Spring Break starts today in my neck of the woods!
When I think about Spring Break, all things tropical pop into my head: palm trees, slushy drinks, sandy beaches, and endless ocean views. I wish my views included some of these things, but alas, my family is staying put this year. We may try to add in a fews days out of town doing something fun, but there won’t be any beaches in my near future.
What’s constitutes a “spring break” book for you? I also like something that’s on the lighter side, easy to pick up and put down, and doesn’t have such intricate characters or storylines to keep straight.
So whether you’re heading somewhere warm and tropical or you’re enjoying a much needed staycation, here are some book suggestions to get you through the week!
You Are Not Alone by: Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen
“You probably know someone like Shay Miller.
She wants to find love, but it eludes her.
She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end.
She wants to belong, but her life is so isolated.
You probably don’t know anyone like the Moore sisters.
They have an unbreakable circle of friends.
They live the most glamorous life.
They always get what they desire.
Shay thinks she wants their life.
But what they really want is hers.”
I loved this thrilling ride through ups and downs, twists and turns. While I’m not well-versed in the thriller genre and I NEVER guess the correct villian, I found myself thinking I knew where this story was headed, only for my theory to be upended…again and again…and again! This is what made the book so fun and unputdownable for me! It would be the perfect book to read on the beach or poolside!
The Sun Down Motel by: Simone St. James
“The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.
Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…”
I LOVED this book! The perfect amount of mystery and spookiness and pacing. It took me less than 24 hours to devour; I couldn’t put it down!
The Holdout by: Graham Moore
“Young juror Maya Seale is convinced that African American high school teacher Bobby Nock is innocent of killing the wealthy white female student with whom he appears to have been involved and persuades her fellow jurors likewise. Ten years later, a true-crime docuseries reassembles the jurors, and Maya, now a defense attorney, must prove her own innocence when one of them is found dead in Maya’s room.”
In The Holdout, readers get an inside look at what serving on a sequestered jury may look like while also get a nuanced look at the American justice system and the flaws within it.
It’s best to go in blind on this one, but it’s a page turner you won’t be able to put down!
Long Bright River by: Liz Moore
“In a Philadelphia neighborhood rocked by the opioid crisis, two once-inseparable sisters find themselves at odds. One, Kacey, lives on the streets in the vise of addiction. The other, Mickey, walks those same blocks on her police beat. They don’t speak anymore, but Mickey never stops worrying about her sibling.
Then Kacey disappears, suddenly, at the same time that a mysterious string of murders begins in Mickey’s district, and Mickey becomes dangerously obsessed with finding the culprit–and her sister–before it’s too late.
Alternating its present-day mystery with the story of the sisters’ childhood and adolescence, Long Bright River is at once heart-pounding and heart-wrenching: a gripping suspense novel that is also a moving story of sisters, addiction, and the formidable ties that persist between place, family, and fate.”
This book is full of mystery, addiction, and cop drama. While it’s classified as a thriller, I found it to be more mystery as Mickey searches for her lost sister, Kacey. It also takes a nuanced look at addiction and the opioid epidemic that seems to affect so many communities these days. There are twists and turns throughout, so you’ll be changing your mind several times before it’s all said and done!
In Five Years by: Rebecca Serle
“Where do you see yourself in five years?
When Type-A Manhattan lawyer Dannie Cohan is asked this question at the most important interview of her career, she has a meticulously crafted answer at the ready. Later, after nailing her interview and accepting her boyfriend’s marriage proposal, Dannie goes to sleep knowing she is right on track to achieve her five-year plan.
But when she wakes up, she’s suddenly in a different apartment, with a different ring on her finger, and beside a very different man. The television news is on in the background, and she can just make out the scrolling date. It’s the same night—December 15—but 2025, five years in the future.
After a very intense, shocking hour, Dannie wakes again, at the brink of midnight, back in 2020. She can’t shake what has happened. It certainly felt much more than merely a dream, but she isn’t the kind of person who believes in visions. That nonsense is only charming coming from free-spirited types, like her lifelong best friend, Bella. Determined to ignore the odd experience, she files it away in the back of her mind.
That is, until four-and-a-half years later, when by chance Dannie meets the very same man from her long-ago vision.
Brimming with joy and heartbreak, In Five Years is an unforgettable love story that reminds us of the power of loyalty, friendship, and the unpredictable nature of destiny.”
