Hi everyone! Today I’m bringing you some book recommendations with my dear friend Angela! Angela reached out to me so we could recommend some books based on what we have read before. The idea is to give you ideas to reach your reading goals, should you need them!
Quick note before I go on, this post will be replacing my planned post for tomorrow!
Below are the books I selected for 9 genres and why I selected them. I have linked to their Goodreads page (feel free to add me – username is starringpamela and I have a link in my signature) so you can add them to your own shelf or find the book and ISBN easily.
- The Diary of Frida Kahlo: An Intimate Self-Portrait by Frida Kahlo
This autobiography is Frida Kahlo’s diary during the last ten years of her life. It is full of not only words from Kahlo herself, but also colorful art on the pages as well.
- I am Malala by Malala Yousafzai
Written by the youngest ever Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai tells the story not only of her life, but also her parents, extended family, and her country of birth, Pakistan. Even though my parents are from Mexico (I’m from the United States where I’ve always lived) I feel that I didn’t truly understand what it meant to leave a country you’ve always known and loved without a clear idea of when you may be able to return until I read Yousafzai’s book. I really enjoyed learning all about her life and what she experienced in Pakistan.
- Buffering: Unshared Tales of a Life Fully Loaded by Hannah Hart
I have followed Hart’s channel for years on YouTube and even got to meet her twice (I have a signed copy of her book from one of those meetings!) so I was excited to read her book. While Hart has mentioned a lot of these tales in her videos, this is the first time she truly delved into them and told the whole story from her point of view. It’s been amazing to see her change and grow over the course of her channel and reading her book was incredible. This book does also fall into the “genre” of YouTube books, which are normally kept together in bookstores as well so you may also see it there. I also reviewed this book long ago if you want to take a look!
- The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
Following a shepherd boy named Santiago from the Andalusian region of Spain, Coelho’s book takes us through to Egypt as he searches for a treasure. Santiago’s goal is ridiculed, doubted, and challenged throughout his journey. I really thought I would be bored reading this book but it completely surprised me.
- To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I first read To Kill a Mockingbird in school but it was so long ago that I wanted to reread it. I really enjoyed it much more now than I did in school. Looking back, I remember I hadn’t enjoyed the character of Scout at all but this time around I really did.
- The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
I read this book a little after the Hulu series came out (although I have yet to watch it as I don’t have Hulu). Offred lives in the Republic of Gilead as a Handmaid, whose only job is to get pregnant for those in society who cannot have children of their own. She remembers life before Gilead when she was allowed to read, work, and think and it’s an incredibly powerful tale.
- Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo (second book is Crooked Kingdom)
These books are YA but they are centered around exciting heists that the characters partake in. I really enjoyed these books and I need to go back and read the rest of Bardugo’s books as I loved the world and the style.
- Caraval by Stephanie Garber
I received this book as part of a giveaway by another blogger and I’m so glad I did as I loved it! Scarlett has dreamed of seeing Caraval, a performance where the audience is part of the show, but it is only held once a year and faraway from her island home. She and her sister, Tella, run away to see Caraval before Scarlett’s wedding but they are separated and Tella becomes part of the performance as whoever finds Tella first is the winner of the game. It is such a fun journey and I can’t wait for the sequel coming out in May. I reviewed this book before as well.
- A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas (Second book is A Court of Mist and Fury and the third is A Court of Wings and Ruin)
I have loved Maas’ books since discovering them in 2016 and always look forward to the next book she writes. The ACOTAR series and Throne of Glass series are both amazing but ACOTAR is my favorite. We follow Feyre as she is taken hostage to the world of the faerie, along with her intense hatred towards all things fae. This is a Beauty and the Beast retelling so already you can see why I love it!
- Carve the Mark by Veronica Roth
I selected this book as I really enjoyed reading Roth’s story of Cyra and Akos. Cyra is the sister of the Shotet ruler who has a current gift that allows her to inflict pain. Her brother uses her and her current gift to torture those who oppose him. Akos is a farm boy of the Thuvhe who is kidnapped by the Shotet. Cyra and Akos then have to decide if they will work together or against each other to achieve their goals. I really enjoyed this book and reviewed it as well!
- The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern
This book I need to reread as it’s so beautiful! If you liked the sound of Caraval and Carve the Mark I think you’ll like this. Rather than “fantasy” I personally refer to these types of books, along with the next book, as “fantastical” because I think it’s more descriptive. It’s more of a fairy tale sort of story telling somehow and I love it. For this book, Morgenstern wrote this during a NaNoWriMo contest which is incredible. Her story revolves around young magicians Celia and Marco who are competing for their mentors. The circus around them is their arena with those visitors who are in love with the circus unaware of the battle occurring around them.
