Even MORE Books To Read To Get Back Into Reading

Back for more already??


Maybe the books on my last list didn’t suit your fancy. I understand, really, I do. Or maybe you eagerly read all of them already in a whirlwind, making up for years of lost reading, your mind absorbing the information like a starving wrestler devours a plate of hot wings. Maybe you didn’t even read my first list. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ That’s a shame. Regardless, here are four more books I believe will suit your fancy, provided you give them the chance to entertain you.


If you are bored and lonely…

Less by Andrew Sean Greer 

You’re lonely? I guarantee you, Arthur Less is far lonelier than you are. Less tells the story of a mildly successful but unfulfilled writer who’s plagued by the thought that the best parts of his life have already passed him by. On top of that, his ex who he’s still in love with is getting married. Sad. Instead of resigning to this depressing combination, however, he decides to concoct a several months-long vacation simply by saying yes to every invitation and opportunity he has been sent due to his status as a mediocre writer (think meaningless awards ceremonies and lecture circuits). This sounds way more depressing than it actually is. The book is adventurous and funny and overall, two love stories wrapped into one. Don’t let its Pulitzer Prize (2017) scare you off, it’s anything but stuffy and convoluted. It’s easy to read and entertaining from start to finish which the New York Times noted for its “arresting lyricism and beauty”. (Shout out to Ms. Hurt for recommending this to me last year, maybe she’ll lend you her copy).


If you need something to read your younger siblings – Oh, and you want to kill your family…

The Willoboughs by Lois Lowry

This book (my favorite from elementary school) tells the story of a group of children who decide to become orphans. That’s right, the ruthless, bickering, and at times anarchist Willoughby siblings get so tired of their parents that they plan to kill them (remotely) by sending them on a luxury Alps vacation which includes a deadly mountain climb that they are certain their parents will never survive. Meanwhile, the parents plan to rid themselves of children by abandoning them and selling the house they live in while they are gone. It’s styled as a parody of old fashioned children’s literature, though, I don’t think many kids are reading that far into it. It’s mostly just a hilarious read that you can really get into by reading it out loud (I recommend using funny voices). 


If you need something deep to think about…

The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

Do yourself a favor and read (at least) the first chapter on a warm sunny day, to get the full effect. This book leaves you craving the next sentence before you’ve even finished the one you’re reading. Its characters are endlessly philosophical (or pseudophilosophical depending on how you want to look at it) which allows you to get to form opinions you didn’t even know you had on beauty and youth and love versus admiration. I can’t tell if supporting character Lord Henry Wotton’s commentary is wildly provocative or shockingly truthful, but either way, it left me nearly as dumbfounded as Dorian himself. It’s a journey into sin and vanity that will show you just how little humans have changed since it was written (over a century ago). My favorite quotes:

“All art is quite useless” 

(in context: “We can forgive a man for making a useful thing as long as he does not admire it. The only excuse for making a useless thing is that one admires it intensely. All art is quite useless.”)

“Youth! Youth! There is absolutely nothing in the world but youth!” 

“The only way to get rid of a temptation is to yield to it. Resist it, and your soul grows sick with longing for the things it has forbidden to itself.”


If you want to get ahead on summer reading (underclassmen)…

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

It’s a mammoth. Do not underestimate this book, it took me approximately 2 years of picking this book up and setting it down to finish, but it’s one of my favorite books of all time. Starting now would be the best way to fully appreciate the absolute mess of a situation that takes place, and the bountiful humor created by each character’s outlandish, yet strangely familiar idiosyncrasies. Yes, technically the book is a satire, and it can be greatly enjoyed as such, but you can also just read it as a comedic historical fiction if you want a lighter story. 

Lastly, let me just say now, before you have your Socratic seminar on it, “iT’s tOo cOnfuSinG!!!” is NOT an argument as to why it’s bad/you don’t like it. If it’s too confusing for you, that means you didn’t take enough care to remember some names or grasp the nonlinear structure. It’s not the author’s fault that you tried to read this book in the last week (or day) before school started, and you don’t get an opinion if you used SparkNotes.