14 Best Books to Get You Back into Reading

The Ultimate List of YA Fantasy 9

This past week we had a question from a friend asking for some book recommendations.  She had gone “off the reading path” so to speak and needed a recommendation for the best book to get her excited about reading again.  These are 14 of the best books to get you back into reading.

We had some criteria for books to make it on this list.  We did not want anything too heavy.  If you haven’t read a book in a while, the last thing you need is something that will weigh you down.  But, the book also needed substance.

When we started making a list, a few books stood out as loved by almost everyone who read them.  They all have great characters, great stories and will keep you reading from the first page to the last.

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Fiction Books to Get You Back Into Reading

Castle of Water

Castle of Water by Dane Huckelridge

This is a wonderful contemporary fiction book about love and survival.  It is so much more than it appears on the surface.  It’s a beautifully written book about a vacation gone awry.

When Sophie and Barry find themselves on an Island as the sole survivors of a plane crash, they learn to depend on each other.  The book moves seamlessly from the past to the present, weaving an intricate tale. It’s one of Kirsten’s favorite books of all time. We also included this one in our list of feel-good books!

If you are looking for vacation books, this is a perfect pick from the list of books like People We Meet on Vacation.

erotic stories for punjabi widows by balli kaur jaswal

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

Looking for a laugh-out-loud contemporary fiction book? This novel about an Indian woman trying to marry her modern English identity with her parents’ conservative Indian values.

She takes up teaching a writing course for widows in her community and she learns so much about herself and them in the process. Between each chapter are hysterical and sometimes raunchy tales written by the widows in her class. I dare you not to smile while reading this story.

Literary Fiction Books To Get You Back Into Reading

Where the Crawdads sing

Where the Crawdads Sing Deluxe Edition by Dehlia Owens

September 2018 Reese Witherspoon Book Club Pick

I will admit when I saw the description of this book, I was not sold.  A trusted individual, who has never steered me wrong in the past, gave me an advanced copy so, I took the leap.  And wow, am I glad I did.  I read this book and then recommended it to everyone I knew. 

This 70s book has that spark, that special something that makes it extra.  It is no surprise that we chose this as our favorite of 2018.

We have an entire post dedicated to this book and how to host a book club around it which makes it a perfect book for book clubs! If you love this book, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing.

For more books like these, check out our list of 13 books like Where the Crawdads Sing

Hum if You dont know the words

Hum If You Don’t Know the Words by Bianca Marais

The story examines the relationship between a black woman and a white girl in apartheid South Africa in 1976. This novel is a brutally honest and emotionally compelling story, unlike anything I have ever read.

This book begins just before the 1976 Soweto uprising in which thousands of black students marched in protest of the apartheid government. Though the protest was peaceful, police open fired killing a hundred children.

This historical fiction book led to the most amazing discussions with our book club. The characters jump off the page. I was completely absorbed from the first sentence on the first page until the last page of the book. It is powerful and poignant and one of Jackie’s all-time favorite books.

 

Historical Fiction Books to Get you Back into Reading

the seven husbands of evelyn hugo 1

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid

A tell-all about a fictional Elizabeth Taylor-esque celebrity’s rise to Hollywood stardom, her seven husbands, and the true love of her life.

Evelyn Hugo has asked an unknown reporter, Monique Grant, to write her life story in a no-holds-barred book. There is a bit of mystery around why Monique was chosen and Evelyn certainly has her fair share of hardships as she claws her way to the top.

The drama and suffering add dimension to the story that makes it so much more than fluff, though the inner workings of Hollywood were fun to read too. The story seems so candid that I honestly forgot that Evelyn Hugo was not a real celebrity. 

Taylor Jenkins Reid slays with this story finding the perfect balance of glamour and grit. This was an easy pick for a list of the best romance novels of all time and might seem like an unusual pick for books like A Man Called Ove but, both Ove and Evelyn are seeking to change their lives and in doing so, change for the better.

The lost Vintage

The Lost Vintage by Anne Mah

This mystery book feels like a warm hug. A little bit of historical fiction, a little bit of mystery, and a little bit of romance. It was so lovely to read at sunset with a glass of wine.

The writing, the story, the whole thing made this book a no-brainer for our feel-good books list and our fiction books about wine.

Kate is working to become a certified wine expert and the only thing standing in her way are the Burgundy wines at her family’s estate (and her first love who lives nearby).

While dealing out the basement filled with generations of belongings, Kate starts to learn about her family during the WWII occupation. Of all the WWII books, this is the one we recommend the most and we have never had anyone not love it.

Mysteries to Get you Back into Reading

Still Life by Louise Penny

Still Life by Louise Penny (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #1)

The first in the series of Chief Inspector Gamache. I fell in LOVE with the Inspector, the town of Three Pines, and its residents. Louise Penny CAN WRITE.

