Feature Image by Christin Hume

When you’re not feeling your best or just need to unwind after a busy week, a healthy dose of “me” time often goes a long way. And what’s better a better way to disconnect and recharge than picking up a good book?

As always, choosing what to read is a personal process, but we think certain books have universal messages that can teach all of us something new. Check out some of our favorite thought-provoking books below.

Men Without Women by Haruki Murakami

If you’ve never read anything by the beloved realism author, Murakami, now is the time. Men Without Women is a meaningful collection of short stories on the various intricacies and beauty of loneliness, and it exemplifies how people cope with it.

I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

It’s a classic and for good reason. This autobiographical work is Angelou’s coming-of-age story in which she overcomes remarkable hurdles to fight for the life she wants. Beyond being excellently written, it’s an incisive reminder to always live your truth.

Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jesmyn Ward

Ward’s stories are extremely captivating because she is so clearly writing from the heart. Sing, Unburied, Sing is set up like a classic American road-tripping novel but is actually an untraditional folktale about family, love, loss, and social inequality.

Hunger by Roxane Gay

This intensely honest memoir shares personal hardships that will have you thinking more deeply about the relationship you have with your own body.

Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates

Coates’ book is an intimate love letter to his son during a time of racial inequality, and the personal stories relate to greater historical truths. His words easily thread the needle between many topics in an illuminating and thought-provoking way.

The Five People You Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom

This novel will lighten your mood in unexpected ways – the complexities of human relationships are honestly captured and will prompt you to think about all the meaningful relationships in your life right now.

When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Sometimes life gives you lemons and it can be really sour, but Kalanithi’s story is about turning those lemons into lemonade. It’s heartbreaking and raw but will leave you contemplating some of life’s most important questions.

Born a Crime by Trevor Noah

The masterfully interwoven historical and personal narrative is about growing up in both apartheid and post-apartheid South Africa. Noah will make you laugh cry yourself into a peaceful sleep (which, TBH, is a feat given the subject matter).

You Are a Badass by Jen Sincero

This book is more than your average self-help book. It’s the ultimate pep talk by a personal life coach whispering in your ear to push through. Sincero writes in a funny, effusive tone that is both endearing and enlightening.

Here Let Us Feast by M.F.K. Fisher

This is literally a book about feasting because, let’s be honest, there are very few things that will make you happier. The compilation of food-related stories, excerpts, and essays will feed your soul in the healthiest way possible.

Are you a fan of poetry? Then you should read these 10 books.

xx, The FabFitFun Team