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What 1st Grade Reading Books Are Available Online?

story books for adults

Reading is important for kids of all ages, whether they’re reading on their own or hearing stories from teachers, parents and the other adults in their lives. It’s especially important for first graders because they’re still learning language, and reading helps them understand the sounds and patterns words make.

You can shop for books in stores, check them out from libraries and even buy them online, but you can also find free or inexpensive digital books for kids online. Reading them is as easy as visiting one of these websites. Some may require a membership signup, but for most of them, you can go straight to the link and start reading.

Wilbooks offers free digital books for kids ages pre-K through third grade and reading levels A through M. You can also sort their books by collection or series. For example, there are books that are Common Core-approved, Spanish language books, joke books, alphabet books and more.

story books for adults

Many of the books are free to read online. However, for a monthly fee or annual subscription, you can receive physical books in the mail and access educational printables. Individual, school and classroom accounts are all available. If you want to stick to the dozens of free books available, click on the one you like, and it will appear in a pop-up window. Once it does, you can start reading.

At FunBrain , you’ll find a selection of books for elementary and middle grades, including some of the popular books and series that kids love the most. Look for titles like Judy Moody , Diary of a Wimpy Kid , Smashie McPerter , Amelia , Stink and more. Each title gives a suggested grade level range.

story books for adults

However, if you’re reading with your child, you may find that you want to work your way through all of the books, even the ones for older kids. The FunBrain site also has games for kids of ages and videos like Kidz Bop , Teen Titans Go! and Highlights Kids . It also has informative videos on topics like getting along with siblings or dealing with bullies. The site even has a section on math.

Created by Oxford University Press, Oxford Owl offers a free site for parents and children to use at home, as well as a membership version for teachers and schools. The home version offers a free eBook library for kids ages 3 to 11, including both fiction and nonfiction.

story books for adults

You can also browse by series or Oxford Reading Level. Beyond books, the Oxford Owl site offers a blog with advice for parents and kids on topics like summer reading and what to expect when school starts. There are math games and phonics guides, and you’ll find a selection of activities to do at home, sorted by age and grade level.

Storyline Online

One of the most well-known sites where you’ll find free online books for kids is Storyline Online . It’s won several awards, including an Emmy, and it’s been endorsed by the American Library Association.

story books for adults

The site is filled with some of the most popular kids’ books, and rather than read them yourself, you can watch a video of a celebrity like Kevin Costner, Eva Longoria or Betty White read them to you. Each book has its own activity guide, and you can buy the books from the site if you’d like to own a physical copy.

International Children’s Digital Library

The International Children’s Digital Library has one of the biggest selections of kids’ books online. Choose from more than 4,000 titles in approximately 60 languages. You can narrow the selections down by age, length of book, topic and other categories.

story books for adults

You can even search for books that are from each continent. If you sign up for a free account, you can create a virtual bookshelf with your child’s favorites so that you can find them easily when you want.


story books for adults

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9 Classic Books from High School Worth Rereading as an Adult

story books for adults

Most high school curriculums incorporate a lot of classic books, but students might not always appreciate their significance. Maybe reading felt like a chore, or maybe high schoolers are too enveloped in their teenage woes to dive into the works of George Orwell.

If you were that student who missed important takeaways from classic books, there’s plenty to gain from reading them as an adult. Stories like Catch-22 and To Kill a Mockingbird are far more significant for a grown-up. Whether you actually read these books long ago or just used CliffsNotes, these classics deserve another chance to make you appreciate them more than you did as a teen.

Lord of the Flies by William Golding

Being stuck on an island sounds like the perfect chance for rest and relaxation — unless you were stuck there with the boys from Lord of the Flies , of course. Before you knew it, the stranded schoolboys quickly turned into power-hungry bullies, each one becoming more violent than the next.

story books for adults

As a high schooler, it was easy to believe that these kids were just too young to understand how to work together. However, as an adult, you realize that this tale is all too real, especially when you think about the current disagreements and division in the U.S.

1984 by George Orwell

Were there themes of government and politics in 1984 ? Yes. Was there something deeper to it? Absolutely. Orwell exposed the dark side of technology, totalitarianism and propaganda in a dystopian society.

story books for adults

In some ways, we are living in 1984 . Propaganda is everywhere, even online. It’s what some people call “fake news.” When it comes to “Big Brother” surveillance, people are spied on today through their cell phones and internet use. If you give the book another chance, you may end up paranoid about everything, but you’ll have a better understanding of how close it is to today’s reality.

The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger

This coming-of-age story is told by 16-year-old Holden Caufield, who describes his time in New York before starting a new journey. If you remember him complaining about everything, you probably disliked this character when you were in high school.

story books for adults

Revisiting The Catcher in the Rye might inspire you to take a trip to New York. But, more importantly, you’ll realize that the book is about anxiety, especially when the next chapter in life is unknown. Based on that, Caufield is more relatable and likable than you previously thought. Maybe you two could have been friends in real life.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

If you’re looking for some hope and courage during troubling times, Angelou’s memoir might help you. It’s about the first 16 years of her life overcoming racism in Arkansas. At a young age, most of us were just trying to turn in our homework on time, but Angelou was already dealing with prejudice and trauma.

story books for adults

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings also shows how fast Angelou matured. You get an inside look into her personal feelings about being a victim of racism and assault as she grew into a strong Black woman. This would be a great reread as the topic of racism is at an all-time high in the U.S.

Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Catch-22 is about soldiers who deal with many ridiculous events during World War II. Heller used satire to tell this classic story, so it’s only natural that we believed it was funny. However, the grown-up point of view shows the sad reality that sometimes goes with strict rules and regulations.

story books for adults

As an adult, you’ll see that the soldiers’ experiences are actually relevant. They were stuck in tricky situations due to contradictory rules. Real life is full of these “catch-22” types of incidents — like the need to find a job to get experience but having no experience to get a job. Wondering how you win in a catch-22 situation is an age-old dilemma.

The Giver by Lois Lowry

In The Giver , hatred, pain, war and inequality don’t exist. This sounds too good to be true — because it is. Everything is highly controlled to achieve perfection, from relationships to careers. If you weren’t allowed to express yourself or talk about the past, wouldn’t you be angry about it?

story books for adults

As a high school student, you probably thought none of this could happen in real life. However, if you learned about the Khmer Rouge and Nazi Germany, you know that many parts of this book are possible. The Giver also tells a story similar to current situations in the world, such as in North Korea, where citizens have very little freedom to make their own choices.

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Lee’s timeless classic always deserves another look. It’s known for its dry sense of humor, thanks to the character Jean Louise Finch, a.k.a. Scout. Told from a young point of view, the book is about respecting others and life in the South.

story books for adults

However, when you reread the book as an adult, you’ll understand the deeper themes. The story covers racism, prejudice, courage and justice. Just like in reality, the justice system fails to make sense, and racism is an ongoing problem. But not all is lost in this book. To Kill a Mockingbird also gives you hope for humanity.

Beloved by Toni Morrison

On the surface, Beloved is about a former slave and the ghost of her daughter, but when you take a deeper dive, you see some bigger themes in the book. It explores the emotional impacts of slavery and racism, mother-daughter relationships, and masculinity.

story books for adults

You’ll take note of how unpacking the past can be good for you, even when you’re hesitant to do so. You’ll also see the strength and love of a mother, which might inspire you to call your family after you’re done reading. These themes may be hard to understand — especially for teenagers who mainly think about clubs and classes —but they are valuable to learn.

A Series of Unfortunate Events By Lemony Snicket

story books for adults

There’s a high chance that you first encountered this series during a Scholastic book fair in grade school. Despite the whimsical artwork and playful vocabulary that accompanies each book, A Series of Unfortunate Events delves into genuinely dark and harrowing topics.

What’s truly fascinating about these novels is that author Lemony Snicket designed them to be read twice — once as a child, and later as an adult. There are many details that might fly over your head as a child, and others that an older reader might dismiss. Netflix adapted all thirteen of these classic books between 2017 and 2019.


story books for adults

Our expert librarians selected the year's best books for kids, teens, and adults. Check out these outstanding titles.

Best Books for Adults 2022

Filter results below, 75 books found, against heaven: poems.

Deftly blending the personal and the political, Alabi's unrestrained debut collection is equal parts prayer, praise, and protest.

Cover of Against Heaven: Poems

Alice in Borderland, Vol. 1

Translated from the Japanese by Jonah Mayahara-Miller | Arisu and his two best friends are suddenly transported to an alternate version of Tokyo. In order to live, Arisu has to play various life-or-death games that will force him to collaborate or betray his friends.

Cover of Alice in Borderland, Vol. 1

Animal Castle, Vol. 1

Art by Felix Delep | In this spiritual successor to Animal Farm , a group of animals live under the oppressive regime of bull President Silvio and his dog militia. But when a new visitor comes to the farm, the sparks of revolution soon fly.

Cover of Animal Castle, Vol. 1

Another Appalachia

Avashia brings out universal strands in her very particular experience of growing up in Appalachia as the queer child of first-generation Indian parents. Into her poignant ruminations on food, religion, sports, family, and love, she weaves nostalgia, humor, sadness, and empathy. | Full title: Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place

Cover of Another Appalachia

The Appeal: A Novel

Wade through the evidence in this modern epistolary novel that dares readers to solve a murder amongst an amateur theatre group.

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The Best Men

One weekend in Miami: two men who are unapologetically horny for each other, last-minute wedding planning, a British period drama, and one very scandalous spreadsheet.

A Black and Endless Sky

Siblings Jonah and Nell are on a road trip seeking to mend their troubled relationship. Their drive in the desert ratchets up into a terrifying flight and fight as they trigger forces, otherworldly and otherwise, in this noir-tinted, suspense-driven horror.

Cover of A Black and Endless Sky

Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments

D. Watkins grew up in East Baltimore, surrounded by violence and intergenerational trauma that bred toxic masculinity. Sprinkled with fleeting moments of joy, these personal essays track how he grew beyond societal expectations, surviving and thriving as a Black man of his own invention.

Cover of Black Boy Smile: A Memoir in Moments

A Caribbean Heiress in Paris: A Novel

Sparks fly in 1899 Paris when Dominican heiress Luz Alana Heith-Benzan travels to the Paris Exposition to market her family's rum and meets Lord Evan Sinclair, a Scottish Earl and whiskey distiller. As problems arise, they realize an arranged marriage could benefit them both.

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The Change: A Novel

A trio of women forge a kinship over their unique gifts to balance the scales of justice.

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Constellation Route

At once funny, melancholy, and grandiose, the contents of a mail courier's bag spill out in Olzmann's latest book.

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Content Warning: Everything

Emezi builds identity and family from chosen elements in these poems, describing the commonness of growing into divinity with wit, candor, and clarity.

Cover of Content Warning: Everything

Dead Silence

Imagine finding the Titanic 20 years after it disappeared without a trace. Only it's in outer space, and no one knows what caused its demise. Haunted by their pasts, a salvage crew discovers a missing luxury spaceship whose nightmare will haunt them into the future—if they can survive it.

Cover of Dead Silence

Delilah Green Doesn't Care

Pressured into photographing her estranged stepsister’s wedding, Delilah Green returns to the small town she ran from. She plans to do the job and leave. But her plans go sideways when she runs into Claire, a single mom and her stepsister’s BFF.

Cover of Delilah Green Doesn't Care

Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery

Journalists often struggle with how to include themselves in the stories they tell. As Parks researches a gender nonconforming person her grandmother knew in the 1950s, she grapples with her own sexuality, Southernness, faith, and complicated relationship with her mother.

Cover of Diary of a Misfit: A Memoir and a Mystery

Diary of a Void: A Novel

Translated from the Japanese by David Boyd & Lucy North | Shibata both lies and rebels when she announces her pregnancy at the office. This vibrant tale of a woman’s fictitious pregnancy offers a charming social commentary on modern isolation and how community can transform an individual’s self-worth.

Cover of Diary of a Void: A Novel

Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?: A Memoir

O'Reilly directs droll gallows humor towards his childhood in 1990s Northern Ireland, where his mother died when he was five, leaving his father to raise 11 children. At times uproariously funny, this is an opportunity to bask in the warmth of the love that held this family together.

Cover of Did Ye Hear Mammy Died?: A Memoir

Didn't Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta

Just released from prison after a 20-year sentence, Carlotta spends the Fourth of July weekend marveling at, and recoiling from, a gentrified Brooklyn, reconnecting with her past while struggling to assert her present as a proud, fiercely independent trans woman.

Cover of Didn't Nobody Give a Shit What Happened to Carlotta

Easy Beauty: A Memoir

Part travelogue and part treatise, Cooper Jones's book chronicles what it is like to move through the world with a rare condition that visibly affects her stature and gait. Philosophy, art, gender, sex, travel, motherhood, academia, humor—this book has it all.

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Electric Idol

After Aphrodite orders her son Eros to kill Psyche, he does the next worst thing. He marries her.

Cover of Electric Idol

The Empress and the English Doctor

As smallpox ravages Europe in the 1700s, Russia's Catherine the Great not only submits to inoculation but publicizes the treatment so her subjects will accept it in this gripping story of Enlightenment ideals, female leadership, and the fight to promote science over superstition. | Full title: The Empress and the English Doctor: How Catherine the Great Defied a Deadly Virus

Cover of The Empress and the English Doctor

The Escape Artist

Rudolph Vrba, a Slovakian Jew, did the unthinkable: he escaped from more than one WWII concentration camp. After escaping from Auschwitz, having witnessed the importance of secrecy for the success of the Nazi operation, he didn't rest until he'd told the world what was happening there. | Full title: The Escape Artist: The Man Who Broke Out of Auschwitz to Warn the World

Cover of The Escape Artist

Every Summer After: A Novel

Persephone and Sam had six summers to fall in love and one to ruin it all. Now, 12 years later, they have one weekend to make it right.

