Bookish Blues: Get Back Your Reading Mojo!
Have you ever found yourself in a reading slump, demotivated to read that pile of books you’ve had for ages? We’ve all been there! Reading should be a source of solace, so we’ve put together our top books that will guarantee you get your reading mojo back.
Modern Nature by Derek Jarman
Dr Seuss writes “when you’re in a slump, you’re not in for much fun. Un-slumping yourself is not easily done.” This holds painfully true when it comes to a reading slump. I need vivacity and warmth when this occurs, and Derek Jarman’s Modern Nature is the perfect remedy. This non-fiction book is an intimate account of the final years of the artist’s life, in which Jarman discusses everything from his gardening habits (now enshrined at Dungeness, Kent) to his suffering from AIDS at a time when the diagnosis alone marked you as an outsider. Modern Nature is a testament to artistry and perseverance, to smile in the face of uncertainty. His story, told as if he’s speaking to you as a friend through the pages, is life-changing.
Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney
If you haven’t heard of Sally Rooney by now, you must have been living under a rock. Rooney’s accessible writing style and short length novels will certainly get you out of your slump. Conversations With Friends follows the story of 21-year-old Frances and her ex-girlfriend, Bobbi, as they befriend a glamorous couple, Melissa and Nick, and are thrown into a world of adult dinner parties and beautiful houses. Rooney’s simplistic and precise writing style is perfect if you are looking for a read that won’t give you a headache just looking at the page; you’ll breeze through this book in no time. The four main characters have a complex and interesting dynamic, especially as Frances and Nick begin to get closer. There is so much juicy gossip that you’ll be begging for more.
Saga, Volume 1 by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples
Saga will suck you into an action-packed, high-stakes universe from the very first page and not let you go. The comic explores an intergalactic conflict through the lens of star-crossed lovers and their illicit child, as they become fugitives on their war-torn planets. The family confronts seemingly impossible obstacles related to the corrupt political system and deep-seated prejudices of their world. Every time they find themselves safe for a moment, the worst possible scenario crashes down on them. Each issue ends in a cliffhanger and there are so many interrelated storylines featuring characters to whom you just can’t help but get attached. Even if you haven’t read many comics before, this lush fantasy concept full of heart, humour and gore is impossible to put down once you get started.
Leonard and Hungry Paul by Ronan Hession
The recent pandemic has plummeted many into a topsy-turvy world reminiscent of a visit to Blyton’s Magic Faraway Tree. There is no denying that the world came to a stand-still, impacting daily routines and forcing us to accept the simpler things in life: melodic bird-songs, clear skies and quiet roads. So, it seems fitting that, during this time, Leonard and Hungry Paul dropped through my letterbox. Written with wit and poignancy, this is a gentle novel, which welcomes appreciation of the simpler moments in life. At its core is the notion that seemingly uneventful characters and routines can have a significant impact on the world, as Hession encourages us to trust things will happen without “effort or force.” This book proved to be the tonic needed to reinvigorate my inner soul, so let it do the same for you.
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
November 9 follows protagonist Fallon who, on her last day in L.A., meets heart-throb Ben, an aspiring novelist. The book explores both characters’ separate lives, with Ben and Fallon meeting on the same date every year. Until one day, Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth. It’s a love story with potential heartbreak and is most definitely a novel that will get you instantly out of a book slump as you desperately consume every chapter until the next date Fallon and Ben reunite. With each chapter ending on a cliffhanger and constant twists throughout, it will keep you gripped and entertained with every passing page. The plot is a sucker punch from all directions and is an emotional roller-coaster filled with passion, humour, drama; you’ll never want to put the book down.
Notes From A Big Country by Bill Bryson
With his incredible combination of wit and observational humour, picking up any Bill Bryson book is sure to banish your bookish blues. Notes from a Big Country is particularly easy to pick up and exceedingly hard to put down. The book encompasses over 18 months’ worth of articles describing Bryson’s experience of living in the United States. Broken down into roughly two pages per article, it removes the fear of commitment often experienced when in a reading slump. Bryson provides a hilarious insight into what it is like to live in the U.S., with the absurd advertising of medications and the marvels of classic American diners. Despite being written in the late ’90s, and therefore including some long-forgotten aspects of daily life (remember dial-up internet?), it is perfect if you need a proper belly chuckle.