If you’re looking to take a break from the tedious tasks, we must accomplish in life. There is no better way to escape reality than books. They can transport you to a foreign land. They can disrupt your thoughts with the main character’s tone and let you understand what it is to step into someone else’s shoes for a while. It’s a more personal and all-encompassing distraction from your daily duties than almost all other options. So it’s time to discover some new literature and get escaping into a new world through books. Here are five books I suggest throwing on your reading list.
Normal People by Sally Rooney
This lovely romance is set in steamy Ireland. The characters begin in high school and come from two very different social circles. They meet and become close due to Connell’s, the male characters, mother being the housekeeper for the shy and incredibly smart Marianne. But will Connell ever commit and look past their high school social structure?
This book is incredibly engaging and well thought out. You can’t help but root for both characters, even with their faults and misleading actions. It takes you through the highs and lows of relationships and can be a charming and consuming read. Of my favorite books, this is a hard one to put down, and the drama in this book is endless. If you’re looking to escape life through other relationships or just want a well thought out novel, try picking up Normal People. If you’ve already seen the show on Hulu, not to worry. Although pretty similar, the book is different enough; it’s still enjoyable if you watched the show first as I did.
The Girls by Emma Cline
This book should be next on your reading list for fans of the 70’s or Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. The girls is inspired by the infamous Manson Family and their California ranch. It’s set in the golden state during the hippie movement in the ’70s, following a young girl who is bored in suburbia and dealing with her parent’s divorce. She runs into the Manson girls at the store and is mesmerized by their beautiful and rough exterior. So the main character Evie joins in on the madness.
It starts in the future with a middle-aged Evie trapped in nostalgia, and soon the rest of the novel is written as a flashback with a 14-year old Evie starting her journey to joining the wildly well-known cult. Although this book is fiction, it doesn’t seem that far off from reality at the time. It will transport you to a completely different era and make you feel cool and uneasy at the same time. The author does a fantastic job of making you feel like your living life right beside Evie in her sketchy new endeavor. So if you’re hoping to take a break from your normal life and go on a literature adventure into the 1970’s cult life, this is a book worth checking out.
Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, & Advice for Living Your Best Life By Ali Wong
If you haven’t heard of the comedian Ali Wong, you must! She is absolutely hilarious and is very relatable, especially to women. She isn’t afraid to say what we’re all thinking, and it is incredibly refreshing to hear. And what better way to experience the comedy than in a book version. Dear girls is an autobiography Ali Wong wrote with life lessons for her daughters, pulling from her own personal experiences. Yet, it’s written in her comedic style, so your learning interesting life lessons and wild stories told in the best humor.
She has a large section on her life in her twenties and in college and saying it was easy to relate to feels like an understatement. She pulls the hilarity out of moments we’ve all experienced and life staples that we have yet to come to. It is also nice to get an honest account from an adult of what they really did throughout their youth. If you’re looking to add some comedy to your life and want to read something, you feel like it gets you. I highly recommend checking out Dear Girls by Ali. The chapters aren’t super long either, so it’s an easy read to pick up chapter by chapter if you’re short on free time.
Untamed by Glennon Doyle
If you have a social media account, you’ve definitely seen the whimsical cover of Untamed swoop across your screen. This powerful memoir by Glennon Doyle is all about liberating ourselves from societal expectations. It uncovers the joy one can feel when they stop striving to meet a goal that wasn’t necessarily their own. She shows readers what it means to be a woman in modern society and the wonder of finding your own voice in the world. She is blunt and honest, reflecting on her own experiences and struggles in life in a constructive and vulnerable manner.
This book will take you away from the overwhelming sense of motherhood or what it used to mean to be a woman and will let you reflect on the things that make you feel alive. It will give you a new sense of self-discovery. So if you’re feeling in crisis or a big fan of Eat, Pray, Love, this book is definitely one that every girl should have on their reading list. I learned a ton, and it really is an enjoyable read.
The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath
The tortured and genius author Sylvia Plath completed one novel, The Bell Jar. It centers around a young woman who is given the opportunity to work at a summer internship with other college students in New York City. She gets to write for a coveted magazine in the sweltering heat. It takes you through the luncheons and gossip girl style gatherings but takes a turn for the dark. The main character Esther starts to fall into a deep depression. She is unable to eat, to sleep, and is struggling with the tedious daily activities there’s taking part in at her internship.
This book may be triggering to those dealing with mental illness, so please keep that in mind before reading. It edges on the dark side of dealing with depression in the 1960s and takes you through all of Esther’s thoughts and troubles. It is one of the most beautifully written pieces of literature I have come by; however, it is definitely a difficult read at times to swallow. This should be on your list for poetry or literature fans, but it is not one of the books I’d recommend for the faint of heart.
I hope you have some ideas for the next books that should be on your reading list. I know it’s time to update mine! Have a fantastic time becoming engulfed in the written word, and escape your responsibilities for a little bit. Happy reading.