Cover of Every Summer After: A Novel

The Fishermen and the Dragon

A gripping story of the Texas Gulf Coast fishing community in the late 1970s. Oil companies were polluting the water, white fishermen blamed the Vietnamese refugees who had recently arrived, and racist violence erupted. And the fight for justice landed in federal court. | Full title: The Fishermen and the Dragon: Fear, Greed, and a Fight for Justice on the Gulf Coast

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On a farm in rural Ireland, a young girl is cared for with tenderness by relatives whose attentiveness suggests something left unsaid. In 92 concise and beautiful pages we see the landscape of a family developed over one affecting summer.

Cover of Foster

The Genesis of Misery

If Joan of Arc and Ziggy Stardust had a baby it would be Misery Nomaki, navigating the intersection of faith, truth, and the fictions we weave for ourselves.

Cover of The Genesis of Misery

In the 2050s, the privileged have fled Earth to space colonies, leaving behind a broken world and the people who fight to survive in what remains. With interwoven perspectives, Goliath probes issues of race, class, gentrification, and the power of narrative.

Cover of Goliath

The Hacienda

In the aftermath of the Mexican War of Independence, Beatriz marries Don Rudolfo Solórzano—in spite of the mystery surrounding the death of his first wife—and moves to his remote country estate. Far from it being the refuge she sought, Beatriz finds the Hacienda mired in supernatural horror.

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Heartbreaker: A Hell's Belles Novel

Matchbreaker and thief Adelaide Frampton and Henry, the crusading Duke of Clayton, race to Gretna Green together to both make and break a marriage—if they don’t kill each other first.

Cover of Heartbreaker: A Hell's Belles Novel

The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere—A Memoir

James found acceptance amongst the West Coast punk scene but, as a biracial teen, still struggled to find his place in the world at large. This eye-opening memoir has the makings of an instant classic with its reflections on what it meant to be Black and punk.

Cover of The High Desert: Black. Punk. Nowhere—A Memoir

The Hookup Plan

For pediatric surgeon London, a weekend hookup with her former high-school archnemesis Drew is exactly what the doctor ordered. But when he shows up for work at her hospital a few days later, London must devise rules and a plan to keep it casual. What could go wrong?

Cover of The Hookup Plan

How to Survive the Apocalypse: Poems

In poems with titles like "What If the Supreme Court Were Really the Supremes?," Trimble speaks to the contemporary African American experience with works that are historical, humorous, and bitingly inquisitive.

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How We Go High in the Dark: A Novel

A virus is released from melting permafrost in 2030, unleashing the Arctic Plague, a pandemic that changes human relationships with technology, the universe, and death. A series of vignettes, woven together into a speculative novel of human ingenuity at its worst and best.

Cover of How We Go High in the Dark: A Novel

The Hurting Kind: Poems

Nature is a springboard to self-reflection in Limón’s sixth collection, where the seasons serve as a prism and horses, scorpions, carp, and groundhogs inhabit moments of singular, revelatory grace.

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I'll Be You: A Novel

The bond between twins is tested when Elli disappears, leaving Sam to pick up the pieces.

Cover of I'll Be You: A Novel

Just Like Home

Vera Crowder is summoned by her estranged dying mother to the house built by her father, a notorious serial killer. The gothic psychological suspense grows as the foundations of Vera’s childhood yield up more than just bones, and missives from her dead father begin to appear.

Cover of Just Like Home

Kick the Latch

Careful research and deep empathy combine in this portrait of the unforgettable horse trainer Sonia. The life story you didn't know you needed, told in a spare, matter-of-fact narration that cannot conceal the passion and tenacity of a life hard-lived and success hard-won.

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Killers of a Certain Age: A Novel

Don't sleep on these lady killers of a certain age.

Cover of Killers of a Certain Age: A Novel

The Kiss Curse

By-the-book Wells Penhallow learns the hard way what happens when you open up a competing witchcraft shop across from the woman who drives you crazy. Newbie witches, a talking cat, and witchy hijinks included...

Cover of The Kiss Curse

A Lady for a Duke

In this groundbreaking Regency romance, Viola, presumed dead after Waterloo, returned to England to live as her true self. But it came with the cost of losing her best friend, the Duke of Gracewood. Now, years later, they get the chance to regain what they’ve lost.

Cover of A Lady for a Duke

Like a Sister: A Novel

Lena is determined to find out the truth about her sister's death in this love letter to the Bronx.

Cover of Like a Sister: A Novel

Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies: A Pies Before Guys Mystery

A delectable cozy with a star baker and her killer ingredient.

Cover of Magic, Lies, and Deadly Pies: A Pies Before Guys Mystery

The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir

This memoir is as nebulous and shape-shifting as the clouds in its title. Rojas Contreras weaves family stories of her healer curandero grandfather, her mother's and her own bouts with amnesia, Colombian history, and daily interactions with the supernatural.

Cover of The Man Who Could Move Clouds: A Memoir

The Many Deaths of Laila Starr

Art by Filipe Andrade | When a human is prophesied to unearth the key to immortality, Death is out of a job; now bound to a mortal form, she races against the clock to stop this discovery. This book reflects on death, its effect on people's lives, and the importance of embracing life while you have it.

Cover of The Many Deaths of Laila Starr

Men in My Situation: A Novel

Translated from the Norwegian by Ingvild Burkey | We encounter Arvid Jansen in a bleak period after his divorce and the death of his parents in a tragic ferry accident. He spends his time drinking, pursuing various women, and driving around in his Mazda. This book is a rare combination of melancholy and compelling.

Cover of Men in My Situation: A Novel

Reading this contemplative and invigorating book is like sitting on a couch with a cup of tea and an old friend, talking about the peaks and valleys of life and relationships. Only the friend is Toni Morrison, and the conversation reveals the impact she had on a young Black writer. | Full title: Miss Chloe: A Memoir of a Literary Friendship with Toni Morrison

Cover of Miss Chloe

Mothman Apologia

Mixing rural folklore with a coming-of-age story, Lynn’s poetry paints an affecting picture of the opioid crisis in the Shenandoah Valley and lays bare our collective misunderstanding of Appalachia.

Cover of Mothman Apologia

My Volcano: A Novel

A volcano pops up in the Central Park reservoir and starts growing. An eight-year-old boy in Mexico City is transported 500 years into the past. A Nigerian scholar in Tokyo studies a folktale about a woman of fire who destroys an entire village. And a nomadic farmer in Mongolia is stung by a bee, transforming him into a green mist that aspires to connect every living thing to its consciousness.

Cover of My Volcano: A Novel

Nettle & Bone

After her sisters suffer for years in their domestic situation, shy princess Marra enlists the help of a reluctant fairy godmother, a fallen knight, a bonewitch, and a demon-possessed chicken to perform three impossible tasks and vanquish an evil prince.

Cover of Nettle & Bone

Never Name the Dead: A Novel

Past meets present when Mae Sawpole returns home to Kiowa land.

Cover of Never Name the Dead: A Novel

No One Left to Come Looking for You: A Novel

In the East Village of the early 90s, drugs, murder, organized crime, and big real estate weave a mystery that can only be solved by a bass player in search of his stolen instrument.

Cover of No One Left to Come Looking for You: A Novel

English and Arabic find themselves in conversation about homeland, family, religion, and the role of women in Hashem Beck’s latest offering, with the interplay giving new meaning to traditional form.

Cover of O

Ordinary Monsters: A Novel

In this gripping supernatural horror, The Talents—children with peculiar gifts—are being gathered at a mysterious institute outside of Victorian Edinburgh. As they confront dark forces and secrets that could end the world, the Talents face a question: what makes a monster?

Cover of Ordinary Monsters: A Novel

The Other Dr. Gilmer

Gilmer learns that the previous doctor at his clinic, also a Dr. Gilmer, left one day, murdered his father, and returned to work the next morning. While researching the case, he uncovers the woefully inadequate medical and mental-health resources available to incarcerated people. | Full title: The Other Dr. Gilmer: Two Men, a Murder, and an Unlikely Fight for Justice

Cover of The Other Dr. Gilmer

Path of Totality

Pollari's poems about her grief after a stillbirth are both devastatingly intimate and sweepingly universal.

Cover of Path of Totality

Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball

A fun history of pinball, from its origins to today's current popularity as a multiplayer electric machine. Beautifully drawn color graphics loaded with informed historical text, here's the story of why pinball is popular and a focus of today's video-game arcade rooms.

Cover of Pinball: A Graphic History of the Silver Ball

Saint Sebastian's Abyss: A Novel

A meditation on art that meticulously builds a fictional painter's world and critical legacy, only to playfully yet ruthlessly tear it all down. This tale of two art historical frenemies traces an apocalyptic obsession that circumscribes every waking moment of their lives.

Cover of Saint Sebastian's Abyss: A Novel

Shutter: A Novel

The dead have always called out to Rita Todacheene, but a supposed suicide sharpens the focus on this forensic photographer.

Cover of Shutter: A Novel

Siren Queen

Great power comes with knowing names, and the magic of the silver screen is ancient and dark. Starlet Luli Wei’s only ambition is Hollywood fame, but the cost may be her soul.

Cover of Siren Queen

The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton. Vol. 1

Art by Chris Schweizer | No one sheds a tear when Trigger Keaton, the world’s most abusive action star, dies. But when clues about his death point towards foul play, his six television sidekicks must band together to solve his murder... while figuring out why they should.

Cover of The Six Sidekicks of Trigger Keaton. Vol. 1

Solito: A Memoir

A young poet reflects on his harrowing 3,000-mile journey from El Salvador to the United States, shared from the point of view of his nine-year-old self. From his observations, both naive and wonder-filled, to the deep-felt experience of how kids process trauma, this is a powerful story.

Cover of Solito: A Memoir

The Song of the Cell

With the engaging simplicity of a great teacher and the metaphors of a poet, oncologist Mukherjee once again illuminates how the body (and life itself) works, this time with a history of cells and the evolving human understanding of them. | Full title: The Song of the Cell: An Exploration of Medicine and the New Human

Cover of The Song of the Cell

The Stand-Up Groomsman: A Novel

What do you get with a pink limo, fried crab claws, mochi donuts, and a karaoke-singing grandma? A laugh-out-loud romance between stand-up comedian Melvin Lee and corporate financier Vivian Liao... who also doesn’t quite know what to do with these elements.

Cover of The Stand-Up Groomsman: A Novel

Stay Awake: A Novel

Liv may not remember the crime she committed... but someone does.

Cover of Stay Awake: A Novel

Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow

Art by Bilquis Evely | After the death of her beloved father, a young woman asks for Supergirl's help in punishing his killer. This gorgeously illustrated epic adventure is the perfect tribute to the Girl of Steel.

Cover of Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin

In a cyberpunk future, a lone warrior is on a quest to avenge his fallen brothers. This action-packed story, authored by the comic series' original creators, brings the tale of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles to its thrilling conclusion.

Cover of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin

The Trees Witness Everything

Working within the formal constraints of traditional Japanese poetry, Chang writes of aging, nature, love, death, and violence with an austere emotionality, creating stark beauty from simplicity.

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Vladimir: A Novel

Romance readers, satire lovers, and critics of academia will be swept into the burning flames of passion by this account of a seasoned English professor and her growing obsession with Vladimir, the new young professor on campus.

Cover of Vladimir: A Novel

Wash Day Diaries

Art by Robyn Smith | Four Black women share their experiences with lovers, friends, and family through the ritual of hair washing. Authentic, relatable, and artistically captivating through its palette of cool tones, this title teaches appreciation and commonality through the upkeep of hair.

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What Is Home, Mum?

A journey through Khan's struggle with home and identity, examining not only how she sees herself, but how the rest of the world sees her too. With poetic, vulnerable storytelling and beautiful art mirroring her experiences, we glimpse this wild world through her perspective.

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What Is Otherwise Infinite: Poems

Stone casts our everyday experiences in mythic language, lifting even the mundane anxieties of a sleepless night to new philosophical heights.

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When I Sing, Mountains Dance: A Novel

Translated from the Catalan by Mara Faye Lethem | Mushrooms, witches, mountains, and ghosts rhythmically transform this narrative, leaving bits of earth and magic on every page. It is a folkloric story of how natural events and human drama interweave from the past to the present in a Pyrenees mountain community.

Cover of When I Sing, Mountains Dance: A Novel

When They Tell You to Be Good: A Memoir

In this autobiography, Shakur, a queer, Jamaican American essayist and activist, charts his political journey as he reckons with his identity, his family’s immigration from Jamaica, and the intergenerational impacts of patriarchal and colonial violence.

Cover of When They Tell You to Be Good: A Memoir

The White Mosque: A Memoir

Samatar, a fantasy writer, applies her world-building prowess to two true stories: that of a Mennonite sect that settled in Eastern Europe in the late 1800s, and her own parallel journey, growing up half Mennonite, half Muslim in America. A digressive, evocative, and lyrical mosaic.

Cover of The White Mosque: A Memoir

You're Invited: A Novel

Welcome to the biggest event of the year, where secrets are to die for.

Cover of You're Invited: A Novel

story books for adults

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30 Gorgeous Storybooks Adults Will Love!

story books for adults

September 2, 2022 //  by  Rachel Cruz

If you're a parent, you know that storybooks often have a lot of humor that the children don't understand. If you are looking for a laugh or to learn some life lessons, then start reading these 30 books that all adults will love.

1. This is a Planetarium: And Other Extraordinary Pop-Up Contraptions by Kelli Anderson


This Book is a Planetarium is an incredible book that has 6 functional tools. Explore the different pop-up contraptions and be amazed by Kelli Anderson's unique ability to turn a book into something so much more than words to read on a page.

Learn More:  Amazon

2. Adventures From Scratch  


Adventures From Scratch is an excellent interactive adventure book for adults. There is also a family-friendly version. With each page, there is a scratch-off adventure that you should complete to add more excitement to your life.

3. All My Friends Are Dead by Avery Monsen and Jory John


All My Friends Are Dead is one of the funniest adult books out there. Jory John is a well-known children's author, but in this story, he adds a dark twist that teaches adults valuable life lessons.

4. Leave Me Alone by Vera Brosgol


Leave Me Alone is a Caldecott Honor Award winner with a contemporary twist. Vera Brosgol tells a clever and surprisingly hilarious fairytale in this must-read book.

5. Because by Mo Williams and Amber Ren


Because by Mo Williams is a beautiful story suitable for all ages. This book follows the life of a girl and the moments of opportunity, chance, persistence, and magic in accomplishing her dreams.

6. Lovers by Ana Juan


Lovers by Ana Juan is a wordless storybook that truly encaptures the human spirit and how they love. One of the most beautiful books for adults, Ana Juan reminds people that love is real and means many different things.

7. Dog Years by Kaye Blegvad 


Dog Years is the perfect book for adults going through a difficult time. It takes a deep dive into serious problems that adults may face such as depression, loneliness, and anxiety.

Learn More:  Here To Sunday

8. A Girls Guide to Personal Hygiene by Tallulah Pomeroy


A Girl's Guide to Personal Hygiene may seem like a children's book, but Tallulah Pomeroy adds a twist to this laughable guide. Inside this story, there are REAL situations that women have faced that will make you cringe and laugh at the same time.

9. P is for Pterodactyl by Raj Halder, Chris Carpenter, and Maria Beddia


If you have children, you know there are thousands of different alphabet books. P is for Pterodactyl is one of them but with a twist! This alphabet book for adults shows the complexity of the English language.

10. Someday a Bird Will Poop On You: A Life Lesson by Sue Salvi and Megan Kellie


Someday a Bird Will Poop On You is an excellent story that reminds adults to focus on the positive in all unlucky situations. It's okay that a bird will poop on you, what matters is how you react.

11. If Animals Could Talk by Carla Butwin and Josh Cassidy


Have you ever wondered what animals would say if they could talk? Carla Butwin and Josh Cassidy have put their ideas on paper in If Animals Could Talk. In this hysterically illustrated book, you will meet over 100 animals, grumpy to happy.

12. Big Foot: I Not Dead by Graham Roumieu


Big Foot: I Not Dead is a wonderful book for adults. Graham Roumieu takes you on an adventure and puts you in the shoes of Big Foot as he tells his hilarious and dark experiences.

13. The Very Thirsty Vampire by Michael Teitelbaum


The Very Thirsty Vampire is a parody of A Very Hungry Caterpillar. This adult-age story is bound to make you laugh whether or not you have read the original story.

14. If You Give A Kid A Cookie, Will He Shut The F*** Up by Marcy Roznick


If You Give A Kid A Cookie, Will He Shut the F*** Up is a hilarious parody of the book If You Give A Mouse A Cookie. Adults and parents will not be able to stop laughing as they relate to this adult storybook.

15. This Is Not A Book by Jean Jullien


This is Not A Book is a storybook for all ages, but adults will love it! Jean Jullien teaches readers how to see things from a different perspective and think creatively about things you see daily.

16. Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon


Steal Like An Artist by Austin Kleon is highly recommended for adults. It is a New York Times Best Seller and teaches readers how to be creative in various situations.

17. Metronome by Veronique Tanaka


Metronome is a wordless storybook for adults. This book is a twist on typical books and graphic novels. If you want a new reading experience, you must read this book.

18. The Arrival by Shaun Tan


The Arrival by Shaun Tan is a story about an immigrant and everything he experiences. This adult book is metaphorically deep and perfectly describes what it must be like to enter a new country.

19. The Beach At Night by Elena Ferrante


The Beach At Night is a tale with a downward spiral. Readers are forced to take the perspective of the lost doll and everything she experiences. This book is beautifully written with a plot no one could ever expect.

20. Cry, Heart, But Never Break by Glenn Ringtved


Cry, Heart, But Never Break is a beautifully written story that teaches adults about resilience and grief. Although this is a story for children, adults may benefit from the lesson that it teaches.

21. Rose Blanche by Roberto Innocenti


Rose Blanche is a storybook about the Holocaust and concentration camps. Through incredible illustrations and beautiful language, readers will be taught the effects of compassion, honesty, and morals.

22. Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing by Kay A. Haring


Keith Haring: The Boy Who Just Kept Drawing is an artist's story and accomplishments. Although on the surface, it's about Keith Haring, You can interpret it on a deeper level in which it focuses on finding your passion.

Learn More: Amazon

23. Be Yourself: How To Be You by Lara Mars


Be yourself: How to be you is a guide for adults struggling with mental health. Lara Mars created this compassionate and beautiful book to help adults cope, deal with their mental health problems, and accept themselves for who they are.

24. Pop Up Book Of Phobias by Gary Greenberg


The Pop-Up Book of Phobias is not your traditional pop-up book . Gary Greenberg created this interactive book for adults with a dark twist. Dive into many people's phobias, and maybe you'll begin to understand their fear.

25. Awkward Moments (Not Found In Your Average) Children's Bible by Horus Gilgamesh 


Awkward Moments (Not Found In Your Average) Children's Bible takes a different perspective on the bible. This book is not meant for kids and will make you laugh as you read every page of this parody.

26. Awards For Good Boys by Shelby Lorman


Awards for Good Boys is a collection of stories that talk about the tales of dating. Men always have it better with double standards in our patriarchal society. So why not laugh as Shelby Lorman celebrates men doing the bare minimum?

27. Finnish Nightmares by Karoliina Korhonan


Finnish Nightmares is an irreverent book for all of life's awkward moments. If you don't understand some people aren't very social, this book is for you! Learn about how different people react in social situations in this highly relatable book for adults.

28. Pat the Husband by Kate Merrow Nelligan


Pat the Husband is a hysterically funny parody that talks about husbands. Women will love this interactive storybook as it questions the roles of men in our patriarchal society.

29. Ma! There's Nothing To Do Here by Barbara Park


Ma! There's Nothing to Do Here is a children's book that adults love. Adults will find themselves laughing at every page written from the perspective of a baby in the womb.

30. The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales by Jon Scieszka & Lane Smith


The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales is a contemporary twist on fairytales. These stories are an excellent read-aloud for the entire family!

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Top 10 Easy Reads for Adults – Fiction Focus

Top 10 Easy Reads for Adults fiction

Being able to devour a book a week is a normal activity for some, but an impossibility for others. Some people happily take months to finish one novel. However you read, it’s important to remember that it’s not a race. The most important part of reading is your personal enjoyment of it. For those who find it tough to dig into their ever growing book pile, or want to join in book discussions but don’t know where to start, we’ve put together a list of brilliant easy read books for adults.

This list focuses on fiction, but watch this space for more! Whether it’s time constraints, difficulties reading, or just been ages since you’ve picked up a book, we’ve got the best recommendations of easy reads to foster a love for fiction, and build a habit out of reading.

1. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society  – Mary Ann Shaffer

It’s January, 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton sits at her desk, vainly seeking a subject for her next book. She receives a letter from one Dawsey Adams of Guernsey – by chance, he’s acquired a secondhand book that once belonged to Juliet – they begin a correspondence. When Dawsey reveals that he is a member of the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Juliet’s curiosity is piqued . It’s not long before she begins to hear from the other members. As the letters fly back and forth with stories of life in Guernsey under the German Occupation, Juliet soon realises that the society is every bit as extraordinary as its name. Sustained by books and one another, the islanders have battled the bitter hardships of World War II. Juliet, entranced by their stories and their spirit, decides to visit Guernsey to meet her new friends properly.

story books for adults

An epistolary novel (written in the form of letters), The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society is a story full of character that is both heart-warming and heart-wrenching. Though the subject matter is difficult to stomach at times, with some vivid descriptions of the German occupancy including treatment in concentration camps, the narratives are easy to navigate for any kind of reader.

If you want to dive head-first into an unforgettable historical fiction novel that is still an easy read, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows’ beautiful book of friendship through correspondence is a great place to begin.

2. The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat Tiffy and Leon share a bed Tiffy and Leon have never met… Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution . Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time. But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they  still  haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

story books for adults

Hugely celebrated by the biggest names in contemporary fiction, Beth O’Leary’s curious tale has been doing the rounds in book clubs all over for the last two years. A perfect novel to get your foot into the door of the ever-growing popular fiction genre, The Flat Share is one of those books that you’ll be talking about with your family, friends, and colleagues for quite some time.

An easy read with a comfortable flow of storytelling, this book is accessible for those who want a story full of surprises without wading through tricky plots devices or complicated time frames.

3. My Sister, the Serial Killer – Oyinkan Braithwaite

When Korede’s dinner is interrupted one night by a distress call from her sister, Ayoola, she knows what’s expected of her: bleach, rubber gloves, nerves of steel and a strong stomach. This’ll be the third boyfriend Ayoola’s dispatched in, quote, self-defence and the third mess that her lethal little sibling has left Korede to clear away. She should probably go to the police for the good of the menfolk of Nigeria, but she loves her sister and, as they say, family always comes first. Until, that is, Ayoola starts dating the doctor where Korede works as a nurse. Korede’s long been in love with him, and isn’t prepared to see him wind up with a knife in his back . But to save one would mean sacrificing the other.

story books for adults

Perfect for those who love dark humour, Braithwaite’s highly acclaimed novel is a great way to get back into reading. A contemporary and literary text dealing with thrilling crime as well as family drama, My Sister, The Serial Killer is an easy read for adults that will have even the most infrequent readers engrossed from the very first page. Crime thrillers as a genre are often more accessible reads as the plot takes priority. We recommend checking out other fantastic crime thrillers after this one!

4. To Kill a Mockingbird – Harper Lee

Through the eyes of the Finch children, author Harper Lee examines the ignorance and wrongness of racism, and how adults can act irrationally towards those who are different from them with no real motivation for doing so. As Finch struggles to protect Tom Robinson and clear his name, the deep-rooted racism and classist attitudes of the town become ever more apparent through their hypocritical and often violent reactions. With themes of moral complexity, racism, education, innocence, and prejudice, To Kill A Mockingbird is part historical drama, part anti-racist novel, and part coming of age story all rolled into one.

story books for adults

Probably one of the most read texts of the 20th century, To Kill A Mockingbird is loved by generations. However, due to its reoccurrence on school curriculums, some people avoid the book like the plague. Fortunately, I’m here to tell you that it’s not a difficult or taxing read at all. In fact, it’s almost a rite of passage for any reader, new or old, to read this compact tale of justice, race relations, and hope.

Written in the narrative of 13-year-old Scout Finch, the reader gets to experience the events of the book through a child’s eyes. This not only makes it an easy read despite the subject matter, but it also allows for a renewed sense of naivety, as we navigate the world alongside the young characters.

5. The Night She Disappeared – Lisa Jewell

Midsummer 2017:  teenage mum Tallulah heads out on a date, leaving her baby son at home with her mother, Kim. At 11p.m. she sends her mum a text message. At 4.30 a.m. Kim awakens to discover that Tallulah has not come home. Friends tell her that Tallulah was last seen heading to a pool party at a house in the woods nearby called Dark Place. Tallulah never returns. 2018:  walking in the woods behind the boarding school where her boyfriend has just started as a headteacher, Sophie sees a sign nailed to a fence. A sign that says:  DIG HERE.

story books for adults

Lisa Jewell is royalty when it comes to contemporary thriller writing. However, even those who aren’t particularly interested in thrillers and crime fiction as genres find a spark in her novels that keep them coming back. The Night She Disappeared is perfect for people who are avid binge-watchers and delight in decoding mysteries and cracking cases.

With a slightly more taxing narrative featuring three interwoven timelines, this novel is best suited to people new readers who have a bit of time on their hands to spend reading the book. But once you’re in, the story itself will unravel to ensure you’re never left feeling lost and certainly never bored. Any of Jewell’s thrillers are fantastic reads for people who want to experience the joy of ‘devouring’ a book.

6. The Girl With All The Gifts – M. R. Carey

Not every gift is a blessing. Every morning, Melanie waits in her cell to be collected for class. When they come for her, Sergeant Parks keeps his gun pointing at her while two of his people strap her into the wheelchair. She thinks they don’t like her. She jokes that she won’t bite. But they don’t laugh. Melanie is a very special girl.

story books for adults

A thriller and a fantasy story rolled into one stunning novel, The Girl With All The Gifts makes a lasting impact on all its readers. M. R. Carey is both a novelist, a comic writer, and a screenwriter. He has written for DC Comics including Lucifer and his own comic The Unwritten , as well as being a key contributor to Marvel’s X-Men comic series.

His expertise in writing fast-paced plots with engaging characters and striking dialogue come together in this haunting read. An ideal novel for comic lovers who want to branch into modern fiction, this easy read packs all the punch of an action thriller, keeping readers engaged on every page.

