Books to Take on Vacation

I get regular e-mail request from people wanting book recommendations, and the most common reason they give is that they are going on a vacation…and they want something to read!  Of course, it depends on your personal tastes, but if you’re anything like me, you’ll enjoy these picks for your next trip.


1. Twilight by Stephanie Myer

Maybe you’re not into Vampires, or you hate reading the current “in” books, but let me make a case for this series in particular.  First of all, it’s pure candy (I often call it “crack,” but whatever).  It’s easy reading and highly addictive.  There’s romance and excitement.  Plus, if you happen to be in an airport or on an airplane, you’ll have several people around you who are interested in discussing the book with you, an added perk.  I like to read the “in” books for this very reason, so I can talk to more people about what they are reading.


2. The Enchanted April

I reviewed this one recently, and I think it makes for a great getaway book because it’s about a group of women going on vacation! There’s something appropriate about reading about vacation while you’re on vacation.  Read my full review here to learn more about the book.  It’s an easy read but with some profound insights into marriage and women’s relationships.


3. The Mitford Series by Jan Karon

Without being sachrine sweet, these little books are light and portable but deliver meaningful messages about home, family, and community.  The characters are loveable, and the plots are engaging enough to keep you turning the pages.  Bring a couple and stay immersed in Mitford wherever you go. It’s like taking a piece of home with you on your travels.

other boleyn girl

4. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory

I like to take along Philippa Gregory novels because they offer a little bodice ripping with a lot of historical intrigue and the obligitory rapid page turning.  They’re great for long stretches where you want to sit on a beach or by the pool and sink into another world for awhile.

eat pray love

5. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

This is a fun and not very intellectually demanding book about a woman who travels to India, Italy, and Indonesia, and it also fulfills that requirement that everyone has read it or is reading it (Oprah picked it for her book club).  I like reading a travel memoir on vacation, especially if it’s about a location that I’ll be visiting.  I feel like I’m joining the author on an adventure.

I’ve got a long list of book reviews, including several that I’ve mentioned in this post.  If you’d like to see all my reviews, visit this link.  And if you like the book lists, you can see all of those here.

If I recommend any books that you’d like to purchase, consider buying them through Amazon using the links on my site, so I get a percent of the purchase price back to buy more books to review!


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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I recently bought The Enchanted April after reading your review of it. I don’t know when I’ll read it as I have so many to-read books, but I look forward to reading it.

    AL: I hope you’ll stop by an let me know what you think, when you get around to it! I’m excited because the library just e-mailed me that my copy of the movie came in today, so I get to see how the BBC handled the adaptation! I think it could make a lovely movie.

  2. Interesting that as an avid reader I have not come across any of these. I guess the difference is the geographical location.

    The pink flower that you so like is on a Wyiegia shrub.

    AL: I’d thought for sure that Twilight and Mitford had crossed the pond. I do know that you can find Philippa Gregory books because I saw them in London when I was there last year. She’s a British writer, I think, so the books are released there first, always to my chagrin.

    I’ve never heard of that kind of flower before, but I’ll pass it along to my more botanically oriented family members, who have the green thumbs in the family. Thanks for letting me know! To those of you who haven’t visited Barbara’s site, she has some lovely photos up from her English garden.

  3. I like your suggestions!
    I’ve gotten into the habit of trying to find a novel with a story line set in the location I am heading to on my travels. Library of Congress has subject headings for (name of place)-Fiction, and often even a small township have found their way into fiction. As such books are often written by locals, you can get some feel for what it would be like to live there, either now or in the past. Plus there is just something about going to dinner at the same place that was mentioned in the story!

    AL: Ooooh! Librarian Jill! How do I use my library’s search engine to find books set in the place where I’m headed? You mention the library of congress subject headings, but how does that translate into the typical search engines that our libraries use? I think that’s a great idea!

  4. to find books on a specific location in your local public library just do the following:

    Select SUBJECT from the public library on-line book catalogue (usually the drop down menu choice is Title, Author, Key Word, Subject..there often is more choices as well) and seach in the SUBJECT menu like this:

    London (England)–Fiction

    (England in parenthesis because there is more than one London in the world.)

    Paris (France)—Fiction
    California–San Diego—Fiction
    Harvard University—Fiction
    English Teachers–Fiction

    (yes, you can pull institutions, careers, hobbies, animal, vegetables and minerals..- – Fiction.)

    You get the idea.

    Occasionally you can pull a fiction by title too. La Jolla Spindrift is a book by Jack Trolley about my home town La Jolla and San Diego, and it is a hoot to “drive” along with main character and know exactly what street he is on by the restaurants and landmarks he mentions.

    You might have to look at the “See” notation for some things. For example,using the search term Doctors, or Medical Doctors, or Doctors-Medicine gives no results. You will probably see something like “See Physicians” instead. That’s because Physicians-Fiction is the terminology that is used in cataloging information, (including fiction), about medical doctors.

    You can find books on Automobiles, but not cars, but will find a “See Automobiles” when you look for car fiction.
    If you get stumped trying to figure out what the cataloguers called something, just give a call to a librarian. They have the official red cataloging guideline books that clarifies what word are currently being used.

    Fun, huh?

    And if this sounds like too much work to figure out, just do like I usually do: Be lazy and let the librarian on duty figure it out for you! They LOVE answering this kind of question!

    AL: It’s so handy to know a librarian for these kinds of questions! Thanks so much for your advice!

  5. Hmm! I’ve noticed something with your recommended reading, they’re all women authors!

    AL: Guilty as charged! Okay, so my husband also had the same comment. He said this was a woman’s reading list and that I should make a disclaimer *sigh*. So, to remedy the situation, I’m going to ask him to post his suggestions for travel on this Friday, so we get a man’s travel reading list. =) It helps that we’re going on vacation this week for a couple days, and he’ll be choosing a few books to take along.

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