books recommendation help

  • Books by Mood & Emotion
  • Books from World Map
  • Books by Character & Plot
  • Books based on Bestsellers
  • About Whichbook
  • Choose Mood & Emotion
  • Explore World Map
  • Find by Character & Plot
  • Start from Familiar

Discover your next great read

Fancy something unusual and unpredictable? Funny or sexy? No problem. Use our unique mood and emotion search to find great books with exactly the flavour you've asked for.

 Mood & Emotion

Trending books

The Travelling Cat Chronicles by Hiro Arikawa

Start from Bestsellers: discover new books based on something familiar

A Heart Full of Headstones by Ian Rankin

Quick starting points

Books We Love

Great reads, thoughtfully curated by npr, what would you like to read.

Mix and match the filters below and the years above to explore more than 3,600 recommendations from NPR staff and trusted critics.

Selected books ( ) Clear filters

Authors & Events


Join Our Authors for Upcoming Events

  • New & Noteworthy
  • Bestsellers
  • Popular Series
  • The Must-Read Books of 2023
  • Popular Books in Spanish
  • Coming Soon
  • Literary Fiction
  • Mystery & Thriller
  • Science Fiction
  • Spanish Language Fiction
  • Biographies & Memoirs
  • Spanish Language Nonfiction
  • Dark Star Trilogy
  • Ramses the Damned
  • Penguin Classics
  • Award Winners
  • The Parenting Book Guide
  • Books to Read Before Bed
  • Books for Middle Graders
  • Trending Series
  • Magic Tree House
  • The Last Kids on Earth
  • Planet Omar
  • Beloved Characters
  • The World of Eric Carle
  • Llama Llama
  • Junie B. Jones
  • Peter Rabbit
  • Board Books
  • Picture Books
  • Guided Reading Levels
  • Middle Grade
  • Activity Books
  • Trending This Week
  • Top Must-Read Romances
  • Page-Turning Series To Start Now
  • Books to Cope With Anxiety
  • Short Reads
  • Anti-Racist Resources
  • Staff Picks
  • Memoir & Fiction
  • Features & Interviews
  • Emma Brodie Interview
  • James Ellroy Interview
  • Nicola Yoon Interview
  • Qian Julie Wang Interview
  • Deepak Chopra Essay
  • How Can I Get Published?
  • For Book Clubs
  • Reese's Book Club
  • Oprah’s Book Club
  • happy place " data-category="popular" data-location="header">Guide: Happy Place
  • the last white man " data-category="popular" data-location="header">Guide: The Last White Man
  • Authors & Events >
  • Our Authors
  • Michelle Obama
  • Zadie Smith
  • Emily Henry
  • Amor Towles
  • Colson Whitehead
  • In Their Own Words
  • Qian Julie Wang
  • Patrick Radden Keefe
  • Phoebe Robinson
  • Emma Brodie
  • Ta-Nehisi Coates
  • Laura Hankin
  • Recommendations >
  • 21 Books To Help You Learn Something New
  • The Books That Inspired "Saltburn"
  • Insightful Therapy Books To Read This Year
  • Historical Fiction With Female Protagonists
  • Best Thrillers of All Time
  • Manga and Graphic Novels
  • happy place " data-category="recommendations" data-location="header">Start Reading Happy Place
  • How to Make Reading a Habit with James Clear
  • Why Reading Is Good for Your Health
  • 10 Facts About Taylor Swift
  • New Releases
  • Memoirs Read by the Author
  • Our Most Soothing Narrators
  • Press Play for Inspiration
  • Audiobooks You Just Can't Pause
  • Listen With the Whole Family

Penguin Random House

What Should I Read Next?

Your book recommendation quiz.

anywhere in the sun!

Share the quiz to show your results !

Visit other sites in the Penguin Random House Network

Raise kids who love to read

Today's Top Books

Want to know what people are actually reading right now?

An online magazine for today’s home cook

Just for joining you’ll get personalized recommendations on your dashboard daily and features only for members.

Don’t Know What to Read Next? This Comprehensive Book Map Can Help

If you're looking for a book recommendation, check out TheLibraryMap. The online tool makes it easy to discover new titles based on works you already know and love.

By Michele Debczak | Oct 26, 2023

So many books, so little time.

Half the battle of nurturing a reading habit is figuring out which book to read next. Whether you prefer fiction or nonfiction, classic literature or new releases, the diversity of titles to choose from can be daunting. If you’re desperate for book recommendations, TheLibraryMap is the perfect starting point.

TheLibraryMap is an online tool that organizes 100,000 book titles in a way that’s visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Each bubble on the map represents a different book, with the size of the bubble reflecting the number of user reviews. Genres and topics are color-coded, and similar titles are clustered in close proximity to one another. If you read and enjoyed Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens, for example, you can browse that area of the map for books you possibly would find next to it on the shelf of a bookstore. The Secrets We Keep by Kate Hewitt and All the Ugly and Wonderful Things by Bryn Greenwood are a couple of the related titles that it recommends. 

If you already have a specific read in mind and are looking for similar recommendations, inputting the name into the search bar at the top of the page brings you straight to it. You can also create an account to add any books that catch your interest to a virtual “to be read” pile on the website. Explore the comprehensive database for yourself here .

Between self-published and commercially published works, millions of new books are released each year. When navigating the wide world of literature , it helps to have a resource you can trust. Here are some books recommended by the Mental Floss team.

The 11 Best Sites for Finding What Books to Read Next

Want your next read to be a good one? These are the book recommendation websites you should look up for books to read next.

Trying to find good books to read during your commute or planning out your summer reading early? There is nothing more daunting than going to a bookstore without a shopping list. So, make sure that your next read is going to be a good one.

There are plenty of sites you can use to look up books based on your personal taste, favorite authors and titles, or even based on a specific plot summary or character.

Whether user-generated, based on recommendations, or using a book recommendation search engine, there are a variety of ways that these sites are going to answer the question: what should I read next?

Gnooks is probably the simplest of these sites to use. You can enter up to three author's names, and Gnooks will recommend another author you might like.

The interface is clean and distraction-free, but if you want to find out more about the recommended authors, you'll have to take your search elsewhere.

The only other feature on Gnooks is the option to make one of three selections: I like it , I don't like it , and I don't know . Making these selections probably helps Gnooks algorithm improve.

2. Goodreads

You should already be familiar with this book community. Goodreads is packed with features that go beyond book recommendations. You will have to sign up for an account to use the site's book recommendations.

There are several ways to discover books using Goodreads . You can search for a title, and you'll see a list of other titles users also enjoyed. If you sign up for a free Goodreads account and rate books that you've read, the site can also offer up recommendations based on your reading history.

In addition to these features, given that Goodreads is a social network, you can also scan the reading lists of other users and friends to find book recommendations.

Some users have also created themed lists which you can use to discover your next read. You can either search for titles you enjoyed and see which lists they appear on, and find other titles you might like.

For example, searching for The Alexandria Quartet is featured on a variety of lists such as best post World War II fiction, alongside other greats such as Catch 22. But then it also does wind up on a list of best books ever, alongside Twilight.

Goodreads isn't the only site that you can use to catalog your book collection and also benefit from the community's wisdom on what to read next. LibraryThing is another good example.

3. What Should I Read Next?

What Should I Read Next? (WSIRN) is a book recommendation search engine. It asks you to enter your favorite book and suggests similar books that you might find interesting. It also lets you browse books by subject.

WSIRN asks users to create reading lists of their favorite books. Thanks to these reading lists and its algorithm, it can understand which books are related to each other.

You can also add books to three default lists: books you liked, books you disliked, books you want to read. This will not only help the algorithm to improve, but you'll get better recommendations. Besides these three lists, you can create custom ones and make your lists private. WSIRN has a Quotes section as well, where you can discover new writers and read relevant quotations.

Unlike most other sites listed here, Litsy doesn't rely on an algorithm. Instead, it relies entirely on its user base for this information. Though you can search for books without signing up, creating a Litsy account gives you access to more features. You can search for books, read reviews, add friends, create posts, and of course find your next read.

Once you've signed up, you'll get a list of users it recommends following. You can also search for other users to follow by searching for your favorite books and seeing who else has left reviews for them. When you want to recommend books for other users, you can't just give the book a thumbs up; you have to leave a short review.

And that's how you're going to find your recommendations—by seeing what other Litsy users are reading. Users post photos of the book (or screenshots of the ebook), along with their reviews.

To find a good book to read, you'll probably want to go directly to the profile of someone who has read other books you've enjoyed and also given them a ringing endorsement. Moreover, Litsy has a mobile application for recommending books .

Download: Litsy for Android | iOS (Free)

5. is another no-frills website without much of a UI to speak of, but it's a great option for those of you who are fans of thrillers. With's advanced search function, you can search for books based on plot, setting or even details about the protagonists. Titles are also accompanied by a plot summary, as well as setting and character information.

Plots or themes include a variety of thrillers, horror, and adventure—so this feature won't be wildly useful if you're looking for something a little more literary.

You can also select the era in which the story is set, the characteristics of the protagonist and the antagonist, the setting, and the book's writing style. Besides the advanced search, it has an option for searching books by title or author.

Amazon should be an obvious option for searching book recommendations. You can find similar titles for any book since the search result is accompanied by a Customers who bought this item also bought list.

While Amazon uses this feature primarily to get you to buy more stuff, you can also take a look at the recommendations for items that are frequently bought together:

And, don't forget that Amazon is also home to the Kindle and its massive reading community too.

7. TasteDive

TasteDive (formerly TasteKid) is a great site for both book and author recommendations, along with other forms of entertainment. Just enter the title of your favorite book or your favorite author, and TasteDive will generate its recommendations.

TasteDive isn't only about book recommendations. You can also use it for music, movies and TV shows. By the same token, you can find recommended books based on other books, as well as based on authors, TV shows, movies, music, and more.

While TasteDive's recommendations are often pretty accurate, searching for recommendations based on newer titles or more obscure authors won't yield any results.

8. Whichbook

Whichbook is another site that offers up suggestions based on specific characteristics rather than similar books - you can make your choices based on the mood of the book, using a series of sliders: Happy to Sad, Funny to Serious, Safe to Disturbing, and so forth.

Drag up to four sliders around to make your selection for each characteristic of the book, and Whichbook will offer up a long list of recommendations. You can also opt for making your selection based on specifics regarding character, plot, and setting. Additionally, you can find books by country and browse through bestsellers.

BookBub is worth a look for its handpicked recommendations. You can also save yourself some money with discounts on books they think you'll want to read.

When you first sign up, BookBub will ask you some questions on what kinds of recommendations you want (updates from authors you love, recommendations from people you trust, info on discounts etc.), and of course information on the genres of books you like.

You can also follow your favorite authors, and in some cases (like Margaret Atwood for example), you'll get recommendations straight from them. In addition to recommendations for people you follow and auto-generated lists, the editors' picks is a great way to discover new titles in your favorite genres.

10. Olmenta

Use Olmenta for random finds if you love to be surprised. The site is simple: you can select books based on nine genres including poetry, children's books, and business.

There are no signups, no algorithms, and no real explanation as to how the books end up on the list, except for a link to recommend books via Twitter to the brains behind the operation.

The Subreddits /r/Books and /r/BookSuggestions are a good place to go to find other like-minded people on the hunt for a good read. You can search the previous threads, or create a post yourself asking for suggestions if you're looking for something in particular.

/r/Books also has a book recommendations tab, where you'll find a weekly recommendation thread . Here, you can request suggestions and can help out other readers with suggestions of your own.

Add Books to Your Reading List

If you're having a hard time finding books to read, it's worth giving these websites a shot. Some share recommendations based on user reviews, while others use algorithms and databases to find the book you'll love.

Once you visit a few of these sites, you can easily find several books to include in your reading list. After adding all the book suggestions to your reading list, you can visit Amazon or other online stores to get your copy.

Five Books

  • Historical Biographies
  • The Best Memoirs and Autobiographies
  • Philosophical Biographies
  • World War 2
  • World History
  • American History
  • British History
  • Chinese History
  • Russian History
  • Ancient History (up to 500)
  • Medieval History (500-1400)
  • Military History
  • Art History
  • Travel Books
  • Ancient Philosophy
  • Contemporary Philosophy
  • Ethics & Moral Philosophy
  • Great Philosophers
  • Social & Political Philosophy
  • Classical Studies
  • New Science Books
  • Maths & Statistics
  • Popular Science
  • Physics Books
  • Climate Change Books
  • How to Write
  • English Grammar & Usage
  • Books for Learning Languages
  • Linguistics
  • Political Ideologies
  • Foreign Policy & International Relations
  • American Politics
  • British Politics
  • Religious History Books
  • Mental Health
  • Neuroscience
  • Child Psychology
  • Film & Cinema
  • Opera & Classical Music
  • Behavioural Economics
  • Development Economics
  • Economic History
  • Financial Crisis
  • World Economies
  • How to Invest
  • Artificial Intelligence/AI Books
  • Data Science Books
  • Sex & Sexuality
  • Death & Dying
  • Food & Cooking
  • Sports, Games & Hobbies
  • NEW Fiction
  • World Literature
  • Literary Criticism
  • Literary Figures
  • Classic English Literature
  • American Literature
  • Comics & Graphic Novels
  • Fairy Tales & Mythology
  • Historical Fiction
  • Crime Novels
  • Science Fiction
  • Short Stories
  • South Africa
  • United States
  • Arctic & Antarctica
  • Afghanistan
  • Myanmar (Formerly Burma)
  • Netherlands
  • Kids Recommend Books for Kids
  • High School Teachers Recommendations
  • Prizewinning Kids' Books
  • Popular Series Books for Kids
  • Ages Baby-2
  • Books for Teens and Young Adults
  • Best Audiobooks for Kids
  • Environment
  • Best Books for Teens of 2023
  • Best Kids' Books of 2023
  • Political Novels
  • New History Books
  • New Literary Fiction
  • New Historical Fiction
  • New Biography
  • New Memoirs
  • New World Literature
  • New Economics Books
  • New Climate Books
  • New Math Books
  • New Philosophy Books
  • New Psychology Books
  • New Physics Books
  • Actors Read Great Books
  • Books Narrated by Their Authors
  • Best Audiobook Thrillers
  • Best History Audiobooks
  • Nobel Literature Prize
  • Booker Prize (fiction)
  • Baillie Gifford Prize (nonfiction)
  • Financial Times (nonfiction)
  • Wolfson Prize (history)
  • Royal Society (science)
  • Pushkin House Prize (Russia)
  • Walter Scott Prize (historical fiction)
  • Arthur C Clarke Prize (sci fi)
  • The Hugos (sci fi & fantasy)
  • Audie Awards (audiobooks)

Expert Commentary on...

Our most recommended books.

Looking for a good book? We have the world’s largest collection of expert book recommendations. Over the past decade, we’ve asked hundreds of experts to pick the five best books in their field—and to explain in detail why those particular books are so important. The results of this 10+ year project are listed below. These are books that have been recommended over and over again, suggesting they are some of the most important books ever written. The experts who picked them for us range from philosophers to politicians , economists to novelists, eminent historians to comedians . With one or two noteworthy exceptions, our most recommended books are not the latest books being promoted by publishers, but books that have stood the test of time. Many are already out of copyright and available for free , though if your budget can stand it, there’s a lot to be said for the informative introduction and footnotes that a good editor, selected by an established publisher, can provide.

Our book recommendations are listed in order, so our most recommended books appear at the top. Each entry includes the number of experts who have recommended that particular book. Click on each book to find out what experts we interviewed said about it in greater detail.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill

by John Stuart Mill

Is diversity of opinion valuable? Why should we care about free speech ? When can someone legitimately interfere in our lives to stop us from doing something? What should restrict the scope of our personal liberty?

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill was originally published in 1859, but his exploration of these questions still feels incredibly contemporary. On Liberty remains a central text of the modern liberal tradition, as our interviews below with philosophers, politicians, historians and political commentators make clear.

Recommended 12 times

“What this book does is hammer home one truth. Mill described it as a ‘philosophic textbook of a single truth’. According to him it was hugely influenced by his discussions with his wife, Harriet Taylor, though she didn’t physically write it, and it’s his name on the cover. As the title suggests, it’s focused on liberty, on freedom. It puts forward what’s come to be known as ‘the harm principle’ which is that the only justification for the state or other people interfering with the lives of adults is if they risk harming others with their actions” Read more...

Key Philosophical Texts in the Western Canon

Nigel Warburton , Philosopher

“ On Liberty is the classic statement of traditional liberal values about the limits of state coercion. It’s an eloquent argument for personal liberty on the grounds that it’s the condition in which human beings are most likely to flourish and be happy.” Read more...

The best books on The Rule of Law

Jonathan Sumption , Historian

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

War and Peace

By leo tolstoy.

War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy is regarded by many as one of the greatest novels ever written. In our interviews, philosophers, historians and novelists have recommended it as critical reading for understanding a variety of subjects. Like many great books, it was greeted with some scepticism on publication.

“Tolstoy famously said of War and Peace that it wasn’t even a novel. In a sense, it’s a total history of that epoch in Russia in a fictional form…It’s very interesting what happens with the novel linguistically. There’s been a study of the French words in the novel, because there are a large number, and they feature particularly in the early phases of the novel. Towards the end, the novel becomes more Russian in its literary and vernacular style, in its lexicon and syntax. In a sense, the Russian language is the true character of the novel. The growing Russianness of the language is the epiphany, that moment of self-discovery, that the Russian aristocracy goes through at that time.” Read more...

The Best Russian Novels

Orlando Figes , Historian

“ War and Peace was ground-breaking in its age, because up until then, war had always been something that was glorified; he looked at war through the psychology of the people experiencing it, and the way they expressed that experience in their lives. That was a profound breakthrough. For instance, he shows people suffering from post-traumatic stress.” Read more...

The best books on Peace

Steve Killelea , Nonprofit Leaders & Activist

Middlemarch by George Eliot


By george eliot.

Middlemarch by  George Eliot (real name: Mary Ann Evans), was first published in 1871. The novel is set in the fictitious English town of Middlemarch during 1829–1832, and follows several distinct, intersecting stories with a large cast of characters. It is one of Five Books’ most recommended books.

Recommended 11 times

“I think one does often turn to novelists to get a sense of other people’s lives. It was written in 1871, but it’s written about a period 40 or so years before, the period when Ada Lovelace flourished. It’s about an intelligent woman trapped by the expectations and the circumstances of the society she finds herself in.” Read more...