7. Orangeboy – Patrice Lawrence

‘ Not cool enough, not clever enough, not street enough for anyone to notice me. I was the kid people looked straight through. Not anymore. Not since Mr Orange.’ Sixteen-year-old Marlon has made his mum a promise – he’ll never follow his big brother, Andre, down the wrong path. So far, it’s been easy, but when a date ends in tragedy, Marlon finds himself hunted. They’re after the mysterious Mr Orange, and they’re going to use Marlon to get to him. Marlon’s out of choices – can he become the person he never wanted to be, to protect everyone he loves?

story books for adults

An ideal book for young adults, but equally enjoyed by all adults, Patrice Lawrence’s Orangeboy has been celebrated by the likes of internationally best-selling author Malorie Blackman. With a story that captures the heart and characters with relatable life experiences for many young people, this book opens up literature to a wider audience. With short chapters and dialogue heavily prose, Lawrence presents a story perfect for easy reading on the go and enjoying in smaller nuggets of time. Ideal for those whose focus comes in short bursts, this easy read fiction book is a great way to experience excellent storytelling and reignite a love for reading.

8. Life of Pi – Yann Martel

After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, one solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The crew of the surviving vessel consists of a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orangutan, a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger, and Pi – a 16-year-old Indian boy. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary pieces of literary fiction of recent years. Yann Martel’s Life of Pi is a transformative novel, a dazzling work of imagination that will delight and astound readers in equal measure. It is a triumph of storytelling and a tale that will, as one character puts it, make you believe in God.

story books for adults

There are few people in the world who haven’t heard of this epic bestseller! It’s a book that everyone was talking about, but you’re probably not sure what even happens beyond ‘a boy and a tiger on a boat.’ Well, you don’t need to feel stranded on this one. Life of Pi is an easy read. The story is neatly packed and incredibly fast-paced, so it’s one that you can get through fairly quickly, but also gives you the chance to take you time to digest all the unexpected events.

Having been adapted into a major motion picture, and an incredible puppetry stage show, this really is a story that keeps on giving. It’s also a great entry into light magical realism and philosophical fiction.

9. Ordinary People – Diana Evans

Two couples find themselves at a moment of reckoning. Melissa has a new baby and doesn’t want to let it change her. Damian has lost his father and intends not to let it get to him. Michael is still in love with Melissa but can’t quite get close enough to her to stay faithful. Stephanie just wants to live a normal, happy life on the commuter belt with Damian and their three children but his bereavement is getting in the way. Set in London to an exhilarating soundtrack, Ordinary People is an intimate study of identity and parenthood, sex and grief, friendship and ageing, and the fragile architecture of love.

story books for adults

The brilliant Diana Evans’ released this multi-award-winning novel in 2019; it continues to top bestseller lists and is a popular book club pick. A drama exploring love and life in the modern age, it is a relatable read for a lot of people who are at a turning point in their lives, from just gaining independence to starting families.

A tale of multiple stories that interweave unpredictably, this book gives all the drama and intrigue to keep the readers on their toes, while still maintaining an easy narrative that’s not complicated to follow. Lovers of Dolly Alderton, Elizabeth Day, and Sally Rooney need to read Ordinary People to expand their repertoire of amazing contemporary women writers.

10. A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth.

story books for adults

A popular tale for children and adults, A Monster Calls takes its readers on an unexpected trip around the process of grief and the courage of living. As with most young adult novels, this book explores deep themes and questions in life that dig down to the very core of what it is to be human. An adult reader who’s returning to literature will find this book is a real gem. It’s easy to read but leaves you with questions you might be asking about your own life by the end.

In 2016, the book was adapted into a film of the same name starring Liam Neeson and Sigourney Weaver. Despite being a wonderous watch, we do of course recommend reading the book first!

From classic fiction to exciting memoirs, explore more brilliant books to rediscover reading. Browse our dedicated page for quick and easy reads . Are you a keen reader but can’t keep up with the most talked-about titles? Check out our constantly changing selection of books trending right now .

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Have you read any of these easy reads? What books do you recommend for beginners or those trying to return to reading? Let us know in the comments below.

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QUIZ: What's the best book to start your reading habit? Find yours now --> Take the quiz

27 Highly Readable Books to Jumpstart Your Reading Habit

This post may include affiliate links. That means if you click and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Please see Disclosures for more information.

Want to read more books? Maybe you’re trying to start a reading habit and are looking for great books to read for beginners. This list of easy reading, unputdownable books are some of the best books for adults to read to make reading a habit and a hobby.

Starting to read again can feel daunting if you haven’t read a book in a while. It’s hard to know  what books are worth reading , how to find the time, and whether you’ll be able to stick with it.

Many people fear that if they don’t find the  best books  to start a reading habit right away, they’ll get bored and quit.

Maybe you’ve already tried and quit. 

Maybe you were hoping for a book to get back into reading and you picked up a well-known classic or a book you knew was popular–but it just didn’t work for you. 

And so you quit.

A pile of books with an ampersand paperweight. Beginner readers might feel intimidated by many book options.

I get it. It can be discouraging to find that a wildly popular book doesn’t work for you–because if it worked for so many others, shouldn’t you love it, too?

If this sounds like you, check out my  tips to read more books and love it , as well as mistakes to avoid if you want to start reading .

A reading challenge is also a good way to get motivated to read more; find your reading challenge style and get started!

The Key to Reading More: Find the Right Books to Read

One of the most important steps in starting to read again is to  find the right books . 

Finding good books to read for adults doesn’t mean following a list of books that some authority says “everyone must read” or forcing yourself to slog through only the “most important books to read.”

Those lists don’t always include the  most readable books , or the  best books for beginners . Many of these books are great, to be sure, but they just aren’t the best place to start. Because let’s face it: reading can be a little like running. 

You’ve been doing it your whole life, but it still takes practice to get in a groove of doing it regularly. So thinking of yourself as a beginner is okay, and will help lead you to the best books  for you  to start a reading habit .

Books and magnifying glass. Examine your interest to find the right books to start a reading habit.

Starting with an open, beginner mindset will help you find the books that will get  you  into reading–because  you read for you  and no one else.

To get you started, I’ve put together a list of compulsively readable books to help you fall in love with reading and start making reading a habit in your life. 

27 of the Best Books to Start a Reading Habit

Below you’ll find easy to read books from the following genres or types of books: contemporary fiction, literary fiction, historical fiction, light or humorous fiction, mysteries and thrillers, dystopias, alternate realities, classics, and nonfiction and memoirs.

These are some of my favorite recommendations of books for beginner adult readers who want to enjoy reading again. No matter what interests you, there should be at least one book here to get you started and help you  fall in love with reading .

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Contemporary fiction books.

There are so many great books to read, and it can be tough to know where to start if you’re trying to get into reading again.

These contemporary fiction books are some of my favorites, and I think they might be the perfect choices to get you started.

Contemporary Fiction typed on a typewriter. This genre is a great choice for new readers.

These modern fiction books are accessible, thought-provoking, and unputdownable, so you’ll be able to get lost in them for hours at a time.

The Art of Racing in the Rain by Garth Stein

The Art of Racing in the Rain

by Garth Stein

A must-read for animal lovers, you will fall in love with Enzo (an aging  dog  who wishes he had thumbs) and won’t be able to resist the story of his and his best friend’s relationship.

The Language of Flowers

by Vanessa Diffenbaugh

I couldn’t put down this book about a young woman who has aged out of foster care and discovered her unique talent of matching people with exactly the right flowers.

This Is How It Always Is

by Laurie Frankel

A truly contemporary family novel that follows Claude (who wants to be Poppy) and the family that does their best to support that decision in a world that doesn’t make it easy.

If contemporary fiction is your favorite genre, the posts linked below have even more must-read novels for any reader.

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Literary fiction books.

Literary fiction books are a great choice if you love character-driven novels.

Literary fiction sometimes has a reputation of being difficult or high-brow, but these choices are good for even new or lapsed readers.

Literary fiction written on paper and letter blocks.

These novels are character-driven but still have a great story and can be enjoyed by even new or lapsed readers.

They’re perfect for anyone who wants to get lost in a thoughtful, complex, and immersive story.

An American Marriage

by Tayari Jones

A gripping novel about a couple struggling to hold a marriage together when he is convicted of a crime he didn’t commit. Multiple themes here, including  racial injustice  and the wreckage it leaves in its wake.

The Great Believers

by Rebecca Makkai

My  favorite novel of 2018 , you’ll fall in love with the friends who are living through the 80s AIDS crisis. I also went more in-depth on how this fantastic book came to be in my story of the story series:  11 Things to Know about The Great Believers .

Where the Crawdads Sing

by Delia Owens

Another favorite of 2018, this book has everything: a compelling main character, a mystery, romance, and a setting that is practically a character itself. Kya is “the Marsh Girl”–abandoned by her family at a young age, she has raised herself in the marsh and finds herself the object of the local town’s suspicions.

Also see: 13 Evocative Books Like Where the Crawdads Sing

Already read the literary books above? Try these novels linked below for more suggestions.

Historical Fiction Books

The best historical fiction takes you back in time and brings history to life.

These books entertain while teaching you about history and making you care about the people who lived it.

Historical fiction written in block letters

More than anything else, historical fiction can grow your curiosity and your understanding of the lives of people who lived in earlier times.

Diving into the stories and details of the past can make even the driest historical topics endlessly fascinating–a great historical fiction book is the perfect choice if you’re looking for interesting books to read for adults.

Everyone Brave Is Forgiven

by Chris Cleave

A highly readable and surprisingly irreverent World War II novel, Chris Cleave’s unique writing style will pull you in. I also covered this one in  The Story of the Story: Everyone Brave Is Forgiven .

As Bright As Heaven

by Susan Meissner

An easy-to-read and affecting novel about a family who runs a funeral home during the time of World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic.

The Pillars of the Earth

by Ken Follett

Perfect for anyone willing to dive into a long book–it’s hefty! But this story of the construction of a cathedral in Middle Ages England is surprisingly soapy and gripping. The drama is big, the villains are deliciously evil, and the history is fascinating. One of my favorite historical fiction books. 

Need more historical fiction for your TBR? Try the books on the reading lists linked below.

Light, Funny, or Uplifting Books

Sometimes a light, humorous read is exactly what we need to get back into reading and remember how fun it can be.

Reading feel-good fiction can also be a great way to relax after a long day.

A dog reading a book called How to Rule Humans.

These books are often easy reads for adults, and they offer a quick escape from the real world.

The books below will boost your mood with a bit of humor and a light touch you’re sure to enjoy.

The Rosie Project

by Graeme Simsion

One unique man’s quest to find the “perfect wife” leads him to a woman who meets none of his criteria but may just be perfect for him anyway.

by Andrew Sean Greer

A middling novelist facing his 50th birthday and life as a single gay man bumbles his way through a trip around the world. His absolute conviction that he is fluent in German had me laughing out loud. Light on plot, but great for readers who like to follow interesting characters.

A Man Called Ove

by Fredrik Backman

This one has been everywhere for the last couple years, and for good reason. The curmudgeonly Ove is both frustrating and endearing, and his surprising friendships with the people who cross his path are both heartwarming and funny.

Need more lighthearted and uplifting reads? Try the options below–in print or audio!

Mysteries and Thrillers

A riveting mystery or thriller can be a great way to revitalize your reading life.

The suspense and excitement in these books will keep you engaged until the very end.

The word Mystery revealed behind a torn chunk of paper.

Clever twists and turns may have you marveling at the skill of the writers, and on the hunt for more authors who can spin a captivating thrill-ride or mind-bender.

The books below will keep you on the edge of your seat–and have you ready to pick up your next read.

Fierce Kingdom

by Gin Phillips

This book about a mother and her young son trapped in a zoo with a shooter on the loose literally had me on the edge of my seat. It’s one of very few books that I finished in one sitting.

Then She Was Gone

by Lisa Jewell

I don’t tend to rate thrillers with 5 stars on Goodreads, but this book about a mother who sees a resemblance between a young girl and her ten-years-missing daughter got those stars. Lisa Jewell has become a go-to thriller author for me–she doesn’t do gimmicks, just fascinating stories, great characters, and tight plots.

by Jessica Barry

A deliciously tangled thriller that starts with a survival story following a plane crash in the Rockies and leads to  family dysfunction  and corporate corruption.  Read my full review .

Love a great mystery? Try the books on the lists below for more excellent options.

Bookish Gifts & Merch You’ll Love

White mug with a line drawing of a woman reading a book beside a dog, reading I just want to read books, drink coffee, and pet dogs

See more on Etsy >

Dystopias sometimes feel like a dime-a-dozen these days, but they aren’t all teenagers saving the world.

Many dystopian novels include themes of feminism, nature, and more.

The word Dystopia written on paper

Dystopian books can often feel bleak, but they tend to be stories of rebellion and social consciousness; people taking matters into their own hands to right wrongs and fight oppression.

Despite dark overtones, many have an oddly hopeful note. They’re sure to have you contemplating the future (and the present), society, and your place in the world.

Into the Forest

by Jean Hegland

This one does have some teenage protagonists, but the story is about family, survival after societal collapse, and going back to nature . I love this book and have read it multiple times.

by Christina Dalcher

Another book that I read in one sitting, this thrilling feminist dystopia in which women are stripped of all rights and limited to speaking 100 words per day is a fast read and is eerie for its plausibility.

The Dreamers

by Karen Thompson Walker

A new book that feels like it borders the dystopia designation, this book with floaty prose that mirrors its name imagines what happens when a whole town starts falling asleep–and can’t wake up.  Read my full review .

Can’t get enough of dystopias? The books on the list below are sure to expand your TBR.

Alternate Realities (Sci-Fi/Magical Realism/Fantasies)

Sci-fi and fantasy purists will not like me grouping these together (sorry!), and these are all kind of sci-fi and fantasy-adjacent–but that’s what makes them great options for new readers!

Sci-fi books often probe the limits of believability by considering what would happen if any number of exciting or scary scenarios came true.

Alternate Reality written in chalk

Fantasy, on the other hand, can take us into fantastical worlds that stretch our imaginations. Books with magical realism bring touches of magic into the everyday.

