Editor’s Top Reading Selections and Next-Up Anticipated Releases

Broaden your reading options

Nicole Akers
Jan 6 · 5 min read
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Photo by Daniela Constantini from Pexels

Each year I am amazed at the number of books an individual can read in one year’s time. On occasion, I’ve had a goal to read a certain number of books each month, but seldom am I able to keep up with the goal on a consistent basis. Whether you read for pleasure, learning purposes, or perhaps as an escape from everyday life, we know that reading is good for us. Real Simple says:

“Reading puts your brain to work, and that’s a very good thing. Those who who engage their brains through activities such as reading, chess, or puzzles could be 2.5 times less likely to develop Alzheimer’s disease than those who spend their down time on less stimulating activities.”

If you’re more likely to do just about anything else other than read, perhaps you can benefit from keeping track of your progress on Goodreads. If you have a competitive nature or need accountability partners, you can register for a reading challenge.

Here are some that top the best seller’s list to get you started:

Caste recommended by Isabel Wilkerson

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Amazon

Caste is #1 New York Times Best Seller, favored by Oprah’s Book Club, and long listed for the National Book Award. “An instant American classic and almost certainly the keynote nonfiction book of the American century thus far.” — Dwight Garner, The New York Times

Wilkerson points to ways Americans can move beyond the caste systems of race, class, and other societal factors.

Pretty Things by Janelle Brown

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Amazon

Pretty Things is a New York Times Bestseller connecting two wildly different women — one a grifter, the other an heiress — are brought together by the scam of a lifetime in a page-turner from the New York Times bestselling author of Watch Me Disappear.

One poor girl learns to steal to survive from rich L.A. kids, and the other lives a life of luxury, but has a painful past. Their paths collide in this tale, which has been turned into a Netflix series.

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World by Fareed Zakaria

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Amazon

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World is a New York Times Best Seller. Everyone wonders what the world will be like on the other side of the pandemic. What changes will we carry forward? What doesn’t matter? How will life be different?

Ten Lessons for a Post-Pandemic World speaks to past, present, and future, and, while urgent and timely, is sure to become an enduring reflection on life in the early twenty-first century.

The Jane Austen Society: A Novel by Natalie Jenner

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Amazon

The Jane Austen Society is an International Bestseller. Can you imagine what life was like after the Second World War? This novel brings the times to life for you. Set in the Jane Austen’s hometown of Chawton, England, you’ll meet a doctor, a lawyer, a laborer and others who endeared the words of Austen. Each has their own life struggles, and they come together to create The Jane Austen Society.

The Splendid and The Vile by Erik Lawson

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Amazon

In The Splendid and the Vile, a #1 New York Times Bestseller, Larson brings to life Winston Churchill’s teaching his people how to be brave. When faces with difficulty, we can hope we’d be brave, but we don’t know if we are until we face reying times. If you feel like you’ve lived through a tough year, you may want to read about the times that have been dubbed London’s darkest year.

The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism

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Amazon

Berfield’s The Hour of Fate: Theodore Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, and the Battle to Transform American Capitalism unites historic figures and how they tackle democracy and capitalism on Wall Street. If you’re asking the same questions today, you may enjoy a look back at how the ideas were handled during a national emergency. Who were the players and what were they doing? More importantly, how will they affect our future?

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

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Amazon

If Oprah’s recommendation doesn’t carry enough weight, you may be enticed by the George Saunders’ credentials to teach MFA students at Syracuse University. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a book that taps into an underground network of writers and readers who put reading at the center of their lives. If you want to know how the mind works while reading, this book is for you.

Troubled by Kenneth Rosen

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Amazon

Troubled, comes with a lot of baggage for individuals who seek help from behavioral treatment programs. The story shares the high hope of those who want to get better and the betrayal of hurt in the places they went to for help. The author was himself sent to homes for waywayd adolescents. Rosen exposes his truth behind the failed programs and the story of redemption.

Get Started

What are your reading goals for the next twelve months? Do you have a target number in mind of how many books you want to read? Hopefully this list will get you started toward your goal. I’m aiming for an average of three books per month. Shall we encourage each other on our reading adventure?

Nicole has written a book of her own: Get Make Money on Medium: Build Your Audience and Grow Your Income with Medium.com.

*Links may include affiliate links.

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