Top Ten Tuesday – Books for a Reading Slump

First off, credit where it’s due. Top Ten Tuesday isn’t my idea by a long shot–it’s hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, and you can check out the rules and participating blogs there.


This Tuesday’s prompt is “books to pull you out of a reading slump.” This is going to be hard, because I’m going through a permanent reading slump–when you read for a living, it’s hard to cleanse your palate or take a break. However, here’s my list, and we’ll start with my number-one-with-a-bullet read:


1. The Lord of the Rings – look, if you don’t like this…okay, well, maybe it’s not your thing. But for those who’ve tried this, and just “couldn’t get into it,” I would encourage you: try again. Don’t think of this as pop fiction, because it’s not. This is literature. This is world-building at its finest. This is quite literally the book that made fantasy a Thing, particularly a Thing that it was acceptable for adults to read and enjoy.

Favorite quote: “These staves he spoke, yet he laughed as he said them. For once more lust of battle was on him; and he was still unscathed, and he was young, and he was king: the lord of a fell people. And lo! even as he laughed at despair he looked out again on the black ships, and he lifted up his sword to defy them.”


2. The Hobbit – For all the reasons listed above, really.

Favorite quote: “Going on from there was the bravest thing he ever did. The tremendous things that happened afterwards were as nothing compared to it. he fought the real battle in the tunnel alone, before he ever saw the vast danger that lay in wait.”


3. Usagi Yojimbo – Sometimes, you want to read a graphic novel. Sometimes, books are better with illustration. And I can think of no finer illustration than that of Stan Sakai. This is the series that convinced me it was time to pick up a stack of books on Japanese history, because this is a fascinating period in a fascinating country.

Favorite panel: usagi


4. The Indispensable Calvin and Hobbes – When I was younger–barely a teenager–a nice woman from Thailand whose name I’m sorry to say escapes me gave me this book for my birthday. I was a kid, she was a grown-up, and she had no reason to do this other than kindness. I’d never read a comic book before.

I will remember her forever, because this was one of the greatest gifts I ever received. I bought all the books, and I’ve worn the covers off. They taught me a lot, and the first book I give to my best friend’s new son will be a copy of this.



5. Battlestations! – I collect / hoard old Star Trek novels, specifically the original series. This was always a favorite; not quite as good as My Enemy, My Ally but a lighter read for sure. I love the way the protagonist is just…winging it, because I feel like that every day of my life: like I’m failing upward.

Favorite quote: “My hands were cold, and I had to use the head–oh no! Not now. Please, not now. Heroes never go to the bathroom! Horatio Hornblower didn’t, Superman didn’t, Cyrus Centauri didn’t–but I did. Which proved who was a hero and who wasn’t.”

And…that’s it.

The truth is, when I’m in a reading slump…I really don’t want to read. These are the things I can read, and they help, but most books are just too much for me when I’m already overwhelmed by all the books I haven’t read for work, or all the books I said I’d get around to and I haven’t yet. Anyway…these are all good, and worth your time, assuming you’re into this sort of thing. I hope somebody can find something they enjoy here too, and if so…let me know 🙂

2 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday – Books for a Reading Slump

  1. aubreyleaman says:

    I love Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, too! I can see myself reading these to get out of a slump. But I can also definitely relate to your point about how reading slumps can be real and kind of inescapable, at least for a while…I’ve definitely been there! Thanks for sharing. 🙂


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