I’ve been spending nearly all of my spare time reading, the past few weeks. Partly this is because I realized I wasn’t reading nearly as much as I wanted to (Netflix is a glorious and dangerous creature), and partly this is because I received a belated birthday gift of a pile of books (squee!), and had the opportunity to borrow a few books from friends.

a few great books to read

Consequently, I’ve become a reading machine in my spare time. This has also had a nice roundabout effect where I’ve been writing much more too. Win-win!

Here are the books I’ve been reading lately:

  • The Mortal Instruments series by Cassandra Clare. I just finished reading these books at a rate of one every two days. They are so addictive! Cassandra Clare’s writing style is better than that of, say, Stephanie Meyer or Suzanne Collins (I mean, Clare isn’t the best writer ever, but her writing is certainly decent)—but what really intrigues me about her style is that there are very few pauses in her books, even from one book to the next. You are always reading more because the action never stops, and even though you can make a pretty good guess about what will happen next, it’s still gripping. It wasn’t until the end of the third book that I felt there was an actual pausing point and I could wait until the next day before starting the fourth book. If you like Young Adult novels, make sure you have time set aside to read the entire series over the course of a week. This has easily become my favorite YA series.
  • What is Stephen Harper Reading? by Yann Martel. Yann Martel is an amazing writer. And I really like the concept of this book, which is a collection of letters he wrote to Stephen Harper—Martel has sent the prime minister a book every two weeks for years, along with a letter explaining why he sent the book, and this particular book is a compilation of those letters. It’s a must-read! He writes so elegantly (and it’s also fun to see what kinds of books he recommends!).
  • The Secret Life of Pronouns: What Our Words Say About Us by James W. Pennebaker. This is such a cool book. I first heard about it through the Editors’ Association of Canada, and it immediately went on my must-read list! I haven’t read very much of it yet, but I already love it. My old rhetoric professors would go crazy for this book! And as Pennebaker notes, “Words, in my world, are a window into the inner workings of people, a fascinating and revealing way to think about language and its links to the world around us all.” To me, this sums up rhetoric very nicely. When I was getting my degree, the majority of my classes were around examining and analyzing the language we use and thinking critically about how we communicate and what that says about us. This book is kind of like my degree, wrapped up neatly in 300+ pages. And Pennebaker is a funny and engaging writer, too (I laughed out loud at this line: “I won’t tell you the findings now because it would ruin the thrill of chapter 3.”

Want to see what other books I’ve read in the past? Check out my monthly book lists from a couple years ago!

What books are you reading? Do you have a strange obsession with YA novels like I do? Which author’s writing style do you adore? Share in the comments section below!