A new year is upon us. As we step resolutely into the future, many of us are determined to read a little bit more in 2019 than we did in 2018. Reading more is just the kind of positive, low impact resolution that we can actually accomplish, the type that regenerates your spirit and doesn’t require a spare room and an expensive piece of exercise equipment. Because it is enjoyable all on its own, a resolution to read doesn’t even demand a lot of self-discipline. What it does require is books and a plan. Here’s a list of books—written by authors working in a variety of genres—that you might want to consider as you step into your new year of reading.
The plan itself is simple: read early and often. And if you get hooked on a series, achieving your resolution will be that much easier. (This post originally appeared on Amazon Charts in a slightly different format.)
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews – This is the first novel in the popular Kate Daniels series about a down-on-her-luck mercenary who makes her living by cleaning up magic problems. Here is a readable contemporary urban fantasy with some romance, some adventure, and some humor—and it all takes place in contemporary Atlanta. There are currently ten books in the series. So if you like this first novel, you will have a lot more reading to look forward to.
21 Lessons for the 21st Century by Yuval Noah Harari – Harari is one of the most celebrated thinkers of the last decade, and his latest book, which tackles politics, technology, science, and human existence, among other topics, is a great read for someone looking to tackle some big ideas in the new year. Once you are hooked on Harari’s distinct voice and his opinions on how we as people relate to society, culture, and the world at large, you will likely want to check out his previous books, Sapiens and Homo Deus.
Still Life by Louise Penny – Many mystery lovers will already be familiar with Louise Penny’s beloved Chief Inspector Gamache of the Surêté du Québec. For those of you who aren’t familiar with him, or who haven’t yet dipped into Penny’s Chief Inspector Gamache series, you’ve got a treat ahead of you. Being immersed in the quirky, lovable, small Canadian town of Three Pines, and being there with Gamache, is a great way to spend an afternoon. This series is a big bestseller, and Louise Penny writes a new book every year.
My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante – This series, set in Italy, became a popular read for people “in the know”—and now it’s an HBO series. In the four-book series, pseudonymous author Elena Ferrante explores the complicated intensity of female friendship. Beginning in the 1950s, in a poor but vibrant neighborhood on the outskirts of Naples, and spanning almost sixty years, her characters grow from girls to women, from wives to leaders.
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan – Maybe you saw the smash movie this summer--or maybe you have it in your mind to wait and read the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy first. In either case, there is no reason to continue waiting. This series will entertain you well into the new year, delivering love and laughter, and taking you to places you can only imagine. Until now.
The Path to Power: The Lyndon Johnson Years by Robert Caro – I have always felt that winter is an excellent time to hunker down with a big nonfiction book, and this celebrated series by Robert Caro requires a significant amount of hunkering. The Path to Power is the story of the rise to national power of a desperately poor young man from the Texas Hill Country, revealing in extraordinary detail the genesis of the almost superhuman drive, energy, and ambition that set LBJ apart. At 960 pages, you will also need to summon some energy and ambition. And there are three other books in the series.
Amazon Original Stories: Dark Corners by various authors – If baby steps is more your speed, check out these shorter works by well-known authors. Dark Corners features seven short works of fiction that are designed to make you afraid of the dark again. And best of all, they are free with Prime.
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