'I inhaled it in one sitting.' 30 women on the book that got them out of a reading slump.

We've all been there. Desperately trying to get through a book, determined to finish it, but every ounce of our being is screaming 'I'm so over this s**t,' as we hesitantly lunge towards the dreary novel. 

This, without a shadow of a doubt, is the book that kills reading for you.

And we hate those books.

Quick watch: There are two different types of bookmark people. Post continues after video.

Video via Mamamia. 

But that's not what this article is about!

This article is about all the books that resurrected reading for us. The ones that brought us back from the brink of eternal book-banishment and got us excited about curling up with a wonderful story and a cup of tea, or pulling an unexpected all-nighter because it's such a brill page-turner.

But the magical tale that gets us out of that slump is different for nearly everyone, so we thought it best to compile a big old list of the novels that dragged us out of our I've-given-up-on-books stage so you can steal some inspiration when you fall into a reading rut.

...Plus we wanted to say thank you to our slump-saviour books in a public space. So here are 25 women on the books that got them back into LOVING reading. 

Dry by Neal and Jarrod Shusterman.

"It's more of Young Adult read, but was so addictive. Water runs out in California and everything goes to s**t." - Brydee


The Younger Wife by Sally Hepworth.

"The Younger Wife is brilliant. I read it in one sitting." - Mia Freedman

American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins.

"I’ve been a horrendous reader the last few years tbh. But have just finished American Dirt after ages and it was awesome. So pacy and affecting - I’m back on the bandwagon." - Sydney


The Time Traveller's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.

“First book in forever that I would stop doing whatever I was doing to sneakily read it. It’s nothing like I’ve read before - it took me a third of the book to figure out what the chuff was going on.” - Margaret.

Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle.

“Mine is Below Deck by Sophie Hardcastle. Such a captivating read that felt familiar and was also really powerful. You won't be able to put it down.” - Clare.




“Because every time you turn the page you think, ‘Surely it can’t get any worse,’ and it does. Makes you seriously appreciate what you have, and that life really isn’t as bad as it could be!” - Brittany.

The Fifth Season by N K Jemison.

"I think I finished it in a couple days. It's set far in the future where all the consequences of how we treat the world have really hit in a terrible way. It has some really interesting concepts and a general great story." - Julia. 


The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid.

"I had only been reading non-fiction for quite a while, unsure if fiction novels were my thing. That was until I read this book. It captivated me from the first chapter, and it was thought-provoking, entertaining and just downright brilliant." - Isabella 


Such A Fun Age by Kiley Reid 

"It was a great beach read! Nothing too heavy but made you want to race through it." - Emma

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney. 

"I read it in three days. I found it really insightful because there was no clear narrative, it was truly just a book of conversations and interactions. I felt like I could relate with a lot of the feelings and thoughts being translated throughout and I also loved that there was no 'hero' or 'antagonist' and everybody was equally flawed." - Madeline.


Love and Virtue by Diana Reid.

"It was a recommendation from Jessie Stephens, and I inhaled it. Diana Reid is incredibly young, and she's written this incredible book... And a debut novel!" - Mia Freedman

Where The Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens.

“I decided that I wanted to get back into reading - so stuck out the first seven-ish chapters of Where The Crawdads Sing and was so hooked. Love love love that book.” - Emma.

  Circe by Madeline Miller.


“Honeyed prose, so super easy to read.” - Sandra.

Kon Tiki by Thor Heyerdahl.

“Thousands of people have taken Contiki tours, but none of them will compare to the majesty of the original journey from South America to Tahiti to prove a theory about Polynesian migration.” - Sam


Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng.

"Couldn’t put it down! Just had to find out what happened. It was also super heartbreaking and the family relationships were so complex and nuanced (and I’m a sucker for books cantered around family dynamics)." - Brydee

The Bronze Horseman by Paulina Simmons.

"It’s impossible not to be drawn into the intense relationship and the 'what is going to happen?!?!' impossibilities of the plot. The location, era and drama is incredible. Oh, then there’s two more books to follow!! But the first in the series is my fave book of all time. It drew me back in once I’d had a baby for a little me time at night." - Alison.


