Since the 4th of July, we’ve been looking forward to the next big holiday – our next day off. Labor Day is quickly approaching, leaving us counting the minutes until our next beach-filled, three-day weekend. Whether you’re heading to the coast for the holiday or looking forward to a quiet weekend at home, these books will transport you to exactly where you want to go. Consider it your dream vacation for $20 or less. Not bad, huh?
A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler
Perfect for a couple’s romantic weekend away, this deeply moving novel chronicles the relationship between Kelly and Michael Hays, beginning with the official last day of their 20-year marriage. Butler, using the perspectives of both Kelly and Michael, tells the tale of all the unexpected turns on the road that is marriage all the while unearthing the never-ending feelings between man and wife and the consequences of words left unsaid.
The Red House by Mark Haddon
The Red House will provide the perfect escape from that family vacation you’re hesitantly looking forward to. You’ll definitely appreciate your own family a lot more after this one. A wealthy doctor invites his estranged sister and her family to join his family at their vacation home in the English countryside – and of course chaos ensues. This remarkable novel, told through the eyes of each of the eight family members, will provide you with more than your fair share of secrets, resentments and inappropriate desires as these disconnected relatives struggle to understand each other.
Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
For the salacious girls’ weekend away, you’ll want to let your hair down and you’ll want to make sure you have a copy of Gone Girl in your purse. On the day of Nick and Amy’s fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing and all the signs point to Nick. As he maintains his innocence and fights to prove it, this dark and fast-paced thriller will have you on the edge of your seat, racing to the end in search of the truth. The love story wrapped in mystery will make you contemplate how good relationships go bad – and it’ll leave you wanting to go back and start the journey all over again.
The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe
This one is for the solo traveler, the traveler who relishes in alone time and self-reflection. Sibyl tries to put together all the pieces of her life after her mother and sister die on the Titanic, leaving her with an emotionally guarded father and a drunken, college-dropout brother. Set in Boston in 1915, The House of Velvet and Glass takes you on a journey through opium dens and high society salons, weaving in period detail, romance and a shocking twist that will take your breath away.
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
In Green’s fourth solo novel, he explores the relationship between a cancer patient forced by her parents to join a support group and an amputee she meets there. You’ll laugh, cry – and cry some more – as you make your way through this touching and honest story of two teenagers who find the beauty in life and love even as they’re dying. It’s perfect for a romantic traveler seeking out the romance of everyday life.
Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes
Haynes’ first novel is just right for the woman traveling alone. This highly suspenseful psychological thriller gives you an up-close-and-personal look at the life of Catherine, an obsessive-compulsive woman running away from a troubled past and an overbearing boyfriend. Just when she begins to think she’s out of harm’s way, one phone call changes everything.
The Yard by Alex Grecian
If what you’re yearning for is a trip to the ever-mysterious past, consider this novel your time machine. With exquisite period detail and real historical figures, this tale of a detective’s search for a serial killer just after the days of Jack the Ripper will put you right in the middle of Victorian London searching for a cop killer on a mission.
Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead
Maggie Shipstead’s debut novel is the perfect beach read, so grab your shades and your sunscreen because you might be out there for a while. You definitely won’t want to put this one down. She explores the absurdities of high-class living through Winn Van Meter, a man who seems to have it all but still isn’t happy, a man whose trivial anxieties take over his life as he prepares for the wedding of his oldest daughter, Daphne, and stakes off his secret love for one of her beautiful and wildly flirtatious bridesmaids.
True Believers by Kurt Andersen
True Believers will tug at the heartstrings of our patriotic travelers, so keep your copy close on your next voyage to the capital. Kurt Andersen tells the story of a famous attorney with a secret – a secret so big that she removes herself from consideration for the U.S. Supreme Court – in this powerful and moving coming-of-age political thriller that’ll make you consider what exactly it means to be an American.
Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick
Get the small-town experience without actually heading to the small town with Robert Goolrick’s latest novel. This one’s perfect for the weekend traveler. New to town in Brownsburg, Virginia, Charlie finds work at a local butcher shop where he quickly acquaints himself with all the townspeople and falls head over heels in love with the young wife of the richest man in town. A tale of obsession and love gone wrong, Heading Out to Wonderful will not disappoint.