What to Read When You’re In a Reading Slump?
Top 5 Books to Get You Back Into Your Reading Groove

written by Natalia

Ever find yourself struggling with reading and wondering if it’s you or the book? Knowing that you want to read but nothing is doing it for you? Sometimes your focus is off and you’re forcing yourself to plow through. Other times, the book you’re reading isn’t your cup of tea, or it is simply the wrong book at the wrong time. Recognizable? Then it’s time to put that book down and try something new. Here are some personal favorites that helped get me out of my reading slump. They might not be for you, but who knows, you could end up discovering a book you would have never picked up in the first place!

Kings of the Wyld by Nicholas Eames

This epic high fantasy story is a guaranteed reading slump-solver. Clay Cooper’s crew, who have long since retired from their quests through the Wyld, are on a mission to rescue Rose from the dangers of the besieged city. The crew will have you laughing out loud and rooting for them at the same time as they stumble upon different challenges they have to solve. What made me keep reading was the sheer joy palpable throughout the entire story.

Even though these old men are on a serious rescue mission, their banter and bickering are what make the story worthwhile. It’s fast-paced and doesn’t get down to the nitty-gritty details you often find in other high fantasy stories. If this story tickles your fancy, I can also highly recommend the second installment, Bloody Rose. Plus, the third installment is in the making, meaning your slump just got even shorter.

The Soulmate Equation by Christina Lauren

The romance duo Christina Lauren (pen name of best friends and writing partners Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings) is known for writing heartfelt and quirky romances. In this narrative, they ask the age-old question of whether love can be calculated and if it’s possible to find your soulmate through DNA matches. This book was a joy to read and had me hooked from the first page.

The main characters, Jess Davis and Dr. River Peña, are a classic grumpy-meets-sunshine and enemies-to-lovers combination when it comes to romantic fiction tropes. Jess is not the biggest fan of the grumpy-looking Peña, who is a regular at the coffee shop that she and her best friend Fizzy visit daily. He seems to be standoffish, but fortunately, we find out there is more to him than first appears.

Fizzy had me laughing out loud; she is the best friend you need when you’re an overthinker like Jess.  I enjoyed the book’s sassy and naughty yet heartfelt tone.  And while (like much romantic fiction) it was predictable at times,  it was just what I needed to get me out of my persistent reading slump. 

Everyone In this Room Will Someday Be Dead by Emily Austin

The title of this book immediately grabbed my attention. Was it a murder mystery? A horror story? A romcom? Or maybe a story about a woman with a cynical take on life? I only discovered it was the latter when I started reading. The main character, Gilda, gets in a car crash and breaks her arm, setting the story in motion. Gilda rushes herself to the emergency room, where we discover she’s a regular.

Gilda is in a constant state of panic and thinks about death often. She struggles with navigating life as an adult and the realization that not everything happens in the way you want it to.  

While this book tackles some dark themes, the story is filled with deadpan humor and cathartic moments. It is fast-paced and teeming with uncomfortable situations you have probably found yourself in once or twice. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys their stories a little on the dark side. 

Wow, No Thank You by Samantha Irby

If you’re in a reading slump but not in the mood for yet another attempt at fiction, this essay collection by Samantha Irby is an absolute joy. Wow, No Thank You is the third book in her trilogy of humorous and personal essays that can be read in random order. Irby writes about her experiences growing up and as a married woman, her chronic illness(es), and life in New York. She tackles difficult subjects with just the right amount of self-deprecating humor, which will have you laughing in recognition.

Throughout her essays, she comments on societal issues she comes across, especially as a Black bisexual and chronically ill woman living in New York City. Her writing is sharp, witty and, at times, emotional. This collection is an instant dose of serotonin. 

All Systems Red by Martha Wells

This science fiction novella is a joy, both because of its great premise and because it’s a quick read. When you’re in a reading slump, all you usually need is the joyous feeling of feeling a book. All Systems Red is the first novella in the now nine-part series The Murderbot Diaries. This series revolves around a self-aware android who is searching for the meaning of life. This android, like its companions, was designed to be a killing machine for hire, but it has hacked its module.

It was fun to read through the mindset of an android trying to figure out its existence and its role as a “murderbot.” The android not only philosophizes about the meaning of life, but also simply enjoys the silliness of serial television. This first novella is a good introduction to the Murderbot series. The great world-building and character introductions will most likely make you want to continue reading the other novellas for a deeper dive into Murderbot’s compelling psyche.