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10 Best Books for National Reading Month

Updated: May 27

As March brings us National Reading Month, it’s the perfect time to expand your book collection. Whether you’re looking for a classic novel, a contemporary bestseller, or a biography of a remarkable woman, there’s something for everyone. Here are the 10 Best Books for National Reading Month to add to your shelf!



Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler

This award-winning post-apocalyptic novel of hope and terror from an acclaimed author pairs perfectly with 1984 or The Handmaid's Tale, and includes a powerful foreword by N. K. Jemisin.


In the early 2020s, an economic and climate crisis leads to chaos in California. Fifteen-year-old Lauren Olamina must protect her family, friends, and neighbors from the dangers of water shortage and roaming bands of vagabonds. But it's not an easy task, as Lauren's hyperempathy—a debilitating sensitivity to others' emotions—makes her vulnerable.


Precocious and determined, Lauren will make her voice heard, no matter what. Her fight for survival soon evolves into something larger—the birth of a new faith, and a vision of human destiny. Don't miss this gripping tale of overcoming adversity, and the power of hope.


Reviews:

In the ongoing contest over which dystopian classic is most applicable to our time, Octavia Butler's 'Parable' books may be unmatched.--New Yorker

Unnervingly prescient and wise. A worthy read for those intent on building a better world as this pandemic continues to lay bare how untenable, how depravedly unequal, the American way of life is and has always been.--Yaa Gyasi, New York Times


You can purchase your copy, clicking here.



The Ones We're Meant To Find by Joan He

If you love the thrilling twists and turns of Marie Lu and E. Lockhart, then The Ones We're Meant to Find is the perfect YA sci-fi for you. Set in a future that has been ravaged by climate change, Joan He's stunningly written novel follows the story of two sisters, separated by an ocean, as they both desperately search for each other.


Kasey has been searching for her missing sister, Celia, for three daunting months with little success. Logic tells her that her sister is likely dead, but she still decides to follow her last footsteps. With a secret of her own, Kasey has no idea of what she'll find, or where her journey will lead her. But she must keep searching, as the truth she seeks is hidden somewhere, and she is determined to find it.


Reviews:


This is sci-fi at its best: floating cities, kindness and desert islands! Lauren James, author of The Reckless Afterlife of Harriet Stoker


An intricate, well-paced rumination on human nature, choice, and consequence. - Publishers Weekly, starred review


If you want this thrill seeking sci-fi, click here.




Rest Is Resistance by Tricia Hersey

Disrupt and push back against capitalism and white supremacy with Rest Is Resistance, the revolutionary book from Tricia Hersey, aka The Nap Bishop. Hersey invites us to connect to the liberating power of rest, daydreaming, and naps as a foundation for healing and justice.


Rooted in spiritual energy and centered in Black liberation, womanism, somatics, and Afrofuturism, Rest Is Resistance is an inspiring call to action, battle cry, field guide, and manifesto for all of us who are sleep deprived, searching for justice, and longing to be liberated from the oppressive grip of Grind Culture.


With captivating storytelling and practical advice all delivered in Hersey's lyrical voice and informed by her deep experience in theology, activism, and performance art, make Rest Is Resistance your guide to a better, more equitable world.


Reviews:


"If the rude stillness of rest is a sermon, Tricia Hersey is its underground prophet. Tricia's fierce insistence that rest is resistance is more than a plea for us to take occasional vacations, and nothing less than a spell masterfully crafted to evacuate us from the settlement politics of capture. Read this book. Then sleep, irreverently, knowing you shake worlds as you do." --Báyò Akómoláfé, Ph.D., author of These Wilds Beyond our Fences: Letters to My Daughter on Humanity's Search for Home

"Vivid, deeply researched and moving... Hersey's manifesto towards radical restoration is lifegiving"--Glory Edim, author of On Girlhood and Well-Read Black Girl


Ready for Rest? Click here.



