Summer Vacation Reads

Takoma Park Library

Summer Vacation Reads

It's already August, but it's not too late for a summer getaway!

We travel for fun, adventure, relaxation, and to escape our routine. Some people enjoy travelling to places they've never been before, while others prefer their annual trek to the same place they've been vacationing for years. Some prefer the hustle and bustle of cities, while others prefer the solitude of beaches, mountains, or forests. Wherever you go and however you get there, a good vacation read is part of any enjoyable trip! For some of us, catching up on our reading is what vacation is all about!

What are your favorite books to read when in a foreign country? Or while lying on a beach?

What's the best book to read (or listen to!) when road-tripping across the country?

And what makes a novel a good vacation novel? Is it light-hearted and funny? Is it about adventure and travel? Is it an undertaking you've been putting off?

Below is a brief compilation of some of my favorite summer travel novels and why I think they classify as good vacation reads:
  • Wild by Cheryl Strayed
    Strayed's account of her solo hike on the Pacific Coast Trail is funny, poignant, and exciting. It is a perfect summer read for anyone itching for an adventure.

On the Road

  • On The Road by Jack Kerouac
    This classic story of freedom and the open road chronicles Kerouac's adventures through North America. This book perfectly captures the wandering, soul-searching spirit of the "Beat" generation.

  • The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
    A must for expatriates and lovers of European culture alike, The Sun Also Rises  takes the reader leisurely from lively Paris to Northern Spain during the years following World War I. 

  • Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
    This book about a young man's drive to abandon privilege, materialism, and societal norms for nature, adventure, and the Alaskan wild is compelling and thought-provoking. 

  • A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson
    A history of the Appalachian Trail and some entertaining stories of those -- both human and animal -- who Bryson encounters along the way. 

  • The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
    These characters and stories never get old, and they are great for everyone. A vacation is a perfect time to relive your favorite scenes and savor all the little details that makes Harry's magical world so wonderful. Try listening to them in the car on a road trip. 

  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver
    The Price family is far from their Georgia home when they land in the Belgian Congo for a year of missionary work. Follow their year of adventures and misadventures as they settle into their new surroundings in Africa. 

  • Life of Pi by Yann Martel
    This is a survival story. It is the story of a young protagonist's epic journey across the Pacific Ocean in a lifeboat with a tiger.

Grab an end-of-summer-getaway read at your local library, or visit our OverDrive site for e-books and audiobooks for download!