The best books on Ada Lovelace

Ursula Martin , Mathematician

“ Middlemarch is staggeringly brilliant, but it’s a labour of love—it’ll take even the most diligent weeks to read…. It’s one thing to enjoy a book, and quite another to to cherish the time spent with a set of characters. I’m envious of anyone getting to know Dorothea Brooke, Tertius Lydgate, Mary Garth and Casaubon for the first time. If I could wipe my memory clean and go back and reread it fresh, I would.” Read more...

The Best Long Books To Read in Lockdown

Five Books ,

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell

Nineteen Eighty-Four

By george orwell.

Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell is a dystopian novel written in 1948. Often a standard text in school for teenagers, 1984 is many people’s first introduction to totalitarianism. Ominously prescient in some ways, (such as the scope for surveillance to reach into our lives through the ubiquity of screens) and wide off the mark in others (Big Brother’s omnipresent, unitary police state is not a reality we live with in the West), it makes fascinating reading.

Some of Orwell’s inventions from 1984 entered the English language, like ‘Thought Police,’ ‘Big Brother’ ‘Newspeak’ and of course,  the general concept of an ‘Orwellian’ society or future.

Recommended 9 times

“In terms of how technology is working in our modern surveillance powers, it’s a terrifyingly prophetic book in some of its implications for 21st-century human life. Orwell would deny that it was prophecy; he said it was a warning. But in fact, distinguished Orwell scholar Professor Peter Davis once made a list of all the things that Orwell got right, and it was a couple of fairly long paragraphs, and it was really rather terrifying.” Read more...

The Best George Orwell Books

D J Taylor , Biographer

“ Nineteen Eighty-Four is seriously read in China by intellectuals, who see similarities between the world of George Orwell and present-day China.” Read more...

The best books on Dystopia and Utopia

Chan Koonchung , Novelist

Republic by Plato

In Ancient Greek , Plato’s famous dialogue was known as Politeia. The Romans called it Res Publica,  the title we now use. Below, philosophers and political scientists recommend which edition of Plato’s Republic to read and explain, in detail, why it remains a work of such significance:

Recommended 8 times

“The Republic is a mixture of metaphysics, political philosophy, and a kind of psychology about the balance of the different parts of the soul. Many of its ideas have subsequently resonated throughout the history of philosophy.” Read more...
“It’s very readable even if you aren’t a professional philosopher. Take the story of ‘The Ring of Gyges,’ which raises the question of whether you would continue to act like a good person if you had a ring of invisibility that let you get away with doing whatever you wanted to do. That’s a fascinating thought experiment that anybody can appreciate.” Read more...

The best books on World Philosophy

Bryan Van Norden , Philosopher

The Confessions by Augustine (translated by Maria Boulding)

The Confessions

By augustine (translated by maria boulding).

“It is an endlessly capacious, inventive, stimulating book. I won’t say it has something for everyone but it has, for its sheer blend of different approaches, a great deal for a great number of people. The fact that the whole thing is presented as a conversation with God, for a start. And Augustine is remarkably self-exposing and self-disclosing. It’s an extraordinary book for someone who’s just been ordained as a bishop to write. The Confessions had to be on this list and it is most people’s way into Augustine. It is this unbelievably pliant and fruitful work. Every time you read it, you notice new things.” Read more...

The Best Augustine Books

Catherine Conybeare , Classicist

“St Augustine is, in some ways, misunderstood and misappropriated in modern scholarship and popular perception. I can understand why, because reading him can be a bit of a hard slog to begin with. His Confessions can seem unfashionably self-hating, and the drama that’s being played out, the way he makes a first-person address towards this God figure, feels a bit artificial and it can put people off. But if you work out what’s going on, what his motivation is, and what the context is, what he’s making is an incredibly modern, intimate, psychological diagnosis of the human condition.” Read more...

The best books on The Saints

Simon Yarrow , Historian

The Odyssey by Homer and translated by Emily Wilson

The Odyssey

By homer and translated by emily wilson.

“Tell me about a complicated man.

Muse, tell me how he wandered and was lost

when he had wrecked the holy town of Troy,

and where he went, and who he met, the pain

he suffered in the storms at sea, and how

he worked to save his life and bring his men

back home.”

Odyssey , opening lines (Emily Wilson translation)

If you’re interested in Homer and the poem of the Odyssey, the 2017 translation by Emily Wilson, Professor of Classical Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, is a great place to start. Not only is it a highly readable translation, but the introduction provides a lot of context and historical background for anyone wondering who Homer was, when the poem was first written down etc.

Many of us would love to listen to the Odyssey, as that’s how it was first delivered back in 700 BCE. Fortunately, the American actress Claire Danes has narrated the audiobook—so stick in your headphones, put your feet on the sofa, and press play.

“I find the Odyssey so fun to read because it is partly about impression management. In addition to being a strong, savvy, competent hero figure, Odysseus is a storyteller with great powers of persuasion and negotiation. He influences people and convinces them that he’s trustworthy. At times, he needs to trick people.” Read more...

The best books on Making A Good Impression

Övül Sezer ,

“Homer was prototypical literature, and in a sense the holy book of ancient Greece. It laid out much of the fundamental mythology; and for a certain period it was even performed on state occasions. It was the ultimate classic for the ancient world.” Read more...

The best books on Virgil

Sarah Ruden , Literary Scholar

Frankenstein (Book) by Mary Shelley

Frankenstein (Book)

By mary shelley.

Mary Shelley started writing the Frankenstein story when she was 18, and it was published in London two years later. Her chilling tale of how Victor Frankenstein put together a creature by sewing together human parts is said to be the first true science fiction story. If you’ve never read it, or read it a long time ago, it’s definitely worth picking up again, as the subtleties of the original book, entitled Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus, may have been displaced in your mind by the various cartoons and monster-movies connected to the original only by the name ‘Frankenstein’ (and some people, who haven’t read the book, think Frankenstein is the name of the monster, rather than the name of the scientist who put the creature together).

Read below why it’s one of the books most frequently recommended by the experts we’ve interviewed—on subjects as diverse as fear of death, women and society, and transhumanism.

Recommended 7 times

“Brian Aldiss has famously argued that science fiction starts with Mary Shelley’s novel, and many people have agreed with him.” Read more...

Science Fiction Classics

Adam Roberts , Novelist

“ Frankenstein can be seen as an experiment—or almost a laboratory—that brings together science and literature… Frankenstein is very much a novel for the twenty-first century. Mary Shelley was trying to push the boundaries of science and technology. The details of the science have changed, but the big questions remain as important for us today as they were for her. “ Read more...

The best books on The Gothic

Nick Groom , Literary Scholar

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright

The Looming Tower

By lawrence wright.

The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is a detailed narrative history of the events leading to 9/11 , based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews. Find out below why it is one of Five Books’ most recommended books.

“Reading this one book gives you an excellent grasp of the human story and the context from which al-Qaeda emerged.” Read more...

The best books on Terrorism

Audrey Kurth Cronin , Political Scientist

“Former counterterrorism agent John O’Neill, who died in 9/11, is the hero of this book. He played a central part in trying to take Al-Qaeda apart.” Read more...

The best books on Osama bin Laden

Peter Bergen , Journalist

Scoop by Evelyn Waugh

by Evelyn Waugh

“I think it is the best description of a foreign correspondent’s career, and I doubt it will ever be bettered.” Read more...

The best books on Spies

Richard Beeston , Foreign Correspondent

“Everything about this book is perfect, from the prose to the characters to the Swiss-clock workings of the plot.” Read more...

Andy Borowitz recommends the best Comic Writing

Andy Borowitz , Comedians & Humorist

Moby-Dick by Herman Melville

by Herman Melville

“I thought about responding to your call for a list of the top 5 American novels with ‘1) Moby-Dick 2) Moby-Dick 3) Moby-Dick’ —an obsessive answer that would be true to the spirit of this monomaniacal book! I won’t go full Ahab and claim that it is THE great American novel, but I will confess it is my favorite. There’s something about its dizzying mix of high and low, Herman Melville’s exuberant love of language, and the novel’s remarkable capaciousness (everything reminds me of Moby-Dick !) that makes me love to read it, reread it, teach it, joke about it, tweet about it, reference it at the slightest provocation.” Read more...

The Best 19th-Century American Novels

Nathan Wolff , Literary Scholar

“It showcases the susceptibility of this republic and others, to being overcome by populist demagogues, the danger of democracy being usurped by tyranny. In Moby Dick, the crew are proxies for a cross-section of society. They enter an almost parody version of ‘the social contract’ to ship out with the Pequod. They find themselves at the mercy of Captain Ahab’s regime. During Melville’s day, the plot provided a way of reflecting on slavery; it continues to call attention to the danger of authoritarianism. My book ended before 2016; since then, there were umpteen new readings of Moby Dick in light of Donald Trump’s election. That’s part of the afterlife of Moby Dick . It has been seized upon in popular culture and by the media as a reference point for misadventures that overtake the United States.” Read more...

The Great American Novel

Lawrence Buell ,

Dialogues and Natural History of Religion by David Hume

Dialogues and Natural History of Religion

By david hume.

Recommended 6 times

“I think that the most important contributions, the best books, in the philosophy of religion are these two little books that David Hume writes” Read more...

The best books on Atheist Philosophy of Religion

Graham Oppy , Philosopher

“Hume is the main man….It’s an interesting question whether he’s a good writer or not. I’ve always thought him a good writer, but I know some people read Hume and find him difficult. It’s partly just a question of period style. He does tend to write in very long sentences. I think that was just the typical writing of the time. In the 18th century people put a lot of commas and semicolons in, and there weren’t so many full stops. Present day readers can find that quite awkward.” Read more...

The best books on Atheism

Julian Baggini , Philosopher

Walden by Henry David Thoreau

by Henry David Thoreau

“The beginning is hard going. Once you get past that, then suddenly you’re into these beautiful and inspiring descriptions of nature.” Read more...

The Best Books on the Philosophy of Travel

Emily Thomas , Philosopher

“Thoreau can be thorny to read but Walden is a tremendously important work in the history of environmental thinking and in the history of understanding our relationship with nature.” Read more...

The best books on New England

Mark Peterson , Historian

The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith

The Wealth of Nations

By adam smith.

The Wealth of Nations , first published in 1776, is the founding text of modern economics. But as our interviews with experts below make clear, its author, Adam Smith, was a moral philosopher and no unabashed cheerleader for the capitalist system he saw flourishing around him in Glasgow, a city grown rich from trade with the American colonies:

“ The Wealth of Nations is, of course, one of the most famous, though certainly not most read or understood, books of all time. It was first published in 1776. In fact, I was once asked on an exam in high school ‘Who invented capitalism in 1776?’” Read more...

The Best Adam Smith Books

Dennis Rasmussen , Philosopher

“What is amazing about Smith is that he tried to relate economics to morals and ethics, in the sense that economics is only a small part of what society should be thinking about.” Read more...

The best books on Globalisation

Stephen D King , Economist

Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning

By viktor frankl.

In Man’s Search for Meaning Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist who survived the Nazi concentration camps, argued for the existentialist belief that even in the worst possible conditions, as human beings we still have control over how we think about our situation. The original title of the book, when it was first published in 1946, was Saying Yes to Life Anyway: A Psychologist Survives the Concentration Camp .

“What’s interesting about his account, which I found absolutely fascinating, is the way he explores the importance of meaning in life as the key to survival.” Read more...

The best books on Auschwitz

Mary Fulbrook , Historian

“Frankl says, let me tell you and show you how I and my friends lived in the concentration camps. And if I can do it there, and suffer at that level, so you can you.” Read more...

The best books on High Performance Psychology

Michael Gervais , Psychologist

Stumbling on Happiness by Daniel Gilbert

Stumbling on Happiness

By daniel gilbert.

“We tend to see ourselves as not unlike rats, creatures driven by the short-term reward centres in our brains. But what Gilbert does fantastically well is to argue that, actually, humans are better at long-term thinking than almost any other animal. A chimpanzee may strip off the leaves from a branch to make a tool to poke into a termite hole, but that chimp will never make a dozen of those tools and put them aside for next week. Yet this is exactly what humans do.” Read more...

The Best Books for Long-Term Thinking

Roman Krznaric , Philosopher

“Dan Gilbert, a dear friend of mine at Harvard, is the best writer in our field and one of our greatest thinkers. He is extremely creative and insightful.” Read more...

The best books on Behavioral Science

Nicholas Epley , Psychologist

If This Is a Man by Primo Levi

If This Is a Man

By primo levi.

“It’s about his 11 months in Auschwitz. I was reading this over the weekend—just to bone up for this interview—and just like every other time I’ve read it, it stretches my ability to comprehend. The physical and emotional pain is extremely intense. Even the most inured cynic is taken aback by the infrastructure of human cruelty in the camp.” Read more...

The best books on Philosophy and Prison

Andy West , Philosopher

“When it came out in the States it was known as Survival in Auschwitz . I think it’s a work of genius…some of it is testimony. But what I admire so much about it is that it is a book without pathos, or sentiment. Levi was a scientist, a radical empiricist. His ability and his care in describing the camp structure is unrelenting. It’s almost as if he answers his own question: have we got rid of rational man? Answer: No, because here I am, observing, writing, and thinking.” Read more...

The best books on Human Rights and Literature

Lyndsey Stonebridge , Literary Scholar

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

By douglas adams.

“Arthur Dent, his hero, is a very ordinary—dull, some would say—Earth man, who discovers that his house is about to be demolished by bulldozers. As he’s dealing with county council officialdom, a friend called Ford Prefect helps him escape the destruction of the Earth, which is being blown up by alien bureaucrats. It’s one scale up. That’s the joke. For the novel, he took the first four episodes of the radio show and made them work as a novel with his own unique sense of flair and verve. That sense of humour. People who hate science fiction liked it because they thought it was taking the piss out of science fiction. And people who like science fiction liked it anyway. So it appealed broadly, to different audiences.” Read more...

The Best Douglas Adams Books

Kevin Jon Davies , Film Director

“I miss Douglas Adams. He’s been dead since 2001. He occupied that area for me between friend and acquaintance. He was, I suppose, a work friend. The first book I ever wrote that did anything was The Companion to the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy . I got to work with Douglas on it. Douglas Adams was a genius. A lot of the pleasure in reading Douglas Adams is in jokes that are elegantly and delightfully tuned while also commenting on the human condition.” Read more...

Comfort Reads

Neil Gaiman , Novelist

Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville

Democracy in America

By alexis de tocqueville.

“Among the new objects that attracted my attention during my stay in the United States, none struck my eye more vividly than the equality of conditions. I discovered without difficulty the enormous influence that this primary fact exerts on the course of society; it gives a certain direction to public spirit, a certain turn to the laws, new maxims to those who govern and particular habits to the governed.”

—Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America ( Harvey Mansfield and Delba Winthrop translation), opening paragraph.

“Tocqueville, in a way, was the first sociologist, though that field didn’t exist in the 1830s, when he wrote the book. In it, he looks at the formal institutions of American democracy—Congress, and the presidency, and so forth—but what everybody really takes away from it is that those institutions ride on top of the morals and mores and habits of the underlying society…Tocqueville gives you a different analysis that looks beneath the surface of the visible institutions and tries to understand the moral habits that underlie the workings of those institutions. It’s really looking at the society rather than just the formal laws and whatnot.” Read more...

The best books on Liberal Democracy

Francis Fukuyama , Political Scientist

“It’s a masterpiece of sociological and political analysis. Tocqueville’s work still helps us understand America, 170 years after he wrote it.” Read more...

Stephen Breyer on his Intellectual Influences

Stephen Breyer , US Supreme Court Justice

Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë

by Charlotte Brontë

Jane Eyre was published in 1847—with the novel’s author listed as ‘Currer Bell’—and was an immediate commercial success. The main protagonist, Jane, is an orphan who has an extremely tough life before meeting the man of her dreams. Unfortunately, he has dark secrets and the sense of foreboding that pervades the novel makes it also something of a thriller.

“Jane Eyre in some respects—not in every respect but in some respects—is the original domestic noir…there’s a sense of building threat and building crisis in the book. But I also love the social commentary and the feminism. It’s my favourite book of all time…I read it out loud to my daughter when she was about 15 and it’s just an incredible book” Read more...

The Best Classic Thrillers

Lucy Atkins , Journalist

“It wasn’t until my third reading of the book that I realised Brontë had slipped the supernatural into Jane Eyre.” Read more...

The Best Gothic Novels

Sarah Perry , Novelist

A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960 by Anna Schwartz & Milton Friedman

A Monetary History of the United States, 1867-1960

By anna schwartz & milton friedman.

“It is an important book because it is the first attempt to link together inflation and output. In some sense it is the basis for many of the books that have been written since about inflation, monetary policy and the real side of the economy.” Read more...

The best books on Inflation

Federica Romei , Economist

“ A Monetary History provides the story of the struggle over successive monetary regimes to get the monetary system right. It doesn’t get to the last part of the story, but it gets a lot of the story, at least from a US perspective.” Read more...

The best books on Monetary Policy

Lars Christensen , Economist

The Iliad by Homer

“The rage of Achilles—sing it now, goddess, sing through me

the deadly rage that caused the Achaeans such grief

and hurled down to Hades the souls of so many fighters,

Leaving their naked flesh to be eaten by dogs

and carrion birds, as the will of Zeus was accomplished”

— Iliad , opening lines (Stephen Mitchell translation)

The Iliad, a Greek poem dating from around 700 BCE, is a  defining text of western literature. If you want to see what academics say about it and its author(s), Homer, start with our interview with Christopher Pelling, Regius Professor of Greek Emeritus at Oxford University, below.

Which translation of the Iliad should you read? British actor and author Stephen Fry recommends either Robert Fagles’s translation (1969), or that of poet and translator Stephen Mitchell, which was published in 2011.

Of course all those millennia ago, the Iliad would have been principally listened to, and modern technology means that’s once again easily possible by listening to the poem as an audiobook. Our own Iliad audiobook is the Robert Fagles translation, magnificently narrated by the British actor—and veteran of the British Classics scene—Derek Jacobi. You can also opt for the audiobook of the Stephen Mitchell translation, which is narrated by the English-American actor Alfred Molina.

So find a fireside to settle down next to, imagine a bard who has memorised hundreds of lines of poetry, plug in your headphones, and press play.

“It is worth remembering of course that Homer’s Iliad doesn’t cover the causes of the War … the Apple of Discord, the Judgement of Paris, birth of Achilles and Abduction of Helen and so on – nor the end of the war. The action of the Iliad begins in the final year of the ten year siege of Troy and dramatises the weeks that begin with the feud between Agamemnon and Achilles and end with the death of Hector.” Read more...

