Find a Fun Book for Your Vacay This Summer

by | Aug 1, 2023 | Business

Whether heading to the beach, visiting family, traveling abroad to a foreign land, or just enjoying a staycation, having a good book by your side can enhance your summer vacation. I have a list of my best suggestions for reading new and old novels during the summer to take you on a journey across time and space. 

Iron Widow by Xiran Jay Zhao

Xiran Jay Zhao gave us one of the best science fiction novels of the 21st century a few years ago with Iron Widow. If you’re looking for a book allowing you to escape into a new world, you’ve found it with this novel that’s perfect for teens and adults. 

Iron Widow takes inspiration from Japanese pulp culture, like mecha anime, to reimagine ancient China as a dystopian world where giant robots fight for humanity’s survival. Pilots try to beat back mysterious invaders and protect what remains of humanity.

The Hunter by Richard Stark

We all love a good story of revenge. We see the betrayal of our main character and hope they can enact revenge on their former compatriots. This sense of betrayal and the quest for vengeance is at the heart of Richard Stark’s The Hunter.

The Hunter follows a criminal returning to New York after a betrayal on his last big heist. Now he’s out to settle the score. Along with being a page-turner, The Hunter is a short read, making it perfect to finish in a weekend getaway. 

Neuromancer by William Gibson

When night falls, and you want something with a darker and pulpier feel, Neuromancer by William Gibson is a science fiction classic that’s earned its praise. While the book deals with heady themes about an unsure future and the role of technology and information in our lives, it reads like a classic detective or crime novel.

With the continued discussions around AI in our society, why not read a book that sought to ask the big questions about artificial intelligence in 1984?

Star Wars Ronin: A Visions Novel by Emma Mieko Candon

Star Wars Ronin by Emma Mieko Candon reimagined the galaxy of the classic movies we know and love. Candon crafted a world of samurai and shogun, not unlike feudal Japan many centuries ago. We find a fresh take on Star Wars that includes more women and LGBTQ+ characters. 

You don’t need to enjoy Star Wars to find something to like in Star Wars Ronin, as it is a unique story with an original world and characters. 

Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald

Some people want to take the classics with them while on vacation. These books are often difficult to read and end up frustrating you when trying to relax. Save Me the Waltz by Zelda Fitzgerald (the wife of Gatsby writer F. Scott Fitzgerald) is a wonderful book about a romance that starts beautifully and turns sour by the end.

Fitzgerald wrote the novel while recovering from mental health issues. It leads to a stunning novel with some of the best prose imaginable and elements she borrowed from her marriage. 

Bogie & Bacall by William J. Mann

Another classic love story of American pop culture is that of actors Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart. The two stars of classic Hollywood had a very public marriage that captured the minds of Americans while they recovered from the despair of the Second World War.

Bogie & Bacall by William J. Mann seeks to pull back the curtain and present the true story of the two actors. This nonfiction entry to my list is worth a read if you enjoy the movies of the 1940s and ‘50s or just want to learn more about Hollywood’s first true power couple. 

The Firm by John Grisham

John Grisham is famous for his page-turning legal thrillers, and The Firm is one of his best. Grisham’s novel reads like any of the best episodes of Law & Order and will keep you on the edge of your seat until the final moments. 

The plot follows a law firm with plenty of shady activities and the battle for an attorney’s soul. After you finish the book, you could end your vacation with a viewing of the Tom Cruise film.

The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

Jacques Pépin is one of the most famous celebrity chefs of his era and is one of the people we credit with popularizing cooking television. The Apprentice is his autobiography detailing his life in the culinary world. 

Pépin began his career working in rustic French restaurants, but it wasn’t long until he was cooking for presidents, running massive restaurant empires, and hanging out with Julia Child. This book will take you away on a trip with Pépin while you’re enjoying your vacation.

The Glory of Their Times by Lawrence Ritter

My last nonfiction book, The Glory of Their Times, is the story of late 19th-century and early 20th-century baseball. Nothing puts me in the summer mood like baseball, and this book is the best way to learn about the history of the great American pastime. 

For this book, Ritter interviewed many subjects who played baseball in the past. While you won’t see interviews with Babe Ruth or Honus Wagner, Ritter captures the stories of people who played with the legends and have interesting stories about their life and baseball.

Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez

Dealing with complex topics like racism, segregation, and sexism, Take My Hand by Dolen Perkins-Valdez is an easy read with plenty to say. The novel took inspiration from real events in Alabama in the 1970s, though Perkins-Valdez makes the story her own and turns it into some of the most compelling historical fiction from 2022. 

Even with the difficult subject matter, Take My Hand is a breezy read that’s perfect to finish in a week while relaxing on a beach chair.

The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway

Another classic, The Old Man and the Sea, is the finest work of one of America’s most famous authors. The story follows Santiago, an aging fisherman in Cuba, and his quest to reel in a massive marlin. 

The novella is straightforward on the surface, with a spiritual undercurrent that’s left readers thinking about its subtext for years. The Old Man and the Sea is also a short read, so you can take it with you on your Cuban fishing excursion and finish it in no time at all. 

Superman for All Seasons by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

Superheroes are all the rage these days, but many people don’t go back and read the comics that inspired all the blockbuster movies. Superman for All Seasons is my favorite superhero comic and tells the story of the early days of Clark Kent. We see Clark discover his powers, leave Smallville for Metropolis, meet Lois Lane, and return home to see his parents as a more worldly person.

You don’t need to know anything about Superman to enjoy this comic, and you can comfortably read it in one sitting. I’d like to give special praise to Tim Sale’s art that borrows from Norman Rockwell and leads to some of the most gorgeous paneling in comics. If you don’t like Superman, this comic will make you a believer in the Man of Steel. 

Better Content Matters: Writing Service You Can Count On

There you have it, some of my favorite books to take on your next summer trip. No matter your taste, I hope you found something that piqued your interest. If you ever need written content for a website, whether it be about books or anything else, we at Better Content Matters can help with your needs. Contact us today, and we can get started crafting anything you need. 

Nick LaBelle

Nick LaBelle

Nick LaBelle has been writing professionally since graduating from Penn State University in 2015 with a degree in English. He lives in western Pennsylvania with his wife and dog. When he’s not writing, Nick enjoys literature, film, anime, model kits, Pittsburgh sports, professional wrestling, and music.