There’s something so satisfying about curling up on your couch or favorite chair in your cozy Nine + Eighteen apartment with a blanket and chilling out with a book. Reading is such a fantastic escape—plus it seriously makes you smarter. Research shows that people who read have higher intelligence, both fluid and emotional and keeps you smarter as you age.
Here are some suggestions that are a mix of our own reading lists and books on best-seller lists with high reviews. There’s something for everyone:
Talking to Strangers by Malcomb Gladwell
Gladwell, host of the podcast Revisionist History and author of the bestseller Outliers, offers a powerful examination of our interactions with strangers–and why they often go wrong. How did Fidel Castro fool the CIA for a generation? Why did Neville Chamberlain think he could trust Adolf Hitler? Why are campus sexual assaults on the rise? Talking to Strangers is a challenging, controversial excursion through history, psychology, and scandals taken from the news.
The Turn of the Key by Ruth Ware
This is a new novel by the #1 New York Times bestselling author, which brings as much suspense as Ware’s previous hit novels. When she stumbles across the ad, she’s looking for something else completely. But it seems like too good an opportunity to miss—a live-in nannying post, with a staggeringly generous salary. And when Rowan Caine arrives at Heatherbrae House, she is smitten—by the luxurious “smart” home fitted out with all modern conveniences, by the beautiful Scottish Highlands, and by this picture-perfect family. What she doesn’t know is that she’s stepping into a nightmare—one that will end with a child dead and herself in prison awaiting trial for murder.
The Huntress by Kate Quinn
From the bestselling author of The Alice Network, Quinn creates another fascinating book based on historical fiction. Bold and fearless Nina Markova, a Russian female bomber pilot that, while stranded behind enemy lines, became the prey of a Nazi murderess. Nina joins forces with battle-hunted British war correspondent turned Nazi hunter, Ian Graham, who is obsessed with tracking down one distinct killer. Teenager Jordan McBride, a budding photographer in post-war Boston, finds herself with a new stepmother that she doesn’t quite trust and begins digging to reveal the woman’s past. This unlikely group of allies join forces to track a vicious predator known as The Huntress.
Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger
This book was published in 2014, but it’s still high on this year’s list. It’s a New York Times bestseller and has won numerous literary awards. It’s a novel about a young man, a small town and a murder in the summer of 1961. Told from the main character Frank’s perspective forty years after that fateful summer, Ordinary Grace is a brilliantly moving account of a boy standing at the door of his young manhood, trying to understand a world that seems to be falling apart around him. It is an unforgettable novel about discovering the terrible price of wisdom and the enduring grace of God.
Before We Were Yours by Lisa Wingate
Another riveting piece of historical fiction based on one of America’s most notorious real-life scandals—in which Georgia Tann, director of a Memphis-based adoption organization, kidnapped and sold poor children to wealthy families all over the country. The book focuses on one group of siblings, ripped away from their family—and a present-day daughter of a prominent politician, and shows how their very different stories intertwine. Wingate’s riveting, wrenching, and ultimately uplifting tale reminds us how, even though the paths we take can lead to many places, the heart never forgets where we belong.
Sold on a Monday by Kristina Morris
2 CHILDREN FOR SALE
The sign is a last resort. It sits on a farmhouse porch in 1931 but could be found anywhere in an era of breadlines, bank runs and broken dreams. It could have been written by any mother facing impossible choices.For struggling reporter Ellis Reed, the gut-wrenching scene evokes memories of his family’s dark past. He snaps a photograph of the children, not meant for publication. But when it leads to his big break, the consequences are more devastating than he ever imagined.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Named one of the best books of the year by multiple sources and named as one of President Barack Obama’s favorite books of the year, Educated is an unforgettable memoir about a young girl who, kept out of school, leaves her survivalist family and goes on to earn a PhD from Cambridge University. Tara Westover was seventeen the first time she set foot in a classroom. Ultimately, her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents to Harvard and Cambridge University. Only then she would wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.
Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland by Patrick Radden Keefe
From award-winning New Yorker staff writer Patrick Radden Keefe, a stunning narrative about a notorious killing in Northern Ireland and its devastating repercussions. Keefe uses this case as a starting point for the tale of a society wracked by a violent guerrilla war, a war whose consequences have never been reckoned with. From radical and impetuous I.R.A. terrorists to the ferocious I.R.A. mastermind known as The Dark, to the spy games and dirty schemes of the British Army, to Gerry Adams, who negotiated the peace but betrayed his hardcore comrades by denying his I.R.A. past–Say Nothing conjures a world of passion, betrayal, vengeance, and anguish.
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann
Named a best book of the year by numerous sources, New York Times best-selling author Grann presents a haunting true-life murder mystery about one of the most monstrous crimes in American history. In the 1920s, the richest people per capita in the world were members of the Osage Nation in Oklahoma. After oil was discovered beneath their land, the Osage rode in chauffeured automobiles, built mansions, and sent their children to study in Europe. Then, one by one, the Osage began to be killed off. As the death toll rose, the newly created FBI took up the case, and the young director, J. Edgar Hoover, turned to a former Texas Ranger named Tom White to try to unravel the mystery.