The Best Trojan War Books

Stephen Fry , Comedians & Humorist

“Part of the Iliad ’s brilliance is that it only takes four or five days of the action but you feel like it captures the 10 years’ war as a whole. There is a choice that Achilles has to make. He is told that he has two alternative fates: he could stay away from the war and live out a long life and nobody would ever know or remember him. Or he could go and win eternal fame and glory, but would have a short life. In a way, that is a version of a dilemma that keeps coming back.” Read more...

The best books on Ancient Greece

Christopher Pelling , Classicist

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

by Cormac McCarthy

“ The Road is a very spare novel by Cormac McCarthy. Humanity has been wiped out, for the most part. There’s a man and his son traveling on a road to try to get to where it’s rumored that sprouts of civilization are starting to grow again. It’s a very minimalistic book. It’s very sparse and elegiac, just with those two characters.” Read more...

The Best Apocalyptic Fiction

Elliot Ackerman , Military Historians & Veteran

” I think it’s probably his happiest book. Which is a little weird to say but it does have the most sincere and overt love relationship of all of his works, between the father and the son. It’s very purely represented. You can’t doubt the importance of that love and the sustained power of it, and its priority both for the characters and the premise of the book as a whole.” Read more...

The Best Cormac McCarthy Books

Stacey Peebles , Literary Scholar

Beloved by Toni Morrison

by Toni Morrison

Recommended 5 times

“For me, Beloved is like an object that light bends around – I can’t think about American literature without it… Beloved is at least partly about looking that fallacious dream of American unity directly in the face and excavating the utter horror on which it’s built…I have spent a lot of time thinking about the final pages of Beloved , because in that epilogue Morrison acknowledges the paradox of what it means to remember something that unspeakable, something that has ruined your body and your mind and the bodies and minds of millions of others. Because how can you go on carrying that?” Read more...

The Best 20th-Century American Novels

David Hering ,

“It’s a book about the divide between the land of slavery and the land of freedom, which winds up insisting that there’s not much of a divide after all. The long arm of slavery asserts itself from Kentucky into Cincinnati, where the main character has escaped, and where slave catchers find her. Instead of going peaceably back to the plantation where she was enslaved, she kills her child and freaks out, causing the slave catchers to shrink back. The legacy of all that she fled comes back, as the slain child comes back, in a ghostly form, to haunt her life. “This is not a story to pass on,” the book says towards the end, and yet it does.” Read more...

The Radetzky March by Joseph Roth

The Radetzky March

By joseph roth.

“It’s an extraordinary account of a world collapsing. It conveys the lost world of Mitteleuropa and the collapsing Austro-Hungarian Empire. And he does it brilliantly. The Trotta family are quite mediocre, only relatively interesting minor officials—and in the case of the son, a very minor soldier—that is, intrinsically not particularly exciting characters, who nevertheless convey a very interesting world. It’s an extraordinarily powerful book. Roth is a very interesting writer, a brilliant writer, who lived a very tragic life.” Read more...

Five of the Best European Classics

David Campbell , Publisher

“To a certain extent in this novel, but more in his other writings, Roth wrote about what the decline of the empire meant to the Jews. The double assassination at Sarajevo was a terrible moment, in Roth’s view, because it heralded the end of his homeland. With competing ethnicities and the rise of nationalism and so many wanting their own country, the Jews no longer had a homeland. So he lost his country.” Read more...

The best books on Jewish Vienna

Brigid Grauman , Journalist

This Time Is Different by Carmen Reinhart & Kenneth Rogoff

This Time Is Different

By carmen reinhart & kenneth rogoff.

“Why is the book called This Time Is Different ? Because there is a common theme. The typical pattern, that the authors highlight, is that during good times, when things go well and the economy is healthy—there is low unemployment, high consumption, and economic growth— debt is accumulated either by banks or governments of individual countries. Or by households, as was the case in the United States in the 2000s. As you accumulate more debt, one could become concerned that this is dangerous. With more debt, you become more vulnerable to debt becoming very expensive and not being able to repay it. But the typical response is, ‘Don’t worry, because this time is different…for one reason or another.’” Read more...

The best books on Fiscal Policy

Sergio de Ferra , Economist

“They…took an enormous amount of time to put together datasets that allow us to look back eight centuries and ask, quantitatively, whether there are any common denominators to financial crises. And the not-surprising answer is, ‘Yes, absolutely.’” Read more...

The Best Finance Books

Andrew W Lo , Economist

Freedom from Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi

Freedom from Fear

By aung san suu kyi.

“Possibly more so than any other leader today, she lives strong values in her every decision. There is no more powerful leadership story.” Read more...

The best books on Leadership

Brett Wigdortz , Nonprofit Leaders & Activist

“For more than two decades, every conversation in Burma or about Burma has ended up being about Aung San Suu Kyi.” Read more...

The best books on Human Rights

Steve Crawshaw , Journalist

The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoevsky

The Brothers Karamazov

By fyodor dostoevsky.

“ The Brothers Karamazov is a real detective novel, a very rare phenomenon for 19th-century Russian fiction. We have a mysterious murder here, we have several suspects, we have a courtroom investigation, and we do not know eventually, not for sure, who is the culprit.” Read more...

Five Mysteries Set in Russia

Boris Akunin , Thriller and Crime Writer

“Dostoevsky was a devout Christian and The Brothers Karamazov, his last and possibly greatest novel, was a heartfelt plea for the necessity of faith. The phrase ‘If God does not exist, everything is permitted’ is often attributed to Dostoevsky. He actually never wrote that, but the sentiment certainly runs through much of his work, and most especially through The Brothers Karamazov .” Read more...

The best books on Morality Without God

Kenan Malik , Science Writer

Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison

Invisible Man

By ralph ellison.

“A Great American Novel presupposes the experiences of a manageably unified nation, which is, of course, not the story of America. It’s maybe the dream of America, though, which is why some of my favorite American novels, like Invisible Man , have a distinctly dreamlike quality. I do think that you could perhaps call Invisible Man the most characteristic American novel, in that it so thoroughly acknowledges this struggle and embraces it in its form. I also don’t think of Invisible Man as existing purely in a textual sphere. I’ve always felt that it lies at the intersection of a number of different arts – painting, music, sculpture – and that it alternately mimics or incorporates their forms as it goes; I would use the word ‘artwork’ rather than novel.” Read more...
“For Ellison, American racism creates a condition in which the black person is unrecognizable in this sense. Using the resources of dark comedy—especially in the incredible Trueblood and Battle Royale sequences—Ellison describes the mingled, ambiguous fusion of subjection and power, imprisonment and freedom, that comprise the black condition in midcentury America. I think of Ice and Invisible Man as the two great works of midcentury modernism that most powerfully—and subtly—explore the difference race and gender make to modernism’s key themes.” Read more...

The Best Modernist Novels

Michael Clune , Literary Scholar

Here Comes Everybody by Clay Shirky

Here Comes Everybody

By clay shirky.

Here Comes Everybody, How Change Happens When People Come Together by Clay Shirky is an enlightening exploration of how technology can empower social and political organizers .  Shirky is simply the best person at articulating what’s very weird and new about what’s going on. Read what Five Books experts have to say about this highly recommended book.

“It’s a really great book for anyone who wants to understand the social media revolution and how it completely changed the economics of organisation.” Read more...

The best books on 21st Century Foreign Policy

Anne-Marie Slaughter , International Relation

“If you had to pick one individual who was the sharpest and most prescient commentator on the web and the internet it would be Clay.” Read more...

The best books on Information

Tyler Cowen , Economist

The Argumentative Indian by Amartya Sen

The Argumentative Indian

By amartya sen.

“Depending how you count, almost any nation could be portrayed as argumentative. But he uses this central theme to range over an amazing breadth of scholarship” Read more...

The best books on The Indian Economy

Kaushik Basu , Economist

“He shows that in fact there were roots of a democratic culture in India long before the British ever got there, and that is what he means by the ‘argumentative Indian’.” Read more...

The best books on The End of The West

David Marquand , Political Scientist

The Bible The New Oxford Annotated Bible

The New Oxford Annotated Bible

“It leaves you to think and read for yourself.” Religious studies professor Timothy Beal recommends the New Oxford Annotated Bible as a good version to read if you’re studying the Bible.

“The Bible is the biography of Jerusalem. Nothing less, nothing more. My book’s called Jerusalem: a Biography , but The Bible’s the real biography of Jerusalem, up to the death of Christ. If you’re religious, you regard it as the word of God. But if you’re a secular historian like me, you really regard it as a library of different works, written at different times, by different people, with different aims and different target audiences.” Read more...

The best books on Jerusalem

Simon Sebag Montefiore , Historian

“Chapters 7 to 12 of the Book of Daniel constitute, in my opinion, the first genuinely global history ever written.” Read more...

The best books on Global History

Felipe Fernández-Armesto , Historian

Pride and Prejudice (Book) by Jane Austen

Pride and Prejudice (Book)

By jane austen.

Pride and Prejudice was published more than 200 years ago, in 1813, but the book still speaks to us across the centuries. Written by Jane Austen when she was only 20, its original title was First Impressions . Like many great books, it was initially rejected by publishers and did not appear till years later, now under the title we know it by, Pride and Prejudice . By then, Austen had already had commercial success with Sense and Sensibility , a novel that also compares and contrasts two characters with the qualities (flaws) signalled in the title of the book.

Pride and Prejudice was a trailblazing book, not least because it has served as the template for every romance novel and Mills & Boon written since. The countless book and screen adaptations of Pride and Prejudice speak to a story that has universal appeal, its characters and plotline appearing in everything from Bridget Jones’s Diary to Pride and Prejudice and Zombie s.

But Pride and Prejudice is more than just a happily-ever-after story. Philosophers and literary scholars are just some of the experts we’ve interviewed who have chosen Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice as essential reading on their topic. Along with many other people , it is Austen scholar Patricia Meyer Spacks’s favourite Austen book. As she explains below, it’s also a serious work. Exploring that theme, she produced Pride and Prejudice: An Annotated Edition , published by Harvard University Press, which includes over 2,000 annotations to the text.

You can read all our interviews featuring Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice —and browse some of the original reviews and 19th century commentary on the book—below.

“I think it’s always been my favourite, as it’s many people’s favourite among Austen’s novels. But I was always vaguely embarrassed by that as a scholar, because I didn’t think it was the best.” Read more...

The Best Jane Austen Books

Patricia Meyer Spacks , Literary Scholar

“The book is about the pleasure of being wrong. We forget that wrongness can be deeply pleasurable, but thankfully we have literature and art to remind us.” Read more...

The best books on Wrongness

Kathryn Schulz , Journalist

Red Memory: The Afterlives of China's Cultural Revolution by Tania Branigan

Red Memory: The Afterlives of China's Cultural Revolution

By tania branigan.

If you want to understand China, there is one piece of its history that you must understand, and that’s the Cultural Revolution . Nothing about the present makes sense without it.  More than 100 million people were affected and yet, unlike Rwanda, South Africa or Germany post-World War II, China has yet to come to terms with what happened during those ten years of chaos.

“What Red Memory does very powerfully, as many specialist works on the Cultural Revolution have done before it, is to show that one of the deeply disturbing things about that decade was that people could begin on one side of the perpetrator-victim divide and end up on the other or flip back and forth between them. It’s a real mistake to try to divide up the people who suffered and the people who caused suffering because it was often members of the same family who were affected in different ways, and there were individuals who were victims and victimizers during different parts of their lives. Efforts to simplify this complicated event creates real problems for understanding China.” Read more...

The Best China Books of 2023

Jeffrey Wasserstrom , Historian

“Tania Branigan was a journalist for The Guardian in China and what she realised is that there was this spectre she kept encountering, which was the unspoken legacy of the Cultural Revolution. It was obvious everyone knew, but no one wanted to dwell on it, or talk too much about it. It was a mass, collective experience, so most people she was encountering had either been through it themselves or their parents had been through it. Essentially, it has deformed Chinese society. The book goes right through to President Xi, whose father had been a big wheel in the Communist Party. He then fell from favour and was persecuted in the Cultural Revolution, as was Xi himself. Now he’s behaving with ever-increasing authoritarian tendencies, which is quite strange.” Read more...

The Best Nonfiction Books: The 2023 Baillie Gifford Prize Shortlist

Frederick Studemann , Journalist

Dracula by Bram Stoker

by Bram Stoker

Dracula by Bram Stoker is the classic 1897 Gothic horror story. The most famous vampire story , Dracula has underlying themes of race, religion, superstition, science, and sexuality. Find out why Dracula is one of Five Books’ most recommended books. Also worth looking at are Bram Stokers Notes for Dracula which contains Stoker’s research notes.

“Dracula is very explicit. That’s what’s so surprising about it.” Read more...

The best books on Sex in Victorian Literature

Claire Jarvis , Literary Scholar

“Personally, I like to read Dracula as one of the great novels of London. Stoker himself was an Irish immigrant to London. The Count is a central European immigrant to London” Read more...

The Best Horror Stories

Darryl Jones , Literary Scholar

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

Season of Migration to the North

By tayeb salih.

“Tayeb Salih is basically a founder of what we call African immigrant writing, stories that are very popular at this particular time.In my opinion, Season of Migration to the North is amazing. As far back as the 1960s, Tayeb Salih was already tackling, in a vivid manner, the issues migrants to the West are confronted by: it’s hard to integrate because of cultural and religious differences, xenophobia, and the difficulties of getting employment or housing for not-properly-documented immigrants…I feel that African contemporary writing is in an age of restless migration to the North….Almost all the themes that he put there are what most writers at this particular moment are talking about. You can read Abdulrazak Gurnah, who won the Nobel Prize in Literature: Most of his themes are based on that. It’s as if he is haunted by the ghost of Salih.” Read more...

The Best African Contemporary Writing

Mphuthumi Ntabeni , Novelist

“It’s a novel about the clash of cultures, the intermixture of cultures. It’s a novel about what happens to a man, or two men, when they leave their village and go north, to England, the land where the fish die of cold, and get a western education, and some of the dangers of that. It’s a very strange and very complex novel” Read more...

Classics of Arabic Literature

Robert Irwin ,

Ulysses by James Joyce

by James Joyce

Ulysses by James Joyce is one of the masterpieces of modernist literature, a movement at the beginning of the 20th century when the traditional storylines of the Victorian novel were left behind to experiment with new ways of expressing human experience. Though hard to read, those who have made the effort are often enthralled by it and regard it as among the very best books they’ve ever read. For that reason alone, Ulysses is worth pursuing, possibly with the help of a guide:

“It’s challenging, learned, filthy, and hilarious. In it, Joyce pushes the boundaries of language and the novel form. It’s easy to see how it was thwarted and censored four times during publication. At first, no one wanted to print it, because they could’ve been found liable for publishing pornography. Ulysses is one of those great novels that demands a level of concentration one can only get in isolation. Yes, it’s difficult and frustrating, but that’s because it wants to frustrate you—and the payoff is immense pleasure: no book gets closer to the ineffable experience of human play and tragedy, of being a fleshy mass of blood and bones in the modern world” Read more...
“This novel is still—after nearly a century—powerful, innovative and exhilarating. There is more going on in one sentence in Ulysses than there is in most contemporary novels.” Read more...

Robin Robertson on Books that Influenced Him

Robin Robertson , Novelist

The Prince by Niccolo Machiavelli

by Niccolo Machiavelli

“If you want to get a perspective on how the politics of power and ruthlessness work, or simply see some of the thinking behind Game of Thrones, this short, slightly fragmentary book, written in the 16th century, is still the best around.” Read more...

Philosophy Books to Take On Holiday

“ The Prince is an occasion piece. It was written in 1513 after the Medici had been returned to power. Machiavelli was out of a job—he’d been tortured and fired—and couldn’t afford to live in Florence. And his obsession with politics and international affairs was such that he couldn’t let go. So he started a correspondence with his friend Francesco Vettori and, from that correspondence, arose The Prince . It was a book about how to deal with the crisis of Italy after the French invasions. Machiavelli’s response, in The Prince, was that the only way Italy was going to maintain its independence, and freedom, and drive out the barbarians—which is a term he always used for northern Europeans—was to beat them at their own game, to be more violent, more vicious, more brutal, and more faithless” Read more...

The Best Italian Renaissance Books

Kenneth Bartlett , Historian

Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky

Crime and Punishment

“There was a real murder in Moscow in 1865, two elderly women killed by axe. Dostoyevsky was deeply moved by this crime. When a writer is deeply moved, he writes a novel. When it is a great writer, the story turns out to be a great novel. Crime and Punishment is on my list because I wrote my own version of the events. In a novel called F.M. (Dostoyevsky’s initials, Fyodor Mikhailovich) I introduce a newly discovered manuscript by Dostoevsky, a first version of Crime and Punishmen t, and it is a 100% mystery about a serial killer.” Read more...
“ Crime and Punishment is probably Dostoevsky’s most conventional novel. It’s effectively a sort of literary crime novel, and is in some ways quite typical of its time. It’s got a fascinating structure, where a full 80% of the novel comes after he’s committed the crime but before he reaches the punishment. So for the majority novel, you are in suspense and, despite the title, a part of you genuinely believes he might get away with it.” Read more...

The Best Fyodor Dostoevsky Books

Alex Christofi , Literary Scholar

The Aeneid (Robert Fitzgerald translation) by Virgil

The Aeneid (Robert Fitzgerald translation)

“Arms and the man I sing, who,

forced by fate,

And haughty Juno’s unrelenting hate,

Expelled and exiled, left the Trojan shore”

— Aeneid , opening lines (Robert Fitzgerald translation)

The Aeneid was written by the Roman poet Virgil, in the age of Augustus, as a founding myth for the emerging Roman empire. See below why experts picked it as an important book on a variety of subjects. Author Selina O’Grady, author of And Man Created God , specified the translation by the American poet and translator Robert Fitzgerald (1983), though in this New York Times review , you can see the arguments for also reading the translation by Robert Fagles (2006), the late American academic and poet.

If you want to read the Latin alongside the English, you can turn to the Loeb Classical Library, though it inconveniently stretches over two books and the English is a little dated.

In classical times poems were meant to be listened to and rather excitingly the British actor, Simon Callow, has narrated an audiobook of the Aeneid , based on Robert Fagles’s translation.

“It’s beautiful and poetic. Fitzgerald was a poet by calling. And I find this the most beautiful and high-flown of the mid-century American translations” Read more...
“Virgil’s Aeneid gives an account of the Trojan Horse and the sacking of Troy.” Read more...

Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Half of a Yellow Sun

By chimamanda ngozi adichie.

The most celebrated of a new generation of Nigerian novelists bravely and brilliantly tackles an event that still seems to whisper in the heart of the country’s affairs perhaps more than any other: the devastating civil war of 1967-70.

“This novel came out to a real fanfare of people acclaiming it as a superb piece of fiction. I’d heard a lot of people talk about Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and what a brilliant writer she is. I thought, ‘I’ve got to give this a go.’ Oh my goodness! It’s another really big, immersive novel by somebody who really knows their stuff. And because it’s such recent history—late 60s and 1970—she has been able to draw on primary sources. That’s a rare thing when you’re writing historical fiction, that it’s still within living memory. So you know it’s right, that the details are correct. It’s like reading news reports, but in this incredible narrative, in which you’re really bound up with the characters.” Read more...

Historical Fiction Set Around the World

Jane Johnson , Historical Novelist

“It’s a novel about life in the late 1960s, before, during and after the Nigerian Civil War, also known as the Biafran War because of the attempt by the region of that name to secede. And it really highlights a fundamental problem of modern state-building in Nigeria and in many African countries and that is the challenge of forging unity amidst diversity within the often very arbitrary boundaries created by Europeans.” Read more...

The best books on African Politics

Evan Lieberman , Political Scientist

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez, translated by Gregory Rabassa

One Hundred Years of Solitude

By gabriel garcía márquez, translated by gregory rabassa.

“Our greatest classic of all time, One Hundred Years of Solitude , is a fantasy novel. But when you go to libraries, you never see it in the fantasy section. They put it in the section of Latin American literature, or of classic literature or of Nobel Prize literature. But it is a fantasy… One Hundred Years of Solitude is a saga. It’s the story of a family, from the couple that had the first kids to the end of the family, which is also the end of times. When you read reviews of One Hundred Years of Solitude, they’ll say it’s the story of Latin America—and perhaps it is. But, essentially, it’s the story of a town from when it is founded until it finishes its history…It really amazes me that a person from a tiny town in the Caribbean area, which is not the most developed in the country, was able to accomplish this huge achievement. Cien años de soledad is a great novel like Don Quijote de la Mancha . It’s that big.” Read more...

The Best Colombian Novels

Pilar Quintana , Novelist

“Rabassa has accomplished something utterly terrific in his translation of One Hundred Years of Solitude . This novel, which was revolutionary in its structure and its use of imagination, is now absolutely compelling in English as well as in Spanish. On the assumption that most people who have been influenced by García Márquez in the English speaking world have been influenced through Rabassa’s translation, it had a huge effect on novel writing in English. Writers like Toni Morrison, for example, or Salman Rushdie.” Read more...

The best books on Translation

Edith Grossman , Translator

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World

By aldous huxley.

“It shows the ways in which technology, our need for certain creature comforts and consumer culture can be used to manipulate us.” Read more...

The best books on Alternative Futures

Catherine Mayer , Politician

“It is a hilarious, and also very prescient, parody of utopias. Huxley goes back to the idea that coming together and forming a community of common interests is a great idea – it’s the basis of civil society. At the same time, when communities of common interests are taken to utopian degrees the self starts to dissolve into the larger community, you lose privacy and interiority; that becomes frightening. In Huxley’s parody, the people are convinced that they are melding together and that they are completely happy, but in the end it is utterly empty.” Read more...

The best books on Utopia

Ellen Wayland-Smith , Miscellaneou

Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë

Wuthering Heights

By emily brontë.

The novel Wuthering Heights, by Emily Brontë,  was first published under the pen name Ellis Bell in 1847, just a year before Emily’s death in 1848. Below, in our interviews with literary critics and journalists, you’ll see why many people still view it as one of the greatest novels ever written in English. Also worth looking at are the contemporary reviews, some of which were found in Emily’s desk after her death. These are available on the web (see links below), but are also included in the Norton Critical Edition of Wuthering Heights .

“Wuthering Heights is a strange novel in a lot of ways. It’s a standalone—there’s not really another book like it.” Read more...
“In Wuthering Heights once again it’s the landscape that underlines the choices the characters must make. Cathy must choose between the grand house in the lush valley: protected, comfortable and tame; or the wild, exhilarating bleakness of Wuthering Heights .” Read more...

Rachel Hickman recommends the best Novels Set in Wild Places

Rachel Hickman , Children's Author

The Arabian Nights or Tales of 1001 Nights

The Arabian Nights or Tales of 1001 Nights

“What’s wonderful about the Arabian Nights is that the tales are really rather stripped down and there’s not a lot of deep psychology. You’re not reading Middlemarch . There’s not all that much in the way of description. The palaces would be conventionally described, the beautiful woman would have eyebrows like this and lips like that, all conventional similes – they rush through it. What you’re getting is a pure story; the Nights is kind of like an engine of stories. It’s wonderful to see how stories work in a very nuts-and-bolts way as you work through them: how tension is managed and how characters are introduced and so on” Read more...
“The Arabian Nights was a collection of popular, vernacular tales that was actually rather despised by scholars – the Arabic apparently is quite rough, compared to the elegance of the Farsi used in the much better known, more established and highly valued Persian romances of the time. The Nights tales were considered trifles and not looked after – the same has happened with a lot of early children’s literature. We don’t have a lot of it because no one saw fit to preserve it.” Read more...

Marina Warner on Fairy Tales

Marina Warner , Novelist

Great Expectations by Charles Dickens

Great Expectations

By charles dickens.

“What the rest of Great Expectations shows is that having Christmas lasting all the way through your life might not be a good thing. Having a Santa Claus figure who keeps throwing gifts and money at you when they’re not necessarily wanted or deserved might be a handicap.” Read more...

The best books on Dickens and Christmas

Robert Douglas-Fairhurst , Literary Scholar

“It is one of the most perfect novels ever written.It’s got a wonderful plot. It’s about good and bad money, you don’t know who Pip’s benefactor is, you’re wrong-footed—as he is—all the time. It’s about terrible damage. It’s got this fantastic suspense about what happens to Magwitch. It’s sad, but also it’s got wonderful humour in it and wonderful characters. It’s got Wemmick, one of the first commuters. It’s just brilliant.” Read more...

The Best Charles Dickens Books

Jenny Hartley , Biographer

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine by Michael Lewis

The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine

By michael lewis.

“What Michael Lewis points out very forcefully is that they were deliberately created by Wall Street banks in order to produce non-transparent securities that could not be adequately evaluated by the rating agencies, which then could be sold to less sophisticated investors, who would buy the idea that this junk debt actually had triple A ratings. So what this book does quite brilliantly is show that there was actually a high degree of intentionality in creating the crisis. “ Read more...

Francis Fukuyama recommends the best books on the The Financial Crisis

“It tells us the difficulty markets have in correcting group think. You really have to be quite Aspergerish to take a stand against the crowd. In fact one of Lewis’s heroes, as it were, is hedge fund manager Michael Burry, who clearly had serious socialisation problems.” Read more...

The best books on Economics in the Real World

John Kay , Economist

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations by David S Landes

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations

By david s landes.

The Wealth and Poverty of Nations  (1998) was written by Harvard economics and history professor David Landes (1924-2013). An unlikely bestseller that took on Adam Smith’s key question—why some nations are rich and others poor—it’s also a great read. See what our experts have said about this book and why it’s so important below:

“Another huge historical sweep on economic development and, perhaps controversially, this time more a view of why the West has been particularly successful and other countries have not.” Read more...
“He provides an explanation for why Western Europe was the cradle for modern economic growth and looks at the development of the institutions that made modern economic development possible.” Read more...

We ask experts to recommend the five best books in their subject and explain their selection in an interview.

This site has an archive of more than one thousand seven hundred interviews, or eight thousand book recommendations. We publish at least two new interviews per week.

Five Books participates in the Amazon Associate program and earns money from qualifying purchases.

© Five Books 2024


What would you like to read, find recommendations by genre, trope or keyword.

books recommendation help

In a Reading Slump?

New reader, personalized recommendations.

Oh, we've got you covered!

All you have to do is get busy rating and adding books to your shelves, and we'll whip up some fresh, tailored recommendations just for you.

But wait, there's more! Curious about what fellow readers with similar tastes are reading? We'll spill the beans on that too!

Say goodbye to book-hunting marathons and hello to more reading adventures!

And the best part, no boring quizzes or surveys!

Latest Activity

Girl, Forgotten by Karin Slaughter

New & Exciting

books recommendation help

Find Books Based On A Book You Liked

books recommendation help

This is Writing

28 Websites to Help You Find Your Next Great Read

Finding a good book these days can seem a little like you’re the Monty Python team searching for the Holy Grail, especially if you’re looking  for something exciting and new.

The beast that is Amazon has an ever-expanding bookshelf of new titles coming out every day. So we’ve put a handy list of 28 of the best websites that will help you find what book to read next , so you can spend your time reading great books.

1. Goodreads

If you’re an avid reader then you probably already know about Goodreads . If you don’t, you need to sign up. It’s the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations . Their mission is to help readers find and share the books that they love. It also allows you to see what book your friends are reading, share what books you have read, are currently reading and create a wishlist.

Furthermore, their recommendation engine analyzes 20 billion data points to give suggestions tailored to your literary tastes so that you never run out of things to read.

BookBub is another giant in the book recommendation game. It’s a free service that helps millions of readers discover great deals on acclaimed ebooks while providing publishers and authors with a way to drive sales and find new fans.

Members receive a personalised daily email alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted titles matching their interests as selected by our editorial team.

The books can be a little hit and miss as authors pay to be on here, but there is a pretty intensive review process so you can be sure that the books featured are of a pretty high standard. It’s a great site to get huge discounts on some new and bestselling authors.

3. Book Swag

Book Swag is a similar site to BookBub. It’s fairly new on the scene and offers free weekly emails that help you find the best eBooks from established, new and indie authors. However, its main difference to BookBub is that the authors featured on the site haven’t paid to be there. Their books are chosen for one reason – they’re exciting books that the team have found worthy to be recommended.

4. Awesomegang

Awesomegang is a free service for readers to find books across many genres. Every day there is a minimum of 100 new books to choose from that are free or deeply discounted.

You can discover a new author and find a good book to fill up your reading device in just a few clicks. Hint: Use the search box and enter a genre you like and you will discover some cool books.


Buck Books is a free service that helps readers discover free and time-limited deals on highly rated eBooks. Members receive personalised notification emails alerting them to the best free and deeply discounted ebooks matching their genre of interest, as provided by their selection team.

6. Jellybooks

Jellybooks offers readers ebooks free-of-charge from leading publishers. These are Advance Readings Copies (ARCs) that are made available as an ebook for test reading purposes.

In many cases these will be available to you even before they are released to the general public. In return, they ask that you help them understand how you read books. This is really simple: read the ebook they provide and at the end of each chapter click the “sync reading stream” button in return for receiving the free ebook.

You may also choose to write a review , but this is entirely optional. They are primarily interested in your reading data.

7. Your Next Read

The team behind YourNextRead love to read. The site follows a similar premise to GoodReads by providing a book recommendation system showing aggregated book reviews, updated by real people’s opinions, in a simple visual map, helping you to decide ‘What Should I Read Next?’. Perfect for both bookworms and casual readers!

8. LibraryThing

LibraryThing is a user-powered book ratings, review, and recommendation site. It’s an online service to help people catalog their books easily. You can access your catalog from anywhere—even on your mobile phone. 

A free account allows you to catalog up to 200 books. A paid account allows you to catalog any number of books. Paid personal accounts cost $10 for a year or $25 for a lifetime.

9. Booktastik

Booktastik was created with both readers and authors in mind. Booktastik is where readers and books come together. They’ve made it as easy as possible for you to choose your next read – from letting you know about the best ebook deals and new releases, to providing quality reviews on all types of books. 

Also, if you love competitions and giveaways, there are plenty of book-related ones to enter. 

10. Olmenta

Olmenta is a simple tiled list of book covers that the service thinks you should read. You can select several genres like business, fiction, children’s, theater, poetry, or nonfiction, and several others.  It’s a pretty straightforward book recommendation site. If you like the book recommendations, be sure to visit the site regularly for new updates.

11.  Bookish

Bookish is run by a team of readers who explore the literary worlds that we long to live in. Within the site you’ll find everything from GIF reviews to serious essays on genre dynamics, author interviews, book recommendations, listicles and seasonal previews.

The site’s goal is to give readers more information about the books, authors, and genres that they love while also introducing them to new titles, debut writers, and genres they never thought they’d read.

12. Pretty-Hot

Pretty-Hot started out as a romance site but as the site grew authors submitted the other genres they were writing in and now the site has almost every genre covered to find good books. It is heavily focused on romance and paranormal romance and any other type of romance books that are hot!

13. What should I read next?

What Should I Read Next couldn’t be simpler, enter a book you like and the site will analyse their massive database of real readers’ favorite books to provide book recommendations and suggestions related to that title.

14. The Staff Recommends

Publishers send The Staff Recommends books they’d like to be considered for the site and they only recommend those books that they like and want to be featured. Only after a book has gone through the review process do the publisher pay a fee to be featured. Each book has a persuasive summary and review of the book.

15. AllReaders

AllReaders classify books based on plot, setting, character, and writing style. Therefore, if you know what kind of book you like, you can find other authors who write similar kinds of stories. For example, if you like murder mysteries involving the murder of lawyers on a cruise ship in the 1990’s where the investigator loves her Mom but hates cats, you can actually search for a crime story with that kind of plot and main character. 

16. ManyBooks

ManyBooks provides an extensive library of books in digital format for free on the Internet. Many of the early eBooks are from the Project Gutenberg archives, which means you will be able to find a lot of classics on the site. ManyBooks has grown into a platform where self-publishing authors have the opportunity to introduce their work to their reader community. New books are uploaded daily.

17. Whichbook

Whichbook classifies titles by feelings or states of mind. Move the sliders from “happy” to “sad” or from “safe” to “disturbing” and Whichbook generates a list of best matches.

18. Readgeek

Readgeek knows the books you would like to read but don’t know how to find them. You won’t depend on bestseller lists or well-intentioned tips anymore and still find exactly what you were looking for. Far beyond the mainstream. We use statistics and some calculations to find out what you would like. 

19. Read Cheaply

ReadCheaply is a free daily email that alerts you to awesome deals on acclaimed eBooks that match your interests. You pick the categories and we forward the deals!

ReadCheaply alerts you to the amazing limited-time deals that become available at retailers like Amazon’s Kindle store, Barnes & Noble’s Nook store, Apple’s iBooks store, Google Play store, Kobo and others.

20. The Fussy Librarian

The Fussy Librarian was the first website to match readers not only with the genre of books they like but also their preferences about content. Do you only read mysteries without profanity, violence and sex? Then we’ll tell you only about cozy mysteries. Read just memoirs and gory horror novels? No problem.

21. Book Gorilla

Quality books at great prices, delivered straight to your inbox every day. These book recommendations are tailored to your personal reading preferences, featuring the best deals on the best Kindle ebooks, either completely free or at deeply discounted bargain prices. At BookGorilla you can get bestselling books at prices ranging from free to $2 or $3?

22. Forewordz

Forewordz is a book lover’s community connecting authors and readers through daily eBook deals and special promotions. They’re one part discount eBook recommendation service, one part book discovery tool, and one part author marketing platform all fused together by a universal and evergreen love of books.

23. ebook Soda

Great ebook deals tailored to your taste. Whether you want cheap ebooks, free ebooks or bargain ebooks, tell them what you like, they’ll dive in and pull out the ones you’ll love. They find ebook deals for all devices – Kindle, iPad, iPhone, Nook, Kobo, laptop and more.

24. Free Kindle Books and Tips

Kindle Books & Tips has a simple purpose: to provide an interactive blog where you will receive tips to maximize your Kindle experience, author interviews, articles from the author’s take on the eBook world, links to special and discounted Kindle books, and the heads-up on the numerous books, short stories, and more.

25. Bargain Booksy

Bargain Booksy finds the best deals on cheap books and ebooks. Get great deals on all-time best-selling books. They‘ll find the perfect book for you. Select what format you prefer and the genres you love and they’ll do the rest! The site features the best fiction, non-fiction and best-selling ebooks on the web.

26. BookSends

BookSends is a daily email service that allows you to choose the genre of books you want to get deals about. In the email, you’ll find info about the day’s best deals and links to get them. Not only will you discover great books from bestselling, award-winning authors, you’ll be able to get them at a fraction of the price.

27. Bargain ebook Hunter

Bargain eBook Hunter are dedicated to hunting through the digital publishing world for eBooks at great deals (from FREE to $5.00) and putting them on their site to provide readers a one-stop shopping experience.  You will find titles that comprise the full gamut of styles from short stories to novels and from all genres.

28. Discount Books Daily

Discount Books Daily is a team of book lovers with a combined 15 years experience in publishing, online media, ecommerce and start-ups. They’ve partnered with both traditional publishers and top-notch indie authors, to deliver popular and unique titles that you may not have discovered otherwise.

Discount Books Daily delivers one daily email that features a selection of ebooks that match your pre-selected genres for mostly under $5 and sometimes free!

If you have any other websites, let us know via our contact us page .

Scott Mullins

25 insightful self-help books that will help you grow in all aspects of your life

When you buy through our links, Business Insider may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

  • Self-help books aim to improve an aspect of our lives.
  • They might be business books, psychology reads, or memoirs.
  • We used Goodreads to rank the best self-help books to read in 2022.

Insider Today

Books can serve so many different purposes, from entertainment to education, but self-help books are designed to help us improve a specific aspect of our lives. Though the very idea of "self-help" books used to conjure mental images of cheesy lectures and impractical advice, the best self-help books actually offer a new perspective for readers to explore habit building, emotional growth, or gain a deeper understanding of the world. 

Goodreads is the largest platform in the world for readers to rate and review books, so we turned to Goodreads reviewers to rank the best self-help books to read in 2022. From classics like " How to Win Friends and Influence People " to Susan Cain's " Quiet ," these self-help books include business books, memoirs, philosophy reads, and so much more. 

25 of the best self-help books, according to Goodreads

"the subtle art of not giving a f*ck" by mark manson.

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.60

Mark Manson is a popular blogger who aimed to defy the norm of "positivity" in self-help books by acknowledging that, sometimes, life sucks! In his book, Manson encourages readers to recognize what is worth caring about and adjusting our perspectives based on our goals. 

"Atomic Habits" by James Clear

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.98

" Atomic Habits " is a practical self-help book that helps readers change bad habits and develop good ones. With an abundance of practical examples, any reader can develop a system of change with James Clear's suggestions and motivational writing.