I initially thought this was a romance – and it does have romantic elements- but it’s so much more than that! Ultimately, this is a story about friendship and loyalty and connection. It explores the messiness of relationships and causes the reader to meditate on the ideas of fate and destiny. I connected with Serle’s easy, yet profound writing style, and she quietly put me in a position to contemplate one of my favorite questions: “what if”?
Open Book by: Jessica Simpson
“Jessica reveals for the first time her inner monologue and most intimate struggles. Guided by the journals she’s kept since age fifteen, and brimming with her unique humor and down-to-earth humanity, Open Book is as inspiring as it is entertaining.
Now, America’s Sweetheart, preacher’s daughter, pop phenomenon, reality TV pioneer, and the billion-dollar fashion mogul invites readers on a remarkable journey, examining a life that blessed her with the compassion to help others but also burdened her with an almost crippling need to please. Open Book is Jessica Simpson using her voice, heart, soul, and humor to share things she’s never shared before.”
Simpson is very open and honest in this memoir, and I really appreciated it. I listened to the audiobook and it was powerful to hear her read her own story. I was especially struck by her insecurity – always feeling not good enough and fighting her bodyweight to make the music industry happy. Though most of us aren’t celebrities, I think a lot of us can relate to those insecurities and battles with our bodies. I loved feeling like Simpson was relatable, and this would be the perfect memoir to lose yourself in during vacation.
Becoming by: Michelle Obama
“In a life filled with meaning and accomplishment, Michelle Obama has emerged as one of the most iconic and compelling women of our era. As First Lady of the United States of America—the first African American to serve in that role—she helped create the most welcoming and inclusive White House in history, while also establishing herself as a powerful advocate for women and girls in the U.S. and around the world, dramatically changing the ways that families pursue healthier and more active lives, and standing with her husband as he led America through some of its most harrowing moments. Along the way, she showed us a few dance moves, crushed Carpool Karaoke, and raised two down-to-earth daughters under an unforgiving media glare.
In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. With unerring honesty and lively wit, she describes her triumphs and her disappointments, both public and private, telling her full story as she has lived it—in her own words and on her own terms. Warm, wise, and revelatory, Becoming is the deeply personal reckoning of a woman of soul and substance who has steadily defied expectations—and whose story inspires us to do the same.”
I devoured this book clear back when it was first released, but I can honestly say there’s hardly a day that goes by that I don’t reflect on Obama’s powerful story. She may well be one of the most eloquent speakers of our time and I am in awe of her compassionate nature. I learned so much about the Obama Administration, but I was more struck with the former First Lady’s strength and commitment – not only to her family, but to our country.
Running With Sherman by: Christopher McDougall
“A heartwarming story about training a rescue donkey to run one of the most challenging races in America.
When Chris McDougall agreed to take in a donkey from an animal hoarder, he thought it would be no harder than the rest of the adjustments he and his family had made after moving from Philadelphia to the heart of Pennsylvania Amish country. But when he arrived, Sherman was in such bad shape he could barely move, and his hair was coming out in clumps. Chris decided to undertake a radical rehabilitation program designed not only to heal Sherman’s body but to heal his mind as well. It turns out the best way to soothe a donkey is to give it a job, and so Chris decided to teach Sherman how to run. He’d heard about burro racing–a unique type of race where humans and donkeys run together in a call-back to mining days–and decided he and Sherman would enter the World Championship in Colorado.
Easier said than done. In the course of Sherman’s training, Chris would have to recruit several other runners, both human and equine, and call upon the wisdom of burro racers, goat farmers, Amish running club members, and a group of irrepressible female long-haul truckers. Along the way, he shows us the life-changing power of animals, nature, and community.”
I’m not gonna lie – the above description from the publishers doesn’t make me want to run out and read this book. But if I had to descibe it in one word, I’d call it absolutely delightful!
McDougall writes narrative nonfiction so well. As a reader, you become totally immersed in his storytelling. By the end, you feel inspired and hopeful and darn right lucky to have crossed paths iwth such a great book!
This lighthearted read would make the perfect companion on your Spring Break trip!
Whether you’re going somewhere or staying closer to home, I hope you find at least a few books that sound like something you might enjoy!
Drop me a comment below and let me know what book you’re taking with you!