Even though travel is hard these days, there’s nothing like lounging around the pool or on the beach. And what I love to do most is get engrossed in a good book. However, sometimes it is hard to know what books to bring. I often try not to bring a long series as it can be hard to carry lots of books (especially if you are like me and you prefer the physical copy to an e-book). Therefore, I created a quick list of either short series or stand-alone’s that could get your reading thirst quenched whilst soaking up the sun. I also tried to do a mixture of genres as it is hard to know what genre to read whilst relaxing. Sometimes you want your typical fantasy, other times you feel it’s the perfect opportunity to branch out. Hopefully this list can give you a few ideas.
- These Violent Delights by Chloe Gong
This book has been taking the book world by storm recently, and I can see why. A Romeo and Juliet re-telling, but with a dark twist set in Shanghai in 1920s. At the moment, this is the only novel out for the series with the sequel out later this year. Therefore it makes it easy to sit down and binge read knowing there’s only one book you need to worry about bringing. This is categorised as a fantasy, but I would say it is more a dark drama mixed with thriller aspects. It keeps you gripped and tossing and turning with what is happening in Shanghai, but also the relationships between the characters.
I recently did a book review on this if you wanted to check it out — but be aware that spoilers are included if you haven’t read it yet.
2. Strange the Dreamer Duology by Laini Taylor
This is another fantasy, and is a series, but for once, it is a duology and I can’t see two books to complete a series taking up too much room in your bags. Strange the Dreamer is a dreamlike, mystical story where it follows Lazlo Strange and his journey to find a city that no one believes is real. You have two perspectives to follow both Lazlo and a small group of children who are known as the gods children. It is heart-wenching, yet inspiring with the question of whether genocide can be justified or not. I have often spoken about Taylor’s poetic style as well, and I can’t help but feel the story is perfect when relaxing under the blazing sun.
3. One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus
I had to of course bring in a thriller, because sometimes you want something faced paced and gripping to get into. You want to be guessing and intrigued in your book as this is what your doing for a few days, or however long you have away from work. So I feel you can never go wrong with a thriller. I have only recently branched out into the genre, and this was one of the first books I picked up. Once again, there is only two books in the series following the same characters, but there are also two other novels that McManus has written that have a similar style if you fancied taking four books away with you. They are short, snappy and fun even when filled with mystery. Even though it is a thriller and some parts are dark, they are easy reads since they are targeted for young adults. Plus, nothing like pulling shocked faces whilst surrounded by a bunch of strangers.
4. Felix Ever After by Karen Callender
I’ve never really been one for contemporary books. Normally I want more of a fantasy element or a thriller to keep me gripped as sometimes I can find settings in our own world a bit boring. However, I decided I wanted to branch out and my friend recommended this book, and I am so glad I picked it up. A beautiful tale about discovering who you really are. A transgender who just simply wants to fall in love. But the story is so much more when they discover that perhaps they need to work out who they really are and love themselves first. It’s not a long book, so is easy to bring along for your holiday. But it tugs at the heartstrings and even has you questioning where the story is going to go next.
A review of this book will be up next on my blog as well if you’re curious and want more depth on how I found my first contemporary read.
5. Crescent City by Sarah J. Maas
I don’t think it would be possible for me to do a list and not include at least one epic fantasy in the mix. They are just perfect to dive in and loose yourself from this world and immerse yourself into another. Whilst Strange the Dreamer is a fantasy, it is more targeted for young adults, so I wanted to include an adult epic fantasy. I decided to go with Crescent City because it is currently only one book since the rest of the series hasn’t been released. However, whilst at the end there is a hint of the story continuing, what the main premise of the book is does seem to have it’s conclusion. Therefore, whilst it is a big hefty read, you do feel like the story is complete and you could just sit and enjoy the characters and the detail of the world Maas created. I always love Maas’ characters, but I do feel Bryce and Hunt are the best she’s created simply because they feel damaged and yet hopeful. They feel like people who you would meet (but perhaps minus the fae and angel aspects) and the relationships and friendships that are used in this novel are both heart-wrenching and warming.
So that’s my list. Some of these books I have definitely taken away with me, and others that have recently come out I know I will take on my next holiday (whenever that is) even though they would be re-reads.
Are there any novels you would take away with you? If you have any recommendations, I would love to know and keep my book collection ever growing.