How to End Your Reading Slump #amreading #books
Are you looking for a new book to try, but it’s been a while since you’ve found a book you can really get excited about? Well, I want to have a little fun today and share some of my favorite indie and traditional books across some of my favorite genres. While taste is subjective, these are books that are absolutely worth a read if you like the full package (great story/plot, amazing characters, smooth writing). Trust me, I won’t let you down.
The Blurb: Small Plains, Kansas, January 23, 1987: In the midst of a deadly blizzard, eighteen-year-old Rex Shellenberger scours his father’s pasture, looking for helpless newborn calves. Then he makes a shocking discovery: the naked, frozen body of a teenage girl, her skin as white as the snow around her. Even dead, she is the most beautiful girl he’s ever seen. It is a moment that will forever change his life and the lives of everyone around him.
Becca says: I have to say that Nancy Pickard is one of my favorite writers of all time. Her writing is astounding, her characters are endearing, and her ability to weave a knock-out mystery full of suspense is inspiring. I like that her writing has a little bit of everything, mixed with some small town charm. There’s flourishes of romance, hints of horror, flashes of paranormal, and heaps of mystery.
The Blurb: When terminally ill combat pilot Jake Bronson emerges from an MRI with extraordinary cognitive powers, everyone wants a piece of his talent–including Battista, one of the world’s most dangerous terrorists. To save his love and her autistic child, Jake is thrust into a deadly chase that leads from the canals of Venice through Monte Carlo and finally to an ancient cavern in the Hindu Kush Mountains of Afghanistan–where Jake discovers that his newfound talents carry a hidden price that threatens the entire human race.
Becca says: This is the one that got away! HarperCollins had a shot to publish this one and narrowly passed, and I think that was a mistake on their part! Richard Bard’s “BRAINRUSH” went on to be a #1 Amazon Bestseller. His book continues to sell excellent, with fabulous reviews, and the sequel is doing just as well. Am I surprised? No. I’ve had the pleasure of reading this one and it’s obvious why this is a favorite among men . . . and women, too!
The Blurb: Suburbia. Shady, tree-lined streets, well-tended lawns and cozy homes. A nice, quiet place to grow up. Unless you are teenage Meg or her crippled sister, Susan. On a dead-end street, in the dark, damp basement of the Chandler house, Meg and Susan are left captive to the savage whims and rages of a distant aunt who is rapidly descending into madness. It is a madness that infects all three of her sons—and finally the entire neighborhood. Only one troubled boy stands hesitantly between Meg and Susan and their cruel, torturous deaths. A boy with a very adult decision to make…
Becca says: If you love horror and you haven’t read this book . . . WHY NOT?! This book came recommended to me by a friend and it is now one of my ALL TIME favorite books (and my all time favorite book list is a very short list indeed). My eyes were glued to the pages, which made turning the pages very hard though I ripped through this book in less than 24 hours. Life as I knew it stopped while I read this because it was all I could do. I could NOT put the book down. Simply amazing.
The Blurb: Welcome to harmless Belcorte, nestled in these Pocono Mountains. Here, nothing is as it seems.
After her mother dies, young journalist Jill Duport inherits her grandparents’ infamous house. A teenage girl had been murdered in this house by her grandfather—college professor, madman, victim of suicide. His apparition still haunts these halls and empty rooms. And yet, since his death, a series of grisly killings, all bearing his mark, have gripped Belcorte for decades. Is Grandfather able to commit murder, even after his death, or did he share an enigmatic connection with the unidentified madman known as The Indianhead Reservoir Killer?
Becca says: R.P. Kraul is master storyteller. I’ve seen very few authors SOAK their prose in horror. The settings, the descriptions, the tone–all these things empower the horrifying events that take place in this story. There are a couple flourishes of paranormal that I also really enjoyed in this story. I will say this, though: If this author gets the recognition he deserves, he could go on to be one of the most memorable authors this genre has ever seen. Move over Stephen King. Yeah, I said that.
Narnia is the land of enchantment, glory, nobility–home to the magnificent Aslan, cruel Jadis (the White Queen), heroic Reepicheep, and kind Mr. Tumnus. All the magic of C.S. Lewis’s Narnia, bewitching readers for almost 50 years, is captured for the first time in this splendid deluxe edition, including The Magician’s Nephew, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle.