If you’re like me and don’t read many books in these genres, here are a few “alternate reality light” reads to get you started.

Justice Unending

by Elizabeth Spencer

A fun steampunk ride through a world ruled by immortals who must inhabit the bodies of mortals. An irreverent tone throughout overlays themes of power and systemic injustice.

Once Upon a River

by Diane Setterfield

A lightly magical historical fiction book set on the Thames River in Victorian England, about a young girl who appears to come back to life after drowning and the multiple families that lay claim to her.

Pattern Recognition

by William Gibson

A sci-fi-light book about a “cool hunter” who falls into quest to discover the source of the first viral videos. I found this one more readable that Gibson’s better-known  Neuromancer .

Love reality-benders that take you into alternate worlds? The list below might have more books that are right for you.

Not all classic books are boring and inaccessible. These choices are surprisingly readable and will have you hooked to the end.

I’m the first to say that not all “classics” are worth reading, but many still offer stories and characters that will stay with you forever.

A row of classic leatherbound books.

You don’t need to fill your reading list with classics if they’re not your favorite (read what you like!).

But if you’ve always meant to read the classics “someday,” these are a few that are worth the time and perfect for beginner readers.

by Charlotte Bronte

I didn’t pick up Jane Eyre until about two years ago and I was surprised by how readable it was. Jane is a strong female character and, despite the frustrating men around her, she usually manages to hold her own–no small feat in the constraints of her time.

by Daphne du Maurier

This gothic novel is a classic for a reason. An unnamed narrator marries a wealthy gentleman but is plagued by the villains around her–both present and not. Creepy (but not scary) and gripping until the very last page.

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn

by Betty Smith

Another 20th century classic about a young girl growing up in poverty in turn-of-the-century Brooklyn. Book lovers will adore Francie and her keen observations.

Want to add more classics to your reading? The ones on the lists below are worth the read.

Nonfiction and Memoir

Some of the best nonfiction books read just like fiction.

Nonfiction can educate AND entertain–you can skip the dry factual accounts if they aren’t your thing.

A library endcap with a nonfiction sign on the side of the bookshelf.

Creative nonfiction and memoir are the perfect choices for new readers because they offer great writing and captivating narratives.

The books below had me riveted with fascinating stories–made all the more interesting because they are true.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

by Katherine Boo

The story of several families growing up in a Mumbai slum, this nonfiction book is so well-told that while reading it, I had to double-check that it actually was nonfiction.

by Tara Westover

One of the more fascinating memoirs I’ve read in a long time, this is Westover’s telling of her childhood growing up in a dysfunctional survivalist family in Idaho, and her journey to awareness and an elite education.

by David Sedaris

David Sedaris’ latest offering is a little darker than some of his previous, but still sharp and funny in its observations. If you’re new to Sedaris, try one of his older books first (maybe  Me Talk Pretty One Day ), and no matter which you choose, go for the audio version.

Love great memoirs and nonfiction? Try the books on the reading lists below.

Still Not Sure Where to Start?

Take the quiz for your  personalized book recommendation!

Support Local Bookstores

Now, more than ever, local bookstores need our support. If you are purchasing books, consider buying local or from , which supports local, independent bookstores.

Shop my book lists or search for your next great read:

Visit  this list on .

What would you add to this list of compulsively readable books that you’d recommend to new readers? What is your go-to recommendation for a good book to read for adults? Finally, if you’re still looking for the right books, are there any genres you’d like to see added? Let me know!

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Allison is a dedicated book lover, writer, and lifelong learner with an undeniable passion for books and reading. As the founder of Mind Joggle, she helps busy, overwhelmed women reclaim their mental space and make books a transformative part of their lives. She holds an Ed.M in Technology in Education from Harvard University and a BS in Scientific and Technical Communication from the University of Minnesota.

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Book Recommendations and Book Lists For Adults And Kids

51 Of My Must-Read Adult Fiction Books To Read In 2022

January 22, 2022 - Updated March 12, 2023 // 2 Comments


Well, if you need any indication on how things are STILL going around here, I’m finally just publishing my list of my most anticipated adult fiction books for 2022 list now — at the end of January (though a whole 10 days earlier than I did last year). But, I figure, better late than never, right?

I posted my 2022 YA Books to Read list earlier this month so take a look at that if you love young adult books! But this list is ALL about all the newly released adult fiction books to read in 2022.

Things about this list that are always true:

  • I have such eclectic taste in books so this list is really all over the place — from romcoms to fantasy to literary fiction to escapist thrillers. That can be a good or a bad thing for people. I tend to have more commercial tastes but definitely can get into less commercially appealing stuff.
  • This list isn’t at all about what books I think are going to get the biggest hype or big sellers but some of those types of books are definitely on here because I’m excited about them. I pick based on what has me absolutely saying “OH I NEED THIS BOOK!” — books I am personally anticipating. Sometimes they are also the darlings of the book world that year and sometimes they will most definitely be under-the-radar very niche to my tastes books.

I think that’s the beauty of these lists — the must read books for 2022 are going to look different from list to list (honestly even year to year for me) on every website you come across! Sure, most of the big media lists are going for the more popular ones, but depending on the taste of the curator of the list–it looks different giving you a wide range of new books to discover!

If you’ve read my lists before, you know my tastes are ALL over the place! So hopefully you will find something you are interested in genre-wise. And if not, stay tuned for some genre specific lists!

Interesting things about the list this year:

  • I remarked at the end of last year on Instagram that 2022 was THE year for YA authors I love to debut their adult fiction. There are so many books I’m excited for from previously loved authors and my experience so far has been GREAT with this adult debuts from YA authors I’ve loved. Hoping that continues and you’ll find a lot of them on here!
  • Apparently every book I want comes out on March 1. I had to narrow it down a ton!
  • I don’t see a ton of trends for myself this year (last year I was all about the Daisy Jones type reads ) but maybe that’s just because my brain is mush from trying to get this done. Lots of family dramas as always! Quite a bit of speculative stuff!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links which means that if you click on a link and purchase something I’ve talked about or recommended, I’ll receive a very small percentage of the sale. Please see my disclosure policy for more info

Also check out:

  • 2022’s New Thrillers, Mystery & Suspense books
  • 2022’s New Historical Fiction Books
  • 2022’s New Romances To Read

Anticipated 2022 Adult Fiction

The titles are listed in order of the month they are published in from January to June. Stay tuned for the second half of this list of new books for adults.

There were SO many more selections I’m excited about each month so I highly suggest signing up for my newsletter as they receive even more of a deep dive into what other books are coming out each month. So many books I’m intrigued by that are left off this list and I’m sure books will emerge that weren’t really on my radar or didn’t stick out to me initially.

January 2022 Book Releases

Book cover for Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez

Olga Dies Dreaming by Xochitl Gonzalez Out January 4, 2022

Looking for a good book about a dysfunctional family whose lives you’ll be invested in? Check out this character-driven (yet propulsive as it goes on) book centering around two siblings who seemingly have it all but who both are struggling under the weight of their own secrets and personal histories. Not to mention the ever looming shadow of their parents – the passing of their father from AIDs and the mother who left them 27 years ago to join the revolutionaries in Puerto Rico’s liberation. Her only form of contact is sporadic letters to them until Puerto Rico experiences their most devastating hurricane in history and their mother reappears in their lives.

Book cover for Wahala by Nikki May

Wahala by Nikki May Out January 11, 2022

Part drama, part subtle slow-burn thriller – this one is about the female friendship following three Anglo-Nigerian best friends and the lethally glamorous fourth woman who infiltrates their group. Think Sex in the City meets Big Little Lies – a portrait of friendship in all its messy and wonderful glory.

Book Cover for A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham

A Flicker in the Dark by Stacy Willingham Out January 11, 2022

Thriller fans in need of an absolutely chilling read that pulls you in and doesn’t let go, do not bypass this one! It’s about a psychologist named Chloe who has really worked hard to put her past behind her and finally feels like she’s achieved a precarious sense of happiness. 20 years ago, when Chloe was 12 years old, her father was locked up after being revealed as a serial killer when six teenage girls went missing that summer. And then a teenage girl goes missing and she’s thrown back to that summer especially as there are similarities between this crime and her father’s, and she tries to work out whether she’s just being paranoid or there really are parallels to that summer.

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Book cover for Weather Girl by Rachel lynn solomon

Weather Girl by Rachel Lynn Solomon Out January 11, 2022

I really have enjoyed Rachel Lynn Solomon’s YA and adult contemporary books and this is definitely one of my most anticipated books for 2022 because of that. This one looks so fun if you are into romcoms! It’s about an ambitious weather reporter who, with the help of a reserved sportscaster, try to meddle in the stormy relationship between her boss and her ex-husband (the station’s news director) to push them back together so her boss will finally focus on mentoring her instead of constantly being distracted by him. As they spend time scheming together, the temperature between the two of them rises.

Book cover for Real Easy by Marie Rutkoski

Real Easy by Marie Rutksoki Out January 18, 2022

I read this at the end of last year and it was one of the best books I read all year! I genuinely cannot recommend this book enough – definitely one of must-read books for 2022. A character-driven, atmospheric thriller set in a strip club in the 1990’s centering around the murder and disappearance of two of the girls one night after leaving the club. I have rarely read a book that uses  multi-POVs so well – from the girls themselves, to a detective on the case to different patrons. Utterly compelling and perfect for fans of Long Bright River and Mare of Easttown. I’ve been a fan of Marie for years through her YA novels, so I know her talent, and I am absolutely blown away by her adult fiction debut! You can read my full review of this book here .

Book cover for Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damiola Blackburn

Yinka, Where Is Your Huzband? by Lizzie Damilola Blackburn Out January 18, 2022

Looking for a fresh, smart, and fun read about love but also really loving and accepting yourself? 30-something Yinka is single, has great friends and a great job but, what she doesn’t have, is a husband – something her mother is constantly reminding her of . It seems that everyone – from her aunties to her co-workers – have an opinion about her love life.  Yinka, however, has always believed that true love will find her when it finds her. But when her cousin gets engaged Operation Get Yinka A Date commences and Yinka is determined to succeed in finding love. Don’t go into thinking this is a straight-up romcom by any means – while it is about love and romance it’s also a book about self-discovery. 

book cover for What Might Have Been by Holly Miller

What Might Have Been by Holly Miller Out January 18, 2022

I realized that whenever there is a sliding doors-esque novel in front of me, I will always put it on my must-read new books to read list! It doesn’t matter how buzzed about or how obscure I think the book will be – *I* always anticipate it and on the list it goes!  This one is more a women’s fiction type read. It’s about a woman at a crossroads in her life and has to choose between finally going for her dream of becoming a writer and see what happens with an artistic guy she just met or moving to London to revive her career and see if she can rekindle things with The One Who Got Away. In alternating chapters, we see how her life plays out if she stays or goes as both choices will change her life in big ways.

Book cover for Notes on An Execution by Danya Kukafka

Notes on An Execution by Danya Kukafka Out January 25, 2022

Fans of a more literary suspense type of novel? You know, a bit more slow burn and character driven? This one deconstructs the story of a serial killer, who is scheduled to die in 12 hours, through the lens of women in his orbit – his mother, sister, the detective who caught him, etc. While it appears to be about a serial killer, it’s largely an examination about our “obsession with true crime, serial killers, and stories about missing/dead girls, deconstructing the familiar trope that murderers are dark, misunderstood geniuses” among many other things worthy of examining. I read that line in quotes in some of the marketing material for this book and this book shot to the top of my list of new books coming out in 2022 that I have to read.

February 2022 Book Releases

book cover for Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson

Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson Out February 1, 2022

I was interested in this one and then @bookofcinz on Instagram was RAVING about it so it shot up to become one of my must-read adult fiction books for 2022! I am a big fan of sibling books, as well as multi-generational stories – and this one has the makings of a book that I will LOVE. It’s about two estranged siblings who must come together after their moms death and are given a recording their mom made for them – a recording that details her life story and reveals so many secrets that make the two siblings have to reconcile with everything they thought they knew about their parents and their life as well as a chance to reconcile with one another.

book cover for The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson

The Violence by Delilah S. Dawson Out February 1, 2022

This one is going to be a searing but tough read, I have a feeling, as it deals with abuse and violence. It’s about a woman whose marriage to her high school sweetheart turned into a nightmare of abuse and isolation. Suddenly, when a mysterious illness that induces sudden bouts of violence  sweeps the nation, she believes she has found her way out and hatches a plan for her and her daughter to get out. Part thriller, part speculative fiction – sounds good to me!

Book cover for What The Fireflies Knew   by Kai harris

What The Fireflies Knew by Kai Harris Out February 1, 2022

I feel like I’m picky about adult fiction with young narrators but the ones I love I REALLY love. This one has been getting some rave reviews that caught my attention enough to put it on my list of most anticipated books for 2022. It’s a coming of age story from the eyes of an 11 year old girl who is sent, with her teenage sister, to their estranged grandfather’s for the summer after their father dies from a drug overdose and their mother is disappears. The summer becomes a transformative one for her as she makes sense of her new life, heals from the past traumas and transitions from childhood to adolescence.

book cover for A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross

A River Enchanted by Rebecca Ross Out February 15, 2022

An adult fantasy from Rebecca Ross that sounds absolutely like something I’d love! It’s about two childhood enemies who have to team up together when girls from their clan start to go missing from the magical isle they grew up on. As they attempt to get the spirits of island, who they think took the girls, to give them back they find darker and more sinister forces at work as they unearth long buried secrets. I’ve heard the setting is Scottish-inspired which intrigues me but also we love a good enemies to lovers romance over here! Also love a good enchanted land!

book cover for The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley

The Paris Apartment by Lucy Foley Out February 22, 2022

I’m so excited for a new Lucy Foley! Her books always keep me in suspense with tons of atmospheric goodness. Jess, broke and alone, decides she needs a fresh start so she contacts her brother in Paris to see if she can crash with him. When she shows up to his surprisingly nice apartment, she finds her brother nowhere to be found and he never does show up. As she tries to piece together her brother’s situation, she meets some of his neighbors and finds that they just might know more than she realizes about her brother’s disappearance. 

book cover for Delilah Green Doesn't Care by Ashley Herring Blake

Delilah Green Doesn’t Care by Ashley Herring Blake Out February 22, 2022

I’m excited for this author’s adult romance debut! It’s about a girl who reluctantly heads back to the town she swore she’d never go back to in order to photograph her estranged step-sister’s wedding for the big paycheck promised. Once there, she is surprised to find herself falling for the mostly unlikely blast from her past – her sister’s mean girl bff from childhood– when the two spend time during wedding celebrations. Looks to be a fantastic sapphic, opposites attract romance in a small town!