"How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.99

With over 700,000 ratings and averaging at 4.21 stars, " How to Win Friends and Influence People " is the best self-help book according to Goodreads members. Selling over 15 million copies since its original publication in 1936, Dale Carnegie's book includes his tried-and-true principles to help readers in their personal and professional lives. There are six principles to help people like you, 12 to help people understand your way of thinking, and nine to encourage change in others.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen R. Covey

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon , from $12.53

With over 15 million copies sold since its first publication in 1989, this self-help book uses 7 fundamental habits that guide readers toward an independent, successful, and fulfilling life. Using psychological principles, this book begs to be opened over and over again, refreshing readers with life mantras that will lead them to greatness.

"The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business" by Charles Duhigg

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.95

After studying patterns across a variety of success stories, Charles Duhigg presents why habits exist — and what we can do to change them. He argues the key to reaching any of our goals lies with understanding how habits are formed and uses researched principles to help readers change habits in order to transform their lives.

"The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up" by Marie Kondo

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.58

With a book and Netflix series that changed how we organize and stay tidy, Marie Kondo is a professional organizing consultant who presents the KonMari method of organizing. In " The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up ," Kondo introduces readers to her approach to cleaning, including the idea of only keeping items that "spark joy".

"You Are A Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life" by Jen Sincero

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.45

This best-selling self-help book uses anecdotes and exercises to help readers break down the mental barriers that are keeping them from achieving their goals. It's an inspirational, motivational, and funny read that aims to instill self-confidence and leave readers feeling refreshed and ready to accomplish anything.

"The Four Agreements" by Don Miguel Ruiz

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.74

In this spiritual self-help book, Don Miguel Ruiz pulls from Toltec wisdom to present four principles that, when applied in harmony with each other, can offer new experiences and happiness in our lives. This book challenges readers to apply four simple truths to their lives: Be impeccable with your word, don't take anything personally, don't make assumptions, and always do your best.

"The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.51

" The Power of Now " is a spiritual self-help book that proclaims living in "the now" is the ultimate path to happiness. More a practical guide than a traditional narrative, Tolle aims to inspire readers to become conscious of the thoughts and challenges that prevent us from living in the present moment.

"Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking" by Susan Cain

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $13.89

Introverts have been widely overlooked in American society. In this psychology book dubbed a favorite self-help read by Goodreads reviewers, Susan Cain uses stories from successful introverts to explain how invaluable introverts are to our community and help introverts value themselves more. To learn more about this book, check out our review of "Quiet."

"The Gifts of Imperfection" by Brené Brown

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $8.47

Brené Brown's 2010 self-help bestseller is still a favorite amongst Goodreads reviewers for the revelations and impacts her reflections have had on their lives. In this book, Brown explores the psychology behind releasing our expectations of living a "perfect" life and offers 10 benchmarks readers can follow to embrace a more authentic life.

"Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead" by Brené Brown

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.99

Based on 12 years of research, " Daring Greatly " is a self-help book that encourages readers to embrace vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness. With personal anecdotes and plenty of examples, this book demonstrates how vulnerability can open new avenues to courage, connection, and creativity.

"Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World" by Cal Newport

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $14.99

" Deep Work " is a self-help book about productivity that aims to help readers understand how to reach a "deep work" state where we can focus on a mentally demanding task without distraction — a skill that has become harder and harder to master in an increasingly distracted world. Cal Newport argues the importance of deep work and presents four rules readers can follow to transform their productivity habits and reach more focused success.

"The 5 Love Languages" by Gary Chapman

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.57

" The 5 Love Languages " is a self-help book whose concepts have permeated many relationships as its popularity grows. In this book, Dr. Gary Chapman proposes that there are five main ways in which people give and receive love. By understanding your and your partner's love language, you can enrich your relationship by showing love more effectively. 

"Who Moved My Cheese" by Dr. Spencer Johnson

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.17

First published in 1998, " Who Moved My Cheese ?" is a self-help book in the form of a motivational fable of four characters who live in a maze, looking for cheese. Representing anything we may want in life, the cheese is constantly moving and only when one character successfully navigates change to reach the cheese does the reader discover how to navigate change in their own lives.

"The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11

Written after the hit movie of the same name in 2006, " The Secret " is a self-help book that outlines the law of attraction, a concept Rhonda Byrne claims can change or redirect a person's entire life. With this concept, Byrne encourages readers to find the power within themselves to apply "The Secret" to every aspect of life and achieve nearly anything.

"Thinking, Fast and Slow" by Daniel Kahneman

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.29

This psychology book has helped readers understand the way we think by separating our thought processes into two systems: one that is intuitive and one that is deliberate. By knowing how these two systems work separately and together, we can better understand how we make choices and think about thinking. To learn more about this book, check out our review of "Thinking, Fast and Slow."

Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert T. Kiyosaki

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $7.18

Though " Rich Dad, Poor Dad " is usually seen as a business or finance read , Goodreads reviewers love it as a self-help book as well for its lessons on how to make your money work for you. Author Robert T. Kiyosaki grew up with two dads — his own and his best friend's dad — who shaped his views on money and investing in very different ways. In this book, Kiyosaki explains different financial theories to change how many readers view finances.

"The Happiness Project: Or Why I Spent a Year Trying to Sing in the Morning, Clean My Closets, Fight Right, Read Aristotle, and Generally Have More Fun" by Gretchen Rubin

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.19

When Gretchen Rubin realized she wasn't focusing on the things in her life that truly mattered, she decided to dedicate a year to her "happiness project." This autobiographical self-help book is a 12-month chronicle of her journey as she tried new things, focused on improving herself, and embraced happiness while encouraging others to take time and do the same. 

"Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $9.38

In a self-help book that aims to inspire creativity, Elizabeth Gilbert offers an honest look at the creative process — with all of its challenges and unrealistic expectations. This book reminds readers that creativity isn't linear or clean and we can be any degree of an artist, writer, or musician that satisfies our soul.

"Man's Search for Meaning" by Viktor E. Frankl

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $11.99

" Man's Search for Meaning " is a memoir that begins with psychologist Viktor E. Frankl's experiences in Auschwitz during World War II and how he coped with suffering in order to not just survive it, but move forward with purpose. With psychological, philosophical, and sociological influences, this moving read offers self-help advice through the author's inspirational personal account of searching for a guiding meaning in life. It's also a book that therapists recommend to read if you want to build more empathy .

"The 4-Hour Workweek" by Timothy Ferriss

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $13.39

Aiming to help readers escape the confines of a 9-5 job, " The 4-Hour Workweek " encourages a restructuring of our lifestyle to find fulfillment now rather than once we retire. Born of the author's three-week break from his company, this self-help book is modeled after his series of lectures on entrepreneurship given at Princeton University.

"Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity" by David Allen

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $10.29

While many self-help productivity books encourage readers to work harder, " Getting Things Done " proposes that our productivity is directly linked to our ability to relax, as we can only reach our greatest potential when our minds are clear and organized. This book offers core principles, tricks, and advice to help readers streamline their effectiveness, overcome challenging situations, and avoid the burnout that often comes with an overwhelming workload. 

"Mindset: The New Psychology of Success" by Carol S. Dweck

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon  and Bookshop , from $8.55

Dr. Carol Dweck is a psychologist who, after decades of research, has discovered just how powerful and affecting our mindset can be in every aspect of our lives. In this book, she demonstrates how we can influence our success by adopting a growth mindset — and how changing the mindset of a community or organization can inspire incredible success. 

"Outliers: The Story of Success" by Malcolm Gladwell

books recommendation help

Available at Amazon and Bookshop , from $15.94

In this personal development read, Malcolm Gladwell highlights successful "outliers," the best and brightest of our society — from the Beatles to Bill Gates — and what makes them so successful. Gladwell presents the histories of our heroes, their rise to excellence, and how their beginnings carefully positioned them for success. 

books recommendation help

  • Main content

books recommendation help

Quiz: Answer 5 Questions and We’ll Give You 5 Book Recommendations

' src=

Alison Doherty

Alison Doherty is a writing teacher and part time assistant professor living in Brooklyn, New York. She has an MFA from The New School in writing for children and teenagers. She loves writing about books on the Internet, listening to audiobooks on the subway, and reading anything with a twisty plot or a happily ever after.

View All posts by Alison Doherty

I have a TBR that’s metaphorically as long as the Great Wall of China, but I still love taking quizzes about what I should read next . However, more than half the time when I get to the end of a quiz something frustrating happens—I’ve already read that book. With this in mind, I created a quiz where if you answer five questions and we’ll give you five book recommendations. And if you’ve read all five books, I don’t know what to say to you. Have you heard of Netflix ? Or going outside?

Just kidding! But seriously, I hope at least one or two book recommendations stick and you can add something to your ever-expanding to-read lists.

books recommendation help

You Might Also Like

1980s Sci-Fi Books That Aged Badly (And 4 Still Worth Reading)

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Therapy Center
  • When To See a Therapist
  • Types of Therapy
  • Best Online Therapy
  • Best Couples Therapy
  • Best Family Therapy
  • Managing Stress
  • Sleep and Dreaming
  • Understanding Emotions
  • Self-Improvement
  • Healthy Relationships
  • Student Resources
  • Personality Types
  • Verywell Mind Insights
  • 2023 Verywell Mind 25
  • Mental Health in the Classroom
  • Editorial Process
  • Meet Our Review Board
  • Crisis Support

The 7 Best Self-Help Books to Change Your Life

Find yourself in one of these versatile, mind-changing reads

Mary K. Tatum is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist and has worked in the field of psychology for over 15 years, with seven years in the private practice setting.

books recommendation help

Amy Morin, LCSW, is a psychotherapist and international bestselling author. Her books, including "13 Things Mentally Strong People Don't Do," have been translated into more than 40 languages. Her TEDx talk,  "The Secret of Becoming Mentally Strong," is one of the most viewed talks of all time.

books recommendation help

Emily is a board-certified science editor who has worked with top digital publishing brands like Voices for Biodiversity,, GoodTherapy, Vox, and Verywell.

books recommendation help

Until proven otherwise, it’s safe to assume that—as the saying goes—nobody’s perfect. That means we have room for at least some improvement in our lives . And no, we’re not talking about getting a higher-paying job or a new haircut: we’re referring to inner improvement . This involves working on managing some of our less-than-desirable habits and traits—things like being unable to trust other people, having difficulties with interpersonal communication, or lacking self-confidence. 

That’s where self-help books can come in handy. It’s basically like someone has thought extensively about the general challenge you’re facing, and then walks you through steps to help you figure it out—or at least think about it more clearly. To be clear: self-help books are not a replacement for working with mental health professionals. If you’re dealing with a mental illness, seek out a credentialed person you can speak with in person (or over a video call). But for situations without a clinical element, a self-help book can make a difference.

To help you narrow down your options, here are the best self-help books according to the experts.

"A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life's Purpose" by Eckhart Tolle

Can be helpful to reivist certain passages, as needed

Discusses how to effectively process and find meaning in suffering

A lot of overlap with content found in the author's previous book

Many consider Eckhart Tolle one of the great thought leaders our time. Prior to " A New Earth ," Tolle wrote "The Power of Now," a best seller and must-read. The reason "A New Earth" makes this list is quite simple: it goes beyond teaching how to live in the moment and helps readers learn how to turn their suffering into peace. All types of suffering are addressed in the book, from anger and grief to jealousy and anxiety.

Tolle talks a lot about the ego and how to separate ourselves from it. His examples and recommended exercises are not just hocus pocus; they really work and are something anyone can do. Whether your suffering is rooted in jealousy, anger, grief, sadness, anxiety, or depression , Tolle will help you see life from varied perspectives, awakening you to your life’s purpose.

This book is great as a reference point, too. Those who pick up a copy will read it front to back then revisit Tolle's words over and over again. Others will keep it by their nightstands and flip to a chapter when they’re feeling some excess baggage creep in and could use some words of wisdom.

Price at time of publication: $18

"You Are a Badass" by Jen Sincero

Engaging exercises

Accessible writing style

Not the most empathetic towards people with depression

Contains some microaggressions and fat shaming

Far too often, fear gets the best of us. Jen Sincero helps readers go beyond that fear in her New York Times best seller " You Are a Badass ." What sets this self-help book apart from the others are the engaging end-of-chapter exercises.

Instead of casting the book aside and letting it collect dust after you read the last page, you'll be inspired to go back and reflect on the previous exercises you responded to. The exercises also drive home the points Sincero makes through her writing. When you feel a dip in your confidence, going back to your entries will put a positive spin on your day and remind you why you should show yourself more self-love . Also make sure to check out Sincero's follow-up book, "You Are a Badass at Making Money."

Price at time of publication: $8

Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD, psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry.

Some self-help books include daily therapeutic activities and provide comfort and guidance to individuals who are suffering. I recommend individuals meet with a psychiatrist and therapist, and concurrently utilize self-help books to expedite their healing.

"The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens" by Sean Covey

Text is broken up using cartoons and quotes

Could be beneficial for both teens and parents

Updated in 2014, but still can feel outdated

Unnecessary references to dieting and losing weight

Many have read, or at least have heard about, "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. Covey's son Sean followed in his footsteps, making a spinoff version for teenagers that uses the same principles to help young adults master formative areas of their lives.

To make this self-help book age-appropriate and downright fun to read, Covey breaks up the text with cartoons, quotes, brainstorming ideas, and stories from real teens to bring the book together. " The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens " covers   topics like  body image , friendships, relationships, goal-setting, peer pressure, bullying, internet safety, and so much more. Gift this book to your teenage son, daughter, niece, nephew, or grandchild. It's the perfect keepsake to pass down to future generations of teens too.

"What Are You Hungry For?" by Deepak Chopra

Helps readers understand their reasons for certain types of eating

More than simply a guide to healthy eating

Even though it’s not a traditional weight loss book, that component being included at all might turn some people off

Can feel like any other book on weight loss and our relationship with food

Deepak Chopra is the self-help guru of our time, and any one of his books could be recommended for various reasons. " What Are You Hungry For? " will help you see your relationship with food in an entirely new light.

While this self-help book could be considered a guide to help with weight loss, it’s really so much more. Chopra does talk about losing weight and also gives a pretty regimented recommendation on what to eat. But he also digs deeper into the reasoning behind our desire to seek this transformation, and fulfillment is at the center of this argument.

Since change isn’t easy for most, the book offers a lot of intention-setting tips to help readers determine the motives behind their goals. Attaching an emotion to the things you want in life, health-related or otherwise, makes it easier to stay the course when the going gets tough.

Price at time of publication: $16

"Declutter Your Mind" by S.J. Scott

Tackles negative thinking patterns—something a lot of people struggle with

Includes helpful, actionable exercises

May not feel as applicable to people who aren’t self-employed

Writing can feel self-promotional at times

The subtitle of this book provides great insight into the heart of the book: How to stop worrying, relieve anxiety and eliminate negative thinking. " Declutter Your Mind " is a book that is very hands-on with its reader and full of various exercises to engage your mindset. You will learn the causes of mental clutter, how to change negative thoughts to positive ones, strategies to help with rocky relationships, how to identify what’s important to you, the importance of meditation, how to goal set, and much more.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed with stress, worry, or anxiety, this powerful book will do its part in offering various techniques, tips, and tricks to cope with an overactive mind. Reviewers consistently note how much they enjoy the actionable exercises in the book and that the co-authors offer more than a sermon on the importance of living mindfully and in the moment.

Price at time of publication: $15

"Big Magic: Create Living Beyond Fear" by Elizabeth Gilbert

Great for creative people (or those who want to be more creative)

Accessible and conversational writing style makes it easy to read

Gilbert’s “tough love” approach doesn't always translate

Reads more as a memoir than a self-help book in parts

For one reason or another, some were turned off by Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling "Eat Pray Love". But don’t let that turn you away from reading her other material, in particular, " Big Magic ". If you’re an artist or creator of any type and have struggled with a blockage that prevents you from pursuing your calling to its fullest, you’ll want to give this a read.

From creating new habits (and ridding yourself of old ones) to overcoming fear and surrounding yourself with like-minded individuals, Gilbert hits the nail on the head as she dissects the obstacles a creative person may face in pursuing their dreams. Her honest, conversational, no-BS tone will light a fire in your soul and help you be upfront with yourself about what you want from life. A highlight of this book is the usage of real-life examples from regular men and women across the country who have endured in their creative feats.

Price at time of publication: $21

"The Wisdom of Sundays" by Oprah Winfrey

Full of what Oprah Winfrey considers “life-changing insights”

It’s like sitting in on a conversation between Oprah and major thought leaders

Print can be small and hard to read at times

Oprah is the queen of interviewing spiritual gurus, world leaders, therapists, doctors, and other thought leaders. " The Wisdom of Sundays " takes the best-of-the-best from these conversations and combines them into one uplifting read.

The book has 240 pages full of snippets from what Oprah refers to as "life-changing insights". Authors in The Wisdom of Sundays include   Shonda Rimes, Cheryl Strayed, Tony Robbins, Thich Nhat Hahn, Wayne Dyer, and so many more. Take your time with each individual page to make sure you don't skim over any of the wonderful and thought-provoking insights inside.

Price at time of publication: $28

Final Verdict

This one’s tricky, because a self-help book that one person hated could be the one that changed another person’s life. Having said that, if you’re new to the genre, you probably want to stick with a book with a broader appeal, like "Declutter Your Mind" ( view on Amazon ). While not everyone is looking to mold a highly effective teen, everyone does have something that makes them anxious, and this book provides a manageable way of identifying and addressing some of the ones that are holding you back. 

What to Look for in a Self-Help Book

Selecting a self-help book is, for the most part, a highly personal decision (with the exception  being cases when a book is so popular you feel the need to read it, even if you wouldn’t have done so on your own). Given that this genre is not one-size-fits-all—and that people respond to a wide range of styles, topics, and tones—finding the right self-help books for yourself can be a process of trial and error. But, to help guide you through that process, here are a few general things to look for when purchasing a self-help book:

Writing style and tone:

First, think about what kind of book that is likely to be the most helpful in your current situation, as well as the kind you’d actually like to read. These two categories don’t necessarily overlap. For example, you may think you want a clinical-sounding, research-backed guide through a particular condition or situation, but in reality, would find it so boring that you’d never pick it up. And a self-help book just sitting on the shelf isn’t helping anyone.

If you think you’d respond well to something funny, or that it would help hold your interest, look for a self-help book that injects humor into its pages. (And yes, highly qualified experts with fancy degrees can also be hilarious.)

