life·6 min read

10 Books — New and Old — That’ll Get You Out of a Reading Rut

books to read if you're in a reading slump
Design: theSkimm | Photo: Sourcebooks, HarperCollins, Quill Tree Books
Jul 26, 2022

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It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s you…stuck in a reading rut not knowing how to get out of it. Whether you’re a first timer hoping to get into reading as a hobby or a longtime bibliophile who’s hit a rough patch, we gotchu. We rounded up some reads — old and new — that’ll have you ready to put your library card in action. PS: If you’re looking for a guide to our favorite, most addicting books (yes, we’re looking at you “Verity” fans), check this list out.

“The It Girl” by Ruth Ware

On paper, Oxford University seems like the place to be. But for Hannah Jones…it’s all fun and games until she finds her “it” girl roommate, April, dead. Now, a decade has passed and a reporter reaches out to Hannah with new evidence about the case. Alternating between past and present storylines, she decides to take solving the murder mystery into her own hands. With haunting imagery and Agatha Christie vibes, this plot will keep you hooked and excited to read more. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“A Hundred Other Girls” by Iman Hariri-Kia

If you love “The Devil Wears Prada'' or “The Bold Type,” pick this one up to help get you out of your slump. This buzzy debut novel follows aspiring writer and blogger Noora. She tutors kids on the Upper East Side and is trying to make ends meet while sleeping on her sister’s couch. So when she gets a job to assist the editor-in-chief of a magazine Noora has been obsessed with her entire life, she finally feels like she’s getting on the right track. But when her boss’ around-the-clock requests become increasingly demanding and Noora’s put in the middle of some office politics, she has to decide whether her dream job is worth it. And how much she's willing to put on the line for a job that a ‘hundred other girls’ would kill for? (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo” by Taylor Jenkins Reid

TJR (of “Daisy Jones & the Six” and “Malibu Rising” fame) is a #BookTok fave for a reason. Her storylines are addictive and her writing is easy to follow. This one is about a now-reclusive 1960s movie icon (ahem, the titular Evelyn Hugo) who’s ready for her tell-all. Hugo hires an unknown magazine reporter, Monique, to give her exclusive interviews to. And as she begins to share her legendary stories...Monique begins to do some thinking of her own. Why was she really picked to tell this story? What’s actually going on here? The connection between her and this glamorous Hollywood star will keep you glued to the page. Plus, the tales about Hugo’s seven husbands are totally worth staying up late for. (Amazon, Bookshop)  

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“Anxious People” by Fredrik Backman

Cult-fave author Fredrik Backman (“A Man Called Ove” and “Beartown”) is well-loved for this 2021 tragicomedy about a heist gone wrong. After an incompetent bank robber interrupts an open house in Sweden, he ends up taking the prospective buyers — a group of misfit characters who you’ll come to love — hostage. Quirky comedy vibes for the win. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“Nora Goes Off Script” by Annabel Monaghan

It’s giving a Hallmark Channel plot on a Nancy Meyers set. When Nora Hamilton’s marriage falls apart, she’s happy to turn her experience into artistic expression (aka a Hollywood screenplay)...especially when an A-list actor, Leo Vance, is cast to play her ex. So after filming wraps and Leo proposes to stay at her house for an extra week, tension between the two builds and builds. And soon, Nora becomes the protagonist of her very own IRL rom-com that even she can’t predict. Part love story, part self-love story, this fun read is the perfect warm-up if don’t know where to start when it comes to your bookshelf. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“Circe” by Madeline Miller

Your high school classics textbook just called. It’s ready for a feminist upgrade. In this 2018 bestseller, the world of Greek mythology gets a modern retelling from the perspective of Circe, the goddess of magic. Miller writes about Circe’s transforming from an awkward nymph (we’ve been there) to becoming a powerful witch who deals with love, loss, and tragedy through popular story beats you might recognize (think: “The Odyssey”). It’s already in the works for HBO Max. So you know there’s already legions of fans who adore this read. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“Why Didn’t You Tell Me?” by Carmen Rita Wong

In this deeply honest and confessional account, former CNBC anchor Carmen Rita Wong centers her book on a collection of shocking secrets her mother kept from her regarding her identity and biological father. Reading it feels like you’re speaking intimately to a close friend and explores what happens when your fundamental truths get flipped upside down. Full of heart and tension, this one is bound to have you turning pages. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“The Wreckage of My Presence” by Casey Wilson

Even if you don’t know Casey Wilson, you know Casey Wilson. She co-wrote “Bride Wars” and was on both “SNL” and “Happy Endings” to name a few. In this endearing, hilarious, and beautiful essay collection, Wilson writes about everything from her career in comedy and her ups and downs with motherhood to random other relatable things on her mind like having a sugar addiction and being obsessed with baths. It’s an entertaining brain dump that’s split into incredibly snackable essays that are perfect for fans of “Bossypants” and “This Will Only Hurt a Little.” (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“Clap When You Land” by Elizabeth Acevedo

National Book Award winner Elizabeth Acevedo uses narrative poetry to tell the story of two 16-year-olds who don’t know they’re sisters until their father dies in a plane crash leaving New York for the Dominican Republic. The book alternates between the sisters’ perspectives — Yahaira in New York and Camino in the Dominican Republic and will touch your heart in a way you probably didn’t know you needed. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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“I’ll Show Myself Out” by Jessi Klein

This interconnected essay collection from TV veteran Jessi Klein (“Big Mouth,” “Inside Amy Schumer,” “I Love That For You”) covers the joys and struggles of parenting. From body changes to dealing with the frustrations of car seats, this hilarious anthology is equal parts entertaining and relatable. Nobody’s perfect and Klein’s essay collection creates comfort in that. (Amazon, Bookshop)

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