In a reading slump? Don’t be.


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme where every Tuesday we look at a particular topic for discussion and use various (or more to the point ten) bookish examples to demonstrate that particular topic.  Top Ten Tuesday (created and hosted by  The Broke and Bookish) is now being hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and future week’s topics can be found here.  This week’s topic is:

Books to Pull You Out of a Reading Slump

Well, this is all very debatable because everyone is different.  For me, a book that would pull me out of a slump is one with an immediate hook.  I do tend to read a lot of fantasy and some of those books can be long and some very dark so I think something light and fun would probably work best for me.  I’m going to split my list down into different headings because that way I might come up with something for everyone:

Fairytale retellings – you simply cannot beat Sarah Pinborough’s three delicious books, Poison, Charm and Beauty.  They are just brilliant.  On top of being beautiful little books with gorgeous illustrations each one is a mash up of more than one fairytale, they’re not overly long, they’re definitely tongue in cheek and they’re unexpectedly saucy in ways that you simply won’t see coming.  I think these are probably my favourite retellings because I was unable to put them down once I’d started.

Romance – ‘but you don’t like romance’, you may say.  Yes, yes, of course I’m always banging on about not liking romance – and that is in no way, shape or form a judgment on those that do by the way – we like what we like.  But, I don’t mind there being some romance in my books, I just don’t want it to be the main focus.  The Princess Bride by William Goldman – okay, maybe not everyone’s idea of romance but I like the humour so what can I say.  It’s frankly inconceivable that anyone should not like this book.  If you want something a bit more ‘typically’ from the genre but still fantasy then I’d go Outlander by Diana Gabaldon.  I’ve not read the whole series but the first book was very good.

Crime – I would suggest either Agatha Christie or Arthur Conan Doyle.  I love a good murder mystery and tend to find that both of these authors write in a way that just holds you captive.  Plus, the fun is in the trying to evade the red herrings and guess what’s happening following the cookie crumb trail left throughout the pages.

Sci Fi – Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams.  Quirky and fun.  Or, on the other hand, for something that is a bit more emotional – Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes.  I love that book so much

LitRPG – Death March by Phil Tucker.  I had a lot of fun with this book.  The possibilities are just mind boggling and for someone who isn’t a gamer and so was maybe a bit concerned as to whether this would be, well, to be frank, easy to understand – it was.  So rest easy and go give some rpg book a go.

death march

Fundark – okay, maybe I made that one up but I think there are a few titles that could fit the bill.  Most recently I’d say Angus Watson’s You Die When you Die.  I had a blast with that book, of course there was plenty of death and bloodshed but there was a huge dose of hope and characters to love all sprinkled with heaps of humour.


Edgy/Thriller – The White Road by Sarah Lotz.  This one was a real treat.  I loved the opening scenes and the way that Lotz takes situations that you (1)  probably wouldn’t think to read about – but then makes you love them (2) wouldn’t think would grip you – but then they do (3) think shouldn’t be creepy – and yet she makes them so.   This one will probably give you goosebumps but if that’s your ‘thing’ then pick this up and consider the reading slump over.


Adventure/Fantasy – three suggestions here.  Kristi Charish has written a great series about an Indiana Jane type character who steals ancient artefacts.  There’s all sorts going on in these books, a bit of romance, snark, all sorts of critters and fantastic settings, great pace and thrilling plots.  What’s not to love?  Or, Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles.  A series where you can just tell the author loved writing the books.  Lots of great references.  A main character who is highly readable and even more so when you include his dog Oberon – I won’t spoil things but I highly recommend these books.  Or, the Spellslinger series by Sebastien de Castell – OMG, these books are so good.  I defy anybody to stay in a slump – the gauntlet is down!

Scary/Horror – The Family Plot by Cherie Priest.  So, so good. Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia – modern day vampires.  Kill Creek by Scott Thomas – a number of horror story writers take part in an event at a haunted house on Halloween – what could possible go wrong?

As I often do – I leave the last spot open for suggestions.

Of course, I realise I’ve cheated somewhat because there are more than 10 books all told – but all the more to tempt you with (queue mad cackling).





31 Responses to “In a reading slump? Don’t be.”

  1. maxinesobsessions

    YA contemporaries tend to pull me out of a slump. Also urban fantasy or paranormal romance are great, something that hooks me and I breeze through. The Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews is my go to at the moment.

    Also, so many of the books you mentioned are on my shelves waiting to be read. I need to read faster!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Haha – we all need to read faster – if you think of any tips then let me know! I’ve only read the first Kate Daniels book – I enjoyed it although it was so long ago I’d have to reread it to start the series. I did start another series by this author – White Hot – that was good too, I should try and catch up.
      Lynn 😀

      • maxinesobsessions

        The Innkeeper Chronicles by Ilona Andrews is pretty fantastic as well. To be honest I haven’t come across a bad series by them.
        The only way I can read more is to not watch tv, but now I’ve realised that I spend reading time reviewing haha

  2. waytoofantasy

    Uh oh, did you just create a new subgenre, fun dark? Lol, that should totally be a thing.

    All great choices here. I’m with you, when I’m in a slump I go light and fun. Sometimes I read outside the genre and go for some romance, mystery is a good pick too.

