If reading has felt like a chore to you lately, you’re in the right place. This is for word-lovers, for storytellers, for anyone that’s fallen out of love with books. Here’s a list of some of my favorite books just interesting enough and just easy enough to keep you entertained for effortless hours and spark that passion:

"Educated" by Tara Westover: Memoirs may not be everyone’s favorite, they definitely aren’t mine, but the right one will leave you speechless and furiously googling the author for weeks after you finish it. "Educated" is the true story of Tara Westover, a woman who grew up in the Idaho mountains neighbors with the Ruby Ridge family, being raised by her survivalist Mormon parents. The memoir recounts all the accidents her family experiences, made especially gruesome by the fact they don’t trust hospitals, and everything she went to for her right to an education. The overarching theme is the importance of that education and Westover discovers while that can set you free, it can also isolate you from everything you ever knew.

Favorite quote: “The decisions I made after that moment were not the ones she would have made. They were the choices of a changed person, a new self. You could call this selfhood many things. Transformation. Metamorphosis. Falsity. Betrayal. I call it an education.” — Tara Westover, “Educated”

"Normal People" by Sally Rooney: I really, really hope if you haven't read this book you’ve at least seen the Hulu series based on it. The melancholy Irish countryside of Rooney’s world is brought to beautiful life and you can’t not wish you were there in a Trinity flat drinking stale beer with the characters. However, before there were stunning visuals, there were stunningly simplistic words detailing a hauntingly normal romance. Normal People is the story of Marianne and Connell who grew up in the same small town and weave in and out of each other’s lives over the course of many years. There’s nothing sparkly or over-romanticised about their relationship but it’s absolutely the most heartbreaking love story because of it’s normalcy.

Favorite quote: “If people appeared to behave pointlessly in grief, it was only because human life was pointless, and this was the truth that grief revealed.” — Sally Rooney, “Normal People”

"Walk Two Moons" by Sharon Creech: This book is kind of a game changer. It is technically a young adult book but the themes it touches on go way beyond young adulthood. The story is about a 13-year-old girl named Sal who’s mom has recently left her and her father. Sal and her grandparents take a roadtrip to Idaho from Ohio to go see her mother. Along the way she tells them stories about life in the town they now live in but as they grow closer to Idaho it’s revealed not everything is as it seems with Sal’s mother. This book is true storytelling mastery and incredible in the way it deals with grief, love, cultural identities and the general hardships of life. It’s a quick and easy read that’ll absolutely re-spark your love for fictional characters.

Favorite Quote: “I prayed to the trees. This was easier than praying directly to God. There was always a tree nearby.” — Sharon Creech, “Walk Two Moons”

"Nine Perfect Strangers" by Liane Moriarty: If you need a book that’ll hook you fast and not let you go until you're done, this is that book. I’m pretty sure I read this straight through over the course of two days. It’s not prophetic, it’s words aren’t necessarily life-changing, but it is so entertaining. In “Nine Perfect Strangers,” nine wildly different people all find themselves checking into a seven day health resort. While the expectation may have been massages, meditation and exercise, this resort proves to be much more than any of them bargained for. It’s a comedy turned thriller filled with well-crafted characters and if that isn’t enough to convince you it’s by the same author as “Big Little Lies” and she hasn’t lost her edge for convincing drama.

Favorite Quote: “I don’t get the obsession with strangers, her first husband, Sol, once said to her, and Frances had struggled to explain that strangers were by definition interesting. It was their strangeness. The not-knowing. Once you knew everything there was to know about someone, you were generally ready to divorce them.” — Liane Moriarty, “Nine Perfect Strangers”

That’s all I’ve got for you. Now don’t take school so seriously that you forget to leave room for imaginary people and places. 

Thea Skokan is a news editor.

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