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. They all have great characters, great stories, and will keep you reading from the first page to the last.
So look no further for books to get you back into reading, these ones are all perfect picks!
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Fiction Books to Get Back Into Reading
I have to say that I think this feel-good book was my favorite pick of 2022. The writing, the characters, and the storyline are all outstanding and I loved every minute of this book. If you are looking for books to get you back into reading, this is the perfect pick.
Iona Iverson has rules for commuting on the train and they start with never talking to anyone. When a businessman starts choking on a grape, this all changes. As the characters get to know one another, we see them all change, evolve and develop friendships.
This feel-good book is heartwarming and delightful in every single way and we knew we needed to include it in our best summer reads 2023 post.
Steven Rowley is a writer who has mastered the art of storytelling. With his signature wit and humor, this book tackles love, loss, and growth.
When Patrick’s sister-in-law dies and Patrick’s brother needs to go to rehab, Patrick takes custody of his niece and nephew for 90 days. Patrick is basically David from Schitt’s Creek with snark and sass. He treats the kids like mini-adults in the most delightful way.
I am such a fan of Steven Rowley and each book provides depth and insight into people at their best and worst. While this is a book about grief, you will find yourself laughing out loud multiple times throughout. It’s a poignant reminder of the importance of family. If you have not read this contemporary fiction book yet, what are you waiting for? It is the perfect book to get back into reading.
Popular Fiction Books To Get You Back Into Reading
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 is the perfect choice for a book to get back into reading.
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
April 2022 GMA Book Club Pick
I don’t even know where to begin with this unique contemporary fiction story. Elizabeth Zott is a chemist in the 50s when women were expected to know their place in society — their place being the kitchen and the home.
Elizabeth struggles to be taken seriously in her field and as a single mother, in this amazing book. So when an offer to host a cooking show for women is put in her path, she reluctantly takes it.
She uses her no-nonsense attitude and chemistry principles to teach the women in America to not only cook but to follow their dreams outside of the home.
Zott is a quirky character like Eleanor Oliphant with a charming daughter and a dog whose inner monologue is as quirky as hers. An absolutely wonderful book and a perfect pick from books to get you back into reading if you are looking for books about motherhood and life.
May 2022 Read with Jenna Book Club Pick
I haven’t read a novel with as much heart as this one in quite some time.
Elderly, recently widowed Tova loves her job cleaning the aquarium in town in the quiet of the night, especially because of her fondness for Marcellus, the octopus. She finds solace in the aquarium as it makes her feel closer to her son, Erik – a marine life lover – who disappeared on a boat when he was 18.
But when she hurts herself and is unable to return to work at full capacity, she grows close with her replacement, Cameron, a young man who newly arrived in town looking for his birth mother.
Meanwhile, Marcellus knows what really happened to Erik and he wants to help Tova find the closure she needs. His narration is interspersed with Tova and Cameron’s for a story that is compelling, heartwarming, and utterly unique.
I will be shoving this book into the hands of everyone who asks for a book recommendation because it’s my favorite book of 2022 and my pick as one of the best audiobooks of 2022. This 5-star pick is the perfect choice from books to get into reading.
Historical Fiction Books to Get Back into Reading
A tell-all about a fictional Elizabeth Taylor-
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 books to get you back into reading.
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. This book to get back into reading is a wonderful choice.
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
This is by far the best mystery I have read in a long time. One party, one body, and everyone had a reason for wanting him dead. This is a brilliant well thought-out, locked room mystery that reminds me of Agatha Christie or the movie Clue- because everyone had motive and opportunity.
The answer is brilliant and kept me guessing until the last page- and I was still left with my mouth agape!!! This is a must-read from our list of mystery books and a great pick from our list of summer reads 2023! If you need a mystery pick from books to get back into reading, this one will not disappoint.
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.
If you need books to get you back into reading, this is my first choice. 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
Thrillers to Get Back into Reading
This is a terrifying and exhilarating thriller that will have your heart pounding from the first page to the last. Six minutes after flight 1421 takes off, it crashes into the pacific ocean, and with twelve people remaining on board, it sinks.
Will and his daughter are among the passengers trapped with limited air and teetering on the edge of a cliff to the abyss. Their only hope of survival is Chris Kent, a diving professional, and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife. She will not stop until her daughter is safe. If you are looking for a heart-pounding book to get back into reading, this one is for you.
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. This is one of our favorite popular thriller books and is sure to be the perfect book to get back into reading.
Fantasy Books to Get You Back into Reading
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. If you have been in a reading slump and are looking for books to get back into reading, this fantasy pick is perfect.
If you have not heard of this book and love fantasy, this is the book for you. Don’t be intimidated by the length of this dragon book for adults, I started and finished this 528-page bad boy in a day and a half. I cannot remember the last time I did that!
Violet Sorrengail had spent her life studying to be a scribe until her father died and her mother, the commanding general, ordered her to join the dragon riders. Violet will become one of the hundreds of candidates who fight to the death to be a part of this elite group.
Unlike the other candidates who have worked towards this their whole lives, Violet is small and brittle and never meant for this to be her path. And other candidates do not have the children of rebel leaders waiting to take revenge.
This adult fantasy book has everything and I loved every second. It lives up to the hype and then some. There are some very spicy parts toward the end so I would agree with the adult rating on this book! If you choose this book to get back into reading and you love it, we have a list of books just like it!
Non-Fiction Books to Get Back Into Reading
November 2018 Oprah’s Book Club Pick
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. This is one of our favorite non-fiction books about women in politics and it’s perfect for a list of books to get you back into reading.
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. This nonfiction book about cults had 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 and is perfect if you are looking for books to get back into reading.