    • @lynnsbooks

      I do tend to jump around a little bit. I think if I just read all fantasy it becomes too much sometimes and breaking it up lightens the mood somehow.
      Lynn 😀

  3. the (book) supplier

    I think rom com is my favorite genre to go with to get me out of a slump, though I love a good crime novel. Also, I love the idea of fun dark as a sub genre.

    eli @ the (book) supplier
    My TTT

    • @lynnsbooks

      I think everyone seems to be liking the idea of ‘fundark’ – we’ll have to make the authors out there aware. A new big market.
      Lynn 😀

  4. Barb (boxermommyreads)

    I love the concept of “fundark.” I am also not a huge romance reader but when in a slump, sometimes something light like chick-lit can help. I need to check out the Pinborough books because they look pretty interesting and hey, I love seeing “Certain Dark Things” and “The Family Plot” on ANY list!

    • @lynnsbooks

      I know right – those two books are so good. I’d be interested to see what you make of the Pinborough retellings. They’re definitely cheeky. And yep, couldn’t agree more, sometimes a little chick-lit is just the ticket to get you out of a rut.
      Lynn 😀

  5. Tammy

    Fundark! Can I use that? Awesome😊 Anyway, I love your list and there are great, addictive reads on here that I would reread simply because I could see them getting me out of a slump😁

    • @lynnsbooks

      Absolutely use it – I think it gives a different vibe for some of the recent books that are maybe grim and bloody but also have a lot of banter and snark and make the read a bit more fun in spite of everything
      Lynn 😀

  6. Asha - A Cat, A Book, And A Cup Of Tea

    There are so many books I love on this list! Spellslinger in particular was so unexpected that it would be great for a slump!

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yes! I love those books. I need to read the third because I think the fourth is due out fairly soon! How on earth does SdC do it. I have no idea but I’m glad he does.
      Lynn 😀

  7. lifewithallthebooks

    These all look so good! I’m like you in that I don’t read romance if that’s the only focus but I don’t mind it in the mix with other genres! Great list 😊
    My TTT:

    • @lynnsbooks

      Thanks for the link – off your list I’ve read Into the Darkest Corner – it was very good. As you like Psychologica thrillers have you read Sarah Pinborough’s latest two – Behind Her Eyes and Cross Her Heart?
      Lynn 😀

      • lifewithallthebooks

        I’ve heard of Behind Her Eyes and seen a lot of good things about it! I will look them up and probably end up adding them to my TBR because I do like a psychological thriller! Thank you for the recommendations ! 😊

  8. Lisa

    Great list! I see we have some similar go-to books for ending reading slumps! Definitely an immediate hook is essential.

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, no hook and, well, you’re not hooked and your slump continues.
      Lynn 😀

  9. maddalena@spaceandsorcery

    It’s difficult to conceive of a reading slump while following your list of amazing stories and authors: you might very well have found the perfect cure for that ailment, Doctor Lynn! 😉

  10. PerfectlyTolerable

    I have never hear of Poison, Charm and Beauty but those covers are gorgeous!!! And Princess Bride is a great slump breaker!!!

  11. sjhigbee

    I love the idea of the Sarah Pinborough trilogy – and Certain Dark Things is definitely on my radar. I’ll second your nomination of Hounded, along with Spellslinger:).

  12. Lisa (@TenaciousReader)

    It’s funny, I don’t read much romance but it can definitely help pull me out of a slump. Maybe it’s just mixing it up or maybe because it’s also lighter

  13. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Thrillers are usually my go-to for pulling me out of slumps. I still have to look into this LitRPG thing, seems like it might be up my alley!

  14. Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

    I cracked up at “Fundark” 😀 This does rather seem to be a subjective topic, but I love that you listed so many different genres! I mostly reach for romance myself. Something about people finding happy endings motivate me to get my act together and be more productive?

  15. Amanda @Cover2CoverMom

    I really liked how you broke this topic up this week Lynn! Personally, when I am in a slump, I want to read something quick and easy. I typically will reach for middle grade fiction because they are typically easier reads with happier endings.

    LOVE the Outlander series… I binge read the first 7 books in the series back in 2009, but I still haven’t read the latest book that came out in 2015 because I can’t remember everything that happened in the first 7 book lol

    • @lynnsbooks

      Yeah, I think I read the first five or six books in the Outlander – but then I just drifted away.
      Lynn 😀

  16. bkfrgr

    Awesome list! Lots of good things to try here, and some favourites too (yay for Princess Bride! – I keep a copy of this in my ‘down days box’ along with a bunch of Calvin and Hobbs books and other happy stuff).
    I’ve really got to get on Sebastien de Castell’s books … 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      Oh yes, defo read the Castell books – they’re brilliant.
      Lynn 😀

  17. jessicabookworm

    Some great options in this list Lynn! I love Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. I am also loving the sound of Kristi Charish’s female Indiana Jones series. As for your last slot, it would have to be re-reads for me. Nothings gets me out of a slump better than dipping back into an old favourite. 🙂

    • @lynnsbooks

      I wish I actually read more of my old favourites again. I never seem to make time for rereads which is a shame.
      Lynn 😀

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