And so we come to the inevitable reading slump.
In all fairness, I got through four months without hitting much of a reading block, so I am proud of that. But after realizing that yesterday was Saturday and I still hadn’t completed a book for this week (the second in a row) I knew there was a problem. So I started scouring the internet for cures to reading slumps – Google knows all, right? Some of the best pieces of advice I came across consisted of 1) re-reading some of your favorite books, 2) asking for recommendations from friends and 2) scouring your bookshelves for overlooked books that have been waiting patiently to be read.
So, in light of this advice I have compiled a list of some of the books I consider to be my favorites (ones that I could re-read and would recommend to friends who might be in the midst of a reading slump themselves). I am including super brief notes on the book but also linking them to their pages on GoodReads so that you can find out more information if you’re interested.
A Place to Stand by Jimmy Santiago Baca – Baca’s autobiography about growing up in a poor, broken family and finding himself and his voice as a poet while in jail.
Beloved by Toni Morrison – Morrison’s most notable book (1988 Pulitzer Prize) about the legacy of slavery and the importance of forgiveness and self-love.
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by Junot Díaz – Díaz’s Pulitzer Price winning book about a Dominican boy named Oscar and his family.
Ceremony by Leslie Marmon Silko – Silko’s wonderful novel about a part white, part Native American war veteran and his discovery of his cultural roots.
Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt & Stephen J. Dubner – great book that investigates sports and other aspects of society via economic theory in order to reveal “the hidden side of everything.” (I also recommend the Freakonomics podcast if you enjoy this book.)
Let the Great World Spin by Colum McCann – probably my favorite book ever, the whole book centers around a tight rope walker who decides to perform his talent on a rope tied between the twin towers.
Mornings in Jenin by Susan Abulhawa – a generational story of a family affected by the Palestinian/Isreali conflict. A real tear-jerker.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky – my favorite YA novel, a book about a young socially awkward boy figuring out high school.
Woman Hollering Creek and Other Stories by Sandra Cisneros – less popular than her “House on Mango Street” collection, I think this book better exemplifies Cisneros as a writer and a Chicana feminist.
Enjoy the recommendations and in the meantime I will work to get out of this slump and get back on track reading one book a week. And please feel free to make your own recommendations for me, I am open to suggestions!