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book cover for Fake by Erica Katz

Fake by Erica Katz Out February 22, 2022

One of my most favorite sub-genres of thriller/suspense books are Really Rich People thrillers. Like the 1% dark side. Give them all to me! This one sounds right up my alley! This one, set in the high-stakes world of art forgery across the globe, is about a young woman who is a forger of famous art for high paying clients. When she gets the chance at a new career move she’s always wanted, she’s elated until she realizes none of it comes for free.

book cover for Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist

Tripping Arcadia by Kit Mayquist Out February 22, 2022

Contemporary Gothic Great Gatsby that blends horror and suspense with a dash of romance!! It’s about a young woman who takes a job with a secretive and elite billionaire family. Between lavish Gatsby-esque parties that threaten to reveal the family’s self-destructive tendencies and the mysterious illness of the heir’s difficult son, the job is strange. But it gets personal as she finds out that the billionaire patriarch is responsible for her own family’s downfall and she gets sucked into their world to plot her poison-wielded revenge (and tries not to fall for their disgraced daughter).

March 2022 Book Releases

Book cover for One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle

One Italian Summer by Rebecca Serle Out March 1, 2022

I always have enjoyed Rebecca’s YA books but I have been LOVING her adult fiction – The Dinner List and In Five Years gave me so much to talk about and discuss! This one looks great though on a personal level I know I’m going to cry with all the mother-daughter stuff! It’s about a woman who decides to keep the trip to Italy she was supposed to go on with her mom who recently passed away – a long-planned trip to a town that was so special to her mother’s history. Feeling the spirit of her mother with her, she is shocked when in fact she SEES her mother. Only it’s her mother at 30 years old. Confused at how it is possible, she nonetheless takes that summer to get to know her mother as the young woman she was before she was her mother. This is giving me total Faye, Faraway vibes which I really loved last year as it hit me on such a personal level. Check out other books set in Italy!

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Book cover for The Night Shift by Alex Finlay

The Night Shift by Alex Finlay Out March 1, 2022

A Y2K New Years Eve set thriller?? Definitely one of my most anticipated new books to read in the thriller genre! While everyone is waiting with bated breath for whatever fallout Y2K is going to bring (I clearly remember being scared as a teen), four teenage working at Blockbuster get attacked and only one survives. The suspect, a boyfriend of one of the girls, flees the police never to be caught. Fast forward 15 years and the same thing happens at an ice cream store in town – 3 girls dead and only 1 survives. In the aftermath of the latest crime, three people’s lives intersect – the lone survivor 15 years before, the brother of the fugitive who believes he’s wrong accused and the FBI agent digging to unearth secrets and solve both crimes.

Book cover for The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith

The Unsinkable Greta James by Jennifer E. Smith Out March 1, 2022

I can’t even tell you how excited I am for Jennifer E. Smith’s adult fiction debut!! She’s a great writer of YA books and this book looks especially up my alley. It’s about a young indie artist who unexpectedly loses her mother and ends up having a public meltdown that puts her career and everything she worked hard for at risk. She reluctantly agrees to go on a week long Alaskan cruise with her father for the trip her parents were supposed to go on for their 40th anniversary with their friends — a tall order considering their prickly relationship. On the trip she ends up finding much needed connection with him as well on a voyage of self discovery in ways she could never imagine – especially when she connects with another passenger on board who is struggling with his own life upheaval.

Book cover for Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin

Tell Me An Ending by Jo Harkin Out March 1, 2022

This feels like a great mashup between two things I love a whole lot – The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (deletion of the bad memories) and Black Mirror (the dark tech side of it). It’s about a tech company that deletes unwanted memories and the doctor who works to protect her patients from further harm from the procedure when she senses something more nefarious going on – four of those patients who we follow and see the very real consequences they face when met with what they tried to forget. Looks like a good discussion-worthy, interesting book – perfect pick for a book club !

Book cover for The Love of My life by Rosie Walsh

The Love of My Life by Rosie Walsh Out March 1, 2022

I really enjoyed Ghosted by this author and this one really piqued my interest as it seems to have that same blend of mystery with romance that makes for an incredibly compelling and page-turning kind of book! This one is about a woman who isn’t who her husband thinks she is – a fact he discovers while digging into her history while preemptively writing her obituary (a way to cope with her cancer and also it being his job as an obituary writer). Who is she? Is everything a lie? The story is told in the present but we also get her perspective from 20 years before that contains all the things she tried to keep hidden from her husband.

Book cover for The Club by Ellery Lloyd

The Club by Ellery Lloyd Out March 1, 2022

I already told you I love Rich People Behaving Badly mystery/thrillers and this one is definitely one I am anticipating after not being able to put down People Like Her by Ellery Lloyd. This one is a “murder mystery set in the secretive world of exclusive celebrity clubs, where the A-list members and the staff who serve them all have something to hide.” It’s set during the 3-day grand opening launch of an exclusive new island getaway that only the most A-list of A-listers are invited to – an invitation coveted by all until the body count starts adding up and a glamorous weekend turns sinister. Told through the perspective of four very different people who witnessed the events plus interspersed with news articles about the event, we watch the whole weekend unfold.

Book cover for The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James

The Book of Cold Cases by Simone St. James Out March 15, 2022

A new Simone St James! An aspiring true crime blogger meets a woman acquitted of two cold cases murders in the 70’s by chance and the woman agrees to let her interview for her website. She visits the woman at the sprawling mansion that she isolated herself in after she was acquitted to conduct the interviews but she can never feel at ease when strange things happen every time she’s there. The closer she gets to the woman and her story the more she thinks something feels very off. Was she really The Lady Killer or is there something strange going on at the mansion? It definitely has those atmospheric, eerie vibes of The Sun Down Motel. I have a feeling it will be on the top of my Fall Vibes Reading List for this year!

Book cover for A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande

A Ballad of Love and Glory by Reyna Grande Out March 15, 2022

Where are my historical fiction lovers at? Especially readers who are looking to get outside of the super popular time periods that reign supreme in the genre? This one is a “sweeping historical saga following a Mexican army nurse and an Irish soldier who must fight, at first for their survival and then for their love, amidst the atrocity of the Mexican-American War.”

Book cover for In A New York Minute by Kate Spencer

In A New York Minute by Kate Spencer Out March 15, 2022

A rom-com set in New York will always catch my eye but add a genuine, personal recommendation from a friend who worked on the book and knows my reading taste in and out? PRICELESS. Ready for this? New York City setting, a humiliating meet-cute gone viral, opposites attract! It’s about a girl who is having a REALLY awful day and the icing on the cake happens when she gets her dress stuck in the subway doors. A handsome (and well-dressed) man comes to her aid with his expensive suit jacket but her embarrassing moment goes viral and the Internet is now shipping these #SubwayQTs. Thinking they will never see one another again, the city (or fate) has different plans for these two absolute opposites!

April 2022 Book Releases

book cover for Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow

Memphis by Tara M. Stringfellow Out April 5, 2022

Multi-generational family sagas are my favorite type of family drama type book so I am really looking forward to this one! This one spans 70 years following the women of a Southern Black family in Memphis – -inspired in part by some of the author’s own family history. On some marketing material I read the author’s story of how this book came to be and really propelled this book to the top of my list honestly. “In the summer of 1995, ten-year-old Joan, her mother, and her younger sister flee her father’s violence, seeking refuge at her mother’s ancestral home in Memphis. Half a century ago, Joan’s grandfather built this majestic house in the historic Black neighborhood of Douglass–only to be lynched days after becoming the first Black detective in Memphis. This wasn’t the first time violence altered the course of Joan’s family’s trajectory, and she knows it won’t be the last.” We get Joan and her mother’s perspective along with her grandmother’s and aunt’s as the women help Joan understand the line of women she came from, heal and change her family’s legacy. 

Book cover for Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel

Sea of Tranquility by Emily St. John Mandel Out April 5, 2022

Station Eleven is one of my all-time favorite books and I’m so excited for this one as it sounds strange but like in THE BEST WAY POSSIBLE. I saw a letter from the author where she joked her working title for it was “It’s Deranged Because I Wrote it In 2020”  and I’m just telling you I’m very much into that vibe. There’s time travel! Moon Colonies! A story that spans from 1912 to 2401! Lemme just give you the actual summary because it’s a lot: “Edwin St. Andrew is eighteen years old when he crosses the Atlantic by steamship, exiled from polite society following an ill-conceived diatribe at a dinner party. He enters the forest, spellbound by the beauty of the Canadian wilderness, and suddenly hears the notes of a violin echoing in an airship terminal—an experience that shocks him to his core. Two centuries later a famous writer named Olive Llewellyn is on a book tour. She’s traveling all over Earth, but her home is the second moon colony, a place of white stone, spired towers, and artificial beauty. Within the text of Olive’s best-selling pandemic novel lies a strange passage: a man plays his violin for change in the echoing corridor of an airship terminal as the trees of a forest rise around him. When Gaspery-Jacques Roberts, a detective in the black-skied Night City, is hired to investigate an anomaly in the North American wilderness, he uncovers a series of lives upended: The exiled son of an earl driven to madness, a writer trapped far from home as a pandemic ravages Earth, and a childhood friend from the Night City who, like Gaspery himself, has glimpsed the chance to do something extraordinary that will disrupt the timeline of the universe.”

Book cover for Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Garmus Out April 5, 2022

This one looks like a delight for fans of memorable characters a la The Marvelous Ms Maisel, Maria Semple’s Where’d You Go, Bernadette & Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine. Set in the 1960’s it’s about a female chemist who gets fired from her job because she’s pregnant and unwed and also has a mind of her own. Quite the detour for her life and career, she reluctantly ends up taking a job as the new star of a cooking show where she mixes cooking with science – a revolutionary hour of television that housewives fall in love with and the men do not for the message she’s bringing each week. 

Book cover for Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum

Atomic Anna by Rachel Barenbaum Out April 5, 2022

At this point, if you’ve follow me for a while, you know if there’s time travel I will show up. But this one, oh THIS ONE, is an ambitious book about mothers and daughters AND time travel. Three generations of women must work together, with the aid of time travel, to prevent the Chernobyl disaster and right the wrongs of their own family story. It spans generations and continents and looks truly fantastic – perhaps a great book club book for 2022! 

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Book cover for The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegal

The Caretakers by Amanda Bestor-Siegal Out April 12, 2022

Somewhere I saw this pitched as a Little Fires Everywhere set in France and that intrigued me. Plus I used to be a nanny so I’m always keen on the babysitter/nanny/au pair centered thrillers and suspenseful dramas. Set in a wealthy Parisian suburb, centering around a group of au pairs, it tells the story of what happens after one of the au pair’s is arrested after a sudden tragedy in her host family. Told from the view of six different women, we slowly start to put together what really happened and if the au pair is really to blame or something else. 

Book cover for Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett

Unlikely Animals by Annie Hartnett Out April 12, 2022

This one looks so unique, imaginative and quirky – with some good early reviews to boot! I genuinely feel like this is one of those books where the summary doesn’t seem to do the book justice but it just exudes something that I know I want to read – that “je ne sais quoi.” It looks like a dark comedy-drama with some interesting magical elements? I’ll report back!

Book cover for The No-Show by Beth O'Leary

The No-Show by Beth O’Leary Out April 12, 2022

I love Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and The Switch so I’m eagerly anticipating another clever and delightful read from her! It’s about 3 women who seemingly have nothing in common – except that all three of them are stood up by the same man on Valentine’s Day. Is he just a jerky player? Is there something else going on there? Will they find out about each other? Will they forgive him? WHERE WAS HE IF HE WASN’T WITH ONE OF THEM? I have a lot of questions already without reading and the summary is VAGUE. Probably for some delightful twisty reason.

Book cover for Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez

Part of Your World by Abby Jimenez Out April 19, 2022

An Abby Jimenz romance is always going to be full of heart and tears and the best characters to root for. This one is an age-gap romance AND a social class gap romance between a city-dwelling ER doctor from a renowned medical family and the small town mayor/carpenter/jack of all trades. Their chance meeting has all the chemistry immediately and, what should have been just a fling, begs to be something more. Things feel so right when she’s in his world but could they ever truly fit in each other’s worlds when their lives are so totally different and many things stand in between it working?

Book cover for Hope & Glory by Jendella Benson

Hope and Glory by Jendella Benson Out April 19, 2022

Family drama fans, don’t scroll past! This one is about a woman who returns to London for the sudden death of her father only to find her family has completely fallen apart since she’s been gone – a brother in jail, a sister who has lost her ambition and a mother on the verge of a breakdown. Instead of returning back to LA, she decides to stay around and bring her family back together (and figure out what she wants for her life, too). While still in a town, she has a chance meeting with a man she knew in high school that ends up making her question everything she knew about her family when she unearths a huge family secret – a secret that could risk losing her entire family if she pursues the truth.