Something your therapist recommends:

If you are working with some type of therapist or counselor , ask them for recommendations for self-help books. Not only are they probably very familiar with this genre, but they also have gotten to know you during your sessions, and may have a good idea of the type of book that you’d benefit from the most.

In addition to tone, self-help books also come in several different formats. “Some individuals fare better with more structure and guidance, while others excel with more creative and fluid feedback,” Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD , psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry explains. “Some people enjoy reading about concepts, while others prefer completing daily tasks and worksheets.”

Frequently Asked Questions

Like many things in life, what you get out of self-help books depends on the time and effort you put into not only reading them, but also doing the work. And no, that doesn’t necessarily include actual worksheets: the “work” also involves taking what you’ve read, sitting with it, processing it, and figuring out how you can use it in your own life (if applicable). 

“Self-help books can, in truth, be very helpful if an individual puts forth the effort to integrate the information learned from the book into their daily life,” Summer R. Thompson , DNP, PMHNP-BC, a mental health nurse practitioner at Community Psychiatry explains.

When someone finds the right self-help book and puts the time into reading it and doing the work, it can have a number of benefits. One is that they can “provide a concrete blueprint for an individual who has identified an issue in their life to navigate addressing it in a healthy manner on their own,” Thompson explains.   

In addition to providing a general blueprint for how a person can approach some of their biggest challenges, self-help books can add structure to individuals’ day-to-day life. “They can motivate individuals to try different strategies and venture into uncomfortable territory,” says Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD , psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry .

Beyond that, Magavi notes that self-help books can lead to more fluid and healthy communication at work and at home, and many allow individuals to remain introspective and practice self-compassion. “It helps individuals identify ways in which they can respond to inevitable stress in a more positive way, and reiterates the fact that they have the power to write their own story and determine their own emotional experience,” she explains.

What the Experts Say

“Self-help books have helped many men and women initiate the often-daunting task of processing their thoughts and assessing their insecurities and weaknesses. Self-help books allow individuals to try different techniques and find what works the best for them to assuage anxiety and confront tumultuous times with grace.” — Dr. Leela R. Magavi, MD , psychiatrist and regional medical director for Community Psychiatry . 

“When looking at self-help books, it is important to look for books that provide clear and attainable goals in the context of the issue you are addressing. If a book makes recommendations that you do not feel are achievable in the context of your life, the book will likely not be very helpful to you and end up collecting dust rather than being an effective self-improvement tool.” — Summer R. Thompson , DNP, PMHNP-BC, mental health nurse practitioner at Community Psychiatry

Why Trust Verywell Mind?

Erinne Magee is a freelance writer covering health, wellness and lifestyle topics. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, and more.

Additional reporting by Elizabeth Yuko

As a seasoned health writer and editor with a special focus on mental health and well-being, Elizabeth Yuko understands how powerful stress-relieving activities can be for many people—as well as the fact that they’re not one-size-fits-all. With decades of first-hand experience dealing with anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder, she’s always on the lookout for new (and research-backed) products, techniques, and services that can help people cope with stress and other mental health challenges. 

By Mary K. Tatum, MS, LMHC Mary is a licensed mental health counselor and psychotherapist with 15 years of experience working in the psychology field. She earned a Bachelor of Science in psychology from Bluefield College and a Master of Science in Psychology from Palm Beach Atlantic University. She began in social work and then moved to drug rehab settings, working as a therapist, group facilitator, and clinical director. She specializes in family dynamic systems, trauma recovery, improving resilience, addiction recovery, and the psychology of successful business management.

Calvin Rosser Logo

About | Essays | Notes | Newsletter | Book Lists

Calvin Rosser Logo

  • Scholarships

The 40 Best Self-Help & Personal Growth Books to Read in 2024

blonde person reading a book in a bright library

Reading good self-help books is the most reliable way to change your life for the better. While the self-improvement and personal growth industry has a mixed reputation, it’s undeniable that if you build the habit of reading self-help books, taking notes, and actioning valuable lessons, you can transform your life in profound ways.

As someone who has read  200+ books  in the last five years, including dozens of self-improvement books and personal development books, I’m a firm believer that you can use books to improve almost any area of your life, including finding a fulfilling career, becoming more productive, learning how to navigate difficult times, developing new skills, and learning how to manage your money.

Given the volume of great works available from the world’s leading thinkers across disciplines, it’s clear that books can help you solve almost any problem in your life. But when it comes to self-help books, the most important thing you can do is  choose the best books  to read. With millions of personal development books available on the market, that task is easier said than done.

This article exists to help make the task of selecting the right self-help books easier. Below, you will find 40 of the best self-improvement books of all time, broken down by categories so that you can find the book that fits your life and current needs. If you get started with these books and put the lessons into practice, you will move closer to where you want to go.

The Best Self-Help Books To Make Your Life Better

Best self-help books for everyone, best self-help books for difficult times, best self-help books for productivity, best self-help books for women, best self-help books for men, best self-help books for your 20s, best self-help books for your career, best self-help books for relationships & romance, best self-help books for your mind, best self-help books for your finances, best self-help books for creativity, how to get more from self-help books, additional book lists, 1. awaken the giant within by tony robbins.

Awaken the Giant Within Book Cover

“Achievers rarely, if ever, see a problem as permanent, while those who fail see even the smallest problems as permanent.”

Rating : 9/10

Why it’s Great : A classic self-improvement book for people who want to embark on a deep psychological investigation of their mind, body, emotions, and finances. You’ll learn about the motivating forces of pain and pleasure, the importance of the questions you ask, and how to clarify and live by your values. Read it slowly and do the exercises.

2. The Subtle Art Of Not Giving A F*Ck By Mark Manson

“The rare people who do become truly exceptional at something do so not because they believe they’re exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they’re obsessed with improvement. And that obsession with improvement stems from an unerring belief that they are, in fact, not that great at all.”

Rating : 9.5/10

Why it’s Great : Mark Manson provides philosophical and candid thoughts on how we can live a better life, starting with rejecting the fluffy, positive psychology obsessed self-improvement culture of the modern era. He explores what it means to embrace the negative aspects of life, take responsibility for everything that happens to us, prioritize good values, and choose the problems that we solve.

3.  How to Stop Worrying and Start Living by Dale Carnegie

“The greatest mistake physicians make is that they attempt to cure the body without attempting to cure the mind; yet the mind and body are one and should not be treated separately.” – Plato

Why it’s Great : In this time-tested book, Dale Carnegie shows us how to conquer worry and anxiety. Via engaging stories that reveal helpful lessons and practical frameworks, Carnegie arms you with an array of tools that will help you start living more fully and without the harmful effects of worry. Even though this book was written in 1936, the deceptively simple lessons from this book will help you better navigate the noise of the modern era.

4.  The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

“It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.”

Why it’s Great : Through an elegant narrative about an Andalusian shepherd boy, Coelho communicates essential life lessons, including the importance of pursuing your passions, living in the present moment, and doing things with love and enthusiasm.

5.  Man’s Search for Meaning by Viktor Frankl

Man's Search for Meaning Book Cover

“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Rating : 10/10

Why it’s Great : In this heart-wrenching story, Holocaust survivor and psychiatrist Viktor Frankl leverages his personal experiences in Nazi concentration camps and the philosophy of logotherapy to show you that you can overcome and find meaning in the face of unimaginable tragedy. His core idea is that while we cannot control what happens to us, we can control how we respond to everything we encounter in life.

6.  When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron

When Things Fall Apart Book Cover

“To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man’s land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh. To live is to be willing to die over and over again.”

Why it’s Great : This book will help you navigate the peaks and valleys of life. Buddhist Pema Chodron shares a compelling philosophy of how to live in a fundamentally shifting world and introduces many concepts from Buddhism that you can incorporate into your life.

7. The Obstacle Is The Way By Ryan Holiday

“We blame our bosses, the economy, our politicians, other people, or we write ourselves off as failures or our goals as impossible. When really only one thing is at fault: our attitude and approach.”

Rating : 8.5/10

Why it’s Great : A practical and actionable philosophy on how to perceive, act, and thrive in an uncertain and changing world. Leveraging the wisdom of the Stoics, Holiday explains how we can deliberately improve the way we perceive the world and find opportunities in the obstacles we face.

8. Meditations By Marcus Aurelius

Meditations Book Cover

“Nowhere you can go is more peaceful—more free of interruptions—than your own soul. Especially if you have other things to rely on. An instant’s recollection and there it is: complete tranquillity. And by tranquillity I mean a kind of harmony.”

Why it’s Great : This is a life-changing collection of philosophical and spiritual thoughts from the former Roman emperor Marcus Aurelius. The work is grounded in Stoicism, a practical philosophy that encourages us to keep our mortality in mind at all times, view things as they are, reflect thoughtfully, focus on what’s within our control, and practice virtues like generosity, honesty, and self-control.

9.  Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit Of Less By Greg McKeown

“Essentialists spend as much time as possible exploring, listening, debating, questioning, and thinking. But their exploration is not an end in itself. The purpose of the exploration is to discern the vital few from the trivial many.”

Why it’s Great : A compelling philosophy about living consciously, focusing on the essential few things that fulfill you, and designing your life to achieve your highest point of contribution. McKeown highlights the danger of failing to recognize tradeoffs, the necessity of learning to say no, the value of deep work , and the importance of play and sleep.

10 .  The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

“And once you understand that habits can change, you have the freedom—and the responsibility—to remake them. Once you understand that habits can be rebuilt, the power of habit becomes easier to grasp, and the only option left is to get to work.”

Rating : 8/10

Why it’s Great : Good habits are the foundation of all personal success. The Power of Habit is a digestible and informed examination of why habits exist, how they work, and how you can change them. This book will give you the foundational understanding required to make new habits stick and break old habits that are limiting your daily life. Pair this book with  Atomic Habits by James Clear to develop more self-mastery, live a happy life, and achieve success.

11.  The Goal: A Process of Ongoing Improvement by Eliyahu Goldratt

“Since the strength of the chain is determined by the weakest link, then the first step to improve an organization must be to identify the weakest link.”

Why it’s Great : The Goal does not make most personal development book lists, and that’s a shame. Through an engaging fictional story about a manager who has 90 days to turn around his plant, author Eliyahu Goldratt teaches you the first principles of operating and improving any system. Reading this book will show you how to implement an effective and efficient process of ongoing improvement. His approach provides you with a valuable skill that will allow you to better approach problems in life and business.

12.  Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach

“While desire naturally arises again, the wisdom of seeing that everything passes is liberating. Observing desire without acting on it enlarges our freedom to choose how we live.”

Why it’s Great : If you have ever struggled with self-compassion, self-love, or low self-esteem, Radical Acceptance is the book for you. Clinical psychologist and meditation teacher, Tara Brach, introduces a fantastic approach that will help you live life with a better understanding of your experiences and emotions.

13.  The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene

“When you show yourself to the world and display your talents, you naturally stir all kinds of resentment, envy, and other manifestations of insecurity… you cannot spend your life worrying about the petty feelings of others”

Why it’s Great : The 48 Laws of Power is a timeless guide that offers a dense, candid, and frightening examination of power and its many dynamics. If you want to understand human nature, get better at identifying bad actors, and avoid the pitfalls of naive positive thinking, this is one of the best personal development books to get a new perspective.

14.  The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle

“To complain is always non-acceptance of what is.”

Why it’s Great : Eckhart Tolle explores presence, thinking, and spirituality to help you understand what presence means, how thinking and non-acceptance drive a lot of human pain, and how to live a life that reduces suffering.

15.   Own the Day, Own Your Life by Aubrey Marcus

“To live one day well is the same as to live ten thousand days well. To master twenty-four hours is to master your life.”

Why it’s Great : A no-nonsense book with tactical, science-backed insights on how to live a healthier, energy-filled, and fulfilling life. Many practices in this book have helped me boost my daily energy and productivity.

16.  The Lessons of History by Will and Ariel Durant

Lessons Of History Book Cover

“So the first biological lesson of history is that life is competition. Competition is not only the life of trade, it is the trade of life—peaceful when food abounds, violent when the mouths outrun the food.”

Why it’s Great : A concise, thematic account of history that covers the core biological, social, economic, and philosophical lessons of history. The Durants introduce you to everything from the 3 fundamental biological lessons of life to the origins of racial antipathies.

17.  Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance By Robert Pirsig

“You are never dedicated to something you have complete confidence in. No one is fanatically shouting that the sun is going to rise tomorrow. They know it’s going to rise tomorrow. When people are fanatically dedicated to political or religious faiths or any other kinds of dogmas or goals, it’s always because these dogmas or goals are in doubt.”

Why it’s Great : Pirsig takes us on a philosophical journey through the engaging narrative of a middle-aged man who takes his son on a motorcycle trip across America. You’ll walk away with a newfound appreciation for philosophy and the great interconnectedness of the world.

18. Designing Your Life by Bill Burnett and Dave Evans

“Life is all about growth and change. It’s not static. It’s not about some destination. It’s not about answering the question once and for all and then it’s all done. Nobody really knows what he or she wants to be.”

Why it’s Great : In this book, Stanford professors Bill Burnett and Dave Evans show you how to use design thinking to create a meaningful, joyful, and fulfilling life. If you fully engage with the frameworks and self-reflection exercises, you will have a clearer path to creating a life worth living.

19. The Defining Decade by Meg Jay

“Goals direct us from the inside, but shoulds are paralyzing judgments from the outside. Goals feel like authentic dreams while shoulds feel like oppressive obligations. Shoulds set up a false dichotomy between either meeting an ideal or being a failure, between perfection or settling. The tyranny of the should even pits us against our own best interests.”

Why it’s Great : This book directly challenges the thirty-is-the-new-twenty culture. Through research and anecdotes from her time as a clinical psychologist, Meg Jay advocates for being intentional about how you spend your twenties.

20.  Wanting: The Power of Mimetic Desire in Everyday Life by Luke Burgis

“We can never know what to want, because, living only one life, we can neither compare it with our previous lives nor perfect it in our lives to come.” – Milan Kundera

Why it’s Great : Wanting is a transformational deep dive into the origins of desire. In it, Luke Burgis shows us how we come to want certain things in life and how we can transform our relationship with desire in ways that allow us to live a more aligned, fulfilling existence with other people. Burgis’s work builds off of the philosophy of René Girard, a French philosopher who spent his life understanding and writing about the human condition.

21.  Mistakes Were Made (But Not by Me) by Caroll Tavris and Elliot Aronson

“Our convictions about who we are carry us through the day, and we are constantly interpreting the things that happen to us through the filter of those core beliefs.”

Why it’s Great : An insightful examination of how and why we self-justify everything we do and the dangers of this human tendency to self-justify. You will walk away with a humbling skepticism about the reliability of your memory, the source of your beliefs, and the motivations behind your actions.

22.  Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

“Don’t tell people how to do things, tell them what to do and let them surprise you with their results.”

Why it’s Great : Phil Knight recounts his struggles, victories, and lessons learned from building Nike from a small startup to a billion dollar shoe giant. He tells engaging and inspiring stories that highlight his personal philosophies on life. Knight encourages us all to seek and pursue a calling, even if we don’t yet know what that means.

23.   Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss

“Persuasion is not about how bright or smooth or forceful you are. It’s about the other party convincing themselves that the solution you want is their own idea. So don’t beat them with logic or brute force. Ask them questions that open paths to your goals. It’s not about you.”

Why it’s Great : International hostage negotiator Chris Voss provides a practical guide and set of principles to improve your effectiveness in getting what you want. You’ll learn that being a good negotiator is about being an effective communicator, understanding what drives people’s decisions, and using counterintuitive techniques, such as asking calibrated questions, beginning with “no”, and listening actively and empathetically.

24.  Give And Take: Why Helping Others Drives Our Success By Adam Grant

“Highly successful people have three things in common: motivation, ability, and opportunity. If we want to succeed, we need a combination of hard work, talent, and luck.”

Why it’s Great : This book reshaped my understanding of what drives success. With an engaging body of research, Wharton professor Adam Grant demonstrates how, combined with motivation, ability, and opportunity, being a giver in our attitudes and actions towards others can fuel our long-term personal and career success.

25 .  How To Lie With Statistics By Darrell Huff

“‘Does it make sense?’ will often cut a statistic down to size when the whole rigmarole is based on an unproved assumption.”

Why it’s Great : We all learn statistics in school, but rarely do we apply the important and basic principles of statistics in adulthood. This book is a great primer on statistics that shows you all of the ways in which we are manipulated by data at work, in the news, and more.

26. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie

“You can make more friends in two months by becoming interested in other people than you can in two years by trying to get other people interested in you.”

Why it’s great: How to Win Friends and Influence People is one of the best self-improvement books of all time. It is full of practical advice for anyone who wants to improve their relationships, influence people, and achieve success. Above all else, Carnegie teaches us that connecting with other people is a skill (not a natural talent) and that through being honest with our shortcomings and intentional in our efforts to overcome those challenges, we develop more self-confidence and rewarding relationships.

27. The Four Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz

Four Agreements Book Cover

“Making assumptions in relationships leads to a lot of fights, a lot of difficulties, a lot of misunderstandings with people we supposedly love.”

Why it’s great: Leveraging the teachings and wisdom of the ancient Toltecs, Don Miguel Ruiz takes you on a spiritual and philosophical path of understanding and changing the agreements you have with yourself. He first shows how you are indoctrinated with beliefs that harm your well-being and then teaches you how to reshape those beliefs. The result is that you leave the book with four new agreements that will help you create a life of connection, joy, and fulfillment.

28.  Models: Attract Women Through Honesty by Mark Manson

“…vulnerability is not a technique or tactic. It is a way of being. It’s not something you learn, it’s a mindset you practice.”

Why it’s Great : Personal development extends to all areas of life, including your romantic endeavors. If you’re struggling in your romantic life, Models is a wonderful book. Author Mark Manson will help you understand how to be less needy, express yourself in healthy ways, and get comfortable with dating in an attempt to make your dating life easier and more rewarding.

29.  Awareness: Conversations with the Masters by Anthony de Mello

“When you renounce or fight something, you become tied to it. In fighting it, you give it power. So instead of fighting, give in. You might find that what you’ve been resisting no longer holds the same power over you.”

Why it’s Great : Awareness is nourishment for the soul. In a humorous and digestible way, Anthony de Mello helps you understand yourself and the world in a way that will help you improve the quality of your life.

30.  Wherever You Go, There You Are by Jon Kabat-Zinn

Wherever You Go There You Are Book Cover

“Meditation is neither shutting things out nor off. It is seeing things clearly, and deliberately positioning yourself differently in relationship to them.”

