Book Reviews, Lifestyle

3 Books That Got Me Out of a Reading Slump

I’ve always loved reading: as a child, my Christmas wish-lists were 90% books or Waterstones gift vouchers and through the recent pandemic and part-time furlough, I relished the escapism of curling up with a book for hours on end. But over the last 12 months, I’ve really struggled to find the motivation to read – finding it way too easy to veg in front of the TV or scroll through social media instead. As enjoyable as those things are, they don’t compare with the satisfaction of losing yourself in a novel.

I was determined to find my passion again.

I scoured Goodreads, Book(You)tube and Amazon’s Kindle Store, reading recommendations and blurbs, searching for something which would spark an interest, and voilà! The key was finding stories that I was excited to get my teeth into; that made the whole process so much easier. Page by page, my enjoyment grew – it no longer felt like effort to read in my “free” time, instead, I was actively looking forward to finding a spare 10 minutes when I would be able to read – whether that be waiting for a train, in my lunch break, or on the sofa in the evening. A complete shift in mindset.

I’m so pleased to have rediscovered the magic of reading – there is no other feeling like being so engrossed in a book that you cannot put it down. I have laughed and cried, and lovingly share below the 3 books that cured my reading slump so that you may enjoy them, too:

Mad About You, Mhairi McFarlane

This first book was a perfect reminder of the joy that reading can bring. There was a spark about it which had me intrigued from the get-go. Very easy to read, Mad About You is a fast-paced rom-com that had me laughing out loud the whole way through and, yes, I did make the mistake of reading it in public and having to stifle giggles so people wouldn’t think I’m crazy… The plot is well-thought out and had some twists and turns that kept me on my toes. I liked that it wasn’t entirely predictable, as novels of this genre tend to be. A little outrageous in places, this book is a bundle of fun that I would happily read again – and I think that speaks for itself. If you enjoyed The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, you would love this.

Because of You, Dawn French

This book had been sat on my shelf for a while, and finally I gave it a go! I have read other Dawn French books previously and found them light-hearted and comedic – something we all know she does so well. This book, therefore, came as a surprise as the plot covers much more serious topics than I expected (should have paid better attention to the blurb). What kept me engaged all the way through was the intriguing storyline. Although it’s not the best thought-out plot (the whole premise is, in my opinion, unrealistic and there were problematic plot holes) I must admit I felt drawn to turning the pages to see what happened next and find out how everything would be resolved. In this regard, it was certainly entertaining, although it’s not one I would read again.
I strongly advise potential readers that the book requires trigger warnings as it covers heavy themes such as child loss and abduction.

Little Women, Louisa May Alcott

What a book! One I had been meaning to read for far too long. For a literary classic, this is a surprisingly easy read; the language is very accessible, it keeps a good pace, and its themes and ideas are not too outdated. Heart-warming (and heart-breaking in parts), this book is filled with complex, yet incredibly relatable, three-dimensional characters who we see develop across the course of the novel. Essentially a coming-of-age story, Little Women tackles love, loss, independence, gender stereotypes and the balance between duty and desire. Overarchingly, though, it is a story about family. I couldn’t help but fall in love with this timeless classic: I cannot recommend it highly enough.
It was incredibly difficult to keep this review short and sweet. If you’re interested in learning more, I have posted a longer review on my Goodreads, but be warned that it contains spoilers!

I’m always on the lookout for new books to read, so please leave your own recommendations in the comments below. To keep up with my reading habits, add me on Goodreads.

Happy reading!

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