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  • Writer's pictureDianuh Aerin

Favorite Recent Fiction & Non Fiction Books (6 Recommendations)

We are quickly approaching the coziest months of the year.

It’s time to bring out pumpkin flavored everything, slouchy sweaters, fuzzy slippers and of course, great books to curl up in.

Okay, it’s actually always a good time to read so today, I’m compiling a list of my favorite recent reads!

In my mid and late twenties, I pretty much exclusively read self help or business books.

I still enjoy my motivational and practical reads, but lately, I’ve been really into historical fiction novels. There’s something incredibly rich and inspiring about history and culture and I can’t seem to put them down.

Today I’ll be sharing my three picks for both fiction and non-fiction books. If you think we have a similar taste then I hope you consider adding some of these pages to your bookshelf!

Photo by Sunny Kim of SYK Photography


My sister recommended this book to me multiple times and I’m so glad she did!

The historical fiction novel follows a poor Korean family who journeys through many ups and downs during their migration to Japan. The story begins in the early 1900s and concludes around 1969 and a LOT happens in those years.

I don’t often think about Korea before it’s split, but this book really helped me visualize what it would have been like. Even my parents told me they learned a lot about Korea’s history, which was really cool.

Outside of history, Pachinko tells an epic story about love, passion, sacrifice, tragedy, war and survival. Basically everything you would hope for in a novel! While the stories are fiction, they were heavily inspired by real life events. It feels very realistic and sheds light on what life would have been like during those years. I honestly feel like anyone would enjoy this book!

This book was on Oprah’s book club so you know it’s going to be good. This fictional novel follows Lydia who escapes Acapulco to save her and her son’s life from a violent drug lord and his gang. Things get real, real fast and even from the first pages, you’ll get hooked! As a mother, I resonated with the deep love that Lydia had for her son and her strong will to survive to save his life. If you enjoy thrillers, rooting for the underdog or American dream stories, pick up this book, you won’t regret it.

The Girl on the Train

I prefer audio books over movies on long plane rides so I decided to download this novel just as I was getting on the plane. Over my round trip flights, I finished this book because it got me hooked right away. The psychological thriller was definitely entertaining and kept me guessing the whole time. Let’s say I gasped out loud at the end. Thank goodness, it was only my husband sitting next to me on the plane, ha! If you’re into murder mysteries and thrillers, this one is a good one (and not too scary or violent.)

Non Fiction

Growing up, I heard of the term FOB meaning Fresh Off the Boat, but I never knew the history behind it. This non fiction book tells the story of a family who was fresh off the boat and all the crazy things they’ve endured through their cross the world journey. Think pirates, starvation, government control, extreme poverty, theft of all possessions - I mean literally everything you can think of, this family has endured. Listening to Vinh’s real life stories literally blew my mind and made me want to fall down and worship God. Do yourself a favor and pick up this book. It will humble you and inspire you all at the same time.

This book was HARD to get through because it hit home for me in so many ways. The writer Jordan Lee Dooley is someone I really look up to and while she is young in age, she has gone through a lot. I found myself nodding to her overly ambitious tendencies and putting her worth in her work, leading to burn out. I also read this book shortly after my third miscarriage and reading about her loss made me feel less alone. If you’re finding yourself in the in-between stages of life and want some encouragement, I would highly recommend this book.

Atomic Habits

I read this book at the beginning of 2021 and it gave me a great kick start into the new year. I gave myself “focus goals” for each quarter and wrote down one practical habit I wanted to add each month. For example, my focus goal for Q1 was clarity & vision. Each month of that quarter, I adopted one new habit that would help me get closer to gaining clarity and vision. In January, I decided to wake up at 5:30 and journal. In February, I read 3 chapters of the bible on top of journaling daily. In March, I took the whole month off social media and decided to write 30 mins each day. By focusing on one habit at a time, I was able to really work on that ONE habit instead of multiple. It had a positive habit stacking effect, which was amazing! I plan on reading this book again after the holidays and create new focus goals for 2023.

And those were my top three books for non-fiction and fiction reads! Let me know if you’ve read any of these OR if you plan on picking one of these up for your next read.

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