What’s up, Arrowheads?
I’ve seen a few videos recently where BookTubers are recommending books to viewers to help them get back into reading, and I’ve really wanted to share a list of my own. So, if you’re not a self-proclaimed bookworm and want to dive into reading as a hobby, check out these recommendations!
The Books that Got Me Back into Reading
If you’ve read my reading testimony, you may remember that I haven’t always been a bookworm. If you’re new to Authoring Arrowheads, long story short, I got burnt out on reading in the 4th grade because my teacher forced me to stay inside during recess and read to get A.R. points so we could win the A.R. reward at the end of the school year. Since reading became negatively associated with punishment at the time for me (especially since I was assigned to earn more points than everyone else in my class), I stopped reading for the fun of it. This lasted until my junior year of high school, which brings me to my first two books that helped me get back into reading:
To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
The modern classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, was an assigned reading in Honors English my junior year, but I fell head-over-heels with the book. For the first time in years, I wanted to pick up the book and read more of Scout’s story.
To Kill a Mockingbird, I believe, is a book that could help anyone get back into reading. With universal themes of friendship, family, fighting prejudice with courage, and seeking justice, it’s a book that I feel anyone can relate to. It’s also written from a child’s point-of-view, which makes it easier to read than other classics.
Once I read To Kill a Mockingbird, I kept wanting to give other books a try. This lead me to the first book I read on my own volition that got me back into reading, which was:
The Best of Me by Nicholas Sparks
I’ll preface this book recommendation by explaining that I asked for this book for Christmas of my junior year based on two things: 1) North Carolina is my home state, and Nicholas Sparks is considered a must-read author here, since he lives in New Bern and all his books are based in NC, and 2) I knew I wanted to read a romance, and this was Sparks’ newest release at the time.
While I don’t specifically recommend The Best of Me to everyone as a book that will help you get back into reading, I do recommend the strategy I took to find a fitting book for yourself. Ask yourself a few questions to figure out what type of book you would like to try, and then research available books based on those interests. Here are a few questions you could ask yourself to identify your taste:
- Am I interested in reading a book that’s based in my state, providence, or country?
- What type of movies do I enjoy most?
- What type of mood am I in?
- What type of books did I enjoy when I was younger?
Books I Recommend To Get You Back Into Reading, Based on Genre
Young Adult Romance
Okay, so I’m going to start off with one of the genres I gravitated toward most when I got back into reading after I read all of Nicholas Sparks’s backlist: young adult romance.
For Sweet YA Romance: A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
After I read The Best of Me, I read all of Nicholas Sparks’ other fiction books, which included my first-ever experience with young adult romance: A Walk to Remember. To this day, A Walk to Remember is still my all-time favorite fiction book, and I’ve read it ten times since I first picked it up.
So naturally, I’m going to recommend my fave. 😉
Why do I recommend A Walk to Remember?
- It’s short, at just 240 pages
- Though it has some language at the beginning, it’s super wholesome compared to the majority of YA fiction
- It’s the sweetest love story
- Jamie Sullivan is an incredible Christian role model for young girls
For Contemporary YA Romance: 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons
When you’re trying to re-establish a reading habit, it’s beneficial to start with a read that’s both fast-paced, attention-grabbing, and makes you never want to stop reading. For this, I 10/10 recommend 100 Days of Sunlight by Abbie Emmons.
Why do I recommend 100 Days of Sunlight?
- It’s told from dual point-of-views, which makes for a fun reading experience
- It’s on the shorter side, at 326 pages (though the dual POV style makes it feel shorter!)
- It’s character-driven, so you’ll feel like you’re experiencing what the characters are feeling and going through
- It’s a feel-good story that will leave you smiling for days after you read it
For Historical YA Romance: Within These Lines by Stephanie Morrill
If you’re a history buff who likes learning about World War II and you’re a romantic at heart, I suggest you try Within These Lines: a forbidden love story between a white American teenager and a Japanese-American boy after the events of Pearl Harbor in 1941.
Why do I recommend Within These Lines?
