15 Books to Add to Your Reading List

We are all trying to find ways to cope with these new uncertain times of troubles and anxiety. Besides binge-watching, daily meditation, and stay-at-home workouts, many are turning to reading as a way to cope. Now is the perfect time to catch up on the books you’ve been wanting to read for ages. Check out our last blog post, “Tips for a Healthy Reading Habit,” if you wish to know where to start. However, if you are looking for book recommendations, we have compiled a list of books that can help you escape from the troubles of reality. 

If you want to escape reality, dive into the fictional world, and encounter light-hearted words…

Reading has been known to be therapeutic as it stimulates our minds and reduces our stress and anxiety levels.  At a time of isolation and cabin fever, sometimes we just need to escape into a fictional world filled with light-hearted stories with characters that we can relate to. We can’t really travel anywhere we want to, but we can travel through the fictional world of books. These books can help you find some happiness and laughter as you go through the adventures of their main characters. 

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Casey McQuiston’s debut novel pushes two forces together — the son of the U.S. president and the royal Prince of U.K. In this fictional romance, scandals arise when both characters must maintain the U.S. and U.K.’s relations that reveals more than just a new friendship. We recommend this book because it explores one’s own identity and sexuality as they find their own legacies.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid 

Kiley Reid’s creates an easy-to-read debut novel with many layers to discover its particular characters. This book discusses the new experiences of mid-20s millennials and racism that still occurs in society. We think many might find this relatable, while others will find it humorous (and second-hand embarrassment for its characters).

Deacon King Kong by James McBride

If you want to travel back in time, James McBride takes you back to Brooklyn in the late 1960s. This comedic narrative will dive you into the different and diverse perspectives in New York City. We think you will love this book as it shows the good and the ugliness of racism and humanity.  

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

In this quirky, “feel good” novel, a 79-year old artist intentionally leaves a notebook about the truth about his life. This leads to various characters reading it and adding their own true life stories with a range of emotions. You can easily cozy up and read through these characters’ stories.  

If you want to learn about new perspectives, understand different people’s struggles, and accept the complexities of the world…

At a time where systemic inequality and racism is finally being openly discussed in society, people must learn to understand and empathize. Studies have shown that by reading fictional novels, a person’s social cognitions have greatly improved by better understanding other people’s situations. That is why it is important to keep an open mindset when choosing the next book to read. These books will give you a better understanding of the history of other cultures and the discrimination they face to this day. 

The Water Dancer by Ta-Nehisi Coates

This debut novel was chosen for Oprah’s Book Club and came up as New York Times #1 fiction best-seller. Ta-Nehisi Coates takes us back to pre-Civil War in the perspective of a slave-born black man. If you like fantasy, adventure, and suspense, this novel perfectly captures the painful stories of slavery through a superhuman character. 

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead

This 2017 Pulitzer Prize winning fictional novel creates an alternative history that explores the idea of an actual railroad system for runaway slaves. Colson Whitehead produces a powerful narrative that depicts the racist and violent foundation the American is built upon. You will empathize and understand the struggles of the black community as their history is often misinterpreted or forgotten. 

America Is Not the Heart by Elaine Castillo

Written by a Filipinx-American, this novel tells the legacy of an immigrant woman who moves to California from the Philippines. Elaine Castillo will not only depict Philippine’s violent history and the struggles of immigrants in the United States, but will also describe the challenges of keeping one’s own culture and discovering your identity. You will either relate to this or understand the perspective of immigrants who face backlash, inequality, and discrimination. 

If I Had Your Face by Frances Cha

Unlike the previous novels, this novel is set in Korea and describes its hierarchical society run by men and their depiction of women. If you want to break stereotypes, Frances Cha will empower women and expose the ugly truth of beauty standards.

The Namesake by Jhumpa Lahiri

This award-winning, international bestselling novel describes the experiences of a first-generation son of Indian immigrants. Lahiri explores keeping one’s own cultural identity, the pressure of family expectations through generations, and the daily conflicts living in suburban America. You would want to read this novel if you want to read about self-discovery in the unique and complex perspective of an immigrant family. 

If you need some guidance and improve your outlook in life… 

Sometimes we just need to feel like we are not alone. Reading is more crucial now that everyone is experiencing isolation and, sometimes, loneliness. These books will help you find some comfort in life or improve the way you see yourself and the world. 

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

This essay collection humors its readers as Samantha Irby describes the uncertainty and stress of life. You should read this book if you want to have a great laugh as you also contemplate the way you see your life. 

Finding Meaning: The Sixth Stage of Grief by David Kessler

People everywhere are struggling with grief due to the global pandemic. Many will start to feel lost, confused, and angry as they go through these troubling times. David Kessler will give his readers some guidance to find meaning and hope in life despite the struggles they face.

Atomic Habits by James Clear

During quarantine, you may find yourself struggling to keep a habit that you enjoy and feel productive. James Clear creates a framework to improve upon good habits in your life and escape from the bad ones. 

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

Glennon Doyle’s memoir discusses womanhood, a misogynistic society, the clash of religion and sexuality, and the struggles she faced growing up. She describes a lot of heavy-handed topics filled with deep reflections of herself and her perspective of the world. You should read this book if you want to feel inspired or reflective about your outlook in life and the society you grew up in.  

Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat, Pray, Love, creates a beautiful insight to living a life filled with imagination, risks, and creativity. We recommend reading this when you are feeling lonely and upset with the situations in your life and the world. This novel will inspire you to reflect on your life by overcoming the obstacles of fear through a creative mindset. 

Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Written by a billionaire philanthropist, this novel shares the principles Ray Dalio adopted into his life to be where he is in life right now. Dalio will inspire you to embrace self-reflection, improve your outlook in life, and develop work principles that can be utilized in your everyday life. 

Now that your reading list is filled, start your journey of establishing a healthy reading habit! And, don’t forget to pick up one of our essential sprays to help you find comfort and peace as you escape reality to read.

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Many things are good, 

many are important,

but only a few are essential. 

D. Todd Christofferson