Book cover for I'll Be You by Janelle Brown

I’ll Be You by Janelle Brown Out April 26, 2022

“Two identical twin sisters and former child actors have grown apart–until one disappears, and the other is forced to confront the secrets they’ve kept from each other in this twisty thriller” And that’s really all I needed to add this book to my must-read books for 2022 list! Think Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen but more B-list and now as adults they are estranged. As they moved on from their childhood acting careers one went on to become the perfect suburban housewife while the other was quite destructive after her failed attempt at a solo Hollywood career. Elli goes missing after supposedly checking in to a spa retreat, when things crumble in suburbia for her, leading Sam on a mission to find her sister.

Book cover for Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel

Kaikeyi by Vaishnavi Patel Out April 19, 2022

If you loved Circe by Madeline Miller or are a lover of mythology in general, check this one out This one is the feminist re-imagining of the most vilified and hated Queen from the Indian epic Ramayana. You won’t need to be familiar with the source material to be captivated by this tale that tells the life of Kaikeyi from overlooked princess into the powerful Queen she forged herself to be to carve out a better world for herself and the women around her in a world dictated by men and the gods. In her ascent she learns that the path she is forging is one that clashes with the gods destiny for her family and we’ll see the woman behind the choices that made her the vilified queen.

May 2022 Book Releases

Book cover for Book Lovers by Emily Henry

Book Lovers by Emily Henry Out May 3, 2022

Emily Henry has blessed us with some really great perfect-for-summer romcoms in the past couple years and I hope we go 3 for 3 here. A cutthroat literary agent and her sister head off to a small town in North Carolina for a month-long sisterly summer getaway to both escape the city for a little and hopefully break free of the ruts they are in. Her break from the city are halted when she runs into her rival – a brooding editor back in the city. Constantly being thrown together, she realizes they have more in common than the books they both love so much and just maybe it’s time to be the heroine of her own story.

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Book cover for The Change by Kirsten Miller

The Change by Kirsten Miller Out May 3, 2022

“Big Little Lies meets The Witches of Eastwick— a gloriously entertaining and knife-sharp feminist revenge fantasy about three women whose midlife crisis brings unexpected new powers—putting them on a collision course with the evil that lurks in their wealthy beach town.” I’m familiar with this author through her YA stuff but WOAH this sounds like a must-read! A supernatural-ish murder mystery about friendship, sexism and female empowerment. Yes, please.

Book cover for When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill

When Women Were Dragons by Kelly Barnhill Out May 3, 2022

This speculative novel sounds incredible! It’s set in our world but in an alternate 1950’s there was an event called The Mass Dragoning of 1955 wherein some women spontaneously turned into dragons, caused destruction and off they went to the sky. After this world-changing event, so many questions abound – why did it happen? Did the women choose it? What does it all mean? All those questions and more swirl in the mind of a young girl named Alex whose aunt became a dragon but whose mother did not and she’s. forbidden to talk about it or acknowledge her aunt exists. The story follows Alex leading up to the big event and then in the aftermath of it.

Book cover for This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub

This Time Tomorrow by Emma Straub Out May 17, 2022

I really enjoyed Emma’s book All Adults Here and this one sounds so up my alley because I love the way she writes family stuff and everyday issues but also because I SO want to see her twist on time travel.. This still seems very much at its heart a family story (particularly a father-daughter story) but with a little light time travel a la 13 Going on 30. Alice is turning 40 and her life is pretty great – minus the fact that the single father who raised her is on his deathbed. On the night of her birthday, Alice wakes up and finds out that she traveled back in time to her 16th birthday. The question begs: what would she do differently in this do-over? Can she get herself more time with her dad?

Book cover for City of Orange by David Yoon

City of Orange by David Yoon Out May 24, 2022

“A man who can not remember his own name wakes up in an apocalyptic landscape, injured and alone. He has vague memories of life before, but he can’t see it clearly and can’t grasp how his current situation came to be. He must learn to survive by finding sources of water and foraging for food. Then he encounters a boy—and he realizes nothing is what he thought it was, neither the past nor the present.” A character driven story with a speculative setting – and a super vague summary going into it? You should know by now that is Jamie-bait.

Book cover for The Measure by Nikki Erlick

The Measure by Nikki Erlick Out May 24, 2022

I love a good high concept novel! This one is pitched as The Midnight Library meets The Immortalists. The premise is this: it’s a regular ol’ day until suddenly, waiting for you as you leave your house, is a small wooden box that will tell you the exact number of years you will live. But it’s not just you that has received this – everyone over the age of 22 has too! Society is in a frenzy and we follow some characters who try to decide whether or not they want to know and the implications of that decision.

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Book cover for You Made A Fool out of Me With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi

You Made A Fool Out Of Me With Your Beauty by Akwaeke Emezi Out May 24, 2022

It’s been 5 years since the love of Feyi’s life was killed in an accident. She’s rebuilt her life but her best friend insists it is time to start dating again. Not looking for anything serious, she ends up in a steamy encounter that will open the door to so much more that summer – the possible launch of her art career and a tropical getaway to the home of a celebrity chef who happens to be the father of her new blossoming relationship. Once on the island things get very complicated for Feyi and she must contend with what she’s willing to do for her second chance at love and how to hold space for the grief she carries while pursuing her future joy.

book cover for Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour

Yerba Buena by Nina LaCour Out May 31, 2022

Ahh Nina LaCour has long been a favorite writer of YA literature and I know this is going to be spectacular because her writing and ability to cut to the heart is like no other – especially when it comes to grief, heartbreak and pain. This one is both a coming of age story and a love story between two women who are both employed at a restaurant called Yerba Buena, both having experienced a tough adolescence, who come in and out of each other’s orbit but ultimately being pulled toward one another. Seems like a good one for fans of Sally Rooney!

Book cover for The Latecomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz

The Newcomer by Jean Hanff Korelitz Out May 31, 2022

A literary fiction family story about the upending of a fractured family by the late arrival of a fourth sibling when the matriarch of the family decides to have a fourth child, from the last remaining (but still viable) frozen embryo she has, when her triplets are getting ready to go off to college. Will this latecomer bring this distant family together or further drive them apart?

June 2022 Book Releases

Book cover for These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany

These Impossible Things by Salma El-Wardany Out June 7, 2022

This one is about three best friends who have navigated everything together since childhood and continue, on the precipice of adulthood, navigating love, sex, and their Muslim faith as the stakes become higher in their lives – until one night that fractures everything and sends them hurtling towards different paths. Without the support of one another they find themselves adrift and must find their way back to each other but how will they when things were said they’ll never be able to take back? I really, really love books about friendship so I’m very excited about this one!

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Book cover for Flying Solo by Linda Holmes

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes Out June 14, 2022

A new book from the author of the delightful Evvie Drake Starts Over – one of my favorite light and easy reads to recommend to people! I have a feeling this one is going to be added to that list! This one is about a woman, still reeling from her canceled wedding,  who comes home to her small hometown in Maine to take care of her grandmother’s estate. Her 90 year old grandmother was a spirited adventurer who never married but, among her possessions, she finds a wooden duck along with a love letter at the bottom of a wooden chest. Seemingly not worth anything, things get curious when someone steals the wooden duck and she decides to get the duck back which leads her on a journey of self-discovery but also uncovering her grandmother’s secrets.

Book cover for More Than You'll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez

More Than You’ll Ever Know by Katie Gutierrez Out June 7, 2022

This one is about a woman who lead a double life with two husbands that ends up with one husband murdering the other and the true-crime writer who, 32 years later, becomes obsessed with digging into the story to tell the woman’s truth of why she would risk it all for a double life. Domestic suspense meets true crime with a portrait of motherhood, marriage and family.

Book cover for Birds of California by Katie Cotugno

Birds of California by Katie Cotugno Out June 7, 2022

Katie Cotugno writes some of the most piercing and raw contemporary YA I’ve ever read ( How To Love and 99 Days are my faves!) with a specialty in wonderfully flawed characters and relationships and I am eagerly anticipating her adult fiction debut! Definitely one of my must read adult books for 2022. A rom-com, set amidst the background of the #metoo movement in Hollywood, that is about a former child actress who had a terrible public breakdown at the height of her career and has since lived a private life away from the spotlight – that is until her former co-star on their hit show gets back in touch with her to get her on board with the show’s revival that could save his career and the two reconnect but also have to contend with the full story of what led to her breakdown so many years ago.

Book cover for Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen

Counterfeit by Kirstin Chen Out June 7, 2022

“The story of two Asian American women who band together to grow a counterfeit handbag scheme into a global enterprise–an incisive and glittering blend of fashion, crime, and friendship.” I’ve been so in the mood for escape-y, fun grift books and this one is Hustlers meets Crazy Rich Asians . It’s about a woman whose life is imploding when she reconnects with an old college friend who, in need of a partner with a US passport whom nobody would suspect of wrongdoing, gets drawn into a global counterfeit handbag scheme. A success – until their operation is threatened and her friend disappears.

Book cover for The lies I Tell by Julie Clark

The Lies I Tell by Julie Clark Out June 21, 2022

This one is a cat-and-mouse domestic thriller about the friendship between a con artist and the journalist who has been waiting to expose her for 10 years for her own reasons. As the two get closer in their friendship that is rooted in lies, not everything as it seems. Sounds like a real page-turner!!

So these are the new books to read for adults in 2022. Stay tuned for must-read books for the second half of the year!

P.S. Here are some of the most popular posts on the site for you to check out:

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.

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Amber Elise @ Du Livre says

January 23, 2022 at 11:21 am

I noticed that March and April are gonna be busy months for my reading!

I’m really excited for the new Emily Henry, she hasn’t let me down yet. I listened to half of Marie Rutkoski’s book and it was a bit too gritty for me unfortunately.

January 24, 2022 at 6:55 am

Yes so many good ones coming out in those months!!

And agreed! Emily Henry is just hitting every note for me lately. And yeah, definitely Real Easy is a very gritty book! Sorry it didn’t work for you!

More about Jamie

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10 Great and Easy English Books You Must Read

Reading can open your mind to brilliant new worlds and take you to a new level of English language learning. 

Adopting English books as learning tools can help you reach English fluency faster than ever before. Take a trip to your local library and see what a difference a few good books can make !

To help you with this, check out these 10 well-known novels. If you’ve got a basic level of understanding and comprehension, these novels aren’t going to be a problem. They’re perfect for those who are learning English for beginners !

Set yourself a reading challenge. How many of these books can you read?

  • 1. Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White
  • 2. Mieko and the Fifth Treasure – Eleanor Coerr
  • 3. The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

4. The House On Mango Street – Sandra Cisneros

  • 5. Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher
  • 6. Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie
  • 7. The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway
  • 8. The Giver – Lois Lowry
  • 9. Number the Stars – Lois Lowry
  • 10. A Wrinkle In Time – Madeline L’engle

The Benefits of Reading English Books

Reading is rewarding., reading is an exercise in language learning., reading opens the mind., reading is fun, and one more thing....

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

1.  Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

This is a lovely novel that all age groups can understand. Aimed at native English speaking children, there are many adults who still say this famous book is their favorite.

You can almost guarantee that the majority of native English speakers have read this book at least once.

Plot Summary

A baby pig is almost killed because of his status – he is the smallest pig that was born and he is considered to be useless and of no value. The pig is saved by a little girl called Fern Arable. She adopts the pig and takes care of it. She gives him the name Wilbur.

Fern grows sad when Wilbur grows up and has to be sent away to a farm owned by her uncle. She has a strong relationship with Wilbur. When Wilbur goes to the farm, all the other farm animals ignore him and he’s left crying for his human friend. One day he hears a voice, but he can’t see anything. This voice promises to become friends with him.

The voice belongs to a small spider called Charlotte. Charlotte the spider knows that the farmers are planning to kill Wilbur. She promises to make a plan to save his life. The farmers are surprised the next day when they see the words “some pig” written in the web (the sticky traps that spiders make). Charlotte has made. Charlotte asked for the other animals’ help over the day to write messages everywhere.

Wilbur is sad when Charlotte disappears. But in the end, her baby spiders turn out to be great company for the pig. They continue to protect each other and the story ends well.

2.  Mieko and the Fifth Treasure – Eleanor Coerr

Mieko and the Fifth Treasure

This book is not as famous, but it is on the recommended book list. What’s great about “Mieko and the Fifth Treasure” is that it’s short. At only 77 pages long, this will be an easy read.

Again this book is aimed at young native English speakers, so if you’re learning English, the level won’t be so difficult. This book will keep you interested as you’ll learn many interesting things about Japan and its culture.

Plot Summary 

This is an emotional story about Mieko. Mieko is a talented artist and calligrapher (handwriting artist). Her hand is badly hurt during the bombings of the war. The scared little girl is sent to live with her grandparents in the countryside where it is safer.

Mieko is worried and afraid that she’s lost her 5 th treasure—the “beauty in her heart.” This treasure is the key to her happiness and her beautiful art.

Mieko starts a new school. Her new classmates are mean. They constantly laugh at her and tease her which just makes her angrier. Her grandparents eventually manage to lift her darkness through their patience and wisdom. She also finds a good friend in Yoshi. Yoshi is one classmate who is really kind.

Mieko also grows close to Yoshi’s aunt. Her friend’s aunt is strict, but kind and encourages Mieko to pick up her paintbrushes again.

3.  The Outsiders – S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders

This short novel is perfect for EFL learners. It has modern themes and typical teenage issues that people around the world have experienced. There are very few cultural notes in this, which means you don’t need much background information.

