Have you ever finished reading a book that left you feeling “just there”? Well, I have. Not that the book was bad, but it just did not resonate with me. Many times, I end up not remembering even what the book was about.

If you’ve been here, probably the book characters did not resonate with you, the story dragged on in many places, or even the genre just wasn’t your cup of tea.

In the end, these are most likely books you would not recommend or even forget as soon as you pick your next read.

If it is your favorite book, however, (like The Pillars of The Earth for me a while back), it will leave you with a hangover that you won’t mind. You are even left thinking about the world you just left behind in the book.

For me, I even purpose to go back and read the book after a while and I literally tell everyone I know that they need to read this (and for those who don’t read, recommend the movie but stress that the book is better). It eventually ends up being one of the books that will stick with me for life and has earned a spot on my bookshelf – and in my heart.

Favorite books are hard to come by. However, when you do, it’s like meeting a friend you will have for life. In the past few months, I have been fortunate to add a few books to my list of favorites.

These are the books I have read so far that have had a lasting impression on me:

The Pillars Of The Earth – Ken Follett

There’s something about this book and the church that attracted me to it.

When I talked about the books I hoped to read, I didn’t think this book would blow me away as it did.

I’ll leave it there for you to go look for the book.

Educated – Tara Westover

I knew I would enjoy this book right before I even started reading it. At the time, my friend would give me snippets and it felt like a book I would enjoy.

It did not disappoint.

Tara captures her process of self-discovery in this book. She literally removed herself from society because of her belief and knowledge that made her more enlightened. Eventually, her belief systems benefit from her separateness.

If I haven’t recommended this book to you before, then here I am doing just that.

This Is Just My Face, Try Not To Stare – Gabourey Sidibe

I may never stop talking about this book…sorry.

Now Gabourey starts her book in a very interesting way (I don’t want to give too much away). What I liked about this book just like Gabrielle Union’s is the fact that she does not hold back from any of her experiences. Throughout the book, you get insight into who Gabourey is behind movies.

It’s a book that will catch your interest right from the start, and leave you gasping in parts of the book crying in others, and laughing out loud in most of the areas. This is a book you want to read. If you’re not fully convinced of this, check out the book review of This Is Just My Face Try Not To Stare.

I Can’t Make This Up: Life Lessons – Kevin Hart

 Kevin takes us on a journey through what his life was, what it is today, and how he’s overcome each challenge to become the man he is today.

 He achieved this not just through hard work, determination, and talent: It was through his unique way of looking at the world. Because just like a book has chapters, Hart sees life as a collection of chapters that each person gets to write for himself or herself.

 “Not only do you get to choose how you interpret each chapter, but your interpretation writes the next chapter,” he says. “So why not choose the interpretation that serves your life the best?”

Tuesdays With Morrie – Mitch Albom

When Mitch was in college, his professor Morrie played a huge role in making him a great student. After college, he lost track of his professor until he saw him on TV. Morrie was slowly dying.

Mitch rediscovered Morrie in the last months of the older man’s life. Knowing he was dying of ALS he visited Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just as they used to back in college. Their rekindled relationship turned into one final ‘class’: lessons in how to live.

The Sun Does Shine: How I Found Life & Freedom On Death Row – Anthony Ray Hinton

In 1985, Anthony Ray Hinton was arrested and charged with two counts of capital murder in Alabama. Stunned, confused, and only twenty-nine years old, Hinton knew that it was a case of mistaken identity and believed that the truth would prove his innocence and ultimately set him free.

This is a story of hope, love, and justice.

All books are available in PDF.

What book are you adding to your reading list?