The mystery was great (and I didn’t solve it) but what got me the most was Penny’s writing style and reflections on the human psyche. This first Louise Penny book has the detective searching a piece of art for clues.

This is one of the best detective books and detective series I have ever read. You will fall in love with Three Pines and the people who live there. The wonderful community in this series is the best of what feel-good novels should be. Be sure to check out Louise Penny Books in Order: Complete Guide to Inspector Gamache

Cuckoos calling

The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith

Cormoran Strike is a private investigator on the verge of failure when a client walks through the door with an amazing story.  

He is the brother of the recently deceased Lulu Landry, a famous supermodel. Refusing to believe his sister’s death was a suicide, he wants Cormoran to prove she was murdered.  

If I am honest, I would have read this book no matter what because of who wrote it.  However, I kept reading the series because I love it.  The last book was close to 700 pages so, there was no way I was reading that if I wasn’t totally invested in these characters. 

Rowling has a way of starting small, introducing you to characters, and sucking you in.  Cormoran Strike is the exact opposite of Chief Inspector Gamache.  He is flawed and cranky but, you will love him just the same.

Thrillers to Get you Back into Reading

Wife between us

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen

Everything that you think you know in this book is just an assumption. You can assume that you are wrong. I cannot say much about this book because I do not want to spoil anything but, it is such a perfect domestic thriller.

Warning: do not start it if you don’t have time to finish it. Nellie is so excited about her upcoming wedding that is just days away. She cannot shake the feeling that someone is following her. This unreliable narrator book will have you on the edge of your seat.

i let you go by clare mackintosh

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh 

This domestic thriller grabbed me, shook me, and then gently put me down.  I was given a ride and wasn’t sure what hit me.  This book had a few things that I was not expecting and I absolutely loved it. 

I should say that “the incident” is almost immediate.  This was important to me so that it would not be heart-wrenching.  I loved it.

 Fantasy Books to Get you Back into Reading

court of thorns and roses

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas

This book has a cult-like following for a reason. The first book in the series is a loose fairy tale retelling of Beauty and the Beast set in the world of Prythian. Magical creatures, humans, and fae are all prominent in the book.

This is a fast-paced, addicting, fantasy romance series. A love triangle develops by the end of the story and book two is jaw-dropping! This is on its way to becoming a classic from the list of enemies-to-lovers books. You will want to binge this series in one week. We could not leave this epic romance off a list of the best romance novels of all time.

If you loved ACOTAR, check out this list of books just like it. Or head over to our guide on all of Sarah J. Maas’s books.

night circus

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Every word captivated me from beginning to end and I couldn’t put it down. The story was magical- both literally and figuratively and the descriptions are so vivid.

The stage has been set for a magical competition between the pupils of two very powerful magicians. The stage: the night circus. The pupils, a man and woman, are unsure of the rules, unsure of how to win or when the competition will end. As the competition continues, the opponents fall in love- a situation that only complicates their predicament.

This is magic in a way that I never imagined it before. The story has twists and surprises that left me wondering how I didn’t see what was right there all along. Not only can you find this book in our list of the Best Romance Novels of all Time, but you can also find it on our list of the Best Carnival and Circus Books, 24 Books Like the Hunger Games. And now, you can find books just like it in our post of Books Like the Night Circus. Can you tell we love this book?

Non-Fiction Books You Will Love

becoming


Becoming by Michelle Obama

November 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Pickir?source=bk&t=beyondth06 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=8490f4bde5448c1a5d7f9c3095a78527& cb=1580518895851

I am so happy that I finally read this book. Michelle Obama is a brilliant woman who has such an incredible story to tell.  I was intrigued listening to her life and her upbringing.

I listened to this book and was so happy to hear the story read by Obama herself. Obama is a brilliant woman and it was a pleasure to hear her story told in her voice. There is something about her voice that is so calming and soothing. I highly recommend this book.

educated

Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover

This book had me thinking about it for DAYS. I mean truly, DAYS. This book about poverty shows the impact how a lack of education can impact generations.

Tara’s journey was inspiring, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking all in one. A great insight into more extremist religions and survivalists.

I don’t usually read memoirs and I heard great things about this book.  I loved it so much- it made my list of favorites for the year last year.  It is such an amazing story that reads like a novel rather than non-fiction.

If you haven't read a book recently, you are missing out! There are some great, new books out there that are WAY better than Netflix. We want to help you find the best books to get back into reading, regardless of your preferred genre. What are you waiting for? It's time to #readmorebooks

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One Comment

  1. A great list of books – and I agree with many of them. The Night Circus is an all time favourite book of mine, and you just fall into it so easily; encompassed in the magic. Educated was probably my favourite nonfiction books of last year – such a brave & powerful story. I’m currently listening to The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo on audio, and am loving it, so I can see why that was included also.

    The pull of great characters & a great story definitely makes it easier to fall back into books.