Read a Good Book Lately? Here’s What We’re Reading

Is there anything better than a good book? Reading is one of the best ways to spend your free time, no matter your age. Picking up a book has a plethora of benefits for kids: reduced stress, improved brain connectivity, expanded vocabulary, and increased comprehension skills. Best of all, though, reading is just plain fun.

I’m always shocked when I find out that not everyone loves to read, but any parent knows that it’s sometimes difficult to get kids to read. However, I’m a firm believer that people who don’t like reading just haven’t found the right book. So, in an effort to encourage kids, teens, and adults to put down the phone and pick up a book, here are a few recommendations that are sure to get you and your kids turning page after page after page.


Roald Dahl

Best for: Everyone!

Roald Dahl is a classic children’s author, and Matilda is his magnum opus. This short novel tells the story of Matilda, a kid genius with an unquenching love for literature. Her brilliant intellect gives her telepathic abilities, which she uses to liberate her fellow students from the rule of a tyrannical principal. Matilda is a childhood favorite, and kids of all ages will love hearing about Matilda’s escapades. Who knows—her love of books may rub off on them!

The Lorax

Dr. Seuss

Best for: Everyone!

What Roald Dahl is to children’s novels, Dr. Seuss is to children’s poetry, and The Lorax is one of his best. This short picture book introduces kids to the Lorax, a small mustachioed creature who advocates for nature in the face of environmental destruction. The Lorax is fun, exciting, and entertaining for readers of all ages. To top it off, Dr. Seuss uses The Lorax to teach kids an important lesson about our responsibility to maintain the planet we live on.

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief

Rick Riordan

Best for: Upper elementary-aged kids

The first in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series of five books, The Lightning Thief introduces readers to the world of Greek mythology. Percy Jackson is an eleven-year-old boy who has trouble in school—largely due to his ADHD and dyslexia. However, he soon finds out he’s the son of a Greek god and is sent on an exciting adventure to recover Zeus’s stolen lightning bolt. The Lightning Thief is an exciting way to get little readers interested in history and mythology, while reminding them that kids with ADHD or dyslexia are heroes.


Frank Herbert

Best for: Teens and up

Frank Herbert’s sci-fi epic Dune is one of the latest books to get the big-screen treatment. Before taking your teens to see the movie adaptation, encourage them to pick up the source material. After all, the book is always better!

Dune is set in a future world where space travel is possible. The story is about Paul Atreides, a young noble whose family has been tasked with ruling Arrakis, a planet composed entirely of vast desert sands. Dune is only the first in a series of six books, so if you enjoy the first one, buckle up for a wild ride!

To Kill a Mockingbird

Harper Lee

Best for: Teens and up

Who among us didn’t have to read To Kill a Mockingbird in high school? Winning the Pulitzer Prize and topping many a list of the greatest novels of all time, Harper Lee’s novel is a classic of American literature. Teens will love it for the way it melds discussion of serious topics with warmth and humor, and adults will love it for the brilliant prose and nostalgic mood. 

I’ve heard so many teens say that To Kill a Mockingbird catapulted their love of reading; that’s pretty high praise if you ask me.

The Midnight Library

Matt Haig

Best for: Adults

Last summer, my mom lent me her copy of The Midnight Library to read by the pool. Normally it takes me a few days to finish a book, but I couldn’t put this one down. I finished it that day, and it has stuck with me ever since.

The Midnight Library is about Nora, a woman who, upon her death, finds herself in a metaphysical library where each book contains a different version of her life. Reading the books lets her experience each variation and explore how her choices impacted her life. What follows is a fascinating reflection on what it means to find fulfillment—and an utter page-turner at that.

Anxious People

Fredrik Backman

Best for: Adults

Are you looking for a book featuring bank heists, IKEA, a hostage situation, frank discussions about mental health, a healthy dose of Nordic noir, and some good jokes? Well, you’ve come to the right place, because Anxious People has it all. 

Eight strangers are locked together in a small apartment after a bank heist gone wrong forces them into a hostage situation. Without much else to do, the hostages open up to each other and start sharing details about their lives. This book will keep you guessing. I can’t recommend it enough!

Anna Karenina

Leo Tolstoy

Best for: Adults

I would be betraying my Russian BA if this list didn’t include at least one behemoth of Russian literature, and Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina is the best of the best. 

Anna Karenina is a classic story of love, family, and faith. The titular Anna is a wealthy countess whose worldview is challenged when she meets the suave Count Vronsky. At the same time, landowner Levin falls in love with the city-dwelling Kitty Scherbatsky. Though the novel is set in Imperial Russia, the themes and events will sound all too familiar to a modern audience. Trust me, this one’s a classic for a reason.

Crying in H Mart

Michelle Zauner

Best for: Adults

I first picked up Crying in H Mart because I’m a huge fan of Japanese Breakfast, the band fronted by author Michelle Zauner. While I was excited to read her memoir, I didn’t expect Crying in H Mart to knock me off my feet—but that’s exactly what it did.

Crying in H Mart is about the author’s relationship with music, her Korean heritage, kimchi, and her mother. Told through a series of vivid anecdotes, Zauner recalls how she and her mother bonded over their shared love of Korean food, and how that mutual love kept their relationship alive even after cancer took her mother. This one’s a bit sad, but sometimes the emotional books are the most necessary.

The Wild Iris

Louise Glück

Best for: Poetry lovers of all ages

Thanks to impassioned poets like Amanda Gorman and Joy Harjo, poetry’s popularity is quickly on the rise. Whether you’re on a mission to satisfy a newfound poetic curiosity or are a longtime lover of the art form, The Wild Iris should be the next collection on your list.

Poet Louise Glück won the Nobel Prize in Literature in 2020; after reading The Wild Iris, you’ll understand why. This visceral collection explores themes of life and love, all through the lens of the author’s garden. The Wild Iris will make you simultaneously laugh and cry. Who knows, it may even inspire you to craft some poetry yourself!

Put Down the Phone and Pick Up a Book

Next time you or your kids have a few spare minutes, don’t pick up the phone—pick up a book.

If you do find your kids filling their free time with technology, try Troomi. Smartphones from Troomi Wireless were created with your kids in mind: they have no social media, flexible parental controls, and an iron-tight SafeListing feature that protects your kids from spam calls
Click here to learn a little more about how Troomi can help you and your kids attain some valuable peace of mind. And happy reading!