Good Morning, I Love You By Shauna Shapiro

Discover the power of mindfulness and self-compassion to cultivate greater peace, connection, creativity, and health in your life.


Why is it so hard to make lasting changes? Many of us try to force ourselves to do things that don't come easy, only to become discouraged and give up when we fail. According to the science, this is not only ineffective but also counter-productive. The missing ingredient? Self-compassion.


When we judge ourselves harshly, we shut down the learning centers of the brain and make it impossible to change. But, when we practice self-compassion, we turn on these learning centers and create the courage and motivation to move forward. Self-compassion can help us break free from old patterns and create positive, lasting change in our lives.


Ready to discover calm, clarity, and joy? Click here.




A Princess in Theory by Alyssa Cole

From acclaimed author Alyssa Cole comes the magical story of a modern-day Cinderella and her Prince Charming in disguise.Naledi Smith is a grad student and part-time worker with no time for fairy tales. She's seen first-hand that the only things you can depend on are yourself and hard work - not silly e-mails claiming she's betrothed to an African prince!


Prince Thabiso is heir to the throne of Thesolo. With his parents and people eagerly awaiting his marriage, he has set out to find his missing betrothed. Little does he know, fate has other plans when he meets Naledi.


The chemistry between them is undeniable, and soon their flirty friendship evolves into passionate nights. But with the truth of Thabiso's identity looming over them, can a modern princess and her prince find their happily ever after?


Reviews:


"the best new romance I've read in a while..."--New York Times Book Review

"This is a fun, fanciful romance perfect for readers dreaming of royal weddings."--BookPage


Ready to experience romance fit for royalty? Click here.



The Light We Carry by Michelle Obama

Former First Lady Michelle Obama's highly anticipated follow-up to her #1 bestselling memoir Becoming, The Light We Carry, is an inspiring source of practical wisdom and powerful strategies for staying hopeful and balanced in today's uncertain world. Drawing upon her own experiences and offering hard-earned lessons, Michelle Obama encourages readers to recognize and embrace their own light, empowering them to use it to dig deeper and connect meaningfully in a turbulent world.


Named one of Time Magazine's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022 and a #1 New York Times and USA Today bestseller, The Light We Carry is a rewarding blend of powerful stories and profound advice that will ignite conversation.


Reviews:


"Obama's road map for uncertain times resonates in ways that other self-help books do not. . . Through her stories, experiences and thoughts, we're finding the light with her."--The New York Times


"[Michelle Obama's] clear-eyed confidence is a model for anyone searching for reason, strength, and optimism in tough times."--Lucy Feldman, Time's 100 Must-Read Books of 2022


Ready to dig deeper? Purchase your copy by clicking here.




I'm Glad My Mom Died by Jennette McCurdy

Jennette McCurdy's I'm Glad My Mom Died is a heartbreaking and hilarious memoir that takes a candid look at her struggles as a former child actor. From eating disorders and addiction to a strained relationship with her overbearing mother, McCurdy courageously shares her story of overcoming tremendous obstacles and reclaiming her autonomy. Written with refreshing candor and dark humor, this inspiring story of resilience and self-determination this is an uplifting story of resilience, independence, and learning to trust yourself.


Reviews:


"[The] US summer publishing sensation that--in short, punchy sentences delivered with a high level of self-perception--could transform the trauma memoir business...[T]he book, and the reception it has received, could return the focus of the trauma narratives to the mother and create new demand for mother-daughter accounts."--Edward Helmore, The Guardian


"[An] explosive debut...insightful and incisive, heartbreaking and raw, McCurdy's narrative reveals a strong woman who triumphs over unimaginable pressure to emerge whole on the other side. Fans will be rapt."--Publishers Weekly (starred review)


Ready to read this uplifting memoir? Click here to purchase your copy!



Our Missing Hearts by Celeste Ng

From the #1 bestselling author of Little Fires Everywhere comes a heart-stirring new novel about the unbreakable bond between a mother and son in a world consumed by fear.


