she wonders if it's God's way of punishing her for spending her husband's hard-earned money so flippantly. This book is an intense read, but if you're a fan of thrillers, this one will have you turning the pages in suspense until the novel comes to a close. 

Where to Find It

"Eleven Hours" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Powell's, and more.

With the Fire on High

Book Details

  • "With the Fire on High" was written by Elizabeth Acevedo.
  • The book was released in May 2019.
  • This 416-page book was hailed a "gift" of a story by "The New York Times."

Why It's a Winning Pick

Emoni Santiago fell pregnant during her freshman year of high school, and her life has been riddled with difficult choices since. She's sacrificed endlessly to ensure her daughter and grandmother are well cared for, but she has dreams of her own, the greatest of which is becoming a chef.

This novel serves up a healthy dose of inspiration as it follows her journey of embracing her talent in the kitchen, proving goals can be reached through hard work and dedication, regardless of life's obstacles. 

Where to Find It

"With the Fire on High" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and more.

Arcadia

Book Details

  • "Arcadia" was written by Lauren Groff.
  • The book was released in October 2012.
  • Called "timeless and vast" by "The New York Times," this 298-page book is a look at how we never truly escape our past.

Why It's a Winning Pick

This expertly written novel follows Bit Stone, the first child born in an upstate New York commune called Arcadia. The novel begins in the 1960s and tells Bit's story through the year 2018, highlighting his transformation from a meek child to a confident adult trying to establish himself as a professional outside the commune. The storytelling perfectly captures how we are unavoidably anchored to our pasts, despite how far we attempt to move away from it.

Where to Find It

"Arcadia" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and more.

Cradle and All

Book Details

  • "Cradle and All" was written by James Patterson.
  • The book was originally released in 2000.
  • This 336-page book was deemed "suspenseful and fast-paced" by the "Cincinnati Enquirer."

Why It's a Winning Pick

All-star author James Patterson delivers a page-turning novel with this unique story of two young women who are pregnant, despite claiming they're both virgins. The catch? One is carrying Christ's child, and the other is carrying the child of Satan.

The two girls are each determined to convince a detective they are the mother of God. But, you'll have to wait to the end to see whose baby is the holy child and whose is the spawn of the devil. 

Where to Find It

"Cradle and All" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and more.

The Millstone

Book Details

  • "The Millstone" was written by Margaret Drabble.
  • The book was released in 1965.
  • This 194-page book was declared "the crucial 1960s feminist novel" by "The Guardian."

Why It's a Winning Pick

Sometimes pregnancies are unplanned, and the decisions surrounding such a life-altering surprise are difficult to make. After getting pregnant following a one-night stand, a young scholar must decide whether or not she will keep her baby. Despite knowing she will be faced with challenges, this heartwarming story explores how surprises can sometimes be the greatest gifts in life, as she decides to keep her child and raise it by herself. 

Where to Find It

"The Millstone" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Google Play, and more.

That Baby

Book Details

  • "That Baby" was written by Jillian Dodd.
  • The book was released in August 2015.
  • Hailed by fans as being the best of the series trilogy, this 404-page book is filled with emotion.

Why It's a Winning Pick

The final book of a trilogy follows a couple named Jadyn and Phillip through their pregnancy journey. The story is filled with heartfelt emotion, including romantic elements that will tug at your heartstrings.

The book also contains a number of twists and turns that will keep you flipping through the pages to see what happens next. If you're ready to fall in love with these characters (and have a good cry), this is a must-read pick.

Where to Find It

"That Baby" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop, and more.

Bad Marie

Book Details

  • "Bad Marie" was written by Marcy Dermansky.
  • The book was released in June 2010.
  • This 212-page book was described as "deliciously wicked" by "Slate."

Why It's a Winning Pick

Fresh out of prison, the only job Marie can land is as a friend's nanny, prompting her to move in with their family. This dark, twisted tale is full of erotic allure, as Marie flees her friend's home stealing her husband and baby away in the process.

Marie's reputation of being "bad" reaches new levels after her prison release. But in the process, she learns about love and motherhood in this suspenseful tale. 

Where to Find It

"Bad Marie" is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, IndieBound, and more.

A Word From Verywell

Reading is a perfect way to leisurely pass the time when pregnant. And even though you'll certainly have time to read again once your baby arrives, it may be a bit before you'll be able to sit down and flip through a book without interruptions. Now is the ideal time to take a moment for yourself, curl up on the couch, and get lost in the pages of a new story.

As is the case with most forms of entertainment, fiction books are often exaggerated versions of reality. Remember to stick with subject matter and genres that interest you and to avoid any topics that may be triggering during your pregnancy. The goal is to relax and unwind; you've earned it!

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