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As we find ourselves still stuck in the middle of a lengthy global pandemic, we can reflect on the many ways our lives have changed since February 2020. We travel less and use our laptops more; we watch movies on Netflix instead of in theaters; we see friends less, do home-workouts instead of going to the gym, and spend way too many hours on social media. Perhaps the biggest change, however, is that this pandemic has given us all a lot more time. Some of us have used that time wisely, and some of us (maybe most of us) have used too much of it learning TikTok dances and doing DIY crafts. Though we often say we want to delve into meditating, or running, or other productive activities, it can be challenging, especially when we are constantly at home near the temptations of our comfy couches and beds. But what about the book that’s been sitting on your bedside table since the summer? You can read while simultaneously snuggled up with your favorite face mask on. If that book doesn’t look so appealing, we’ve created a list of five page-turners that are sure to kick off your reading journey and provide you with a productive hobby to enjoy in your spare time.

How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

How to Win Friends and Influence People was written in 1936, but the principles it teaches for an easier, friendlier life still apply today. Reading this book is sure to benefit anyone and everyone – from a young high school student to a CEO, the tips and rules Carnegie gives for interacting with others are sure to strengthen your communication skills and make negotiations of any sort much more pleasant. How to Win Friends and Influence People includes examples of practical application of the suggestions it promotes and gives real-life accounts of how these suggestions have helped individuals of every age, culture, and social class. There is a reason Carnegie’s book, written almost a century ago now, remains featured on lists of the best books for self-improvement and productivity. Reading How to Win Friends and Influence People will not only strengthen your mind and reignite your reading journey, but will also benefit you in your relationships, business deals, and virtually all other aspects of your life.

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

If you’re a sucker for a good true-crime novel, Behind Closed Doors is the perfect book to pick up. Filled with suspense, mystery, and eerily realistic characters, Paris’ novel will have you stuck on your couch for hours until you finish. Behind Closed Doors is similar to other popular crime mysteries like The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki

Rich Dad, Poor Dad is an absolute must-read for any individual who wants to learn about the smartest ways to save, invest, and spend their money. Especially important for young readers who aren’t yet plagued by student loans or mortgage payments, Rich Dad, Poor Dad offers more than just tips: it presents an entirely new philosophy on how one should perceive money. Rich Dad, Poor Dad is an excellent read for anyone who is new to the world of investing and saving. It touches on many aspects of the financial world, including real estate, the stock market, and taxes. All in all, Rich Dad, Poor Dad will educate you and prepare you to be a better spender (and saver) without making you feel like you’re reading another Economics textbook or enduring another lecture from your parents.

Go Ask Alice by Beatrice Sparks

Go Ask Alice is an interesting, out-of-the-box read that will have you biting your nails and reading all night long. This novel is written in diary form and was originally advertised to have been the actual diary of a teenage girl who died of drug abuse. Though it is now clear that the book is a work of realistic fiction written by Beatrice Sparks, the authentic tone of the diary entries and the vulnerable personality of the main character, Alice, make the reader feel as if she is really reading the words of a relatable teen that fell down the wrong path. Go Ask Alice is a twist on a typical coming-of-age novel and includes all of the pressures young adults face, including those surrounding drugs, alcohol, and sex. However, this novel is definitely not limited to a younger audience, as the powerful, timeless themes it presents resonate with many adults as well.

Tools of Titans by Tim Ferriss

Tim Ferriss is a well-known American entrepreneur with multiple successful TV shows, books, and podcasts. It is only natural that Tools of Titans would also be an extreme success. Tools of Titans is a massive compilation of interviews with “world class performers” – in sport, business, and many other fields. No matter what your interest is, there is definitely a section of Tools of Titans that can help you in some way. The book is divided into three sections: health, wealth, and wisdom. The tips and strategies found in Tools of Titans can help individuals improve their productivity, mindfulness, athleticism, health, budgeting, networking, and virtually any other skill under the sun. Complete with diagrams, real-world examples, and advice from some of the world’s most successful individuals, Tools of Titans is sure to leave you a better person when you finish it.

If it’s been longer than you would like to admit since the last time you finished a book, this list is for you. Any of these books are sure to not only reignite your love for reading, but many of them will also help you in the real world. Better yet, if you have a lapop, you can purchase any of these books online at the Kindle Store and read them online without having to leave home and get to the book store. Happy reading!

Kaleigh Pfohl

Fordham '23

Kaleigh is an International Political Economy major at Fordham and loves writing, reading, and social activism!
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