Twelve-year-old Bird Gardner thought his mother, Margaret - a Chinese American poet - had abandoned him when she left without a trace. But when he suddenly receives a mysterious letter containing a cryptic drawing, he embarks on a quest to find her, uncovering a shocking truth about his mother's disappearance and the power of art to create change.


Our Missing Hearts is a timeless story of resilience and hope that speaks to the need for justice and understanding in our world. It's a tale of the lessons and legacies we pass on to our children, and the courage we have to keep searching for love and acceptance even in the face of fear.


Reviews:


"Thought-provoking, heart-wrenching . . . It follows the story of a young boy named Bird on the search for his mother Margaret, a poet whose work was deemed unpatriotic. I was so invested in the future of this mother and son, and I can't wait to hear what you think of this deeply suspenseful story!" --Reese Witherspoon (Reese's Book Club October '22 Pick) "Firmly written and well-executed . . . a meditation on the sometimes accidental power of words . . . I won't give away the splendid conclusion of Ng's book; suffice it to say . . . It's impossible not to be moved by Margaret Miu's courage, or to applaud her craftiness . . . Ng succeeds . . . partly because her outrage is contained and focused, and mostly because she is often captivated by the very words she is using . . . Bird is a brave and believable character, who gives us a relatable portal into a world that seems more like our own every day." --Stephen King, The New York Times Book Review


Ready to embark on this quest? Click here and grab your copy today.





Unusually Grand Ideas, a powerful collection of poems by James Davis May, offers a nuanced and intimate look into the complexities of clinical depression and its effects on marriage and fatherhood. With poems ranging from starkly honest portrayals of pain to hopeful meditations, May explores the darkness of mental illness and the moments of love, humor, and possibility that can lead to healing. By asking the difficult questions that both challenge and sustain us, May's work encourages us to confront the realities of

Unusually Grand Ideas by James May

depression and find meaning in the midst of it.


Review:

"James Davis May's second book begins quietly, chronicling a series of losses, then escalates into a harrowingly exact, artfully rendered portrait of depression: 'I needed a darkness I'd probably survive / to escape the one I knew I wouldn't.' May nails the paralyzing character of his illness and somehow manages, through art and ardor, to negotiate with despair, climbing toward a position that acknowledges darkness but does not deny hope. 'Forgive me, Love, my difficulties with joy, ' he writes to his young daughter, and to himself and his grateful readers, 'sometimes the world doesn't disappoint.' Unusually Grand Ideas is wrenching, genuine, and superb." —Mark Doty


Ready to this book of poems? Click here.



Time's UnDoing by Cheryl A. Head

Time's Undoing is an emotionally powerful novel about Meghan, a young Black journalist, seeking answers to the unsolved murder of her great-grandfather in segregated Birmingham, Alabama. Based on the author's own family history, Meghan's journey leads her to uncover the truth behind the racially motivated trauma that has haunted her family for generations. As she finds newfound friends and supporters in Birmingham, they rally together to fight for justice and create a brighter future for their community.


Reviews:

"An outstanding stand-alone novel that excavates one woman's family history wrapped in racism, violence and legend. Head smoothly incorporates those themes in the gripping, believable plot of Time's Undoing." --South Florida Sun Sentinel


"Times Undoing is a harrowing yet beautiful journey into the heart of darkness that beats in the center of the American Experience. A tour de force." --S.A. Cosby, New York Times bestselling author of Razorblade Tears and Blacktop Wasteland


Ready to fight for justice? Click here.




Celebrating National Reading Month is a great way to explore new books and expand your knowledge. With so many titles to choose from, it’s easy to find something that appeals to you, whether it’s a classic novel, a contemporary bestseller, or a biography of a remarkable woman. By adding these great books to your bookshelf this month, you can enjoy the richness of literature and uncover new stories and perspectives.




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