Overcoming the Reading Slump

Book recommendations to help you get back into reading this summer break.

Books have the unique ability to transport us to different worlds if we simply take the time to sit and read. They possess capabilities to entertain, inspire, and educate—yet, this hobby does require time. With outside commitments and academic workload piling up throughout the school year, many of our schedules become jam-packed, pushing aside reading for pleasure altogether. 

But with the summer holidays approaching and schedules freeing up, reading may just be the best way to fill it. Whether it be cozying up to a novel at home, reading recreationally on vacation, or taking a break from the summer hustle, here are four enticing books to get you out of your reading slump this summer break.

Daisy Jones and the Six (2019)

Taylor Jenkins Reid, historical fiction

The band had it all. Top of the charts, legions of fans, a sold-out arena tour—Daisy Jones and the Six were at their prime. But on one night in 1979, everything unraveled. The rock and roll band abruptly split, and nobody knew why… until now.

Pulling the curtains aside, Daisy Jones and the Six gives an inside look at the trials and tribulations such a publicized (and scrutinized) band had to face. Set in the rambunctious era of sex, drugs, and rock n’ roll, the flawed yet incredibly charismatic characters take center stage, their passion for music practically radiating off the pages. You’ll receive the inside scoop that tabloids and magazines could only have dreamed of having and memorable anecdotes illustrating the group’s dynamics and disputes. Once finishing this book, you’ll be sure to have some laughs, some cries—and most of all—a strong desire to have witnessed the fictional band in concert.     

Stephen Fry’s Great Mythology Series (2017—)

Stephen Fry, mythology

From the birth of gods and goddesses to the brutal ransacking of the city of Troy, this series—consisting of books Mythos, Heroes, and Troy—Fry comprehensively re-tells Greek mythology through his witty (and accessible!) storytelling. 

Despite comprising three books, you don’t have to read this series sequentially, nor have prior knowledge of Greek mythology, making it a convenient read. Its captivating, gripping, diabolical tales will leave you shocked, entertained, and thinking to yourself, Did that actually just happen? So, whether you’re yearning to learn about Greek mythology, an avid Percy Jackson fan, or are just in need of an enjoyable read, dive head-first into the wondrous world of Greek myths.

Hex (2022)

Jenni Fagan, historical fiction

It’s 1591, and a convicted witch, Geillis Duncan, awaits her execution in her eerie cell; having experienced brutal torture, a sham trial, and complete isolation, she’s lost all hope for herself. But amidst the dimly lit surroundings of her jail cell, her eyes become transfixed on a figure—Iris, a  mysterious visitor who claims to be from the future. 

With emotional, straightforward, and incredibly mesmerizing writing, Fagan’s prose colorizes Geillis Duncan—a real person who’s gone through a dehumanizing experience—into someone with thoughts and feelings reminiscent of her own voice. “Ever since the first of days, woman was told she was here solely to serve and obey… God help her if she is a mirror. If she reflects back at them without even trying.” It’s thought-provoking, recounting events from a society 400 years before; and yet, draws comparisons to our modern society in the present. Hex is touching, tragic, and wholesome—and a gripping portrayal on the repercussions women face in a patriarchal society. 

And Then There Were None (1939)

Agatha Christie, mystery

Having been summoned for various reasons, ten strangers (invited by a mysterious multi-millionaire) arrive on a secluded private island. But when one by one, they begin to be murdered, the group’s plans halt as they find themselves entangled in a murder scheme. Stranded far from help, they must deduce who the killer is before no one’s left alive. 

Almost a century old yet timeless, And Then There Were None is engrossing and engaging, enough to keep you on the edge of your seat. Paced quickly, it’s filled with constant suspense and sustains tension throughout the entirety of its length, making for excitement, anticipation, and thrill amongst its readers! It includes multi-faceted characters, some of whom you’ll root for to survive, and others who you’re convinced are to be blamed for the murders. Who knows: maybe you’ll be able to crack the mystery before the ending of the book. 

Through this list, getting over the reading slump may be achieved—but how do we maintain the reading habit? Here are some quick steps: 

Use social media: This tip may sound counterintuitive, but the massive online readers community (#booktok and #booktube) can be helpful if done moderately. Countless internet personalities dedicate their online careers to books; finding a trusted creator may be your gateway to new reading recommendations. 

Allocate time to read: Dedicate time in your daily schedule to read, whether it be 15 minutes or an hour. Make it a habit! 

Make a GoodReads account: Nicknamed the “world’s biggest book club,” this online platform hosts millions of readers worldwide that converse about and review books daily. Find some friends, track your progress, and even ask questions to your favorite authors—Goodreads is designed for avid readers to geek out amongst each other.