Top Ten Tuesday:
Good books to pull you out of a reading slump
Honestly I never know what book will work to pull me out of a reading slump, and sometimes I have to flounder around for a while before I figure it out. But in general my go-to types of books that help me fall into categories: audiobooks, short stories, poetry, and re-reads.
Audiobooks: If I don't feel like "reading" I can usually still get myself up for "listening". Here are some good ones which seemed to work wonders---
- WONDER by R.J. Palacio, read by Nick Podehl, Kate Rudd, and Diana Steele. The story is so charming and upbeat. It could work WONDERs on a reading slump. (Middle Grade Book)
- STARGIRL by Jerry Spinelli, read by the actor John Ritter. Ritter's performance on this book is simply masterful. The story contains such an important message of how to be kind and thoughtful, and the importance of being yourself. (YA)
- THE NIGHTENGALE by Kristin Hannah, read by Polly Stone. Set in France during the Second World War, it is the story of two sisters involved in the resistence. (Adult historical fiction)
- KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON by David Grann, read by Will Patton, Ann Marie Lee, and Danny Campbell. In the 1920s many members of the Osage Indian Nation were murdered, this book digs down into the story to unlock the mystery and how the investigation launched the FBI. (Narrative nonfiction)
Short Stories/Essays: If I don't feel like reading long, complicated books with intricate plots, sometimes I can find my way through a few short stories or short essays. In fact I am reading one such collection right now---
- LIFE INSIDE MY MIND: 31 AUTHORS SHARE THEIR PERSONAL STRUGGLES edited by Jessica Burkhart. All the authors share on the topic of mental illness, either their story or the story of a loved one who is struggling. Each essay is about 15 pages long or shorter. Just right for a person stuck in a slump to read. (YA)
- YOU DON'T HAVE TO SAY YOU LOVE ME by Sherman Alexie. This book is a collection of essays and poems about Alexie's complicated relationship with his mother and grwoing up on an Indian reservation. (Adult, nonfiction)
- A GOOD MAN IS HARD TO FIND AND OTHER STORIES by Flannery O'Conner. If you are looking to try reading a short story collection, you might as well start with the best. (Genre: Southern Gothic)
Poetry: I usually have at least one volume of poetry that I am working on at a time. Not sure where to start? Pick a collection of favorites, or a poetry book by a favorite poet. Here are a few I recommend---
- Mary Oliver, poet---I like her more recent stuff best but her latest, DEVOTIONS is a collection of her poems going back in time.
- Billy Collins, poet---Collins poetry is very accessible for modern readers. Pick up any of his books and you will find something that will delight you. He also has edited an antology of fun poetry by other poems called POETRY 180: TURNING BACK TO POETRY
- Roger Housden---isn't a poet himself but he writes about poetry in a series of books called TEN POEMS (TO SET YOU FREE, SAVE YOUR MARRIAGE, TO OPEN YOUR HEART, ETC.) I am fairly sure that Housden has saved me from a reading slump more than once.
- TEACHING WITH FIRE: POETRY THAT SUSTAINS THE COURAGE TO TEACH edited by Sam Intrator and Megan Scribner. I like poetry books which explain the importance of a particular poem on the life of the contributor. The contributors, in this case, were all teachers like me.
Re-Reads: In a slump? Picking up a tried and true favorite might be just the ticket out. Here are a few which have worked for me---
- TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD by Harper Lee. Actually this book should be up on the audiobooks section because I usually listen to it and fall in love every time I re-listen to it.
- LOOKING FOR ALASKA by John Green. Actually probably anything by John Green would help dig me out of a slump. This is his first book and I love it. (YA)
- HARRY POTTER series by J.K. Rowling. My daughter rereads this series about once every other year. (YA)
- THE LADIES OF MISSALONGHI by Colleen McCullough. I've read this so many times. Each time it soothes be and rights me for what lies ahead. Novella in length.
I hope this post helps if you are in the midst of a reading slump.
Share your ideas. What works for you?