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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

2020 really put us all through the wringer. You might have found that it was harder to concentrate on books or reading for pleasure, but 2021 is the perfect time to try and refresh your reading habits. So, I’ve curated a wide array of fiction and nonfiction books to help you start your new year off right. 

Chronicles of a Radical Hag (With Recipes) – Lorna Landvik


This book is charming, witty, and rich with life advice. When a beloved local column writer suffers a stroke, the paper’s owner decides to go through decades of publications and reprint some of beloved writer’s work to soothe the minds of the community while their she recovers. Her column seems to touch everyone, from young to old and from every walk of life. The characters are rich, the memoirs are sweet, and it made me cry more than once. 

Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life: A Sortabiography – Eric Idle

One of the members of the iconic comedy group Monty Python, Eric Idle recounts hisamazing life. Close friends with celebrities like Robin Williams and George Harrison, he describes their shared moments together in brilliant witty detail. I laughed, I cried, and I enjoyed looking deeper into the life of my favorite Python. Studded with musical bits and comedy gags, I especially recommend the audiobook version of this book, which is read by the author in his own style.

Great Goddesses: Life Lessons From Myths and Monsters – Nikita Gill

This poetry collection is crafted from pure magic. Inspired by Greek mythology, the author evaluates our modern times and the experiences of every stage of life to give advice from the perspective of mythological figures. The style is similar to Amanda Lovelace, but longer and more flowing. Gorgeously illustrated and full of magic, the book’s lessons speak to both modern feminism and ancient wisdom.

Love and Other Words – Christina Lauren

This love story picked me up and shook me around until I was a ball of jelly. Macy, a successful but stressed pediatrics resident, runs into “the one that got away”, Elliot, and renews her connection to him, unraveling years of hurt and secrets. Bouncing between a sweet childhood remembrance and a present full of confusion, Macy and Elliot work to find their way back to each other based off a love of words, books, and being together.

Elevation – Stephen King

If you’ve read my other articles, you know that I am a huge fan of Stephen King. But this work stands out as one of his milder and more unique pieces. The main character discovers one day that he is getting inexplicably lighter, and might just float away, so he puts his affairs in order so that when his time comes he can float away with a clear conscience. Short and bittersweet, King comments on the inevitability of death and the human condition.

These 5 books, ranging from autobiography to poetry, all changed my outlook on life. If there’s anything 2021 needs, it’s a feeling of shrugging off 2020 and making the best out of our tumultuous world. Let these books bring a little escape and positivity into your life to start off 2021 in the best way: with the turning of a page. Happy reading!

Hi! My name is C, I'm originally from Oregon and came to MSU to pursue my passions: fencing, gymnastics, theater, and writing. In addition to writing for HerCampus, I'm an avid fanfiction author/reader and also write plays and novels. When not on the fencing strip with the MSU Fencing team, I'm nose-deep in a good book or painting some wild art. Follow me on instagram @c.rosewidmann to see pictures of my furbabies.
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