It’s already mid-August, and even though the sun is bright and the beaches are warm, it’s starting to feel like summer is winding down. There aren’t a lot of weekends left before autumn arrives, and by this point most of us have used up all of our vacation days or are lamenting the end of our summer budgets. But have no fear! Just because you can’t leave town doesn’t mean you can’t still have an awesome weekend. August is the perfect month for a “staycation,” or for making the most of where you live and holing up in your home for some very necessary you-time.
Of course no staycation is complete without a good book! From romance to nonfiction, a great read can transport you far beyond your own living room and into a world filled with true love and exciting adventures. So many of us spend weeks nursing one book, reading it when we can before bed or in snippets throughout the day. But a great thing about a staycation is that it gives you time to actually finish a book you love. So sit back, relax, and use a good book as a way to escape to those faraway places that you can only dream of visiting.
Here are 5 books that we definitely recommend for your ultimate staycation reading experience:
The Light We Lost, Jill Santopolo (May 2017)
Every good staycation needs at least one epic love story that spans years and serves up a healthy dose of angst. Santopolo’s bestselling contemporary romance tells the story of Lucy and Gabe, two New York City college students who meet on 9/11. They can’t forget each other over the years, diving into the kind of lifelong passionate relationship that is as addictive as it is destructive. Told from Lucy’s point-of-view in two different time periods, The Light We Lost is a stark and emotional look at first love and all of its many ups and downs. Just be sure and bring the tissues – we guarantee that you’ll be crying cathartic tears of joy and sorrow throughout their story.
Sting-Ray Afternoons, Steve Rushin (July 2017)
It’s all about nostalgia in Rushin’s memoir about growing up in the ‘70s. He turns a sharp eye on the decade, covering everything from politics to consumerism. But at its heart, this is a story about what it means to come of age in a generation that was quickly changing the way we thought about the world. Plus there are plenty of fun references, from candy cigarettes to 8-track players to the Schwinn Sting-Ray bikes that the memoir is titled after. If you grew up in the ‘70s, this memoir is a fun, but moving trip down memory lane. And even if you didn’t, Rushin’s expert prose and charming anecdotes will win you over from the start.
The Diplomat’s Daughter, Karin Tanabe (July 2017)
Sometimes there’s nothing better than getting lost in a big, historical read. Tanabe’s latest novel takes you to WWII along with Emi Kato, a young Japanese woman who experiences the war on two fronts – first locked in an internment camp in the US, then back in Japan while the war rages around her. Her story of struggle, survival, and isolation is intertwined with that of the two men who love her. One is Christian Lange, an American who joins the fight in the Pacific after falling for Emi in their American interment camp. And the other is Leo Hartmann, Emi’s first love who’s trapped in a Jewish ghetto in Shanghai. Their stories are each epic in their own way, giving a unique perspective into WWII and transporting readers all over the world.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, Samantha Irby (May 2017)
While it can be nice to get lost in a heart-wrenching story, there are certain times when you just want to laugh. Enter author and comedienne Samantha Irby and her new collection of hilarious essays. Irby is the creator of the popular blog Bitches Gotta Eat, where she does everything from sharing candid stories about her life to recommending awesome books. We Are Never Meeting in Real Life gives us even more of her accessible writing style and voice, painting a broader picture of Irby’s life and thoughts. She covers awkward dating stories, her weird cat, pop culture and so much more. And it’s not all surface level fun either; the book is surprisingly heartfelt at times, showing the many interesting layers of Irby’s life. Still, we’re sure this smart and moving nonfiction collection will have you in stitches.
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez (June 2003)
Most of us probably remember One Hundred Years of Solitude as a book we read (or pretended to read) in school. But it’s time to go back and revisit the 1967 classic, which has only gotten better and better with age. Told in a lyrical style, the novel spans decades and generations, painting a surreal portrait of a family and a civilization as it rises and falls. At its core, it’s a story about the Buendía family as they found the remote village of Macondo. But the simple description doesn’t take into account the dozens of different stories and lifetimes woven into the narrative. From magical yellow butterflies to epic loves that will leave you reeling, One Hundred Years of Solitude transports you to a lush jungle climate where civilization and the natural world will always be at odds. Skip the Cliff Notes version this time and let Márquez’s classic novel take you away.