Reading helps us to examine our world in new ways. It provides us with opportunities to become more educated on an infinite number of topics and allows us to look at issues ways we may never have before. Reading gives us insight into relationships and helps us understand people, teaches us empathy, and presents opportunities to ask questions.
Here are 4 benefits of reading, and 30 book suggestions for you to enjoy!
1. LEARN ABOUT INTERESTING TOPICS
Different Aspects of World War II
Women were chosen to be food tasters for Hitler in At The Wolf’s Table by Rosella Postorino.
Challenges of Assimilation
A Place For Us by Fatima Farheen Mirza explores a Muslim Indian American family and their religion and traditions.
Performance Art at MOMA
The Museum of Modern Love by Heather Rose is a fiction story centered around Marina Abramović and her performance art exhibit in 2010.
South Africa and Apartheid
Hum If You Don’t Know the Words and If You Want to Make God Laugh by Bianca Marais tells stories of women and family brought together through tragedies.
The Girl Who Smiled Beads by Clemantine Wamariya is a memoir about a girl who survived the genocide in Rwanda and the aftermath.
Death Row and Prison Life
The Last Suppers by Mandy Mikulencak and The Sun Does Shine by Anthony Ray Hinton give a dismal picture of what goes on behind bars and the strength needed to overcome.
The Korean War
Pachinko by Min Jin Lee and If You Leave Me by Crystal Hana Kim teach us about the lives of Korean refugees.
AIDS in the 1980s and 90s
The AIDS crisis devastated so many and deeply impacted families in the The Great Believers by Rebecca Makkai and Now Everyone Will Know by Maggie Kneip.
Little by Edward Carey is a story based on the imagined life of Madame Tussaud, Eleanor Roosevelt and her unconventional relationship is depicted in White Houses by Amy Bloom, and the life of the strong female poet, Forugh Farrokhzad is revealed in Song of a Captive Bird by Jasmin Darznik.
Strong Women That Were Wronged
These are devastating stories of women in the past who were not protected by the government, like the rabbits in The Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly, and the factory workers in The Radium Girls by Kate Moore.
Grand Central Terminal History
Fictitious stories about the actual art school located above Grand Central Terminal are depicted in The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis.
2. EXAMINE COMPLEX RELATIONSHIPS
Loosely based on the author and Philip Roth, we read about a young girl in a relationship with an older male in Asymmetry by Lisa Halliday.
A look back on the memories of the narrator’s first love, there is a young male in a relationship with an older female in The Only Story by Julian Barnes.
Complex mother, daughter and sister relationships play out in Jane Green’s The Sunshine Sisters and Jamie Brenner’s The Husband Hour .
3. LEARN TO EMPATHIZE
People are always saying reading encourages empathy and it is really true…When you are reading you are made more aware of other people’s feelings and given the opportunity to understand people that are different.
Eleanor Oliphant by Gail Honeyman, The Extraordinary Life of Sam Hell by Bob Dugoni and A Boy Made of Blocks by Keith Stuart are about those that just don’t fit in; similar to the characters in the short story collection We Love Anderson Cooper by R.L. Maizes.
4. EXPLORE THE UNKNOWN
Some books provide opportunities to ask ourselves WHAT IF?
The Circle by Dave Eggers examines the power of social media.
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline shows the future of video games.
The Farm by Joanne Ramos explores surrogate farms.
Vox by Christina Dalcher takes a dystopian look at government control.
Wow, there are so many awesome benefits to reading! Awesome post! Really made me want to read some of those books! I like reading books as it transports me to another place and I also like learning more about historical events particularly, World War 2, like you put. Right now I’m reading All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which is set in World War 2.
Loved All the Light You Cannot See! Enjoy😀
This is so great – love the categories. And honored to be included!
Looking forward to reading The Chelsea Girls this summer! xo
Such great collection of books, totally loved them !