Summer Vacation Reading Recommendations

By Lisa Blue, Teen Librarian
July 27, 2023

Summer's not over yet!  The weather is warm. It’s our favorite time to escape on vacation and explore new worlds, both physically and mentally. Bringing a book along is a great way to enhance the experience no matter what type of vacation you’re embarking upon. 

Now, some fun recommendations for different kinds of vacation experiences:


Beach vacations are all about relaxation and escape. The book you bring with you should sweep you off your feet and detach you from reality, if only for a little while.

Reconnecting with nature is a great way to spend some much-deserved time off. These reading suggestions can be enjoyed in smaller segments by the Coleman lantern after you’ve zipped up the tent for the night, ready to wind down from the day’s adventures.

I Walk Between the Raindrops by T.C. Boyle

Consummate raconteur Boyle offers 13 irresistibly witty stories that focus on the nature of what it is to be a society of imperfect humans.

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

Deepen your relationship with the outdoors. From both scientific and cultural approaches, Robin Wall Kimmerer explores the life-giving lessons indigenous people learned in a reciprocal relationship with the natural world. This is not a book to be devoured but rather savored, taken in smaller morsels to build a foundation of illumination and gratitude. 

The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook by Joshua Piven

You probably won’t need to know how to leap off a building and land safely in a dumpster while on a camping trip, but learning the best way to escape from killer bees or properly deal with a snake bite might just be useful. Practical and entertaining, you may want to make room in your backpack for this pocket-sized guide. Because you just never know.

 There’s nothing quite like the open road and the time it affords travelers to experience a spectacular audio book while enjoying the changing scenery.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey

Alright, alright, alright. Matthew McConaughey sure has lived an interesting life. Narrating his own outrageous stories and the lessons learned, his warm drawl is excellent company on the open road.

Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid

A breezy narrative style conceals the thoughtful and absorbing depths below in this story of a black babysitter accused of kidnapping her charge and the events that follow. A 2021 Audie Award winner for fiction.

Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir

Who would have guessed that the odyssey of a man awaking alone on a spaceship with no memory would turn into such a high-stakes buddy adventure? The bad news is that this audiobook is available exclusively through Audible. The good news is that they often provide free trials that come with a credit for a title that’s yours to keep whether or not you decide to stay an Audible member; and the amazing Project Hail Mary can be that title!

It’s much nicer to be on the water while all manner of shenanigans are breaking loose on land. Cruise vacations are all about relaxation and entertainment, making these reads a perfect fit.


Dark Matter by Blake Crouch

A scientist on the brink of a major quantum discovery opts for a quieter life for the sake of his new family. An abduction one night, however, forces him to confront a world where his wife is not his wife and his son does not exist. A twisty, speculative thriller that demands to be read in one sitting, Dark Matter explores paths not taken and the impact of choice. Soon to be a series on Apple TV+

The Guest by Emma Cline

A 20-something grifting drifter extends her unwelcome stay on the East End of Long Island through insinuation and manipulation, leaving a path of disruption in her wake. Like a car crash, Alex’s unapologetic moxie and astounding ability to lie to others and herself is both distasteful and impossible to look away from.


Black Tide by KC Jones

A drunken one night stand on the beach between two meteor shower spectators turns into an apocalyptic nightmare when they find themselves stranded by lost keys and unanswered emergency calls. Two very flawed humans and a scene-stealing dog spend the next 24 hours fighting for their survival against unknown horrors just beyond the dunes.


 It might not be in the budget this year, financially or timewise, to take lengthy time off. A staycation is a wonderful opportunity to rest, recharge, and engage in some much-needed self-care. What better way to unwind than staying in your pajamas and curling up with a lap cat and an incredible book?

Maame by Jessica George

Ghanian Brit Maddie struggles at a dead end job while being the primary caregiver for her father who is in the advanced stages of Parkinson’s disease. The return of her mother from Ghana offers Maddie a chance to begin the next chapter in her life, complete with a new job and new relationships. But coming of age as an adult is just as awkward and messy as you’d expect, navigating between two cultures both precarious and painful. It’s impossible though not to root for unforgettable and relatable Maddie, Maame to her mother, on her journey to figure this adulthood thing out.


The Covenant of Water by Abraham Verghese

A sprawling tale of a South Indian family and their tragic relationship with water. Verghese tackles complicated familial and romantic relationships alongside the caste system and a nation’s right to rule itself. But this story is also one of the intricacies and mysteries of the physical body and its complicated relationship with our soul.


City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert

1940’s New York City offers enticement and exploration to 19-year-old Vivian, newly expelled from Vassar. Sent to live with her theater-owner aunt in Manhattan, Vivian’s life becomes one of “glamour and grit and mayhem and fun." A sassy, vibrant historical fiction with a chick-lit vibe.

Join the Challenge

This is the last week of our Summer Reading Challenge. Your first book earns you an entry for the grand prize drawing and you get another entry for every 5 books read. The top ten readers in each age group will receive a special prize! 

Log Books Here


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