After spending nearly the entirety of 2020 cooped up inside, it’s understandable that you’ve run out of things to do. Sometimes though, just a small surprise is what you need. While you might have been staying by the books and movies and streaming services you have, it can be very refreshing to visit something new. If it’s been a while since you’ve gotten into reading, here are 4 different books that will get your reading muscles back.


Wow, No Thank You

The first recommendation is a collection of hilarious essays from author Samantha Irby. 2020 was a difficult year, and this series of laugh-out-loud funny tales from a comedy writer is the perfect balm. Irby will leave you rolling on the floor as she recounts her habit of waking up at noon and back in bed by 8 pm, yet still managing to fit five meals in between. With no filter and a refreshing honesty (if at times brutal), this page-turner will remind you how fun it is to read.


Empire of Dreams

Following the success of Amanda Gorman’s poetry reading at the inauguration, there has been an uptick in interest in poetry. An art form that is often ignored, it is a great way to build understanding and comprehension. Poetry requires some abstract thinking, which can help you get more meaning out of just about any book. Empire of Dreams is a collection of poetry from Giannina Braschi, a Puerto Rican poet who has been recently rediscovered and lauded for her importance to poetry. A classic work of postmodernism, the collection fleshes out a world of characters, colors, and shades of life under colonialism fighting for liberty.


Klara and the Sun

This novel is the latest release from Nobel laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, one of England’s finest living writers. His style is sparse yet descriptive, able to move the reader without flowery or ornate language. His books are a consistent source of anticipation, so there’s no better time to jump aboard his train. His latest novel explores the world from the perspective of Klara, an AI that learns and yearns to be something more. Expect profound revelations about the human conditions from the master of the craft.


The Unusual Suspect

This book from journalist Ben Machell explores the unbelievable yet true story of a British university student with Asperger’s Syndrome who pulled off a series of bank heists and gave the money to the homeless and needy. This modern-day tale of Robin Hood is part caper, part commentary on class inequality and distribution of wealth. In a time where people are barely making ends meet, this book couldn’t come at a better time.

These are just 4 options to whet your appetite, outside the standard recommendation of murder mysteries and escapist romance novels. Widening your reading habits will help you better appreciate old favorites and help you make new ones. A lifetime love of reading is an enriching experience that will help every part of your life. Challenging, hilarious, thought-provoking, and memorable, these books will put you on a path to becoming a bookworm in no time.