Finding a good book that you can’t wait to read is the one of the best feelings. With everything going on in the world, we need books now more than ever. Reading is a great way to pass the time in-between binging shows on Netflix. It’s also far better for your mental health than television or staring at your phone. So, here are 12 incredible books you should start reading as soon as possible because they really are that good.
1. The Cactus
I read this book in one day and it was completely worth it. I loved every page. The book follows a 40-something woman, Susan, following the death of her mother and the news that she is pregnant. Susan likes order in her life and prefers to be alone. She also has a difficult relationship with her brother and finds herself unsure of the comfort she seems to feel with her brother’s friend, Rob. This book is full of wit and humor and made me cry a few times too. It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and it’s author Sarah Haywood’s debut novel.
2. Something In The Water
This is a seriously incredible psychological thriller. Author, Catherine Steadman, follows a couple on their romantic honeymoon to Bora Bora. The trip starts out romantic, as planned, but turns into something else entirely when one day while scuba diving, they find something in the water. I know this description is vague, but the last thing I want to do is give away anything, as what is discovered by reading this book is truly shocking.
3. The Woman In The Window
This is a highly anticipated book (and now movie), that most people have heard of or already read. But if you have yet to learn of this novel, by A.J. Finn, it follows an agoraphobic woman, Anna Fox, who one night believes she sees a crime commited at her new neighbors across the street. Soon Anna, and the reader, are unsure of what actually happened, what’s real and what is imagined. We eventually learn the truth, or do we? Trust me, you don’t want to miss out on this book!
4. Little Fires Everywhere
This incredible book, by Celeste Ng, is now a TV show with Reese Witherspoon and Kerry Washington, so clearly it’s a popular choice. The book takes place in a small suburb of Cleveland and follows two mothers. One, Elena, a long-standing member of the town, and the other, Mia, new to town with her teenage daughter. Without giving too much away, the novel digs deep into the character’s pasts, secrets, and deeply analyzes the intensity of motherly love. I highly recommend this book.
5. The Girl With The Lower Back Tattoo
Going a little lighter with this book, a memoir by well-known comedian Amy Schumer. I listened to this book on tape during a long car ride and I laughed my ass off. Schumer tells stories of childhood, sex, relationships, and how she got started in comedy. She also takes time to talk about some more serious issues that only made me like and respect her more.
6. Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 535 Easy(ish) Steps
Stuck at home? Why not learn how to grow up a little. This book, by Kelly Williams Brown, gives steps, both serious and funny, about how to become a grown-up. It teaches lessons like how to fix your toilet but also what to check for when renting a car. It’s a great learning tool as well as humorous way to entertain yourself.
7. Educated: A Memoir
This memoir by Tara Westover is truly unique. It follows her entire life, from childhood on, and it’s unique because of the way Tara was raised. Tara was raised in Idaho to survivalist parents who did not believe in traditional medicine, schooling or gender rules. The memoir takes us on Tara’s journey to get herself into college, to give herself the more normal life she wants. Tara does an amazing job not coming off as though she wants pity from the reader and instead ignites admiration in how strong and couragous she had to be in order to become who she is now despite her environment.
8. The Unhoneymooners
This is another lighter book by well-known author, Christina Lauren. This book follows a girl Olive, who is her twin sister’s maid of honor in her wedding. Olive believes that she has the worst luck in opposition to her sister who seems to “get” everything she wants. Olive is especially pissed that she has to be around the best man, Ethan. However, on the wedding day everyone but Olive and Ethan get food poisoning…and whose left to go on the honeymoon?
9. The Last Black Unicorn
Comedian Tiffany Haddish’s hilariously honest memoir is one you don’t want to miss. In her book, Haddish takes us through her childhood, growing up in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in South Los Angeles. She takes us through her experiences in foster care and the main way she survivied: making others laugh, as we all know today, which she still does so well. Haddish ultimately shows her readers how she became who she is today and it’s a great read for anyone who wants real, incredible stories, with lots of laughs.
10. Where The Crawdads Sing
This is a book I have yet to read but hear amazing things about constantly. By Delia Owens, it explores love, nature, and murder (three great things in any novel). The book follows Kya, also known as the “Marsh Girl.” Kya has survived alone in the nature of North Carolina for years and has a mystery around her that people in the town seem to fear or find intriguing. What follows, I can’t wait to find out and I hope you do too!
11. The Rosie Project
This book, by Graeme Simsion, is the first novel in the “Don Tillman” book series. So, if you enjoy the first book and you’re sad it’s over, there’s two more to look forward too! I love these books so much. They follow Don Tillman, a professor of genetics who is extremely smart, yet also wildly inept when it comes to social skills. Don decides he wants to get married so he designs a “Wife Project” to find a wife scientifically via a survey. Then, Don meets Rosie. Rosie has none of the qualities he has deemed his wife should have, yet the friendship they develop seems to be something he can’t let go of.
12. My Dark Vanessa
This novel is dark but well-worth the read. It features beautiful prose and story that I couldn’t put down. Written by Kate Elizabeth Russell, the book follows Vanessa, who when she was fifteen had an afair with her English Teacher. Now, years later, an adult, Vanessa finds out that one of the teacher’s students has accused him of assault and reaches out to Vanessa for help. Vanessa is unsure of what to do, and doesn’t want to revist the past, unable to admit what happened to her was wrong.