Why it’s Great : A clear and engaging introduction to practicing meditation and cultivating mindfulness in your life as a pathway to personal development. You will learn about what meditation and mindfulness are, why they matter, how to introduce them to your daily activities and way of operating. If you’re interested in living a life with more clarity, presence, awareness, and acceptance, this book will help you get there.

31.  On the Shortness of Life by Seneca

On The Shortness of Life Book Cover

“It is not that we have a short time to live, but that we waste a lot of it.”

Why it’s Great : On the Shortness of Life is one of those self-improvement books that will make you think. Unlike books that rely on ever-changing scientific research, the Stoic philosopher Seneca uses his life experience to reveal time-tested insights about how to live a good life. Through stories, he reveals the wisdom in slowing down, the futility of worrying about the future, the importance of learning how to master your emotions, and how to act in the face of uncertainty.

32. When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

“I began to realize that coming in such close contact with my own mortality had changed both nothing and everything. Before my cancer was diagnosed, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. After the diagnosis, I knew that someday I would die, but I didn’t know when. But now I knew it acutely. The problem wasn’t really a scientific one. The fact of death is unsettling. Yet there is no other way to live.”

Why it’s Great : What a wonderfully heavy and moving read that offers a window into the human mind grappling with the precipice of life and death. In it, neurosurgeon Paul Kalanithi confronts the question of what makes life meaningful in the face of death. He wrote the book after being diagnosed with Stage IV lung cancer at the peak of his career.

33.  The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel

Psychology of Money Book Cover

“Getting money requires taking risks, being optimistic, and putting yourself out there. But keeping money requires the opposite of taking risk. It requires humility, and fear that what you’ve made can be taken away from you just as fast. It requires frugality and an acceptance that at least some of what you’ve made is attributable to luck, so past success can’t be relied upon to repeat indefinitely.”

Why it’s Great : In the Psychology of Money, Morgan Housel teaches you how to have a better relationship with money and to make smarter financial decisions. Instead of pretending that humans are ROI-optimizing machines, he shows you how your psychology can work for and against you.

34. A Random Walk Down Wall Street: Including A Life-Cycle Guide To Personal Investing By Burton Malkiel

“The core of every portfolio should consist of low-cost, tax-efficient, broad-based index funds.”

Why it’s Great : A Random Walk Down Wall Street is a classic guide full of amazing research that blends history, economics, market theory, and behavioral finance to offer practical and actionable advice for investing and achieving financial freedom. Malkiel’s central message is abundantly clear – begin a consistent savings plan as early as possible and invest the core of your portfolio in low-cost, broad-based index funds.

35. The Simple Path to Wealth by JL Collins

“Since money is the single most powerful tool we have for navigating this complex world we’ve created, understanding it is critical. If you choose to master it, money becomes a wonderful servant. If you don’t, it will surely master you.”

Read this book if you want to get your personal finances in order. In a simple, engaging way, Collins shares the basic wisdom you need to make your money work for you, not against you. You’ll walk away with a practical toolkit to achieving financial freedom with minimal effort.

36. Rich Dad Poor Dad By Robert Kiyosaki

“It’s fear that keeps most people working at a job: the fear of not paying the bills, the fear of being fired, the fear of not having enough money, and the fear of starting over. That’s the price of studying to learn a profession or trade, and then working for money. Most people become a slave to money – and then get angry with their boss.”

Rating : 7.5/10

Why it’s Great : In Rich Dad Poor Dad, Robert Kiyosaki gives you the crash-course financial education that you should have learned in school. If you want to accrue wealth, this self-help book is filled with solid advice and success principles for creating a better financial life.

37. The War Of Art By Steven Pressfield

The War of Art Book Cover

“The counterfeit innovator is wildly self-confident. The real one is scared to death.”

Why it’s Great : If you write or create, read this book. Pressfield names the killer of creative dreams: Resistance. He describes the many forms it takes and outlines a plan to overcome it. If you have creative dreams, Pressfield will prepare and inspire you for the war ahead.

38. The Creative Act by Rick Rubin

“Creativity is not a rare ability. It is not difficult to access. Creativity is a fundamental aspect of being human. It’s our birthright. And it’s for all of us.”

Why it’s Great : Legendary music producer Rick Rubin’s The Creative Act: A Way of Being is a mind-bending series of meditations on what it means to be an artist and creator. Through 78 philosophical musings, Rubin shares the wisdom that we are all artists, offers helpful mental frames for creating and moving through roadblocks, and helps you develop an understanding of what it means to operate as an artist in the world.

39.  The Art Of Possibility by Rosamund And Benjamin Zander

“Gracing yourself with responsibility for everything that happens in your life leaves your spirit whole, and leaves you free to choose again.”

Why it’s Great : In this engaging read, a music conductor and an experienced psychotherapist introduce 12 unique personal development practices that will reshape how you see the world and accelerate your personal and professional growth.

40.  The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron

“No matter what your age or your life path, whether making art is your career or your hobby or your dream, it is not too late or too egotistical or too selfish or too silly to work on your creativity.”

Why it’s Great : This timeless, 12-week course is sure to fill your spirit and help you be more creative. Cameron offers heartfelt advice for all creatives and a medley of helpful practices like morning pages and artist dates that will make you a happier, better creative.

  • To get more out of every self-help and personal growth book you read, check out How to Read a Nonfiction Book. This article will help you get the most out of the time you spend reading, starting with the topic of choosing the right books.
  • If you read with a Kindle (highly recommend), check out Readwise , a tool that allows you to access and learn from all of the highlights and notes you make while you read.
  • If you struggle to read, try listening to audiobooks with Amazon Audible .
  • Finally, I send out a weekly Sunday newsletter, Life Reimagined , with helpful ideas and quotes from good books. If you want to receive small nuggets of wisdom and recommendations for future reading every week, you can sign up below.
  • 28 Books That Will Expand Your Mind
  • 49 Best Philosophy Books for Beginners
  • 11 Best Books On Decision Making
  • 100+ Book Summaries and Notes

books recommendation help

Expiration Dates

From the NYT bestselling author of In Five Years and One Italian Summer! Daphne always knows exactly when her relationships will end. That is, until she meets Jake.

books recommendation help

From Pulitzer Prize finalist Percival Everett comes an action-packed reimagining of Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, both harrowing and ferociously funny, told from Jim's point of view.

books recommendation help

The Best Books Hitting Shelves in March

Discover the most exciting new titles publishing this month!

Recent Book Asks

Ashley profile photo

Adrie Schmidt

Savannah profile photo

Savannah Byram

Sofia Restrepo

lily profile photo

Sudith Tobar

Karalyn Prosser

Addison! profile photo

Myself Myself

Gray profile photo

Samantha Bedell

Ms.cartoon profile photo

Ms.cartoon goofball

Nia Washington

Maile profile photo

Maile Koons

Vanessa profile photo

Vanessa Graham

ZombieRising profile photo


Danielle profile photo

Danielle GL

Billie profile photo

Billie Potter

Maddie profile photo

Trending Books on Likewise

Expiration Dates

In need of a recommendation?

You can ask me any entertainment question and I'll answer instantly.

Ask Pix a question

Subscribe to the Likewise newsletter!

Add a review.

Big Books of Spring

  • Discussions
  • Reading Challenge
  • Kindle Notes & Highlights
  • Favorite genres
  • Friends’ recommendations
  • Account settings
  • About Goodreads
  • Authors & Advertisers Blog
  • Advertisers
  • Author Program
  • Librarian Manual

About carousel 1

Goodreads is the world’s largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help readers discover books they love and get more out of reading. Goodreads launched in January 2007.

A Few Things You Can Do On Goodreads

  • See what books your friends are reading.
  • Track the books you're reading, have read, and want to read.
  • Check out your personalized book recommendations. Our recommendation engine analyzes 20 billion data points to give suggestions tailored to your literary tastes.
  • Find out if a book is a good fit for you from our community’s reviews.

A Message From Our Co-Founder

When I was in second grade, I discovered the Hardy Boys series. Ever since, I've loved to read — both for fun and to improve my mind. And I'm always looking for the next great book.

One afternoon while I was scanning a friend's bookshelf for ideas, it struck me: when I want to know what books to read, I'd rather turn to a friend than any random person or bestseller list.

So I decided to build a website – a place where I could see my friends' bookshelves and learn about what they thought of all their books. Elizabeth, my co-founder (and now my wife) wrote the site copy and I wrote the code. We started in my living room, motivated by the belief that there was a better way to discover and discuss good books, and that we could build it.

Goodreads is that site. It is a place where you can see what your friends are reading and vice versa. You can create "bookshelves" to organize what you've read (or want to read). You can comment on each other's reviews. You can find your next favorite book. And on this journey with your friends you can explore new territory, gather information, and expand your mind. 

Knowledge is power, and power is best shared among readers. 

Welcome back. Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account.

books recommendation help


How to start a book club: Tips and reading suggestions

Copy the code below to embed the wbur audio player on your site.

<iframe width="100%" height="124" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" src=""></iframe>

  • Emiko Tamagawa

A group of friends read books together. (Getty Images)

Starting a book club may seem daunting, from choosing which books to read to keeping meetings regular and on track.

But Traci Thomas , creator of “The Stacks” podcast, says that discussing a book helps readers get more out of the story.

“Regardless of what you thought of it, regardless of what they thought, just hearing different opinions, different insights on characters or writing style, or even what happened,” she says.

Tips for starting and maintaining a book club

1. Aim for no more than 12 people at the beginning. And remember, not everyone will make it to every meeting.

2. For larger groups or virtual meetings, don’t be afraid to call on people to share so everyone has a chance to contribute.

“A lot of the most interesting and thoughtful opinions do come from people who are kind of quiet and sitting in the back and don't want to say anything,” Thomas says.

3. To select books, either let the group vote each time or allow each person to choose a book once. Or combine the two ideas: When it’s a member’s turn to pick, they select three books and the group votes on those options.

“That way, you know for sure you're going to be excited when it's your month, but also everyone's going to be excited,” she says.

4. Set your expectations early. Decide whether it’s mandatory to finish the book to attend the meeting, or if it’s OK for members who haven’t read the book to still join in.

“I personally think that people who don't finish the book should certainly be able to come to book club because sometimes they have insight,” Thomas says. “Book club isn't really always about the details of the plot. It's usually about themes and ideas. If you haven't finished you can still have thoughts about those kinds of things.”

5. Designate a ‘boss’ for each meeting, and change who that person is often. Whether it’s the person hosting the meeting or the one who selected the book, the ‘boss’ leads the discussion and brings questions to the group to start conversations.

6. Be open to whims of conversation leading places you may not have expected. Members making connections to their personal lives or to other works may spur insightful, exciting conversations.

“I have a great moment in our book club. We read ‘A Mercy’ by Toni Morrison, which is a  super challenging novel,” Thomas says. “All of a sudden one of the women in the book club brought up this topic about the Bible, and then I started riffing, and then someone else started riffing. And by the time we finished, we were like, ‘Oh my God. We cracked the entire novel. I'm getting chills thinking about it right now. I was so excited. It was such a thrilling experience.”

Book club recommendations

  • " You Made a Fool of Death with Your Beauty " by Akwaeke Emezi
  • " Monsters " by Claire Dederer
  • " Passing " by Nella Larsen
  • " Romeo and Juliet " by William Shakespeare
  • " True Biz " by Sara Novic
  • " Prison by Any Other Name " by Maya Schenwar and Victoria Law
  • " The Trees " by Percival Everett
  • " The Best We Could Do " by Thi Bui
  • " The Office of Historical Corrections " by Danielle Evans
  • " Beloved " by Toni Morrison
  • " Breathe " by Imani Perry
  • " Never Let Me Go " by Kazuo Ishiguro
  • " The Light of the World " by Elizabeth Alexander
  • " Exit West " by Mohsin Hamid

Emiko Tamagawa  produced and edited this interview for broadcast with  Todd Mundt .  Grace Griffin  adapted it for the web.

This segment aired on March 25, 2024.

Headshot of Scott Tong

Scott Tong Co-Host, Here & Now Scott Tong joined Here & Now as a co-host in July 2021 after spending 16 years at Marketplace as Shanghai bureau chief and senior correspondent.

Headshot of Emiko Tamagawa

Emiko Tamagawa Senior Producer, Here & Now Emiko Tamagawa produces arts and culture segments for Here & Now.

More from Here & Now

  • Skip to main content
  • Keyboard shortcuts for audio player

What's Making Us Happy: Recommendations From 'Pop Culture Happy Hour'

What's making us happy: a guide to your weekend viewing and reading.

Jordan Morris

Walter Chaw

Linda Holmes

Linda Holmes

books recommendation help

A snake (cake?) from the third season of Is It Cake? Netflix hide caption

A snake (cake?) from the third season of Is It Cake?

This week, Beyoncé Beyoncé Beyoncé ! Also, somebody paid a lot of money — a lot — for a door , and baseball returned, extremely terrible uniforms and all.

Here's what NPR's Pop Culture Happy Hour crew was paying attention to — and what you should check out this weekend .

Collecting the Simpsons: The Merchandise and Legacy of Our Favorite Nuclear Family

Collecting the Simpsons

Collecting the Simpsons is a book about Simpsons merchandise — niche audience, I know, but if you're in this niche, you will love this book. I was a '90s kid. I was a Simpsons kid. This book takes you through the T-shirts, the video games, the comics, the cookie jars, all the Simpsons stuff that was being produced around the mid-'90s. It's got interviews with writers, directors and collectors. It goes into the bootleg Bart phenomenon where Bart Simpson was drawn fighting in the Gulf War and playing reggae music. It's a really fun and interesting trip into that time — and a really gorgeous book. — Jordan Morris

The Angel of Indian Lake , by Stephen Graham Jones

The Angel of Indian Lake

Horror novelist Stephen Graham Jones has just published The Angel of Indian Lake. It's the conclusion of The Indian Lake trilogy, about Jade Daniels, a young woman who wonders if she is a final girl. She's a big slasher movie fan, and she uses all the information and knowledge that she has learned from those stories to survive — it's sort of her philosophy of living. Jones is a Native American author and he's so close to the culture when he writes about horror, and werewolves, and vampires and slashers. It is frightening and bloody, but it is also a thoughtful journey of a young woman coming to terms with the idea that she may not be a final girl, but may in fact be a trainer or a mentor for a series of final girls. He writes with such poetry and sensitivity; his books are 90% about these really beautiful, touching, complex interpersonal relationships, and 10% the best gore you ever had. — Walter Chaw

The new season of Is It Cake ?

In a world in which you never know what you're going to get when you turn on a streaming show (Is it going to be too heavy? Is it going to be too goofy?) Netflix's Is It Cake? is a game show where people look at something and try to answer the question: Is it cake? It's hosted by Mikey Day with a very interesting collection of judges and bakers who come on.

Between that, and the return of the Netflix show Physical: 100 , which is just 100 people competing on all kinds of different physical tasks — I am completely happy when it comes to things that I can watch on Netflix without having to pay any attention. — Linda Holmes

More recommendations from the Pop Culture Happy Hour newsletter

by Linda Holmes

I can't believe I haven't been doing the history quiz from NPR's Throughline , but you can rest assured I am righting that wrong as we speak. This week's is about Monopoly, and as you'd expect from the Throughline team, it's a step more interesting than your average quiz.

As a person who loves streaming documentaries , I'm always delighted when I come across a specific call to action that tells people about good ones to watch right now. Here are a few chosen in The New York Times .

Beth Novey adapted the Pop Culture Happy Hour segment "What's Making Us Happy" for the Web. If you like these suggestions, consider signing up for our newsletter to get recommendations every week. And listen to Pop Culture Happy Hour on Apple Podcasts and Spotify .

books recommendation help

17 New Books Coming in April

New novels from Emily Henry, Jo Piazza and Rachel Khong; a history of five ballerinas at the Dance Theater of Harlem; Salman Rushdie’s memoir and more.

Credit... The New York Times

Supported by

  • Share full article

The book cover for “The Cemetery of Untold Stories” shows what appears to be a dead woman on the ground, as foliage surrounds her and the edges of the book.

The Cemetery of Untold Stories , by Julia Alvarez

After decades in America, a Dominican writer named Alma Cruz “retires” to a scrappy piece of real estate she’s inherited in her homeland. But a riot of stories — historical, magical, irrepressible — are still fighting to be told, so she builds a graveyard where their spirits can rise once more.

Algonquin, April 2

The Mango Tree , by Annabelle Tometich

The felony that opens Tometich’s sweet, sharp memoir sets the tone for the whole story: Her mother has been arrested for brandishing a gun at a would-be mango thief. No one is shocked — Tometich’s mother is a force of nature, and her beloved mango tree is the metaphorical center of their sometimes chaotic, often complicated family.

Little, Brown, April 2

The Sicilian Inheritance , by Jo Piazza

Twinned narratives guide the fizzy, food-y latest from Piazza: the modern-day saga of a flailing Philadelphia chef who honors the dying wish of a beloved great-aunt by journeying back to her ancestral Italian homeland, and flashbacks to the plucky great-grandmother whose battle against the constraints of early-20th-century Sicilian womanhood may have ended in her murder.

Dutton, April 2

Sociopath , by Patric Gagne

“Rules do not factor into my decision-making,” the author, a Ph.D. in psychology, writes. “I’m capable of almost anything.” Her new memoir argues that this personality type is more common, and more complicated, than we think.

Simon & Schuster, April 2

Fi , by Alexandra Fuller

In her fifth memoir, Fuller writes about the sudden, unexplained death of her 21-year-old son. She also writes about his too-short life, and explores the adage about life going on. Does it, really? And if so, how?

Grove, April 9

The Limits , by Nell Freudenberger

There’s little limit to the ambitions of Freudenberger’s hefty new novel, which skips from a small volcanic island in the South Pacific to the concrete canyons of Manhattan in a complex tale of co-parenting, second marriages, class and climate change. (Also, coral reefs.)

Knopf, April 9

Somehow , by Anne Lamott

“Thoughts on Love” is the subtitle of Lamott’s 20th book, which considers the subject in its romantic, platonic and spiritual varieties.

Riverhead, April 9

The Wide Wide Sea , by Hampton Sides

When the British naval officer James Cook set off for his voyage across the globe in 1776, his ostensible goal was to ferry Mai, a handsome and witty Tahitian man, back to Polynesia. But, as Sides shows in this vivid recounting, the leitmotif of what became Cook’s final journey was his confrontation with the dire results of his meddling in the region.