- Marina by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
I first read this book while I studied abroad in Barcelona and fell in love with it. This story follows Oscar and Marina as they work to solve a mystery in Barcelona. This is all told from Oscar’s point of view years after the events have occurred. I want to reread this book as well as it’s been a few years.
- Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic by Alison Bechdel
I first heard of this book from the musical based on it, Fun Home. I loved seeing one of the songs from the musical performed at the Tony Awards so I picked up the book. It’s an autobiographical graphic novel in which Alison looks back at her life after coming out as a lesbian and learning her late father was gay. This book also falls into the LGBT genre and I do like how she told the story of her life. I could also have put it under autobiography but I thought it fit better here, although it is found in the autobiography/biography section of the bookstore.
- Ms. Marvel by G. Willow WIlson and Adrian Alphona
This is a Marvel superhero comic following Kamala Khan who becomes Ms. Marvel after she gains superpowers. Of course, she has to balance life as a teenager in school while keeping her powers a secret from her family and everyone else. I really enjoyed Kamala’s point of view regarding her Muslim heritage as well.
- March Books 1-3 by John Lewis, Andrew Aydin, and Nate Powell
This series presents the life of John Lewis through his work as a member of the civil rights movement but from his perspective as he attends the inauguration of President Barack Obama, the first black President of the United States. It was a powerful way to tell the story of an amazing life and I highly recommend.
- The New Cool: A Visionary Teacher, His FIRST Robotics Team, and the Ultimate Battle of Smarts by Neal Bascomb
This book follows a team of students who enter a FIRST Robotics competition in 2009. I read this book because I work on this event through my work and I was able to go to their competition for work last year in Houston, Texas. The students spend six weeks building a robot to compete in the Championship against other students. In fact, if you’re interested in seeing this year’s game (it changes every year) for the competition, you can see the animation on YouTube that I’ve linked here. It looks so intense this year! Now if only I could get someone to teach me how to build a robot! This is truly an amazing event and it was so fun to see!
- Hamilton: The Revolution by Lin Manuel Miranda and Jeremy McCarter
This book follows the creation of Hamilton the musical that Angela and I are both obsessed with. The book is filled with the lyrics to all the songs in the musical along with notes in the margin by Miranda. Many of the creators and original cast members are features in the book as well.
- Turtles All the Way Down by John Green
This is the first book by John Green that I’ve read. The book centers around Aza, who is a 16 year old living with anxiety and OCD. She and her best friend, Daisy, stumble onto a mystery when a local billionaire goes missing and Aza reunites with his son and her former camp friend, Davis. I felt that I got a greater understanding of OCD although I had to take breaks because my own anxiety was not enjoying that part of the novel that much. Overall it was a great story and I really enjoyed that journey.
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This book follows Christopher, who is a 15 year old with autism. One day he comes across his neighbor’s dog, Wellington, who was killed during the night and he decides to solve the mystery himself after the police show no interest in doing so. During the course of his investigation, Christopher conveys his confusion and even fear of a world he is unable to understand and his determination to discover what happened to Wellington. Both this book and Turtles All the Way Down are stories with strong mental health themes as well. While that wasn’t planned I’m glad I included them!
- Gallagher Girl Series by Ally Carter
I reread this series last year and it was such a nice series to revist. The Gallagher Girls series (starting with the above linked I’d Tell You I Love You But Then I’d Have to Kill You) is a great series to spend time with. It is young adult so these books are fairly short and I was able to get through them pretty fast. I did review each book in the series and if you’re interested you can check out the first one here.
- When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon
I knew I wanted to read this book the moment I heard a lot of booktubers talking about it. Dimple is heading to college but before she officially starts she joins a summer program for developers at her future school. What she doesn’t realize is that her parents intended for her to meet Rishi. While Dimple shuns all ideas of arranged marriages, Rishi is excited about it. The two instantly clash but agree to work together to try to win the competition. I loved seeing how different the two characters were and there was a great aspect in the book about the tech industry as well. I really enjoyed it and thought it was a fun read.
So those are all my suggested books! Let me know if you check out any of them and be sure to check out Angela‘s post as well about her book recommendations.
Thanks for reading!
Follow me on social media!