Are you stuck in a reading slump and simply do not know what to read? Or, are you trying to reignite a love for reading? Do you just want some good books to read? Well, look no further! Here are five books I recommend that range from fantasy to non-fiction.
1. “The Book Thief” by Markus Zusak (Historical Fiction)
If you decide to read this book, be prepared to cry. Markus Zusak writes in a manner that truly makes you connect to all of the characters. The book follows a young Liesel during World War II after she is sent to the outskirts of Munich to live with a foster family. Liesel builds a new life and develops her love for reading, which causes her to steal books from the mayor’s wife’s library and from the Nazi book-burnings. The book is also written in a very interactive way (there are drawings, German phrases and inserts) that further connects the reader to Liesel and the setting.
2. “Chinese Cinderella” by Adeline Yen Mah (Non-Fiction)
Although “Chinese Cinderella” is non-fiction, it reads like fiction. As the reader experiences the book, he or she will feel as if Adeline Yen Mah has stepped into a foreign world and crafted it herself. This is a beautiful, autobiographical story about growing up in an affluent 20th-century Chinese family. Adeline’s mother dies giving birth to her; thus, Adeline’s family considers her bad luck. When her father remarries, Adeline’s life only gets harder. Her step-mother is cruel to her, and her father never shows Adeline any love. Adeline Yen Mah paints her life in a way that makes a reader feel for her and feel like her.
3. “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Shwab (Fantasy/Science Fiction)
If you love wizards and complicated characters, this book is perfect for you. The first book in a trilogy, “A Darker Shade of Magic” sets up a semi-new world in a fascinating way that keeps the reader on the edge of his or her seat. The book revolves around four different versions of London: Grey London, Red London, White London and Black London. However, only the Antari, a dying race of people born with magic in their blood, can travel through the Londons. The book follows Kell, an Antari, and Delilah Bard, a pit-pocketer, and their increasingly complicated lives as they attempt to avoid intertwining themselves with the dangers of magic.
4. “Turtles All the Way Down” by John Green (Realistic Fiction)
“Turtles All the Way Down” is a recent John Green book, but it still reads like his previous books. I would compare reading this book to reminiscing about a past life. The book follows a sixteen-year-old girl named Aza as she tries to navigate high school life. There are the basic teenage tropes of a childhood friend-turned-crush and best friend drama, but neither of those themes earns the spotlight of the book. The story’s main focus is on Aza and her struggle coming to terms with her father’s death and getting a hold on her Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder.
5. “Heartless” by Marissa Meyer (Fantasy)
Have you ever wondered why the Queen of Hearts from “Alice in Wonderland” is so cruel and heartless? Marissa Meyer provides an explanation. This story follows the Queen of Hearts, or Catherine as she is called, throughout her teenage years. Catherine is set to marry the king, but she is instead drawn to his jester. They enter a secret courtship, and a tale of mystery, fate, magic and love ensues.
I hope that any of these books sparked something and inspired you to read (if not these specific novels, then any book). Happy reading, and stay safe!