Opinion: Book slump remedies

Growing up as a gifted and talented student, liking books and being a rapid reader became a pillar of my personality throughout my academic career. This self-proclaimed skill led to my love for literature burning bright and fast, but by the time I was a freshman in high school, I no longer held the same appreciation for reading. Periodically, I picked up books that I found entertaining, but very few had a lasting impact on me. However, one goal I have for myself as I leave high school and move on to college is to reignite my desire and fall in love with books again. I have compiled a short list of novels that are easy reads to help get other former book-lovers back into the habit of reading. 

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens

I originally heard about this book from none other than the queen, Reese Witherspoon, who has a monthly book club. After hearing numerous glowing reviews of “Where the Crawdads Sing,” I decided to pick it up as an independent reading novel for my English Literature class. 

The novel combines my favorite genres: romance and murder mystery. I became enthralled with the writing style and how it often jumps from past to present tense, never giving readers the chance to get bored and always building a sense of suspense. I would recommend this read to anyone looking for a book about growth, romance and the marshlands of North Carolina in the 1950s.

Little Weirds by Jenny Slate 

I used to be very opposed to nonfiction and autobiographies because I had the mindset that they were boring books written by people who thought too highly of their own personal experiences. I instantly retracted my beliefs when I read “Little Weirds.” This book follows the life of actress and comedian Jenny Slate, who uses a quirky and poetic narrative to share insight about her experience growing up and navigating adulthood. 

This book is funny, relatable, lyrical and so much more. I will say, it is a little weird at times, but Slate also keeps some of her experiences universal and ambiguous, which allows the reader to envision themselves in the situation as well. When discussing topics like heartbreak or divorce, friendships, anxiety or creativity, Slate keeps it vague. I liked this because while it is revealing, it isn’t a trashy celebrity tell-all money grab like other famous people have released. 

Just One Day by Gayle Foreman

This book is an old favorite of mine that I recently revisited in the past year, and I am so happy I did. From the author who gave readers the heartbreaking narrative depicted in “If I Stay,” Gayle Forman is an expert in coming-of-age young adult romance novels, which happen to be my guilty pleasure. 

“Just One Day” follows the whirlwind romance of Allyson, a recent high school graduate on her senior trip, who meets Willem, a talented actor in a traveling theater troupe, as he is performing in a rendition of Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” in England. This is a fast-paced romance from Allyson’s point of view of falling in love one day with a mysterious Dutch stranger, falling apart after their departure and having to rebuild herself in her first year in college. 

While this book is heartbreakingly romantic, it is more so about growth and finding strength and happiness within oneself in times of independence, which is a lesson everyone can benefit from.