Help! I’m in a Book Rut

Has anyone read anything good recently? I’m in a book rut; I keep starting books and losing interest a few pages in. And now that it’s summer, I want something JUICY and substantial that I can’t put down. In the words of Stendhal, “A good book is an event in my life.” Over the last year or so, here are the books I devoured:

The Idiot
The First Bad Man
Rabbit: A Memoir
The Rules Do Not Apply
All Grown Up
Hunger: A Memoir of (My) Body
My Name Is Lucy Barton
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark

I’m curious to read this memoir, and many people have raved about this book, but I’ve started it a few times without feeling sucked in. My friend loved An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, and my dad thought Lincoln in the Bardo by George Sanders was the best book he’s read in years. I’m also considering diving back into the old classics, like Wuthering Heights or Rebecca.

What are you reading this summer? What’s something you read in the last few years that you couldn’t put down? ALSO – how long do you stick it out with a book before passing? Would love to hear!!

P.S. I have more posts lined up for this summer! Looking forward to catching up 🙂

Photo by Mary Gaudin.

27 thoughts on “Help! I’m in a Book Rut

  1. Some of my favourite books in the past few years have been Brothers: A Novel by Yu Hua, The High Mountains of Portugal by Yann Martel and The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt. I also enjoyed Fault Lines by Nancy Huston (read in French though so can’t vouch for the English version!) and The House of Scorta by Laurent Gaudé (also read in French, amazing summer book set in Puglia, Italy!). As for classics, I would suggest Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh if you’ve never read it.

    And to answer your question… I would say that 95% of the time I stick it out until the last page!

  2. No Great Mischief by Alistair MacLeod is one of my favourite books.

    The author wrote other short stories, but only one novel – this is it!

    I try to read it every summer when I return to my hometown, by the ocean.

  3. Miss You – Kate Eberlen
    Laura & Emma – Kate Greathead
    The Crazy Rich Asians trilogy if you haven’t.
    Sourdough – Robin Sloan
    Young Jane Young – Gabrielle Zevin
    Standard Deviation – Katherine Heiny


  4. by “JUICY” do you mean with a flare of romance? if so, i LOVED The Bronze Horseman series. i devoured all three.

    Eleanor Elephant Is Completely Fine had me laughing out loud constantly.
    All the Ugly and Wonderful Things left me feeling the feels … lots of them.
    The Sea of Tranquility = five stars. even though it’s technically YA, i’d argue that it’s not.

    i’ve heard Before We Were Yours is really good

    good luck!

  5. Hi Joy! Some books I’ve read over the past year that I loved: Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Prep, Magpie Murders, Everything I Never Told You, and Little Fires Everywhere. I would also highly recommend Sarah Waters if you’ve never read her–Fingersmith in particular is impossible to put down. And as someone who teaches English, I have to endorse re-reading classics. I taught a 19th century British novel course this past spring, and my college students loved Jane Eyre and Dracula. Happy reading!

  6. 100% guilty pleasure here but I tore through The Woman in Cabin 10 by Ruth Ware in a week. (And that’s very fast for me.) A murder mystery set on a luxury cruise ship…what’s not to love?!

  7. Americanah was rich and thick, reminded me how fiction can be more precise than non-fiction sometimes. Also Revolutionary Road I couldn’t put down for the way it makes implicit feelings/themes/interactions in relationships explicit. Tender by Belinda McKeon was slow starting but so expertly written.

  8. The Stranger in the Woods was the best thing I’ve read in ages. It is nonfiction, but I tore through it!

  9. I too cannot finish a book unless I love it. Here are the books I managed to finish despite myself and would recommend to anyone no matter their genre preferences.
    Eva Luna- Isabelle Allendale
    Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil- John Berendt
    Dalva- Jim Harrison
    Half of a Yellow Sun – Adichie
    Woodswoman I- Non-Fiction- Anne Lasbille
    The Big Thurst- Non Fiction- Charles Fishman
    For classics- East of Eden

    Also, when I can’t seem to ground myself enough commit to a novel or a hefty non-fiction I like to try some poetry or short stories. My most recent favorites are Bluets- Maggie Nelson and Milk and Honey- Rupi Kaur

  10. Don’t bother with A Little Life!! I read the whole thing, and even though it’s very well written, it was the most depressing piece of literature I’ve consumed in a LONG TIME. I’ve read the term “torture porn” referenced to it online and that pretty much sums it up. I need to stop reading things that are purely horrible and depressing, it’s not worth it!

    However, I AM enjoying The Female Persuasion right now and would recommend that. 🙂

  11. Ok, so, I’ve started and re-started and have yet to finish Anthropology of an American Girl by Hilary Thayer Hamann…not because I don’t like it but because every single sentence is something that I want to tattoo on my body.

    I am currently devouring Kitchen Confidential (obvi) and kinda want quit my job and go work at Cafe Cluny or something New Yorky like that. I definitely am not going to, but it’s fun to daydream!

    I wish I wanted to read the classics…is this something I’ll grow in to?


  12. I loved reading and recommend Savage the Bones and Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward. Also Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

  13. Highly recommended literary fiction:
    Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi, Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders, and A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles

    Good reads:
    Warlight by Michael Ondaatje; Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng; Exit West by Hamid Moshin; The Underground Railroad by Colin Whitehead

  14. 100 pages. If I can’t get into it by then, I’m done!
    I used to finish a book no matter what, until I decided life is to short to read bad books.

  15. I recently devoured Killers of the Flower Moon, an incredible and devastating true story (that reads like the most captivating mystery novel) about the murders of the Osage tribe in early 1900’s Oklahoma. Might not be your preferred genre but it was too good, I had to share!

    But I also wanted to say that I’m hardly ever in a book rut thanks to Goodreads. It’s basically a social media platform that lets you share/keep track of/review books you read. I bet you’ll find lots of great recommendations there!

  16. The best book I’ve read in my WHOLE LIFE is:

    The Heart’s Invisible Furies. I’ve heard it’s compared to A Little Life (haven’t read it), but more humorous and not quite as dark. It’s a saga about a unwed woman who gives birth in Ireland, and is shunned from her family. She gives the baby to a church, and we follow his life. He is a gay man, and his life is the most compelling one I’ve encountered. Definitely give it a read!

  17. A little late to this thread, but Manhattan Beach and Little Fires Everywhere were two standouts this year… For a beach read/indulgence, anything by Maria Dueñas…

  18. Maestra by LS Hilton – sexy, suspenseful and so well written. A great beach read, and if you like it, there are two sequels!

  19. Hi! I keep refreshing your blog page to see if you’ve posted something new. Absolutely love your writing! Hopefully won’t have to wait much longer.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *