It’s that time of year again. Time to soak in those last fleeting moments of summer. For some, this means a weekend at the beach. For others, it’s a long weekend camping and hiking at a National Park. And for others, it’s dusting off a map and driving until the tank runs out. No matter what your last summer hurrah is, we have the perfect book for you!
Hiking in a National Park
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
While it’s unlikely that your weekend hiking in your local National Park will get you anywhere near as many miles as Cheryl Strayed’s trusty REI boots did, Wild is still a wonderful (even aspirational) choice for these last days of summer reading. Strayed’s memoir explores not only her physical journey from Mojave, California to Bridge of the Gods in Washington, but also her emotional journey during those 94 days, coping with her mother’s death, her own divorce, and a newfound sobriety. We know Cheryl Strayed would be proud to know you’re augmenting your reading experience with hiking breaks between chapters and long nights of reading by the fire.
Shake Loose My Skin by Sonia Sanchez
When the National Parks Service celebrated its 100th anniversary, they named Sonia Sanchez the Centennial Poet in Residence. Get in touch with her poetry by reading Shake Loose My Skin, her 2000 collection of new and previously published poems. It’s easy to imagine Sanchez exploring the majestic beauty of our National Parks, leaving no trace except for her poems.
Relaxing on a beach
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
If you’re looking for a fun and surprising book that you can tear through in a weekend, a book that will have you yearning for more, Gail Honeyman’s Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is the book for you. You’ll start the novel wanting to be Eleanor’s coworker and finish it wishing you could be her friend. It’ll have you laughing one minute and cringing the next. And when you’ve finished reading it, you’ll be recommending it to friends left and right. If you take it to the beach, you may need to set phone alerts, reminding you to reapply sunscreen. That’s how absorbing this novel is.
Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi
Even with this mourning we’re doing of summer, a small part of us is looking forward to the crisp leaves of the fall. Which is why we’re recommending Emergency Contact by Mary H. K. Choi for your final beach trip. It’s an incredible young adult novel full of sweet surprises — one that starts in the final weeks of summer and ends somewhere near the end of the fall semester. And because it takes place in Austin, Texas, it still feels like summer in this book. Even though there are classes and real world responsibilities to account for.
Out on the open road
Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle
With a possible rapture and an apocalyptic feel, Vivian Apple at the End of the World by Katie Coyle is the perfect road trip novel for whatever you’re trying to escape. (Even if it’s just your day job.) Vivian Apple, her best friend Harp, and a mysterious newcomer named Peter are all on a cross country road trip to discover just what happened to this paranoid and panic-stricken America.
The Way You Make Me Feel by Maurene Goo
The main vehicle of this novel is a food truck, but that won’t stop you from feeling like you’re on the open road. Maurene Goo’s The Way You Make Me Feel takes readers through a tour of Los Angeles — often during rush hour, often at high speeds. When Clara Shin gets in trouble at school for one of her epic pranks, she’s sentenced to a summer working her father’s food truck, KoBra. But she’s not the only one who’s learning the value of hard work this summer. Her mortal enemy (okay, they’re in high school, so not really) Rose is also working at KoBra this summer. And the way Clara handles the truck is sure to put your own road trip to shame.