9 New Books That Will Help You Break Your Reading Slump
A reading slump is just about the worst thing that can happen to a book-lover, but if you've slacked off and let your TBR pile grow larger, there's no reason to fear. All it takes is the right book to break your reading slump, and I have nine great contenders for you below.
I spent years reading about as much as the average American, which is to say, not very much at all, but I broke my reading slump in 2015, when, after reading next to nothing for years, I finished 56 books in 52 weeks. I've increased my reading total by 20-30 books each year, and I'm currently on track to exceed my 100-book goal for 2018.
How did I do it? I joined reading challenges, started a book review blog, and picked up books I had been meaning to read or re-read for a long time. 2015 continues to stick out as one of the most magical reading periods of my life, and your comeback year can be just as special, if you play your cards right.
The nine books on this list were all published in the last year or so, and most of them have made headlines for their upcoming adaptations, awards nominations, and other credits. Check out my picks for the books that will break your reading slump:
'Little Fires Everywhere' by Celeste Ng
Little Fires Everywhere opens with a mysterious house fire in a picture-perfect Cleveland suburb, then backs up to wind through the weeks that led up to the blaze, which include the intrusion of Mia and Pearl — an artist and her daughter — upon the 'burb's cookie-cutter world.
'Don't Call Us Dead' by Danez Smith
This book of poetry tackles the violence and apathy directed at black men's bodies, from police brutality to the AIDS epidemic. You can read part of the book's opening poem, "summer, somewhere," here.
'The Radium Girls' by Kate Moore
For 25 years in the early 20th century, watchmakers in the U.S. employed girls and young women to color watch faces and dials with glow-in-the-dark paint. The workers were told to lick their paintbrushes into a fine point, and that ingesting the paint was safe. In reality, they were sucking radioactive material into their bones with every stroke.
'The Belles' by Dhonielle Clayton
Six 16-year-old sisters known collectively as "the Belles" have been born to a mission: restore beauty to the ugly, grayed-out land of Orléans. Their magic makes them valuable in a world that prizes aesthetic pleasures, but as one of the sisters, Camellia, rises through Orléans' social ranks, she discovers that the Belles' magical powers might not be so lovely after all.
'Red Clocks' by Leni Zumas
After the passage of the Personhood Amendment outlaws abortion and in-vitro fertilization treatments, three Oregon women find themselves staring down the issue from different sides when a fourth, a homeopathic healer named Gin, is put on trial for assisting women whom the law and the medical establishment have failed.
'An American Marriage' by Tayari Jones
Celestial and Roy have barely had time to enjoy being married before he is wrongfully convicted and sentenced to 12 years in prison. His early release brings new challenges, however, as Celestial and Roy's best man, Andre, have grown close in the five years he has been gone.
'Priestdaddy' by Patricia Lockwood
In this memoir of an almost-too-weird-to-be-true childhood, Patricia Lockwood returns to her Midwestern upbringing when a financial problem forces her to return to her parents' home, bringing her husband along for the ride.
'Women Writing Resistance: Essays on Latin America and the Caribbean,' edited by Jennifer Browdy
'The Neighborhood' by Mario Vargas Llosa
Set in Peru in the 1990s, this thriller (written by a Nobel Laureate) revels in the chaotic aftermath of a tabloid magazine editor's murder, when two prominent couples, whose lives are already hopelessly intertwined, are thrust into the spotlight of suspicion.