Becca says: If you haven’t read these yet, it will keep you busy for a while! C.S. Lewis has created a world that you will never forget. It’s the perfect escape, but it’s not without it’s trials! These stories are full of conflict and action and your imagination will get carried away. What I love about these books is they can be enjoyed by children as well as adults.
The Blurb: The Grimoire turns its own pages and can answer any question asked of it, and Kara Magari is its next target. Kara has no idea what she’s getting herself into when she stumbles across the old book while hiking a hidden trail. Once she opens it, she’s thrown into Ourea: a beautiful world full of terrifying things that want the Grimoire’s secrets. Everyone in this new world is trying to find her, and most want to control the new-found power the book bestows upon her. Even if Kara does escape, Ourea will only drag her back. Braeden Drakonin grew up in Ourea, and all he’s ever known of life is lying. The Grimoire is his one chance at redemption, and it lands in his lap when Kara Magari comes into his life. He has one question to ask the book—one question that can fix everything in his broken world—and he’s not letting Kara out of his sight until he gets an answer. There’s no going back now.
Becca says: This is the new Narnia/Harry Potter/Neverending Story/Lord of the Rings/Any Epic Fantasy You Have Ever Read. Except out of all of those I only personally liked Narnia and Neverending Story, which is to say that you don’t have to love Epic Fantasy to love THIS epic fantasy novel. I’m very impressed with everything about this book, from the writing, to the world-building, to the characters who are just so memorable and lovable and kick ass in all the right ways. A must read for all ages.
The Blurb: When Martin Grace enters the hip Philadelphia coffee shop Cornelia Brown manages, her life changes forever. But little does she know that her newfound love is only the harbinger of greater changes to come. Meanwhile, across town, Clare Hobbs—eleven years old and abandoned by her erratic mother—goes looking for her lost father. She crosses paths with Cornelia while meeting with him at the café, and the two women form an improbable friendship that carries them through the unpredictable currents of love and life.
Becca says: I could have recommended any number of amazing literary fiction novels I have read, but I’ve selected something that probably crosses over into contemporary fiction. I like the pacing of this, the emotion, and the brilliance of Santos’ writing. She is a genius. Some people will debate this isn’t literary fiction, but it has everything I look for in literary fiction and this is what I classify as literary fiction that anyone can enjoy. What a powerful story that rings so true to the complexity of human emotion. It’s hard to believe this was a debut novel.
The Blurb: Beanie MacKenzie and her husband Mac have led perfect lives, with perfect families and perfect jobs they both love, he a leading cardiologist, she a teacher at a school for troubled children. Now they have the perfect home, a big house on a quiet Albany street, just perfect for raising a big family. Only the babies they’ve been trying so hard to conceive just won’t come.
Stressed in her marriage and fearing she may never bear children, Beanie throws herself into her work, surrounded by society’s throwaways. Enter Beanie’s new student, seven-year-old Blueberry Truth Crowley, a fiercely independent child whose life had been anything but perfect. Abused, neglected, and mistrustful of everyone around her, Truth throws a monkey wrench into the perfect order of Beanie’s classroom–and into her very life–challenging Beanie’s notions of motherhood, commitment, and family. But their unlikely bond may be just the thing to teach them both about love.
Becca says: Ute Carbone is an undiscovered genius! Well, she’s been discovered by some small presses, but IMO, she’s SO much bigger than that. I could read book after book by this author. She is BRILLIANT. I can’t recommend her titles highly enough. This is a hidden gem. Don’t miss out.
Now, if none of these books tickle your fancy, here’s a few tips for finding books on your OWN to get over your reading slump:
Step 1) Give yourself permission to give up on books that lose your interest.
Step 2) Find the books that premises make you go “HELL YEAH, I want to read this.” NOT “This sounds pretty good.”
Step 3) Read a redonkulous amount of first chapters. Stop the second you lose interest, even if you only read one paragraph. If you finish a while chapter and think, “I HAVE TO READ THIS WHOLE BOOK RIGHT NOW,” then that is the book you buy.
You really need to feel that you MUST keep reading. That you won’t be able to focus on anything else until you get your hands on a damn copy of that book. Read that book and I suspect you will find yourself over your reading slump.
Rebecca Hamilton writes Paranormal Fantasy, Gothic Horror, and Literary Fiction. She is represented by the ever-more-amazing Rossano Trentin of TZLA.
To purchase her books, please visit Paranormal Fantasy Books.