X Best Books To Read If You Haven't Picked Up A Novel Since High School

30 Best Books To Read If You Haven’t Picked Up A Novel Since High School

According to Ask Reddit, here are the best books to get you back into reading again.

1. Jurassic Park. I know reading books after seeing the movies can sometimes be dull, but the book is waaay darker than the movie. Muldoon driving around drunk as fuck on whiskey, swearing like a sailor and blowing up dinos with a rocket launcher for example.

2. Howl’s Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones!!! I hadn’t read a book purely for pleasure in years. This August, I saw it on a bookshelf at my parents’ home. Once I started, I couldn’t put it down. Literally. I opened that book at 10am, finished it at 8pm the same day. Please go read it!!!!!

3. John Dies At The End. The first chapter is hilarious and makes it clear that books aren’t just the boring old things you read in school.

4. Shutter Island. This is one of my favorites in the mystery/thriller genre. Absolute fucking page turner especially if you’ve never seen the movie (which is also great). This is another one I’d rather not spoil just go in blind.

5. The Da Vinci Code. Yeah, a bit of a controversial book, but the extremely short chapters and the catching mystery is PERFECT for someone who has not read for a long time.

With phones, TV, etc reading requires concentration, which requires practice, so a book with chapters that short is ideal to start reading again.

This is 100% the book you are looking for.

6. Any book by Jon Ronson. He’s a journalist who dives into cults, psychopaths, politics, and other interesting stuff. Really accessible writing style!

7. The Things They Carried. My English teacher my senior year convinced me to read that and started reading non-stop ever since. First time I ever felt heard…

8. Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng and Monday’s Not Coming by Tiffany D. Jackson are both very page-turner-y quick reads that don’t have any of the triteness you might expect from something called a “page-turner”.

9. Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson. Premise: what if superheroes were the bad guys? It’s YA without being shallow; first chapter that hooks you; long enough to take a while but not intimidating.

10. Kitchen Confidential. Anthony Bourdain was an amazing storyteller. It is a short autobiography of his early years in the underbelly of the American culinary scene.

11. Old Man’s War by John Scalzi. Great interesting take on war in space/future. Netflix is making it into a movie too.

12. World War Z. Lots of short stories that tie into the greater story.

13. Born a Crime. It’s a really easy read, and it’s really funny and enlightening to see a completely different culture and way of life.

14. The original Millennium Trilogy books by Steig Larson, especially the first book The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo.

It’s definitely more grown-up than high school material, it’s at its core a great thriller/mystery novel which is rewarding but not difficult to read. The characters are very memorable, the story is well crafted, and the themes are very relevant both then and now.

I’ll add a caveat that the depictions of sexual violence and abuse in the book might be triggering for some, so people may want to consider that before starting.

15. Enders Game. I think it provides an excellent adventure, all the while giving you a most interesting perspective.

16. Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins. I’m not a native English speaker, and yet I enjoyed it a lot. It is written in brief chapters that allow you to read a few pages or a lot at a time. I think the characters are well developed and the story well planned for such a short book (it’s not super short, but it’s not 600 pages), and the story is really entertaining, and as usual, the book is much better than the movie.

17. Unwind. Perfect dystopia setting in the not so distant future with a lot of relatable characters and a strong undertone message.

18. Ready Player One. It has a good first chapter that hooked me. It’s not a super tough read either and the story is great.

19.The Song of Achilles is my favorite book because it involved greek lore (obviously) and it’s about the relationship between Achilles and his lover, Patroclus. It is told from Patroclus’ perspective.

20. The Martian. The book had me laughing out loud! My son did not know how a book about a man alone struggling for survival on Mars could be funny but it is!

21. The Hunger Games. I have never read a book faster.

22. Me Talk Pretty One Day by David Sedaris. I was laughing out loud and related to so many of his stories!

23. Good Omens. It’s short and funny.

24. The Percy Jackson series by Rick Riordan. Especially if you’re into Greek mythology.

25. Dracula. It got me interested in reading for enjoyment again.

26. Freakonomics… it’s nonfiction but makes you look at everyday things in life differently.

27. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger. It got me hooked on phonics again.

28. The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss, I read a lot of fantasy and this is by far the best series I’ve ever read. The sequel is even better.

Only downside is that the last book in the trilogy has no release date in sight so you’ll be stuck in an endless search of other books to fill the void in your soul where book three should be.

29. The Color of Magic. Discworld has got me back into reading again.

30. The Princess Bride. It’s a delightful read, it’s easy, and everyone I know that has read it has absolutely loved it… I’ve recommended it to several friends, including like 8 people in a work book club, and again, 100/100 across the board. TC mark

About the author
January Nelson is a writer, editor, dreamer, and occasional exotic dancer and a collective pen name. Read more articles from January on Thought Catalog.

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