” I want to read a book. Not just a magazine article. An actual book.”
— Amanda Woods, The Holiday
Have you ever taken a book with you on vacation thinking, “This is the time when I will finally read this”?
Only to have it sit on your nightstand for the whole trip?
I have a thought for you:
Maybe you have the wrong book.
Sure, there are some books that can be enjoyable in any context (Harry Potter comes to mind). But some books are really best suited for specific contexts.
There is a book out there for you. A book awaiting you. A book that’s just as excited about that vacation as you are, because that vacation is when it will finally be read.
How do I know this?
Because I’ve read these books, and they told me so.
Here are my vacation book suggestions, based on the location of your vacation. I’m including two selections for you for each trip. Pick whichever suits your fancy more. All of them are fiction, and a lot of them are children’s literature. Don’t let that turn you off; there’s a lot to be learned from “kid books”. And I promise you these are good ones, no matter what your age is.
What better place to read a book about pirates than on a beach where you can imagine them? As you lean back in your comfy beach chair, the seagulls crying overhead and the sea breeze smell whifting into your nose, dive into the classic tale of Treasure Island, where you’ll find Long John Silver, young Jim Hawkins, and the admirable Doctor Livesey, whose character is tried and true throughout the book.
A boy and his dog, leave the legendary ship, forever cursed to wander. The pair travel the world and help whoever they can, making other people’s lives a little better each time; but they are always doomed to move on. A sad book, but a good one.
One of the most striking things about the mountains is how calm and quiet they are. Do you want to keep with that calmness? Or do you want to add a little bit of adventure to it? I have a suggest for both moods.
A classic, and my personal favorite by Jane Austen. Emma is a spoiled, slightly prideful girl, who only wants the best for her friends, but tends to go about it in the wrong ways, trying to find (or create) love when it’s not there. She learns a few lessons through her trials.
On the Edge of the Dark Sea of Darkness is the title of the first book in this series. There is a certain kind of humor in this series that is not for everyone, but give it a chance. It becomes quite endearing. And as the series progresses, the characters grow up, the story intensifies, and you find lots of hidden meanings and gems between the pages.
Magic, fairies, characters from another world… The Inkheart trilogy is full of magic and excitment, with interesting characters and surprising plot twists around every corner. Dive into the fantasy adventure and get soaked away into a book (you’ll see how fitting that descripition is when you read it).
He was called to go on an adventure, and he refused. Now he’s banished from his own world until redemption is explained to him. Suri, the main character of Sacrifice, goes to Earth, where he helps lead a boy to the truth, meeting many memorable characters along the way. One of my favorite books on this list.
You’re on the sea, relaxing. The best thing to read about would be an adventure in the waves…. but not one that ends with someone being eaten by a shark. That doesn’t happen in these books.
A story about the friendship between a ship captain and the ship’s surgeon. And if you like it well enough, there are nineteen more books after it.
What would it be like if the Greek gods and goddesses were alive today? That’s the preface for this series. The humor is dry, the story is fast-paced and has twists and turns, and none of the characters are basic, annoying teenagers. Give it a shot.
An Airplane Ride
A delightful tale about four sixth-grade kids who, under the direction of their teacher, start a group to compete in an academic championship. The book reads like a conversation, switching perspective amongst the students, beginning each chapter with a question to introduce the characters.
This book covers several years, following two siblings as they go to visit their grandmother each summer. They have wild adventures, and learn a few lessons along the way as well. Inspiring, and quite charming.
A Trip Abroad
I don’t know where in the world you’re going. So I’m giving you books to send you to another world.
The world these series is set in doesn’t quite match ours. But it’s close enough that you can feel at home. It follows a group of children who are uniquely smart or gifted in some way and go to work for a mysterious man, named Nicholas Benedict.
A classic. One of the best classics, in my opinion. Follow Bilbo Baggins as he troops along with the thirteen dwarves and the wizard Gandalf, always missing home and unsure of what to do half the time. You’ll be able to relate to his struggles, and enjoy reading him come through all right in the end.
A City Trip
A city feels alive. So you want a book that feels alive too. Here are a couple.
Two orphaned boys run away to Venice, where they join a group of theives who rally around a ringleader: The Thief Lord. Follow them on their adventures through an unknown city, all the while trying to keep off the scent of their aunt and her hired detective.
A great introduction to the amazing series of Sherlock Holmes. Step into an older world and writing style, and be just as marveled as John Watson while you watch Holmes solve the murder.
A Trip to the Country
Anne always means well, but she often does and says the wrong thing. She wasn’t supposed to go and live with Matthew and Marilla, two middle-aged siblings who wanted a boy to help them on the farm, but that’s what happened. We follow Anne as she journeys through the pitfalls of adolescene, making friends and learning lessons along the way.
An adventurous tale about a young girl and her brother, who go to stay at their grandparents’ while their parents are on a cruise, and discover that the seemingly normal farm is actually home to hundreds of different fairybook creatures, that their grandparents protect them. That’s why it’s called Fablehaven.
Staying at home? Perfect! That’s exactly the best time to read. I only have one suggestion for you.
The Book You Have Always Wanted to Read
You’ll have to figure this one out for yourself. You’re at home. Go to the book shelf and pick up the first book that catches your eye. Flip through it. Read the first few lines. Then go make yourself a cup of tea, grab a muffin (or chocolate, or whatever sweet and/or savory snack you got in your house), and curl up in your comfy chair in your comfy clothes. Oh, and turn off the notifications on your phone. And then…
Wherever you’re going in life, a book always makes the trip better. Sometimes it’s hard to be happy when you’re always traveling. And sometimes it’s hard to be happy when you’re sitting at home alone, unsure of what to do. I promise you, reading a book will make both of those experiences much better.
Read one of these.
It will make life seem a little less dreary.
And if you find that these books lived up to my reccomendation, or even if they didn’t — let me know.