Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Top Ten Tuesdays - Books To Pull You Out Of A Slump

This week’s prompt for Top Ten Tuesdays asks us to recommend ten books that will help you get out of a reading slump. At first I figured this one would be a piece of cake. But then I realized that what grabs me in a book isn’t necessarily what will grab you. For example, I raced through Lincoln In The Bardo and while this one was a big hit, I know that some folks really couldn’t get into it. Are you not reading right now because you’re feeling down? Well then I wouldn’t recommend Me Before You, although that’s another book I recommend to everyone but it will give you the ugly cries even if life is going great. Do you usually read fiction? Maybe it’s time to throw in a little non-fiction to shake things up. Or maybe it’s a good time to let someone else read to you for a while and audiobooks are the way to go. You see my problem with recommending books?

So I can only recommend to you what has worked for me, books that made me want to keep reading regardless of the subject matter or writing style. Many of them aren’t even among my favorite books of the year - they didn’t have to be great books, just the right book at the right time.

1. Cocktail Hour Under The Tree of Forgetfulness by Alexandra Fuller – a memoir of life in post-colonial Africa that is filled with warmth and humor despite an often grim life.

2. The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters – scary in that eerie way that makes your skin crawl. This one’s coming out as a movie shortly but I’m not sure I can handle it on the big screen.

3. Looking for Me by Beth Hoffman – I read this one in one sitting which is rare for me. It was definitely the right book at the right time. It’s got a love story, family drama, and a woman trying to find herself all told in a very comforting way.

4. I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron – nobody did funny like Nora and I could relate to so many of the stories. But it is also incredibly sad; I cried as I drove listening to it.

5. Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell – young love, the pain of trying to find your place, angst, family dysfunction, and Rowell’s incredible humor and insight.

6. Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson – I cried I was laughing so hard. Lawson has an incredible talent for making tough times funny. I'll definitely read it again sometime.

7. The Martian by Andy Weir – science fiction made funny. I loved the idea of someone being able to survive on his own wits.

8. The Breakdown by B. A. Paris – here’s one you won’t find on my top ten list. It’s not great writing but good enough that I couldn’t put it down after about the half way point.

9. Any of the Hamish MacBeth books by M. C. Beaton – M. C. Beaton writes what I like to call dark cozy mysteries. In this series, I’m smitten with Hamish and adore the cast of characters in his tiny village of Lochdubh.

10, The Changeling by Victor LaValle – this one is WAY out of my comfort zone and I would highly recommend you look at the publisher’s summary before you pick it up. BUT…I was completely sucked in by the story; evidently what I really needed at the time I read this was something that was entirely different from my usual fare.


  1. This is a great list, Lisa. I know that for me, mood or why I am not reading definitely matters in what may pull me out of a slump. And sometimes that means taking a break from reading. Jenny Lawson is a great one for breaking me out of a slump. She's so funny and real. Eleanor and Park is another really good one. I find myself most successful with lighter, fast paced novels when I a pick-me-up. Something that can pull me in enough to get me out of my head--and keep me there.

  2. Let's Pretend That Never Happened is one of my favorite rereads. I love it in audio! I've read some of the Hamish MacBeth books and really enjoyed them. I need to get back to the series. The rest look good and like good reads to kind of shake you out of a reading rut.