Reading is a fun and easy quarantine activity that can take you places (specifically, away from the global pandemic), see the world through a fresh perspective, and impart knowledge you may not have known you needed. But, no matter how amazing reading is, sometimes it gets a bit difficult to carry on.
You may find yourself avoiding the current book you’re reading because the plot might be too slow, or you just don’t click with the characters. You’ve probably had to re-read a part more than once either because you just, for the life of you, can’t understand what the author meant, or because your eyes keep getting hazy and you’re trying your best to stay awake.
Whether you’ve found yourself stuck in a reading slump or you want to get into the habit of reading, but don’t know where to start, this is just what you need.
May I present to you, book recommendations, tips, and advice from the Filipino Instagram book clubs: The Book Nook, Book___ish, and the Twenty-Something Book Club to get you back into the reading groove and maybe even (re)spark your love for it!
Before getting into the specific book recommendations, here’s a quick pro-tip for more experienced readers who may be facing a reading slump. The Book Nook’s advice for you is to “pick up an old favorite”! Doing so would gently assist you in “rediscovering the magic behind reading and what got you into these worlds in the first place!”
Okay, now onto the good stuff…
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Taylor Jenkins Reid)
Starting off with a light, easy, and immersive read, the Twenty-Something Book Club describes this book as perfect for those “who haven’t finished a novel since high school book reports” claiming that their own friends “enjoyed it so much that they wanted to read more”
“Aging and reclusive Hollywood movie icon Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?”
If you’re looking for a more inspirational and/or motivational read, this self-help book may be the one for you!
“Forget hustling. This book will disrupt your deeply held beliefs about work, success, and, indeed, life.”
Educated (Tara Westover)
Looking for a motivational/inspirational read, but still want to follow along someone’s story? Why not try this memoir on for size?
“Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.”
According to Katya Lichauco, of Book___ish, she’s “been raving about this book ever since I was approximately three pages into it” … must be quite the book! Lichauco feels so strongly about this book that she would recommend it to anyone “in a heartbeat”.
“Jonny Sun is back with a collection of essays and other writings in his unique, funny, and heartfelt style. The pieces range from long meditations on topics like loneliness and being an outsider, to short humor pieces, conversations, and memorable one-liners.”
Pachinko (Min Jin Lee)
For fans of historical fiction, follow along this riveting story spanning generations of one woman’s family tree.
“In the early 1900s, teenaged Sunja, the adored daughter of a crippled fisherman, falls for a wealthy stranger at the seashore near her home in Korea. He promises her the world, but when she discovers she is pregnant — and that her lover is married — she refuses to be bought. Instead, she accepts an offer of marriage from a gentle, sickly minister passing through on his way to Japan. But her decision to abandon her home, and to reject her son’s powerful father, sets off a dramatic saga that will echo down through the generations.”
Arsenic and Adobo (Mia P. Manansala)
Support Filipino voices and pair your next meal of Adobo, not with Arsenic, but with this gripping mystery novel debut.
“As the first book in ‘Tita Rosie’s Kitchen Mystery’ series, Arsenic and Adobo introduces us to the cliche yet unpredictable world of Lila Macapagal. After becoming newly single, she returns to her small town in Illinois to work at her family’s restaurant, only to find her neck on the chopping block as she becomes the primary suspect of a murder investigation.”
Re-read an old favorite or choose one of the books mentioned and you might just find yourself falling (back) in love with reading.
If none of these books really sparked the excitement of wanting to immediately read the rest of the story, don’t worry! As the Twenty-Something Book Club puts it, “there’s a book for everyone, but not every book is for everyone”
The Book Nook’s “general tip” is to “try to look for books you feel can speak to you at this stage of your life! […] books become meaningful not only because of how well-written they can be, but because of their personal significance to you” In the end, you’re the one doing the reading anyway, so why not opt for a book that sparks the most joy in you, whatever it may be about.
When you do find the right book for you, and can’t contain all your thoughts and opinions about it, why not let those thoughts flow out into the comments section of an Instagram book club? Reading may seem like a very solitary practice, but storytelling has always been a social activity. An invigorating part of the reading experience is being able to rant and rave about it after.
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