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You’re scrolling through Pinterest, and you see an aesthetic photo of a woman sitting by a large window, drinking a steaming cup of tea with her nose in a book. Looks cozy right? Well, that could be you. No worries if you aren’t into reading or you cannot seem to find a book you like. When you do find a book you enjoy, reading will seem more like an escape rather than work. Below are five books that are easy to read, have captivating plotlines and meaningful themes to get lost in.

Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman

Shaped by a traumatic childhood, Eleanor Oliphant is an eccentric loner who is perfectly fine with her mundane life. Until she isn’t. When Eleanor meets Raymond, the talkative information technology guy at work, she realizes human connection might not be so bad after all. Eleanor must learn to open herself up to heal herself from her past. Reese Witherspoon is producing a movie based on this book, so make sure you read it before the movie hits theaters. This book reassures us that everyone is a little broken inside, but no one is beyond repair.

The Japanese Lover by Isabel Allende

This book is for all the romantics at heart. Become entangled in the multi-generational story of a love that is forced to hide in the shadows but is brought to life almost 70 years later. Alma Belasco is sent to live in San Francisco as World War II continues to rage on in Europe. There she meets the Japanese gardener’s son, Ichimei Fukuda, and their love grows. But it is a love that they cannot show. A care worker, Irina, later discovers letters from Ichimei as she aids Alma near the end of her life. Irina, along with Alma’s grandson, Seth, discovers a decades-old romance that never died.

In Cold Blood by Truman Capote

Looking for something more thrilling? Prepare yourself for a true story of a brutal crime and the enthralling investigation that followed. In 1959, the Clutter family was murdered in their home in Holcomb, Kansas. The murders shook the nation, and seven years after they occurred, Capote wrote a non-fiction novel detailing the events and how the crime was solved. The idea that a crime this horrific could happen in such a small, rural town reinforced the idea that evil lives where we least expect it. I won’t say anything more about the plot, and you’ll just have to read the book to find out what really happened. 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

Buckle-up for a slow-burning modern classic about a young woman’s descent into madness. Esther Greenwood is a college student in the 1950s who cannot seem to grasp the notion of becoming a homely housewife and mother. She is rejected from a writing class she had planned to take and is forced to go back to live with her mother. Delaying with marriage pressure, career uncertainty and feelings of unreality, Esther starts displaying concerning habits and is checked into a psychiatric facility. Plath’s blunt and truthful writing makes the most serious moments seem almost comical. The novel rejects the typical ideas of how women should act and who they should be, and for that, it was occasionally banned from schools a few decades ago. All the more reason to read it. “The Bell Jaris a riveting novel that every woman should escape to once in a while.

American Dirt Jeanine Cummins

A book all too relevant in the migrant crisis America faces today, author Jeanine Cummins tells the story of Lydia, a mother fleeing her beloved hometown in Mexico due to violence to provide a better life for her 8-year-old son, Luca. The ups and downs of their journey to the border are a wake-up call to the hardships of immigrants making a journey that we cannot even begin to fathom. The book’s plot follows the urgency of pace as mother and son try to outrun the violence that follows them all while looking ahead to the future that could await them. “American Dirt” is a sorrowful but hopeful story of a mother’s love and determination for her son in a world that seems to only bring obstacles.

Romanticize your reading time

You could find the most perfect book to read but it won’t matter if you never set aside the time to read it. Going back to the aesthetic Pinterest scene, make yourself a hot drink and a sweet snack and find a comfy and warm place to settle in. Romanticizing your reading time and having planned reading time ensures that the day won’t get away from you. Plus, distraction-free me-time? Sign me up!

So, check out some of these books, or maybe even another book that’s been on your to-read list. Most importantly, make sure you’re reading a book you want to read, not a book people expect you to read. Sure “War and Peace” might be an impressive read, but probably not a fun one. So, keep the pressure off because reading a book is a great way to relax, improve your vocabulary and learn something new.

Sophia is a Psychology and Criminology major at the Unversity of Florida. She loves to read, go on hikes, eat with friends and meet new people. Sophia is excited to be writing for Her Campus this year and cannot wait to share her passion and interests with the community!
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