Mummy Bloggers and How To Be Perfect by Holly Wainwright.

"Finished both in a week - and I'm a Mum of two under two, so that's no mean feat! Couldn't stop reading after that." - Jem.

 Literally anything by Gillian Flynn.

“She really knows how to hook you right away and keep you guessing. I just wish she’d write more.” - Tamara.


Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire by J.K. Rowling.

“I’m about 20 years late, but I've only just gotten into the Harry Potter books and... why did no one tell me how good they are? Currently reading the fourth, Harry Potter and The Goblet of Fire, and I'm completely gripped. I read them every day and I'm genuinely excited every time I pick it up.” - Billi

The Trauma Cleaner by Sarah Krasnostein.

“It’s first non-audio book I’ve read in a while and immediately got me back into the swing of it.” - Jacqui.

The Trauma Cleaner. I bought it at Sydney Airport when going to Bali with my husband for a child free vacation. I read 1/3 of it on the plane and the rest on the holiday. I love reading but with two kids it moved to the back burner - this book made me remember how enjoyable reading is. A fascinating story about Sandra Pankhurst and her life.” - Lana.

  Three Hours by Rosamund Lupton.


“It’s set over three hours of a school shooting and it’s so fast-paced and incredible.” - Jessie. 

Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Less by Jeffrey Archer.

"I read it the whole way through in a one-er. Super captivating story about someone who gets revenge on big organisation for the exact amount of money they got from them. SO GOOD." - Brie.


Sex & Vanity by Kevin Kwan.

“I felt like I needed an eaaaasy read to get back into picking up a book regularly. Mine was Sex & Vanity by Kevin Kwan. Super indulgent, ridiculously fabulous.” - Isobel.

  Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn OR Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins.

“There isn’t a person in the world who didn’t find those books gripping.” - Jess.


Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford.

“VERY funny.” - Genevieve.

  A Stolen Life: A Memoir by Jaycee Lee Dugard.

“About her kidnapping and experience, but I thought it was an amazing story as she wrote it herself with barely any reading or writing skills.” - Bianca.


The Happiest Man on Earth by Eddie Jaku.

“I just finished in five days while working 42 hours as I couldn't NOT finish it.” - Maddie.

Red At The Bone by Jacqueline Woodson.

“I had suffered my way through some s**ters taking *ahem* three months to read one very short, very rubbish book. But then I grabbed Red At The Bone by Jacqueline Woodson and finished it in three hours. IT CURED ME OF MY SLUMP.” - Katie.

  The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins.


“When we moved to Australia we had been so busy, so I started reading the series as I boarded the flight from the UK and landed in Australia nearly finished the whole trilogy!” - Maggie.

Billion Dollar Whale by Tom Wright & Bradley Hope.

“I think this year was more about escapism for me but in previous years, intriguing and hectic real stories have made me leave my reading slump - just like Billion Dollar Whale.”


...and because Mamamia Entertainment Editor, Laura Brodnik, has devised a stellar book-categorising, we simply had to share it in full. You can thank her later.

"I divide my books into three categories, Chocolate (indulgent, light and very easy to consume) Vodka (gives you a buzz, hooks you in so hard you have to devour it in one night and so leaves you with a slight hangover the next day) and Vegetables (very well written, critically acclaimed books you know should make up the bulk of your meal, but sometimes hard to get into. Not a treat but you feel great when you’ve finished them).

"I know it’s weird, but it’s the system all my friends also use now. So you can just throw a book at someone and say 'read this, it’s vodka'. No more explanation necessary."

For getting out of a reading slump, you definitely need a ‘Chocolate Book’ or ‘Vodka Book’, so here are my best boozy and sugary options:

Chocolate Books

Sushi for Beginners by Marian Keyes
Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Last Night at Chateau Marmont by Lauren Weisberger
The Glass Lake by Maeve Binchy (actually just anything by Maeve Binchy)

Vodka Books

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
They All Fall Down by Rachel Howzell Hall
The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith
The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris
Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
Dracula by Bram Stoker 

Feature Image: Mamamia. 

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