The Best Books: My Recommended Reading List

I hated reading as a kid.

I never read a single book in elementary school or high school. All my book reports were written using the summary on the back of the books. 

Fast forward 20 years….Now, I’m obsessed with books. 

Why the change? It turns out the books we were told to read in school were terrible*. No wonder I hated them. Even today, I can’t finish a bad book – it’s too hard. But if the book is good, I’m hooked. To me, the feeling is akin to finding a great TV show.

I’m a picky reader and my tastes are not sophisticated. If it’s not entertaining, I’m not reading it. 

How do I find good books? Trial and error. For every 10 books I start reading, I’ll find one book worth finishing. It’s time consuming but to me it’s worth it.

It’s also important to note that taste is subjective, so a good book to me may not be a good book to you, but I’ve turned enough former non-readers into book enthusiasts with this list of recommendations that I’m confident you’ll find something you love. 

Without further ado, here are the books I recommend most often. Enjoy!

  1. Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood
    by Trevor Noah
    Print | Audible
    Reading Notes: Funny, heart-warming, and educational. The first chapter starts slow – power through it and the rest is a pleasure. 
  1. When Breath Becomes Air
    by Paul Kalanithi
    Print | Audible
    Reading Notes: This is a true story and very touching. Lots of feels with this one. My mom said it kept making her cry (she cries easily, though).
  1. Becoming
    by Michelle Obama 
    Print | Audible
    Reading Notes: Inspirational and wise. As someone who is on the constant hunt for good female role models, I found one in Michelle Obama. She was a lawyer who made a drastic career change, which resonated with me. She talks about family, career, parenting, her marriage, money, and much more. There is something in here for everyone (and at any life stage). 
  1. Inheritance: A Memoir of Genealogy, Paternity, and Love
    by Dani Shapiro
    Print | Audible
    Reading Notes: A beautiful true story that reads like fiction. 
  1. The Happiness Project
    by Gretchen Rubin
    Print | Audible
    Reading Notes: Fun, light, funny, and educational. Lots of little life lessons sprinkled everywhere but reads as easily as a story and is backed by thorough research (Gretchen, like Michelle Obama, was a lawyer in her past life).
  1. Talking to Strangers: What We Should Know About the People We Don’t Know
    by Malcolm Gladwell
    Print | Audible
    Reading Notes: I’m not usually drawn to books that explore current events – they’re too educational for me (please don’t judge me). However, Malcolm Gladwell is such a gifted storyteller that I remained engaged and interested throughout this entire book. He’s able to make complicated information and concepts accessible and interesting. This book is amazing in audio format. It was produced similarly to a podcast with sample interviews and audio clips peppered throughout.

There you have it. These are my six all-time favourite (and most recommended) books.

Give Reading (or Listening) A Try

If you read or listen to any of these books, please let me know how you liked them in the comments. Even more importantly, if you have any book recommendations, please share! I’m currently in search of good fiction books. If you’d like more recommended reading lists, please let me know!

Last thing before you go…

I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on Twitter (@nellymosstag).

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Until next time, stay safe and healthy,


*The exception that proves this rule is
To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, which was the first book I ever read and loved.

One comment

  1. Hi Nelly – Great blog post! I’ve always been a voracious reader, but just like you, I did not like any of the books I read in school, except for To Kill a Mockingbird. The story has always resonated with me and I still like to quote Atticus Finch to this day.

    Since you’re looking for some good fiction reads, I thought I’d list some of my favourite fiction books:

    – Kane and Abel by Jeffrey Archer.

    – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr.

    – The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon.

    – The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini.

    – A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith.

    And Harry Potter is also in the mix. Obviously.

    If you’re looking for good mysteries, then you can try Robert Rotenberg (his books are set in Toronto and involve a large cast of characters comprising Toronto police officers and lawyers) and Daniel Silva’s Gabriel Allon series.

    Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

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