Author: Kassandra Oglesbee
Best Books to Vacay with This Season; If you’re like me, you love the outdoors – you appreciate the outdoors, you want to spend time outdoors, hiking, swimming, enjoying nature. That is, until the bugs come out or it gets too dark to feel confident you won’t fall (because you will) and then you head indoors, where there are less dangers afoot. That’s where this list comes in.
As the months get colder and the days shorter as we head into these Fall and Winter months, many of us are reaching for a good book. There are so many genres to choose from: romance, thriller, sci-fi, young adult, nonfiction – the list goes on! What better than to book a cabin with StayOver and curl up by the fire with a good book? Below, I have chosen some great books from each and every genre that are the PERFECT fit for your vacation. Now all you have to do is pick one (or two…or five)!
Just Like You – Nick Hornby
Who doesn’t love a good romance? This book centers around a woman down on her luck – recently divorced, just trying to mom the best she can, and then of course, in comes love. The perfect formula. It’s a feel good read that will give you all the warm and fuzzies. I won’t give too many spoilers (because you could probably guess them anyway) but it is the perfect, easy vacation book.
Beach Read – Emily Henry
This novel is very much everything you think of when you think romance novel. Well, maybe with less Fabio and more comedy, but you know what I mean. It’s got everything – a character cynical about love, another who can’t think about anything else, and the perfect setting for them to get together: the beach. This book is not a complicated one, and you probably won’t find yourself too surprised by twists and turns, but it is the perfect easy read for when you just want to hang out and relax.
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
As the name suggests, this is the ultimate road trip book. This novel follows Dean as he journeys through life, one spontaneous, unstable move at a time. This novel offers everything from colorful characters to crazy adventures and everything in between. It’s a story of friendship and self-discovery that will hold your attention the whole time. Plus, since you probably haven’t gone anywhere for vacation this year, this book can at least make you feel like you have.
The Taming of the Shrew – William Shakespeare
I am unfortunately one of those people who is VERY into Shakespeare. What can I say, being an English major in college really does crazy things to you. This play is my favorite of his works! Particularly in quarantine, I think we can all relate to finding someone a little bit shrewish (spending 24/7 with your family members can really do that to a person). This play focuses on Katherina and Bianca and their potential suitors. Katherina is not known for being the friendliest of women around Padua, but she’s got a wit and bite that makes her a feminist icon. If you’re looking for an empowering read (or you’ve recently watched 10 Things I Hate About You and want to read the play it’s based on) this classic comedy is a great choice!
Chosen Ones – Veronica Roth
Did you like the Hunger Games? Boy, do I have a book for you. Not surprisingly, this book actually comes from the author of the Divergent series, and pleasingly, has a very similar vibe, but for people not still in high school. This story follows a set of heroes navigating life in the modern-day. They’ve defeated the bad guy, but we all know that doesn’t mean the job is done. This story follows these characters as they figure out what to do after the big, bad guy has been foiled and the characters are forced to wonder what comes next. Once a hero always a hero? This book fits into so many genres, it’s hard to pick one, but honestly, that means it’s a book for everyone.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage – Alfred Lansing
This novel tells the true story of Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew as they attempted to cross the Antarctic continent via the ship Endurance. The men became stranded and it was pretty INTENSE. I won’t spoil the ending, but things get pretty crazy. Though this book has been around a hot minute (originally published 1959), the themes of persevering and surviving when it doesn’t seem possible will make you feel like you can do anything. Like finally stop watching Netflix and clean the bathroom. It’ll also make you feel pretty jazzed you’re spending your vacation at home or in a cabin instead of on a ship.
The Vacation – T.M. Logan
What book is more fitting for a vacation than a book literally called The Vacation? This thriller novel takes place in France, as the main character la-de-das around with her friends, expecting a relaxing time, as one does. Of course, things don’t always work out the way we plan, and the character is forced to deal with betrayal, ruined relationships, and even murder. Hopefully your vacation doesn’t turn out like hers.
Deep State – Chris Hauty
I know what you’re thinking: every vacation could use more politics. In this novel, someone very important in the government is found dead. Surprise – it wasn’t due to natural causes. This thriller is not only a who-done-it, it’s a who-will-do-it-again. If you like politics, drama, and being kept on your toes, this one is for you.
Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns) – Mindy Kaling
I’ve asked myself the same question so many times in this weird era of life called ~quarantine~. This book is one of my favorite reads. It’s not the most recent of books, as it was released in 2011. However, Kaling’s humor rings relevant even still. She has so many stories and if you are like me and enjoy delving into the perspective of someone outside of yourself that you feel like you know (even though you probably don’t because celebrity and all) then this book is for you!
The Marshmallow Test: Mastering Self-Control – Walter Mischel
This book is based around a common idea developed by psychologist Walter Mischel: you tell a kid they can have a marshmallow and enjoy it right now, or they can wait and have two later. He then explores what they choice means and how that same choice can be applied to every decision basically ever. Even if you aren’t an avid follower of psychology, this book is an interesting read. Plus, you can spend your whole vacation examining every choice you’ve ever made, while eating marshmallows. Fun!
We Used to be Friends – Amy Spalding
Fights with friends are the worst. This novel tells the story we all know way too well – the breakup of a friendship. However, this time there is a twist. The novel is told in dual timelines, with part of the chapters moving forward, while the others go backwards. This particular way of story-telling keeps the reader hooked, always ready to fill in the missing puzzle pieces. No one is seeing their friends as much as they’d like to these days, but this novel will make you want to Facetime the ones you’ve managed to keep in contact with and plan a coffee date for when we can all go outside again.
Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo
If you’re looking for an INTENSE read, look no further. This book follows two sisters who knew nothing about each other (dad has some explainin’ to do). They cross paths thanks to tragedy and then have to navigate it together. This story has everything from family to loss to friendship to laughter, and hey, it might even get your kid to stop watching Tiktoks for a couple of hours.
For the kids and babies
It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown
It’s almost that time! October is right around the corner, and with it, Halloween (my personal favorite holiday, I must say). This year is my first Halloween with my own baby, who will turn one shortly after, and we’ve already bought and read this book a few times! He doesn’t quite get the point (yet, as I suspect this will become a traditional read in our house) but we have the best time reading it together. As you vacation and bring your babies along this fall season, why not bring some Halloween holiday spirit with you?
Your Baby’s First Word Will Be DADA – Jimmy Fallon
This book is a big HIT in my house. As your baby gets bigger, making the sounds of the animals is fun for you both. Plus, by the time it’s time for baby to go to bed on vacation (…or any time), you’re ready for a short read.
Vacations may look a little different these days, but that’s what these books are for – to go on an escape even when you can’t really (though for the record, StayOver cabins are a GREAT option escaping too). Whether you’re looking for adventure, some romance, or something else entirely, I truly hope you found it right here on this list. Bon Voyage and happy reading!