Spring Break season is here, and alongside choosing the right swimsuit, my top packing priority is always finding the best books to bring along to read poolside. Or, if you’re not traveling, a great read can still offer a fun escape even if you’re sitting on your couch.
And the good news is that if you don’t get to some of these during Spring Break, summer vacation is just around the corner!
Here are seven books perfect for the beach or the backyard…
by Taylor Jenkins Reid
As a mom with four little children, I highly value my sleep and almost nothing can convince me to stay up late. So when I tell you that I stayed up until 2 a.m. reading this book because I was dying to know how it ended, there is pretty much no higher praise.
Emma marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse, and they are blissfully happy together, escaping their hometown for life in California and traveling the world together for both of their jobs. But then Jesse goes missing in a helicopter accident over the Pacific and Emma’s picture-perfect life is shattered in an instant. She moves home with her parents and after years of mourning finally finds a new life for herself, including an engagement to a friend of hers from high school that she’d lost touch with.
You can guess what happens next. Jesse is found and now Emma has to choose between her old life and her new. If you love this one, you’ll be delighted to know that Taylor Jenkins Reid has three other books (Stephanie tells me this is actually one of her all-time favorites!), plus another one coming out this summer.
by Blake Crouch
If you like your fiction with a sci-fi twist, this one is a winner. In January, I asked on my Facebook page what the best book people had read in 2016 was, and so many people mentioned this one.
I read it in 36 hours and then insisted my husband read it. And HE stayed up until 1 a.m. to finish it. This is one of those books that it’s better to read without knowing too much about it, but the basic idea is that Jason, a physics professor, has a happy life with his wife and their one son in Chicago.
On the evening the book opens, he’s headed out to get drinks with a friend who just won a massive scientific award, the kind that Jason might have earned himself if his early academic achievements and research hadn’t been derailed by his choice to marry and have a family. And then, on his way home from the bar, he’s mugged and when he wakes up, the whole world has changed. I’m not usually a sci-fi reader, but this one drew me in like nothing has since The Martian.
by Sophie Kinsella
Admittedly, I like pretty much all of Sophie Kinsella’s books, but her stand-alone novels are my very favorite. This one was the perfect read for my recent hospital stay after the birth of my fourth daughter – just fun, light, and romantic.
Nobody does a beach read like Sophie Kinsella and this one had me laughing my head off as I snuggled my new baby. Katie is making a life for herself in London, but the glamorous job and social life she imagined hasn’t quite panned out.
Instead, she’s rooming with two other people in a pretty sad apartment and pinching the few pennies she makes at her job in marketing (where she’s really just a glorified secretary). Fortunately, it’s not too hard to make her life look a lot better on Instagram.
Pack your bags and happy reading.
by Amy Krouse Rosenthal
You may know Amy Krouse Rosenthal from her very popular children’s picture books like Little Pea. Or you might know her from her recent New York Times article that went viral called You Might Want to Marry My Husband about her hopes that he’d find new love after she died of ovarian cancer (she just passed away a few weeks ago).
Or maybe you’ve never heard of her. Either way, this memoir, written before her diagnosis, is both quirky and charming and usually quirky is not my thing. She has her book divided into various sections as if it were a textbook, with titles like Geography and Romantic Languages. It’s so sweet and funny and engaging and makes you just want to really live life to the fullest. I read the whole thing in a single evening.
by Stephenie Meyer
It’s been a long time since the author of Twilight released a new book, and this one wasn’t what I was expecting.
Her dedication of the book “To Jason Bourne and Aaron Cross” tells you everything you need to know – this book is a thriller with lots of action and adventure. The story follows Alex, a former government agent who is living her life on the run since her partner was murdered by their handlers. After a few years of moving from town to town, switching identities the way most of us change underwear, her old boss manages to get in touch with her and convince her to come into work on a new biological terrorist threat. Of course, nothing goes as smoothly as she might have hoped and suddenly she’s dealing with all sorts of new enemies.
After a few years of moving from town to town, switching identities the way most of us change underwear, her old boss manages to get in touch with her and convince her to come into work on a new biological terrorist threat. Of course, nothing goes as smoothly as she might have hoped and suddenly she’s dealing with all sorts of new enemies. And. . . of course, a little romance thrown in.
by Derek Thompson
If your idea of a good vacation read is some compelling non-fiction (and it’s definitely my idea of a great read), The Hit Makers is for you.
In the same vein as Malcolm Gladwell’s bestseller Outliers, this is pop non-fiction at its finest, full of fascinating stories and gripping writing, this book all about why some things are wildly popular and why other things never take off, is just as fun a read as any fiction book out there.
by Jenny Han
I have a soft spot in my heart for young adult contemporary fiction and this one is one of the best I’ve read in the last five years. Lara Jean is dealing with the heartbreak of her beloved older sister and best friend going off to college.
As the middle of three girls living with their dad since their mother died years earlier, Lara Jean can hardly stand the thought of saying goodbye to Margot. But shortly after Margot’s departure, Lara Jean has more pressing matters on her mind.
Like the fact that somehow the secret letters she’s written to each boy she’s ever had a crush on and stowed away in a special box got MAILED to their (un)intended recipients. Including Margot’s long-time boyfriend who lives next door. This book is hilarious, sweet, and just completely lovable. It’s solid enough to be a stand-alone book, but there is a sequel – P.S. I Still Love You – and a third book coming out this May.
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