- It’s told from dual point-of-views, which makes for a more in-depth reading experience
- It’s about a heartbreaking time in history that’s not discussed much
Young Adult Fantasy
Okay, so if you’ve been following Authoring Arrowheads recently, you may recall my recent post, “My Favorite Fantasy Reads as a Non-Fantasy Reader” and may be thinking What right do you have to be recommending fantasy books, you poser?
Well, that’s the thing. I’m not a big fantasy reader, but I don’t want to leave this genre out of this post, in case there are some people who enjoy fantasy movies that may want a fantasy book rec. So, what book do I recommend?
My Lady Jane by Cynthia Hand, Brodi Ashton, and Jodi Meadows
If you’ve never heard of this book, this is a young adult satircal fantasy that loosely recounts the life of Lady Jane Grey. If you’re new to reading, and are interested in fantasy books, I wholeheartedly think this would be the perfect pick for you.
Why do I recommend My Lady Jane?
- The magic system is easy to understand and follow.
- It’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever read.
- While it’s a long read, it flies by due to all the forward momentum.
- The content is clean for the most part.
Disclaimer: Unfortunately, since I don’t read a lot of fantasy, and only stick to young adult fantasy when I do read the genre, I don’t have any adult fantasy recommendations at this time. The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings trilogy may interest you further into your reading journey, but I cannot personally recommend them as books to “get you back into reading”. J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing style is extremely wordy and slow-paced, and I struggled to get through it myself once I became an avid reader. But, if you really want to read it, go for it!
While a few book recommendations I’ve already given in this post are also classified as historical fiction, if you’re interested in reading a period piece, might I suggest another one of my all-time favorite books: The Help by Kathryn Stockett.
Why do I recommend The Help?
- The immersive 1960s setting.
- Three different, yet highly interesting POVs keep the story going
- The characters and their friendships
Like with fantasy, I’ve been struggling to become an avid reader of adult romantic comedies, but if you’re looking for a read that is equal parts hilarious and romantic, I dare you to try any book by one of my all-time favorite authors, Jenny B. Jones.
Why do I recommend Jenny B. Jones’ books?
- I’ve read the majority of her books and haven’t majorly disliked a single one.
- She is the G.O.A.T. of written romantic comedy in my opinion.
- The books I’ve read of hers so far have all been clean
- You’ll have so much fun reading her books that you won’t want to put them down
There are all kinds of romance books out there, and if you’re looking for “spicy” books to try, you won’t find any recommendations like that here. If I choose to read an adult romance, it’s going to be either a romantic comedy, or a general romance that I’ve tried to vet to make sure it isn’t too “spicy”. For general romance, I have to recommend Losing London by Joey Jones.
Why do I recommend Losing London?
- It has that classic, Nicholas Sparks-esque feel with slightly cleaner content
- If you’re looking for a tearjerker, this is it
- While it’s a general market romance, it has references to Christianity which made it stand out to me
- Jones has a simple, yet endearing writing style that will keep you wanting to read more
Lastly, if you’re a Christian who is wanting to develop a reading habit, but you have no idea where to start looking for a Christian book with sound theology that’s also entertaining, I recommend All That Really Matters by Nicole Deese.
Why do I recommend All That Really Matters?
- It includes Christian themes without being preachy
- It covers tough topics
- It made me laugh and cry, and that’s always a winner
Talk to Me, Arrowheads!
Well y’all, those are my book recommendations to get you back into reading. If you’re already an avid reader, what other books do you recommend?
Aim high, stay strong, and always hit your mark.
One thought on “Books I Recommend to Get You Back Into Reading”
So glad you got back into your reading groove, and I’m not surprised that To Kill a Mockingbird was the book to break the negative connotation with reading! I’ve read other places too that Accelerated Reader actually hindered a love of reading for many….so sad that what used to be so simple and enjoyed (like teachers reading aloud to the students, or families sitting together and reading) got messed up with this. Anyhoo, I think you’re spot on to recommend Jenny B. Jones and 100 Days of Sunlight! I’m also a big fan of Tuck Everlasting and The Sign of the Beaver. I’ll need to look up some of the others you’ve recommended in this list!