by annie long sullivan/contributor, morphmom daily
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Do you want to reboot your reading habit, but don’t know where to start?
The first step to reading may seem simple, but can actually be daunting: finding a darn book. My POV is that it should be something that YOU like to read: not the classic from your college English class syllabus you never got to or the 700 page self-help book your know-it-all neighbor says was life-changing.
Here are my suggestions for 10 utterly readable books that will help you reconnect with your love of reading.
My Last Innocent Year by Daisy Florin: This campus coming-of-age novel examines sexual politics, power and lust, and the sometimes murky nature of romantic encounters. The book takes place in the ‘90’s on a New England college campus, which definitely made me nostalgic. It’s the kind of book you can read in one weekend.
How to Stay Married by Harrison Scott Key: If you want to read a memoir that isn’t Britney or Prince Harry, this one's for you. It’s a wild ride that you won’t soon forget, especially if you have been married for a while and/or are a Chrsitian. It’s LOL funny, yet also raw and revealing.
Tom Lake by Ann Patchett: This is a cozy, warm story about family, love, and growing up. The book explores the complex interaction between destiny and choice. If you happen to have daughters who are incredulous that you had a life before they were born, it will definitely hit home. Literature and theater lovers, there are lots of Easter eggs in here for you, too!
Mary Jane by Jessica Anya Blau: This novel tells the story of a fourteen-year-old girl's coming of age in 1970s Baltimore, caught between her straight-laced family and the progressive family she nannies for – who happen to be secretly hiding a famous rock star and his movie star wife for the summer. It’s funny, wise and tender, and has been compared to "Almost Famous" and"Daisy Jones & The Six."
Marrying the Ketchups by Jennifer Close: If big Irish Catholic families and Chicago are your jam, then this novel is for you. Bonus points if you love 90’s music, the Cubs and have ever worked in a restaurant.
The Summer I Turned Pretty Trilogy by Jenny Han: These books may be Young Adult, but trust me, you aren’t too old for them. The series explores lifelong friendships, first loves, heartbeat, loss, and the strength of family bonds. Go grab a teenager and have them read along with you!
The Whispers by Audrey Audrain: This dark domestic thriller delves deep into the guts of motherhood. It is a page-turner full of twists and turns that I never saw coming (and I’m usually good like that).
Social Engagement by Avery Carpenter Forrey: This was my favorite book I read this summer – and not just because of the Taylor Swift epigraph. It’s a smart, fun (but not fluffy) novel chock full of things I like to read about: rich people behaving badly, New York City, destination weddings, and unfinished business with an unforgettable ex.
The Paper Palace by Miranda Cowley Heller: This juicy novel is all about summers on Cape Cod, WASPS, family secrets, and forbidden love. It’s a slow-build drama that has an ending that will stop you in your tracks.
Sorrow and Bliss by Meg Mason: Every once in a while a book comes along that turns anyone who has read it into a raving fan. That’s this book. It’s about marriage, mental illness, sisterhood, family dysfunction, and so much more. It’s intensely sad at times and hilariously funny at others. If you are a fan of Fleabag, Sally Rooney or Taffy Brodesser-Akner, then you will not be able to put it down.
Pro tip: any time is a great time to start reading, but the “dead week” between Christmas and New Year’s Eve is especially ideal. Odds are you will be outside of your normal routine, whether you will be on vacation, or simply hunkering down at home, and you will have some bonus time to read.
P.S. This is also a reminder that books make the best gifts, so consider giving them to everyone and anyone on your list!
Annie Long Sullivan is founder of soThis -- which was born during the COVID lockdown, when she was reminded how books can be a means of both discovery and escape. She's a super-reader who has had her nose in a book since 1975.... read more about her, here.