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We can’t all be excited independent readers. For some of us, reading feels too much like school. (And some of us really loved school.) Or maybe the weather is getting us down; not enough sunlight, not enough warmth. (While some of us really love cuddling up with a warm blanket, lighting some candles, and getting cozy with a book.) Whatever the reason, it’s perfectly normal to get grouchy around reading. Here are some of our favorite surefire recommendations for reluctant and grouchy readers.

 

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

Whether you’ve seen the movie or not, our most loved book recommendation for reluctant readers is hands down Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. This epistolary novel about an eccentric family in crisis is enough to make you laugh out loud. The emails from the PTA alone are enough to put any grouchy reader in a good mood. And when we finally learn not only where Bernadette went, but also why? Well, that’s a heartwarming moment to say the least. We recommend this for any reader who’s moved to a new city and can’t get restarted – and for those dark rainy days.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

 

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston

If you can’t get past page 50 on any of the “must read” books that keep popping up in your Instagram feed, pick up Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuinston. Not only does this book let you live in an alternate 2019 where our first female president is a badass and her son is one hundred percent in love with one of the Princes of England, it’s also just really fun. It’s an escape in all the best ways. And we love when books transport us! We prescribe this book for literary grouches who just need a little more romance in their lives – they just don’t know it yet.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

 

There There by Tommy Orange

If every book you pick up feels just like the last, pick up There There by Tommy Orange. It’s the kind of novel that starts out feeling like a collection of closely linked short stories. And then the entire form is turned on its head and you’re rushing through just to find out what’s next. Tommy Orange’s debut novel is perfect for any reader who hasn’t experienced contemporary indigenous storytelling – and for those readers who are just itching to see themselves reflected in the books they’re reading. It’s incredible.

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound

 

 

Good Talk by Mira Jacob

Sometimes all it takes to get out of a reading rut is a really great graphic novel – or graphic memoir. We prescribe Good Talk by Mira Jacob to anyone who’s having difficult conversations with their children, having trouble connecting with their parents, or just itching to dig into a really wonderful memoir that takes place over multiple timelines. It’s beautiful, both in its storytelling and in its illustration. And beautiful counteracts most grouchiness.  

Buy the book:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indiebound


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Danielle Mohlman's picture

Danielle Mohlman

Danielle Mohlman is a playwright, bookworm, and library connoisseur. You can find her on Twitter and Tumblr. (She has a lot to say.) And on Instagram. (She never foodstagrams.) When she grows up, she wants to be Leslie Knope.