The 15 books to add to your reading list this year

The Growing Up Guide reading books

We all have busy lives and after working all day, coming home and cooking dinner it’s time for bed in a blink of an eye. It sometimes feels like we don’t have time to just sit down and relax.

But the one thing we find is that when you have a good book to read all you want to do is curl up on the sofa and read a few chapters.

To get you doing something different this year we’ve come up with a list of 15 books that you should really add to your reading list.


The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

This novel was first published in 1988 and has become an international bestseller. It is an allegorical novel about a young shepherd who leaves his home to search for treasure.


Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Jesmyn Ward’s latest novel, published in 2017, won the National Book Award for Fiction. It is about a family who go on a road trip and their experience with hope and struggle.


Beartown by Fredrik Backman

Released in April 2017, Beartown is set in Sweden. The plotline concerns the fictional town Beartown and the ice hockey team determined to win for their small town with big secrets.


The Help by Katheryn Stockett

This novel concerns a young ambitious writer named Skeeter who writes a book about the experiences of the African American maids working in 1960’s Mississippi.


The Handmaids Tale by Margaret Atwood

A dystopian novel, Handmaid’s Tale has been adapted into an American Television Series. Published in 1985, the book explores misogyny and women’s rights in society.


Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe

Written in 1958 by a Nigerian author, this novel focuses on the effects of Colonisation on the Igbo community. It is widely read and its themes of Nationalism and decolonialisation are often studied.


Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

The debut fiction novel of Yaa Gyasi tells the story of an Ashanti woman and follows her descendants in Ghana and the descendants who settled in America.


Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng

This novel takes place in a fictional suburb in Cleveland when a mother and daughter move in. However, their adoption of a Chinese-American child divides the families when secrets in Mia’s past are uncovered.


The Sun and her Flowers by Rupi Kaur

This is the second collection of poetry by Rupi Kaur and it focuses on growth and healing, ancestry and expatriation that might spark your interest in poetry.


Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

The second novel by Paula Hawkins as she also wrote The Girl on the Train which was adapted into a film. This novel is about the secrets in a town where two women are found dead in the river.


The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Written in third-person present tense, The Night Circus is set in Victorian London and is about a circus that appears suddenly at night time and where two young magicians are competing for control.


Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders

As the first full-length experimental novel by George Saunders, it uses innovative writing technique and takes place after the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son.


Exit West by Mohsin Hamid

This follows a young couple who leave their homeland due to civil war. A magical realism novel about relationships, love and loss during their emigration away from home.


Brit(ish): On race, Identity and Belonging

A non-fiction investigation into British identity and a call for change in our perceptions of race and identity.


Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell

This examines the effect of perceived intelligence and success. It uses case studies of famous people such as Bill Gates to examine how potential is assessed in society.



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