Roundup of Books to Entertain and Re-Ignite Your Interest in Reading
When I was a kid, I used to smuggle a flashlight into my room and stay up late reading books under the covers (sidenote – my son does this too). I have gone through periods where I read a lot of books, and periods where I read very few books, but reading has been a constant in my life. I still stay up way too late way too often finishing a book that has hooked me.
If you want to read more, or are looking for new books to devour, here are some of my all-time favorite books, outside of my favorite book club reads.
Books to Make You Love Reading Again
Whether you’re looking for a book to better yourself or pure entertainment, I’ve got you covered. Here are a few of my favorite books. As a major book worm, it is so hard to pick favorite books. These are just a few that stuck with me that I have recommended to friends.
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I Shall Not Hate, Izzeldin Abuelaish
I will preface this by reminding you that I have an autoimmune disease and have gone through many low points with my illness. As a result, I am drawn to books that celebrate the strength of the human spirit. The author of this book was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize and has spoken around the world about his life. Regardless of your opinion on what is happening in Palestine/Israel, this book will give you hope that you can get through anything with the right mindset.
So, I should be embarrassed to admit this since it was a “duh” moment, but I read this book accidentally, thinking it was the popular “The Girl On The Train,” by Paula Hawkins. It actually took me a really long time to realize I read the wrong book, but I’m glad I made the mistake because after reading both, I totally prefer “Girl On A Train.” I kept hearing people talking about how unlikeable the characters in “The Girl on The Train” were and how they knew how it was going to end and I thought, huh, I really liked the main character and I must be an idiot because I totally did NOT see the ending coming. Turns out it was a totally different book and well worth the read.
My acupuncturist recommended this book when I was going through a really difficult health phase and was still working like an insane person while trying to be the perfect mom. He said he heard about it on NPR and immediately thought of me…not a compliment. I have gone back to this book a few times in the last three years. The beginning of the book is a bit slow and can feel depressing, but I have taken so many good life lessons from this book. I try to incorporate “play” in my life more often and I have stopped letting a messy home prevent me from inviting friends into my home. It really has changed my mindset and whenever I feel like I’m sleeping, I go back and read the last few pages of the book.
A client recommended this book to me and I really enjoyed it. The majority of the book takes place during World War II, however, the main character is now in her 80s, thinking back to that time. What really intrigued me was that she never shared what her life was like with her son. As a parent, I want my kids to know the me before them (well, most of that person), to know what I have done in my life before becoming “mom.” I thought it was interesting that she didn’t share her life with her kids.
The Help, Katherine Stockett
I picked this book up from the library before going away on vacation with the family. I had never seen the movie but the story interested me and I wasn’t disappointed. I really enjoyed this book and watched the movie afterwards and enjoyed it as well. I rarely watch a movie after reading a book, but I made the exception with this book and wasn’t disappointed. It’s a fun book and a fun movie.
Water for Elephants: A Novel, Sara Gruen
I read this book ages ago and really enjoyed the story. I guess I like stories about older people looking back on their lives and sharing their story – probably why I enjoy working with the elderly. This book was also turned into a movie and while I never watched the movie, I imagine it translates well.
The Memory Keeper’s Daughter: A Novel, Kim Edwards
I read this book while I was pregnant with my oldest son (8.5 years ago) and I still think about it. I just think how I would have felt as the “memory keeper’s” family members and what he was thinking. I believe the book was turned into a Lifetime movie, but I never caught it since it came out when I had a newborn.
The Friday Night Knitting Club, Kate Jacobs
In addition to my love of World War II stories and books on overcoming adversity, I really enjoy reading books about the power of friendship among women. I randomly picked this book up at the library and really enjoyed it. All of the characters were well-written and the story was told well.
Summer Sisters, Judy Blume
I had to pick up this adult Judy Blume book when I saw it seeing as she was my favorite childhood author. I was not disappointed. This is a great, light summer read with interesting characters. I read it ages ago and am planning to re-read it this summer.
Success Through Stillness, Russell Simmons
I read this book when I was going through a particularly stressful time. My business was growing, I was working long hours and I was in poor health (from the stress!). I knew of Russell Simmons the business man, but didn’t realize how passionate he is about meditation and how it has changed his life. This book shares scientific evidence on the benefits of mediation, as well as how it has affected his business and personal life. I am still nowhere near being a person who regularly meditates, but I am more open to the idea and try to do short guided meditations when I am particularly stressed.
I was going to share some honorable mention books, but I realized I have so many favorites in different categories that it would be better to do lists by categories.
Do you have favorite books that you love recommending?