If you’re like me, you never liked to read. For school, personal enjoyment, work, or anything of the sort. Of course, there were select books that really grabbed my attention and held it tight until I reached the last page and was left wondering if all books are as fascinating as this one was. Something clicked in the past few years and I started buying more books. I set a goal for myself this year: read 5 new books. I know, for you avid readers, this is the easiest task. But for me, it’s a lot of reading! Especially when I’ve got so many other things going on that I would (honestly) rather be doing. But, when the time is right, I’ll pick up a book and read as many chapters as I possibly can.
With all that being said, I compiled a list of books that I’d like to read before the year ends. Not to say that other books won’t catch my eye! But, these are the ones I’ve found while scouring bookstores and the internet that caught my attention. I have them labeled by their purpose (for myself), a summary about the book, and why I want to read it this year.
I also came across a really cool website during my search for new books: What Should I Read Next? When you access this site, simply type in the title/author of a book you enjoyed and search. There will be a list of books suggested by other readers that you might enjoy based off of your search! This website helped me find a couple books on this list that I’m really excited to start reading.
For those of you that enjoy reading, I might also suggest you purchase a Kindle reader, so you have access to all your books at all times in one portable device! This Kindle features a built-in light for reading day or night, access to millions of titles at low prices, a long-lasting battery (one charge lasts weeks!), and no screen glare from sunlight! There are many different Kindle options – some with more storage, audiobook capabilities, and bigger screens. Take a look at all the options that Amazon offers!
Let’s get this list started!
1. The Art of War – Sun Tzu
About the book: “The Art of War is an ancient Chinese military treatise dating from the 5th century BC. Attributed to the ancient Chinese military strategist Sun Tzu the text is composed of 13 chapters, each of which is devoted to one aspect of the art of war. It is commonly thought of as a definitive work on military strategy and tactics. It was placed at the head of China’s Seven Military Classics upon the collection’s creation in 1080 by Emperor Shenzong of Song, and has long been the most influential strategy text in East Asia. It has had an influence on Eastern and Western military thinking, business tactics, legal strategy and beyond.” Amazon
This book is on my list because: Years have gone by since I initially heard about this book. “Yuck, military strategies and war. No thanks.” But I came across this book a couple months ago during my search, and read reviews on the book. Of course, like a majority of books, there is so much more that lies beneath the surface. This was a classic case of “judging a book by its cover” and is now on my list because it deserves a chance.
Find it here for $4.70. Also available on the Kindle for free.
2. Four Perfect Pebbles – A True Story of the Holocaust
About the book: “Marion Blumenthal Lazan’s unforgettable and acclaimed memoir recalls the devastating years that shaped her childhood. Following Hitler’s rise to power, the Blumenthal family—father, mother, Marion, and her brother, Albert—were trapped in Nazi Germany. They managed eventually to get to Holland, but soon thereafter it was occupied by the Nazis. For the next six and a half years the Blumenthals were forced to live in refugee, transit, and prison camps, including Westerbork in Holland and Bergen-Belsen in Germany, before finally making it to the United States. Their story is one of horror and hardship, but it is also a story of courage, hope, and the will to survive.” Amazon
This book is on my list because: The Holocaust was one part of history that I had such an interest in learning about. All of the different stories and recollections from different survivors provide small details that could’ve been overlooked in history books. These personal accounts are written with such intensity that I get goosebumps reading them. Holocaust books are always something that will interest me.
Find it here for $4.80. Also available on the Kindle for $6.99.
3. Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
About the book: “A charmingly illustrated and educational book, New York Times best seller Women in Science highlights the contributions of fifty notable women to the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) from the ancient to the modern world. Full of striking, singular art, this fascinating collection also contains infographics about relevant topics such as lab equipment, rates of women currently working in STEM fields, and an illustrated scientific glossary. The trailblazing women profiled include well-known figures like primatologist Jane Goodall, as well as lesser-known pioneers such as Katherine Johnson, the African-American physicist and mathematician who calculated the trajectory of the 1969 Apollo 11 mission to the moon.” Amazon
This book is on my list because: A beautiful book about women who changed the world… Why wouldn’t this be on my list?! It’s fascinating to know that many things might’ve been impossible had it not been for a persistent, intelligent woman leading the way. If you’re a woman looking for some inspiration, I’d suggest adding this to your list of books to check out!
Find it here for $10.32. Also available on the Kindle for $9.99.
4. Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
About the book: “Harry Potter has never even heard of Hogwarts when the letters start dropping on the doormat at number four, Privet Drive. Addressed in green ink on yellowish parchment with a purple seal, they are swiftly confiscated by his grisly aunt and uncle. Then, on Harry’s eleventh birthday, a great beetle-eyed giant of a man called Rubeus Hagrid bursts in with some astonishing news: Harry Potter is a wizard, and he has a place at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. An incredible adventure is about to begin!” Amazon
This book is on my list because: Matt and I have been watching the movies again and it had me wanting to read the books because everyone knows that the books provide so much more detail and movies can cut out so many scenes. The only Harry Potter book I’ve ever read was in elementary school for my Accelerated Reader program and it was the third book! I’d say it’s time to start this series for real.
Find it here for $8.54. Also available on the Kindle for free (for Prime members).
5. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life
About the book: “…Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek.
There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.” Amazon
This book is on my list because: Everyone needs motivation sometimes. I’ve been down and out on myself for a while and a lot of it stems from low self-esteem and caring so much about what others think about me and it’s truly depressing. During my search for “self-help” books to get me motivated, I came across this one and after seeing the reviews and ratings (and the title, of course) I decided this one would be put on my list and hopefully give me a kick in the right direction.
Find it here for $14.25. Also available on the Kindle for $12.99.
What books are on your list to read this year? I’d love to add to my list! Share with us your favorites/must-reads in the comments below!