The sentences are short and easy to understand. The vocabulary is also very easy. The story is about two gangs though so prepare for some challenging topics, such as violence.

Plot  Summary

Ponyboy Curtis is one of the main characters. He is a part of a gang of teenagers called the Greasers. After he leaves the movie theater one day, he’s attacked by a rival (enemy) gang. Ponyboy’s friends chase the group away and he is saved.

The next evening, Ponyboy and his friends go to watch a movie again. They sit behind a few pretty girls from the other gang. They end up sitting together with the girls. Ponyboy and Cherry learn that they have a lot of things in common even though they are from different gangs. The boys begin to walk the girls’ home, but on the way they meet the girls’ boyfriends. The girls have to leave so a fight does not begin.

Because Ponyboy arrives late at home his brother becomes angry. This causes them to fight. As a result Ponyboy tries to run away from home. They meet up with the rival gang again and yet another fight begins. This time one of the enemies is killed.

Ponyboy is really scared. They hide in a church and try to hide their appearance by dyeing (coloring) their hair. A number of different fights break out between the two gangs. Eventually Ponyboy wakes up in the hospital.

A trial is set in the courtroom and the judge has to decide Ponyboy’s fate (future). Is he guilty or not guilty?

The House on Mango Street

The great thing about “The House On Mango Street” is that it’s an interesting read. It’s written from the point of view of the writer. You can really feel what the protagonist (the main character) feels. The sentences are really short so it’s also easy to understand.

There are a few challenging words and a little bit of descriptive language, but you can usually understand them with the context. This book also has some difficult topics, such as sexual assault, so make sure you’re up for that. 

This book follows the life of Esperanza, a Mexican girl. The novel takes place over the period of one year. Esperanza moves into a new home on Mango Street. The house is much better than her old one. It is the first house her parents have ever owned—all their other houses have been rented.

Esperanza is not very happy because she had been dreaming of a different home, a bigger one. Their new house is old and small. The house is located in a busy Latino area of Chicago. In the new home, Esperanza feels like she has no time to be alone. She promises herself that one day she will leave and have her own home.

Throughout the novel the young girl grows up a lot. The story follows her life as she makes friends, her body changes and she begins to have feelings for a boy. With her new friends, she has many adventures. When she goes back to school after the vacation Esperanza is embarrassed about her family being poor. She writes poetry secretly to make her feel better.

There is a lot of focus on other women in the community and Esperanza hopes never to be like them. At one point, she also gets sexually assaulted by some boys in her neighborhood. Through watching the older women, how they are stuck and the abuse they face, she knows that she wants to leave.

5.  Thirteen Reasons Why – Jay Asher

Thirteen Reasons Why

This story takes place in the present, which means the writer writes using simple grammar. All sentences are short and the vocabulary is relatively easy. The interesting grammar and short paragraphs make this a quick and easy book for ESL learners.

This is an award-winning book and on the NY Times best books list, so it’s worth a read. This book deals with some heavy issues, such as suicide and depression. If you’re looking for something light and happy to read over the summer vacation, you should not read this book.

Plot Summary

The main character is Clay Jensen, a quiet high school student. He comes home from school to find a parcel at his front door. He does not know who sent it. He opens it and discovers 7 cassette tapes. These tapes are from Hannah Baker, his previous classmate. She had emotional problems and has committed suicide (killed herself).

The tapes came with instructions. The paper stated that they should pass the tapes from one student to another student. There are 12 people in total. In the paper, she explains to these people that they helped her die – she gives them 13 reasons. Hannah also sends another set of tapes to a different person. She gives them a strong warning that if they don’t pass the first set of tapes onto the next person, the whole school will know how they were a part of her death.

We hear about her pain. She talks about her first kiss, people who lied to her and stole from her. Everything started with gossip. The gossip then grew and became out of control. The book follows each person’s story and the reason why she felt hurt, including her English teacher who didn’t take her seriously.

6.  Peter Pan – J.M. Barrie

Peter Pan

Almost everyone knows the story of “Peter Pan” which is why this is an easy read. Being familiar with a story already helps the reader to understand the text better. This book is aimed at children, but it continues to be enjoyed by adults around the world too.

Every night Peter visits the Darling family house and listens to Mrs. Darling tell bedtime stories. He sits on the window listening.

One evening, they see Peter trying to escape. As he tries to run away, he loses his shadow. He goes back to get his shadow. He wakes up the daughter of the house, Wendy Darling. Wendy helps him attach his shadow to his body again. Wendy tells him she knows a lot of bedtime stories too.

Peter invites Wendy to return to Neverland with him. He wants her to be the mother of the Lost Boys. Wendy agrees to the mission and asks for her brothers Michael and John to join them.

They have a magical flight as they travel to Neverland and have many adventures along the way. Wendy is nearly killed and the boys build her a house in the trees to recover. After Wendy is okay, she takes the role of the mother.

After all their adventures and fun, Wendy decides that her place is at home with their own mother. Wendy helps all the Lost Boys return to London. But Peter doesn’t want her to go. Instead he tries to trick her. He tells her that their mother doesn’t want them anymore. However, he understands how sad their mother must be. In the end, he decides to let them go home.

7.  The Old Man and the Sea – Ernest Hemmingway

The Old Man and the Sea

This is a famous classic. Almost all native English speakers will have read this book at some point in school. So, if you ever find yourself in a conversation about literature and books, this is a good one to talk about.

At some points it has a little bit of difficult vocabulary. However, it is short and you won’t have too much trouble being able to finish it.

This is a story of a long fight between an old, experienced fisherman named Santiago and the best fish he ever caught. Santiago has returned to the village without any fish for 84 days. The young boy who helps Santiago is told by his parents to join another boat. But the young boy continues to help the fisherman at night.

On the eighty-fifth day, his luck changes and so does his life.  Santiago sails his boat further away. He drops his fishing lines. At 12 pm, a huge fish (a marlin) takes the bait (the food used to attract fish). The man tries to pull the fish up, but the fish is too big and strong. Instead, the fish begins to pull the boat. The old man continues to fight and hold on to the line. The fish pulls the boat around the sea for two days.

On the third day, the fish gets tired. Santiago is able to pull the fish closer and kill it. It’s the biggest fish he has seen in his life. He begins to sail back to the village, but the blood of the fish attracts sharks. The boat is attacked by a Mako shark, but Santiago is able to kill it. He kills most of the sharks, but there is a problem. They have eaten the meat of the fish and now only the skeleton (bones) is left. He returns back to his home and falls asleep.

All the people of the village are amazed at the size of the fish skeleton. The young boy agrees to be the fishing partner of Santiago once more.

8.  The Giver – Lois Lowry

The Giver (1) (Giver Quartet)

“The Giver” begins in a very interesting way and catches the attention of the readers from the beginning. It has easy-to-understand grammar. Most of the grammar is just past simple and past perfect.

All of the sentences are short and there is no confusion in the story. This is a longer book, but it’s quite easy, so you’ll finish it quickly. The book’s genre is science fiction, meaning it’s about a world that doesn’t exist in real life. 

Jonas is a young boy. He lives a very safe life with a lot of order and rules. There are many rules and everyone follows them. The citizens’ lives are planned for them and they don’t often make a decision by themselves.

They try not to say anything different. One rule is that you must never say anything that will make another person uncomfortable. Every husband and wife is matched by a special committee. Each family has two children, one boy and one girl.

When Jonas and the rest of his group become the “Twelves” in December, they get special jobs. Because Jonas is smart and respected, he is given an extra special job. His new job is to become the Receiver of Memories.

The Receiver of Memories is the only person in the group who can see all of the memories in the past. He must keep these memories secret until he trains another person to take his place. This job is really difficult. This person knows things that others do not, and they also have to deal with all of the sadness from the past.

At first Jonas is really excited. But he soon learns some truths about the people in the community. He comes to understand that this kind of life is unfair. He wants to allow people to make their own choices. Jonas comes up with an interesting plan to change the community. He decides he needs to move the community to another place. In his plan, they will get their memories back and be able to live a good and fair life.

9.  Number the Stars – Lois Lowry

Number the Stars

This is a novel by the same author as the last book. It’s based on history. Unlike other historical literature, it’s easy to understand. If you already know a lot of information about World War II, this might be an interesting book for you.

It’s not recommended if you don’t know too much about the World Wars. In this case, you will be focusing on trying to understand the facts too much so you will not enjoy the book as much.

This is a story of hope and courage. The year is 1943 in Copenhagen, Denmark. The area has been taken over by Hitler’s army. There are soldiers everywhere. The life of 10-year-old Annemarie has changed a lot. There is little food and everyone is very scared. There is talk about moving all of the Jewish people to another place. This is difficult for Annemarie because her best friend, Ellen, is Jewish.

This is a different book about the war. It shows it was not only the Jewish people who suffered during the war. Annemarie’s family lost their eldest daughter, Lise, a few weeks before her wedding.

Annemarie will later do what her sister, Lise, did. She will join the resistance party to fight against the Nazis. She ends up being a heroine (a female hero) for a few reasons (which I will not tell you because I don’t want to ruin the story).

10.  A Wrinkle In Time – Madeline L’engle

A Wrinkle in Time (Time Quintet)

This book has a mix of shorter and longer sentences. The genre is a mix fantasy and science fiction, so it’s also about an imaginary world where amazing things happen.

There is a lot of vocabulary to learn. It is a good book if you’ve already got experience reading novels in English. Make sure you have your vocabulary notebook with you, just in case there are any cool words that you’d like to learn. This book has MANY!

Meg is 14-years-old. Everyone sees her as a troublemaker (a person who makes/causes trouble). They think she’s a bad student. Everyone in her family seems to be perfect. Her mom is a very beautiful scientist. Her twin brothers are very athletic. And her little 5-year-old brother, Charles Wallace Murry, is a child genius and can often read the mind of Meg.

One night Meg can’t sleep. She goes downstairs to find her young brother sitting at the kitchen table drinking milk. Later their mom joins them. A strange neighbor called Mrs. Whatsit joins them. Mrs. Whatsit is talking a lot and says that the “tesseract” is real. We (the readers) don’t know what this means, but Mrs. Murry knows what it is. She looks like she is going to faint (fall down from sickness or fear).

Meg and her brother meet a friend the next day. Calvin O’Keefe is a high school junior student. Together, the three of them go to visit an old haunted house which belongs to Mrs. Whatsit. While going there they meet Mrs. Whatsit’s friend, Mrs. Who. Mrs. Who is also very strange. Meg and Calvin begin to like each other. Charles suddenly announces that they should focus on finding their father who is lost somewhere in the universe.

Strange things happen and the older women turn into supernatural (not from Earth) beings. They transport the kids to the universe by the “tesseract.” They stop and visit different planets on the way. The women tell the children that the universe is being attacked by the “Black thing” (the devil).

They find out where Meg’s father is being kept. Charles tries to use his psychic (in his mind) powers to see where their dad is. Eventually they find their dad, but not without drama. Along the way, Meg learns to love. She uses this new love to help them escape.

“The more that you read, the more that you’ll know. The more that you know, the more places you’ll go.” — Dr. Seuss.

As any English-speaking child can tell you, there is no denying Dr. Seuss . If you love to read, but you’re a little afraid of reading a full-on novel in English, don’t worry. We’re going to help you get there, step by step.

With every book you read, the more you’ll improve your English reading skills. As you can see in our list, there are some excellent novels written in English that are not too difficult to understand . 

Let’s have a look at some more of the benefits of reading English books. 

Being able to read a novel in another language and understand it is a huge achievement. You’ll feel accomplished the moment you read that final page, close the book, and reflect on the experience. You might find yourself at the last page faster than you thought—once you begin reading these books, you won’t be able to put them down.

Reading English novels will help improve your vocabulary, general understanding and in some cases it may even give you more knowledge into different countries and their cultures. You also get to move at your own pace.

While listening to podcasts  and radio , you have to keep up with whoever is speaking. But while reading a book, you can read as slowly or as quickly as you desire. If you didn’t understand something, simply look at the paragraph again!

Reading educates. It opens you up to new experiences and perspectives. What better way is there to understand someone’s way of thinking? You may learn new information about language, culture, society, and history that you never knew before.

It is, overall, an enjoyable and relaxing way to learn English without any stress whatsoever. People get frustrated when they choose books that go above their reading levels. By choosing your first English books wisely, you should have a very positive experience.

There are so many cool and fun books to read!

You’re not limited to books for reading practice, of course. You can also use blogs, social media and even videos with subtitles or transcripts to improve your reading skills.

FluentU takes authentic videos—like music videos, movie trailers, news and inspiring talks—and turns them into personalized language learning lessons.

You can try FluentU for free for 2 weeks. Click here to check out the website or download the iOS app or Android app.

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Reading is a wonderful way to improve your English. It’s an awesome way to learn new vocabulary. Reading opens your mind. It’s a great way to learn how to guess what things mean and at the same time enjoy English in another way.

If you like learning English through movies and online media, you should also check out FluentU. FluentU lets you learn English from popular talk shows, catchy music videos and funny commercials , as you can see here:


If you want to watch it, the FluentU app has probably got it.

The FluentU app and website makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition, and useful examples.


FluentU lets you learn engaging content with world famous celebrities.

For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you see this:


FluentU lets you tap to look up any word.

Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.


FluentU helps you learn fast with useful questions and multiple examples. Learn more.

The best part? FluentU remembers the vocabulary that you’re learning. It gives you extra practice with difficult words—and reminds you when it’s time to review what you’ve learned. You have a truly personalized experience.

Start using FluentU on the website with your computer or tablet or, better yet, download the FluentU app from the iTunes or from the Google Play store .

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