It’s no secret that stepping out of our comfort zones and expanding our literary tastes can prove beneficial. We challenge our minds to learn new information and transform what we thought we knew about a topic.

From reducing our stress to expanding our vocabulary, our personal and professional worlds can profit by achieving new literary feats.

Not sure where to start?

We have you covered.

Read on to learn five recommended book topics to branch out and explore. We’ve even included superb book recommendations to help you get started.

1. Escapism

Great books can create their own worlds that instantly draw us in. They sweep us immediately into a new setting that distracts us from our everyday realities.

More often than not, escapist books are works of fiction. They feature protagonists with either other-worldly powers or daring sensibilities unlike our own.

Most readers think of specific book series when considering the escapism genre. Notably, “Harry Potter,” “Fifty Shades,” “Hunger Games,” and “A Game of Thrones”.

But there is so much more to this genre.

Our Picks For Best Escapist Books

This mini list of book recommendations is a great place to start when you want a sense of escapism. Follow the links to read more about each novel and find purchasing options.

“American Gods” – Neil Gaiman, 2001

This popular and award-winning novel by British author Neil Gaiman combines mythology and fantasy into a spellbinding tome.

Follow protagonist Shadow as he embarks on one strange road trip, encountering all manner of bizarre characters along the way. Shadow finds himself caught in the middle of a battle between the Old and New American Gods for the very soul of America.

So popular and escape-worthy, “American Gods” is now a multi-season and star-studded series on the Starz network.

“Death In Her Hands” – Ottessa Moshfegh, 2020

There is a reason why “Death In Her Hands” has generated so much buzz, even before its release.

A woman finds a note in the woods. It’s confessing to a murder, without the presence of a body for proof. Trying to discover the validity of the accusation comes at the detriment of her own mental health.

A genre-bending page-turner that will keep you guessing along with the protagonist.

2. Hobby Development

One of the best ways to develop a beloved hobby, or pick up a new one altogether, is to read about it. Hobbies occupy our time and enhance our skillsets.

Most people have a hobby. Some have several. Anyone looking for a new way to add another dimension of fun and depth to their lives is sure to consider developing one.

Our Top Picks for Best Hobby Development Books

These top books can help develop your language and arts and crafts hobbies. Click the links to read more about each and their purchasing options.

“Fluent Forever” – Gabriel Wyner, 2014

Sure, language learning now mainly exists on mobile apps. But “Forever Fluent” teaches us how to master any language for good, making it a superb companion piece to language learning software.

Wyner himself is fluent in several languages and shares his secrets to learning a new language effectively. This can lay the foundation if you’re looking for the best way to learn Japanese or French.

“Papertoy Monsters” by Brian Castleforte, 2010

Origami the fun and easy way with “Papertoy Monsters”. All you need is the occasional dab of glue, and you and your kids can create colorful paper toys instantly.

Within the book is card stock and paper stock. All you do is pull pieces out and fold per the directions to create 3D paper monsters you and the little ones can play with endlessly.

3. History

History is constantly revealing itself to us as they say. It’s a vast and diverse topic to tackle, but so worth the investment in time, especially if you know where to begin.

Our Top Picks for Best History Books

There tend to be two types of history books that make the bestseller lists.

First, some delve into a particular aspect of a famous (or infamous) character or event. Others introduce us to a character or event seemingly unknown to non-specialists and unearthed by scholars.

This brief list will fall into the latter category. They include:

“The Scythians” – Barry W. Cunliffe, 2019

This historical tome traces the rise and fall of the battle-happy Scythians. Scythians were nomadic horsemen that roamed the Asian steppe grasslands.

Using textural and archeological evidence, Cunliffe uncovers their lifestyle. “The Scythians” is an illuminated view of a warrior people whose rituals, artwork, and attitudes provide sharp insights.

“The Women With Silver Wings” – Katherine Sharp Landdeck

Chronicling the history of oft-ignored female pilots, “The Women With Silver Wings” introduces readers to the brave women who answered the call and helped the U.S. win World War II.

The real-life heroines of this exciting novel defied gender norms of the era, while never receiving their historical due – until now.

4. Literary Classics

We all have our own mental list of literary classics we’ve never had the time to tackle. There is no time like the present to do so.

These water cooler books are classics for a reason. Sometimes they’re feel-good books, other times they’re jarring and can transform the way we see the world.

Our Top Picks for Literary Classics

These are the books that may not have been part of your high school coursework. Though from decades past, they remain remarkably fresh and provide surprisingly modern insight.

“The Yellow Wall-paper” – Charlotte Perkins Gilman, 1892

A woman on bedrest slowly goes mad by her obsession with the patterned wallpaper in the room where she’s isolated.

The Yellow Wall-paper” is a trailblazing gothic novel that calls into question how we treat society’s most vulnerable. Readers follow the protagonist’s haunting journey and even more haunting conclusion.

“The Man Who Cried I Am” – John A. Williams, 1967

Williams’ book was wildly popular upon its release but has mostly been forgotten since.

An American writer dying of cancer while living abroad in Europe recounts his life as an African American in the segregated U.S. “The Man Who Cried I Am” is a powerful novel. It’s filled with insight, anger, and bitter disappointment at the postwar treatment of African Americans.

5. Interpersonal Skill Development

Also known as self-help books, this is a booming literary subgenre that is popular for a reason.

When you have free time on your hands, it is an excellent opportunity to branch out and improve an aspect of your life.

Our Top Picks for Interpersonal Skill Development Books

Interpersonal skill development books focus on one of two topics. Improving either our personal or professional skill sets. (Though, of course, some interpersonal skill development books can help us with both!)

“How to Instantly Connect With Anyone” – Leil Lowndes, 2009

Lowndes is a well-known author in the self-help genre. “How to Instantly Connect With Anyone” is hailed as the 21st-century answer to Dale Carnegie.

Learn 96 tips to improve your communication, whether in business or personal relationships. Lowndes offers advice for all forms of communication, including emails and phone calls.

“The Charisma Myth” – Olivia Fox Cabene, 2012

By knowing the correct techniques, you can become as personally engaging as your favorite celebrity. Learn how with “The Charisma Myth”.

Cabene explains the science of charisma. She shows how anyone can be instantly engaging by following behavior patterns of presence, power, and warmth.


Branching out and reading topics new to us can be both fun and beneficial. It is a challenge to our minds and can completely change our outlook on different aspects of life.

Reading can reduce our stress and expand our vocabulary. It can even potentially improve our personal and professional worlds.

Try out a few of our best book topics to read and see for yourself.
About the author

Dominique Daniels has five years of Property Management experience working primarily in high-end apartment community living. Her ability to consistently deliver white-glove service to her residents and prospects has propelled her in a successful career that now finds her leading the team at The Cove.