Doubleday, April 9

The Wives , by Simone Gorrindo

When Gorrindo’s husband joined an army unit and was promptly deployed overseas, the New York-based journalist was not just relocated to a base in Georgia, but to a completely new life. “The Wives” — both memoir and love letter — is a tribute to the community of women she found there, a unique source of support unlike any she had ever known.

Scout Press, April 9

Knife , by Salman Rushdie

Rushdie’s new memoir is a detailed account of the harrowing events of Aug. 12, 2022, when he was attacked onstage at a public talk. More than 30 years after the supreme leader of Iran issued a fatwa on his life, the writer turns to his craft to “make sense of the unthinkable.”

Random House, April 16

A Body Made of Glass , by Caroline Crampton

Crampton, a British journalist, weaves her own cancer diagnosis, and its cure, into this cultural history of hypochondria, which also considers such literary figures as Charles Darwin, Charlotte Perkins Gilman and Philip Larkin.

Ecco, April 23

Funny Story , by Emily Henry

Henry’s latest contribution to the library of lightheartedness is a novel of opposites. What happens when spurned lovers team up against the people who hurt them? Bonus points because one character in this love square happens to be a small town librarian.

Berkley, April 23

Reboot , by Justin Taylor

This satire of modern media and pop culture follows a former child actor who is trying to revive the TV show that made him famous. Taylor delves into the worlds of online fandom while exploring the inner life of a man seeking redemption — and something meaningful to do.

Pantheon, April 23

The Demon of Unrest , by Erik Larson

Abraham Lincoln hadn’t even settled into his new job as president of the United States when the country he was narrowly elected to lead began to crack apart. Larson, a best-selling historian, traces the figures who tried to stop the American Civil War from happening in the lead-up to the attack on Fort Sumter.

Crown, April 30

A Life Impossible, by Steve Gleason and Jeff Duncan

In 2011, Steve Gleason, a former safety for the New Orleans Saints, learned that he had amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (A.L.S.) and was told he had three years to live. “A Life Impossible” is his memoir of marriage, fatherhood, his football career and surviving the last decade.

Knopf, April 30

Real Americans , by Rachel Khong

Khong’s sophomore novel is a tale about the evolution of one family over the course of generations. As the story opens, Lily, who is the daughter of Chinese immigrants, begins a love affair with Matthew, the wealthy son of an aristocratic family. But as Lily and her child eventually learn, their family history is more complicated than it seems.

The Swans of Harlem , by Karen Valby

In the wake of M.L.K.’s assassination, the George Balanchine protégé Arthur Mitchell felt compelled to establish a space where Black bodies could break the lily-white codes of ballet and hold center stage. And so the Dance Theater of Harlem was born — and with it, the careers of five “swans” whose journey through the cultural, political and physical tumult of the times Valby chronicles here.

Pantheon, April 30

Explore More in Books

Want to know about the best books to read and the latest news start here..

James McBride’s novel sold a million copies, and he isn’t sure how he feels about that, as he considers the critical and commercial success  of “The Heaven & Earth Grocery Store.”

How did gender become a scary word? Judith Butler, the theorist who got us talking about the subject , has answers.

You never know what’s going to go wrong in these graphic novels, where Circus tigers, giant spiders, shifting borders and motherhood all threaten to end life as we know it .

When the author Tommy Orange received an impassioned email from a teacher in the Bronx, he dropped everything to visit the students  who inspired it.

Do you want to be a better reader?   Here’s some helpful advice to show you how to get the most out of your literary endeavor .

Each week, top authors and critics join the Book Review’s podcast to talk about the latest news in the literary world. Listen here .


Go inside Hub City Bookshop in South Carolina and meet mascot cat Zora

Independent bookstores are the heartbeats of their communities. They provide culture and community, generate local jobs and sales tax revenue, promote literacy and education, champion diverse and new authors, connect readers to books in a personal way, and actively support the right to read and access to books in their communities.

Each week we profile an independent bookstore, sharing what makes each one special and getting their expert book recommendations.

This week we have Hub City Bookshop in Spartanburg, South Carolina !

What’s your store’s story?

Hub City Bookshop was opened in 2010 as part of the literary nonprofit, Hub City Writers Project. We have a wide variety of titles and genres, and are dedicated to cultivating readers and nurturing writers. We also have a resident cat, Zora Nelle, who we lovingly call our marketing director since she is on all of our merch!

Check out: USA TODAY's weekly Best-selling Booklist

What makes your independent bookstore special?

In addition to hosting author signings, we partner with local nonprofits to donate books to different causes. Most recently, we donated banned books to Uplift Outreach in Spartanburg. And our sister press, Hub City Press , focuses on publishing new and extraordinary voices from the American South. Our customers love the personalized experience of shopping in a place where everyone knows their name and reading tastes!

What's your favorite section in your store?

My favorite section is the front display with all the new books — four tables with all the new fiction and nonfiction. I love seeing the new books that came out this week, as well as searching for my next read!

Why is shopping at local, independent bookstores important?

Independent bookstores make better citizens. We provide educational material about current events, as well as recommending books with viewpoints that people may not otherwise read. We can give personalized recommendations for gift-giving and personal reading. Each book is placed on the shelf with care and consideration. Plus, we understand the struggle of a never-ending to-be-read pile! Ultimately, the experience at an indie shop is a warm and welcoming experience that cannot be replicated.

Check out these titles recommended by Hub City Bookshop :

  • "The Book of Goose" by Yiyun Li
  • "The Big Game is Every Night" by Robert Maynor
  • "So Late in the Day" by Claire Keegan


Subscribe Now! Get features like

books recommendation help

  • Latest News
  • Entertainment
  • Real Estate
  • MI vs RR Live Score
  • Election Schedule 2024
  • IPL 2024 Schedule
  • IPL Points Table
  • IPL Purple Cap
  • IPL Orange Cap
  • Bihar Board Results
  • The Interview
  • Web Stories
  • Virat Kohli
  • Mumbai News
  • Bengaluru News
  • Daily Digest


International Children's Book Day 2024: Date, theme, history, significance and all you need to know

International children's book day (icbd) is celebrated annually on april 2 to promote reading and to inspire a love for books among children worldwide..

Every year, the International Children 's Book Day (ICBD) is celebrated in honour of the Danish author Hans Christian Anderson. The aim of the day is to encourage children's love of reading through the use of books. Each year, the International Bureau of Children's Books (IBBY) chooses a new department to be the international sponsor of ICBD. The IBBY selects a theme and asks a well-known writer from the host nation to pen a letter to young readers everywhere. This message is then accompanied by an illustration by a renowned illustrator on a poster. Many strategies are used to promote books and reading with the resources produced by IBBY. From date to history, scroll down to know more. (Also read: Chaitra Navratri 2024: Is Chaitra Navratri starting from April 8 or April 9? Know correct date of the Hindu festival )

International Children's Book Day is a yearly event celebrated on April 2.(Unsplash)

International Children's Book Day 2024 date and theme

Every year International Children's Book Day is observed on April 2 and this year it will be celebrated on Tuesday. IBBY Japan (JBBY) is honoured to be the official sponsor of ICBD 2024, under the theme "Cross the Seas on the Wing of your Imagination".

Well-known Japanese writer and 2018 HC Andersen Award recipient Eiko Kadono wrote a letter to all children worldwide. The poster was made by Japanese artist Nana Furiya, who resides in Slovakia and has an international outlook. The keyword for ICBD 2024 is imagination. JBBY believes that fostering imagination will lead to mutual understanding and a spirit of tolerance.

International Children's Book Day history

ICBD was initiated by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), a non-profit organization founded in Zurich, Switzerland, in 1953. The organization aims to promote international understanding through children's books, as well as to advocate for children's right to access quality literature.

The idea for International Children's Book Day was proposed by Jella Lepman, a German writer and journalist, who founded the International Youth Library in Munich in 1949. Lepman strongly believed in the power of children's literature to foster empathy, understanding, and cultural exchange, especially in the aftermath of World War II.

The first International Children's Book Day was celebrated on April 2, 1967, coinciding with Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, the renowned Danish author best known for his fairy tales. Andersen's works have had a profound influence on children's literature worldwide, making his birthday a fitting date to celebrate children's books.

Significance of International Children's Book Day

International Children's Book Day is important because it encourages children around the world to read for pleasure and to become more literate. This annual event, organised by the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY), celebrates children's literature and the continuing legacy of authors such as Hans Christian Andersen. Through books, children are given the opportunity to discover many points of view, spark their imagination and develop a lifelong love of reading, helping to create a brighter future through the power of storytelling.

Join Hindustan Times

Create free account and unlock exciting features like.

books recommendation help

  • Terms of use
  • Privacy policy
  • Weather Today
  • HT Newsletters
  • Subscription
  • Print Ad Rates
  • Code of Ethics


  • Elections 2024
  • GT vs SRH Live Score
  • India vs England
  • T20 World Cup 2024 Schedule
  • IPL 2024 Auctions
  • T20 World Cup 2024
  • Cricket Players
  • ICC Rankings
  • Cricket Schedule
  • Other Cities
  • Income Tax Calculator
  • Budget 2024
  • Petrol Prices
  • Diesel Prices
  • Silver Rate
  • Relationships
  • Art and Culture
  • Telugu Cinema
  • Tamil Cinema
  • Exam Results
  • Competitive Exams
  • Board Exams
  • BBA Colleges
  • Engineering Colleges
  • Medical Colleges
  • BCA Colleges
  • Medical Exams
  • Engineering Exams
  • Horoscope 2024
  • Festive Calendar 2024
  • Compatibility Calculator
  • The Economist Articles
  • Explainer Video
  • On The Record
  • Vikram Chandra Daily Wrap
  • PBKS vs DC Live Score
  • KKR vs SRH Live Score
  • EPL 2023-24
  • ISL 2023-24
  • Asian Games 2023
  • Public Health
  • Economic Policy
  • International Affairs
  • Climate Change
  • Gender Equality
  • future tech
  • Daily Sudoku
  • Daily Crossword
  • Daily Word Jumble
  • HT Friday Finance
  • Explore Hindustan Times
  • Privacy Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Subscription - Terms of Use



  1. Book Recommendation Printable (With images)

    books recommendation help

  2. Most Recommended Books

    books recommendation help

  3. 5 Book Recommendation Templates by First Grade Fundamentals

    books recommendation help

  4. 6 Book Recommendation Apps That’ll Tell You What to Read Next

    books recommendation help

  5. Free Book Recommendation Form

    books recommendation help

  6. Book Recommendation Template Teaching Resources

    books recommendation help


  1. Books recommendation based on their tropes ❤️💌🌹#books#booktube #bookrecommendations #reading

  2. Book recommendation #books #booktok #booktube #bookstagram #booklover


  1. What Should I Read Next? Book recommendations from readers like you

    Each month there is a live monthly Q&A with a wide range of interesting authors. This is your opportunity to understand your favourite books on a much more personal level. View Upcoming AMAs. What Should I Read Next? Book recommendations from readers like you. Register for free to build your own book lists.

  2. Five Books

    The Best Nonfiction Books: The 2024 Duff Cooper Prize, recommended by Susan Brigden"We're looking for books that are distinguished, are beautiful, are going to last". "I've got a bit of a weakness for nonfiction series, where an academic or other expert tries to encapsulate their entire field or subject in 100 or so pages.".

  3. What Book Should You Read Next?

    Introduce me to a family I'll love (even if they break my heart) The Bee Sting, by Paul Murray. This tragicomic novel follows a once wealthy, now ailing Irish family, the Barneses, as they ...

  4. What to Read Now

    15 New Books Coming in March. Memoirs from RuPaul and Christine Blasey Ford; Tana French's latest crime thriller; new novels by Percival Everett and Téa Obreht — and more. By The New York ...

  5. 15 Of The Best Book Recommendation Sites To Find Your Next Book

    9. Olmenta. All of the recommendations on Olmenta are submitted by passionate readers. The site allows you to peruse titles by genre or category, and it's a fun way to let someone else pick a book for you (without needing to do any real work on your end). You can submit your own suggestions, too.

  6. Whichbook

    Safe books to keep you warm. Disturbing books - find your limit. Unpredictable books to keep you guessing. Beautiful books to read. Disgusting books to shock you. Gentle books to slow things down. Violent books from slapstick to depravity. Demanding books which offer a challenge. Weird and unusual books to stretch the imagination.

  7. 8 Book Recommendation Apps to Find Your Next Read

    Here are eight book recommendation apps and services to help you find that perfect book you didn't know you needed. Happy hunting! Book Riot's TBR. Ok, TBR is not an app. It is however, a fast and easy way to connect with a professional bibliophile who will handpick books for you based on your tastes and favorite authors. Vast bookish ...

  8. NPR : Books We Love

    Books We Love Great reads, thoughtfully curated by NPR. About. 2023 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013. What would you like to read? Mix and match the filters below and the years above to explore more than 3,600 recommendations from NPR staff and trusted critics.

  9. What Should I Read Next?

    21 Books To Help You Learn Something New. The Books That Inspired "Saltburn" Insightful Therapy Books To Read This Year. Historical Fiction With Female Protagonists. Best Thrillers of All Time. ... Upload book purchases, access your personalized book recommendations, and more from here.

  10. Don't Know What to Read Next? This Comprehensive Book Map Can Help

    TheLibraryMap is an online tool that organizes 100,000 book titles in a way that's visually pleasing and easy to navigate. Each bubble on the map represents a different book, with the size of ...

  11. The 11 Best Sites for Finding What Books to Read Next

    There are no signups, no algorithms, and no real explanation as to how the books end up on the list, except for a link to recommend books via Twitter to the brains behind the operation. 11. Reddit. The Subreddits /r/Books and /r/BookSuggestions are a good place to go to find other like-minded people on the hunt for a good read.

  12. 100 Good Books to Read: Book Recommendations by Topic

    Best Self-Help Books; Best Writing Books; III. Best Fiction Books. These are the best fiction books to read, listed by category. Best Novels of All-Time; Best Fantasy Books; Best Mystery Books; IV. Book Summaries. For many of the nonfiction books I read, I publish my personal notes and write a three sentence summary of the main ideas in the book.

  13. Most Recommended Books

    The Looming Tower. by Lawrence Wright. The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright is a detailed narrative history of the events leading to 9/11, based on five years of research and hundreds of interviews. Find out below why it is one of Five Books' most recommended books. Recommended 7 times.

  14. Meet New Books

    Type in a book, series or topic you enjoyed to see recommendations on what to read next. Recommendations on books to read next. Find books that are similar to what you've read before. See what readers recommend. You can also search by trope or genre: romance books, fantasy books, paranormal books. Look for fiction or non-fiction, and more.

  15. 28 Websites to Help You Find Your Next Great Read

    10. Olmenta. Olmenta is a simple tiled list of book covers that the service thinks you should read. You can select several genres like business, fiction, children's, theater, poetry, or nonfiction, and several others. It's a pretty straightforward book recommendation site.

  16. Goodreads

    Quotes. "Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.". "I'm selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best.". "So many books, so little time.". "Two things are infinite: the ...

  17. 25 Best Self-Help Books in 2022, According to Goodreads Members

    Amazon. Available at Amazon and Bookshop, from $11.98. "Atomic Habits" is a practical self-help book that helps readers change bad habits and develop good ones. With an abundance of practical ...

  18. Take This Book Recommendations Quiz to Find Your Next Read

    Quiz: Answer 5 Questions and We'll Give You 5 Book Recommendations. I have a TBR that's metaphorically as long as the Great Wall of China, but I still love taking quizzes about what I should read next. However, more than half the time when I get to the end of a quiz something frustrating happens—I've already read that book. With this in ...

  19. The 7 Best Self-Help Books to Change Your Life

    Gilbert's "tough love" approach doesn't always translate. Reads more as a memoir than a self-help book in parts. For one reason or another, some were turned off by Elizabeth Gilbert's best-selling "Eat Pray Love". But don't let that turn you away from reading her other material, in particular, "Big Magic".

  20. The 40 Best Self-Help & Personal Growth Books to Read in 2024

    Best Self-Help Books for Difficult Times. 6. When Things Fall Apart by Pema Chodron. "To be fully alive, fully human, and completely awake is to be continually thrown out of the nest. To live fully is to be always in no-man's land, to experience each moment as completely new and fresh.

  21. 8 New Books We Recommend This Week

    Our fiction recommendations this week include a "gleeful romp" of a series mystery, along with three novels by some heavy-hitting young writers: Téa Obreht, Helen Oyeyemi and Tommy Orange.

  22. Book Recommendations

    If you're up for a challenge, view my profile and recommend a book based on my favorites! I'm dying for new books to read. Please make sure all recommendations are clean books :) #romance #adventure #fantasy #action #dystopian #regency #historical #lovetriange. See 16 Suggestions. Talia Hill.

  23. For book recommendations and book discussion

    Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom: Was pretty good, but not amazing. An Ember in the Ashes Series: Read ages ago and don't really remember except that I recall I really liked the first book, lost me on the second. Legend Series (Marie Liu): Read ages ago, can't remember what it's about, but I liked it at the time.

  24. About Goodreads

    Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers and book recommendations. Our mission is to help readers discover books they love and get more out of reading. Goodreads launched in January 2007. A Few Things You Can Do On Goodreads. See what books your friends are reading. Track the books you're reading, have read, and want to read.

  25. How to start a book club: Tips and reading suggestions

    To select books, either let the group vote each time or allow each person to choose a book once. Or combine the two ideas: When it's a member's turn to pick, they select three books and the ...

  26. Here's how you can read more books, according to experts : NPR

    A Economist/YouGov poll found that 46% of Americans finished zero books last year and 5% read just one last year. Out of the 1,500 American's surveyed in the poll, only 21% read more than ten books.

  27. What's Making Us Happy: A guide to your weekend viewing and reading

    Collecting the Simpsons is a book about Simpsons merchandise — niche audience, I know, but if you're in this niche, you will love this book. I was a '90s kid. I was a Simpsons kid. This book ...

  28. 17 New Books Coming in April

    17 New Books Coming in April New novels from Emily Henry, Jo Piazza and Rachel Khong; a history of five ballerinas at the Dance Theater of Harlem; Salman Rushdie's memoir and more. Credit...

  29. Go inside Hub City Bookshop in South Carolina

    We can give personalized recommendations for gift-giving and personal reading. Each book is placed on the shelf with care and consideration. Plus, we understand the struggle of a never-ending to ...

  30. International Children's Book Day 2024: Date, theme, history

    The first International Children's Book Day was celebrated on April 2, 1967, coinciding with Hans Christian Andersen's birthday, the renowned Danish author best known for his fairy tales.