This is a post for anyone who has always thought that they’d like to start reading more for pleasure.With the world in varying degrees of lockdowns and many people isolating, reading is something that can help us escape when we have nowhere else to go!
I’m usually the Go-To person in my friendship, work, and family groups that people turn to when they want to start reading for pleasure, or find their next great read. So I decided I’d try my best to round up my most-recommended reads for people who would like to find books that might ignite a love of reading, start a new hobby, or add a new ingredient into their self care routine!
This is the book that I recommend to anyone looking to get into reading. Written by an Irish author, it follows a family with some very dark secrets. The opening line sets the tone: “My husband did not mean to kill Annie Doyle, but the lying tramp deserved it.” This book will have you staying up late to furiously turn the pages as you navigate the different twists and turns of this tale. A great starting point for anyone who says that they can’t sit down and read a book for a long time.
Wild follows Cheryl Strayed on a journey of self discovery. When everything seemed lost, Cheryl impulsively decided to walk the pacific crest trail alone. This book was a marvel. I picked it up before watching the movie adaptation and felt so connected to Cheryl throughout. Her honest portrayal of her struggles, and her anecdotes about her journey on the trail, made me aspire to do more in life, to be more, and to live in the moment. A really heartwarming read, particularly apt for a time of such isolation for many.
Young Adult Fiction
This book explores a world where, to be basic about it, racism is reversed. A Cross is a person in the black, ruling class; a Nought is a ‘colourless’ person who were slaves to the superior class. Much like our own history, these classes don’t mix. However, Sephy and Callum develop a teenage romance that puts them both in harms way. I have yet to bring myself to watch the TV adaptation as these literary characters feel so real for me. Part of a series, I inhaled the first three books. A great, thought-provoking book!
This book will keep you guessing. Our protagonist, Christine, has amnesia and much like Lucy from the movie “50 First Dates,” wakes up each morning with her memory wiped. She starts to see a therapist and keeps a journal, and tries to work on reconstructing her memories. Every day she tries to figure out who she is, where she is, and how the hell she got here. A fantastic book that will leave you feeling uncertain, unsettled, and goes out with a bang! Don’t watch the movie adaptation – it ruined the story!
Eleanor Oliphant is a quirky 29 year old woman who struggles with her social skills. Her life is meticulously timetabled and she does her best to avoid interaction with others. Her life changes completely when she meets Raymond. When Eleanor and Raymond save Sammy’s life, Eleanor is forced to step outside her comfort zone and live a more social, more open life. This book is so much more than meets the eye – trust me, you won’t see the twist coming!
This book tells a tale of WWII where we join Liesel, our Book Thief, whose story is very beautifully told. This book will take some time to read, and is not for those who live for Happily-Ever-Afters. I’d go so far as to say that this book was crafted – to read it is an honor and a genuine pleasure. Set in a world war, it is not full of fairies and pixie dust, but it is emotional, soul-shattering, and a book that will stay with you for a long time after you’ve read it. A modern day masterpiece.
I’m pretty sure the world and it’s mother know the basic concept of Harry Potter so I won’t retell it here. I’ve known many naysayers who have been adamant that they could never enjoy a fantasy world of witches and wizards, death-eaters and horcruxes – but these same people have come back to me with their tails between their legs, in awe of these books. A genuinely fantastic series that is a great starting point for any reluctant pre-teen/teenage readers and adults alike. So give these a chance, this series is a game changer!
Aisling! A stereotypical young Irish woman. She has the perfect boyfriend who plays for the local GAA team, the perfect job, and her life mapped out ahead of her. Until a spanner is thrown in the works! These books are absolutely hilarious – I didn’t think they’d be my cup of tea at first but I absolutely adore them! There’s a little bit of Aisling in all of us Irish girls! This is a heartwarming story that will leave you chuckling, crying, and probably planning a trip to the Emerald Isles once these travel bans are over!
Best of luck on your reading journey! I hope you’ve enjoyed browsing through my “So you Want to Start Reading” list and I also hope you’ve found a genre that appeals to you! These are books that I really loved and most people who I’ve recommended them to have also adored them. If you read them, or have read them, I’d love to know what you think of them in the comments below!