Reading Slump Busters

book cover collage of titles listed below

For some, this has been the perfect time to catch up on reading. For others, it's been tough to focus. These books are excellent short reads for pulling just about anyone out of a reading slump.

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
tion | 52 pages

Drawing extensively on her own experiences and her deep understanding of the often masked realities of sexual politics, here is one remarkable author’s exploration of what it means to be a woman now, and an of-the-moment rallying cry for why we should all be feminists.

The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
Nonfiction | 120 pages

The powerful evocation of a childhood in Harlem that helped to galvanize the early days of the civil rights movement examines the deep consequences of racial injustice to both the individual and the body politic.

The Little Book of Talent by Daniel Coyle
Nonfiction | 160 pages

The author of The Talent Code presents a year's worth of weekly rules for developing inherent abilities, drawing on cutting-edge science and insights by leading international trainers in a variety of disciplines to outline techniques that tap the brain's natural programming.

The Grownup by Gillian Flynn
Fiction | 63 pages

When a charlatan "psychic" visits her Victorian home to find the source of her terror and grief, Susan, the psychic, and her teenage stepson are soon forced to confront the truth about ghosts.

The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman
Fantasy | 181 pages

When otherworldly beings are set loose on the world, threatening the life of a little boy, the extraordinary Hempstock women--Lettie, her mother and her grandmother--summon all of their courage and cleverness to keep him alive, but soon discover that his survival comes with a high--and deadly—price.

Our Souls at Night by Kent Haruf
Fiction | 179 pages

In Holt, Colorado, widower Louis Waters is initially thrown when the widowed Addie Moore suggests that they spend time together, in bed, to stave off loneliness, but soon they are exchanging the confidences and memories.

Tribe by Sebastian Junger
Nonfiction | 185 pages

Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies about loyalty, belonging, and the eternal human quest for meaning. It explains the irony that-for many veterans, as well as civilians-war, feels better than peace, adversity can turn out to be a blessing, and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations.

The Vegetarian by Han Kang
Fiction | 188 pages

Deciding to renounce eating meat in the wake of violent dreams, Yeong-hye, a woman from a culture of strict societal mores, is denounced as a subversive as she spirals into extreme rebelliousness that causes her to splinter from her true nature and risk her life.

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata
Fiction | 176 pages

A Japanese woman who has been working at a convenience store for 18 years, much to the disappointment of her family, finds friendship with an alienated, cynical, and bitter young man who becomes her coworker.

The Nesting Place by Myguillyn Smith
Nonfiction | 199 pages

Revealing the secret to decorating for real people, a popular blogger and self-taught decorator shows readers how to find the beauty in imperfection and build a home that welcomes everyone.

Annihilation by Jeff VanderMeer
Science Fiction | 210 pages

Area X has claimed the lives of members of eleven expeditions. The twelfth expedition consisting of four women hopes to map the terrain and collect specimens; to record all their observations, scientific and otherwise, of their surroundings and of one another; and, above all, to avoid being contaminated by Area X itself.

Another Brooklyn by Jacqueline Woodson
Fiction | 171 pages

Torn between the fantasies of her youth and the realities of a life marked by violence and abandonment, August reunites with a beloved old friend who challenges her to reconcile her past and come to terms with the difficulties that forced her to grow up too quickly.