Give Me a Book That Will Put Me to Sleep

Great book, but it doesn't put me to sleep!
Great book, but it doesn’t put me to sleep!

Yesterday a reader gave me a book recommendation in the comments, which came at the perfect time. Here’s what’s happening:

I read every night in bed for about 30 minutes before I go to sleep. My reading material has fluctuated over the years. Fiction is always in the mix, but for a while I subscribed to a number of business magazines, so I would read them too. I also read business/psychology books from time to time.

What I’ve found, though, is that fiction is by far the best thing for me to read in bed. Nonfiction makes my brain start churning out ideas, and it actually wakes me up. Often I find it really hard to go to sleep after reading an interesting chapter in a business book or magazine.

But even the best fiction helps my brain relax. It helps me separate from all of the stuff I’ve been thinking about all day. Fiction massages my brain and relaxes me, and even if I really want to know what happens next, at a certain point I’ll start to fall asleep. Put the book down, turn the lights off, roll over, and I’m out.

Problem is, I’m short on fiction that I’m really excited about. I have the recommendation from yesterday, and I’m going to try it out, but I wanted to check with my readers to see what the last great book you read was. I’m open to all genres as long as it’s fiction.

6 thoughts on “Give Me a Book That Will Put Me to Sleep”

  1. Way too much to list here. Here are two you might enjoy sinking your teeth into: the Wool series by Hugh Howey, and The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson. Both are available in print and ebook. I could recommend scads of fantasy and science fiction, but those are two good, accessible standouts.

  2. Some favorites that I would read again (and that you may have already read) are “The Life of a Simple Man,” “The Secret History,” “Pillars of the Earth,” “World Without End,” and oddly enough, “The Host.” Those all meet the fiction requirement, however I have the opposite problem when reading fiction and find that just about any textbook makes for better falling asleep reading material. 🙂

  3. The last great fiction book I’ve read was “The Anubis Gates” by Time Powers. It shows up regularly in “Top 100 Science Fiction Novels” lists.

  4. Thanks for these recommendations! I’ve read Wool and Old Man’s War (I really enjoyed both of them). I’ll check out some of these other books.

  5. I’m a fan of short stories at night, though I read more novels than anything. With a book of shorts I know roughly that I won’t read for more than an hour. Neil Gaiman wrote an anthology called “Smoke and Mirrors” that’s by turns quirky and sadistic. He has this take on Snow White that still disturbs me … I’ll lend you the book, I can’t say any more than that.

    It might wake you up a bit, but I think you’d enjoy “Einstein’s Dreams” by Alan Lichtman. Brilliant concept – Albert Einstein, while writing his docotral thesis, worries he’ll get it wrong and dreams every night about the repercussions if he warps space-time. A very human book despite the scientific premise.

    Malcom Gladwell is up on my list of to-reads for non-fiction. If you haven’t yet, pick up some of William Gibson’s works – his earlier stuff you might find too sci-fi, but “Pattern Recognition” and “Zero History” are excellent. The former was a cute little read and then it suddenly became serious and I was hooked for the last 150 pages or so.

    So far this year I’ve read three books – “Christianophobia” which isn’t as FoxNews-leaning as it sounds (if anything it’s a case for nations to seriously commit to religious freedom); “Memento Nora” which is a young adult cyberpunk (not real heavy) and “There’s Only One Quantum” which is just fun (though I love cyberpunk).

    Last thought – if you really want to be haunted, “Rain” by Kirsty Gunn. One of about five books I’ve read at least thrice (Hitchhiker’s Trilogy and The Hobbit are up there too). I cried when I finished it (I was 15 and kinda Emo before that was a thing) and starting reading it again.


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