Best Books to Read Over Spring Break

One of the best parts about a break from school, even if only one week, is the break from mandatory textbook reading and the opportunity to read books that you are actually interested in. Whether Spring Break is taking you to warm weather, ski weather, or relaxing days at home, there is nothing better than taking time to read. Although every person is different in what book is a pleasure-read-page-turner for them, the list of books below includes books that are sure to capture the attention of everyone who reads them.

1. The Nightingale, by Kristin Hannah

This book, though historical fiction, depicts life during the Holocaust for two French women. Entirely divergent yet equally fascinating, both characters will have you fearing for their safety and struck by the power of their words and choices. The book, though on the longer side, will not only have you wishing for more pages by the end but also hoping that the rumors of movie production are true.

France, 1939

In the quiet village of Carriveau, Vianne Mauriac says goodbye to her husband, Antoine, as he heads for the Front. She doesn’t believe that the Nazis will invade France...but invade they do, in droves of marching soldiers, in caravans of trucks and tanks, in planes that fill the skies and drop bombs upon the innocent. When France is overrun, Vianne is forced to take an enemy into her house, and suddenly her every move is watched; her life and her child’s life is at constant risk. Without food or money or hope, as danger escalates around her, she must make one terrible choice after another.

Vianne’s sister, Isabelle, is a rebellious eighteen-year-old girl, searching for purpose with all the reckless passion of youth. While thousands of Parisians march into the unknown terrors of war, she meets the compelling and mysterious Gäetan, a partisan who believes the French can fight the Nazis from within France, and she falls in love as only the young can...completely. When he betrays her, Isabelle races headlong into danger and joins the Resistance, never looking back or giving a thought to the real--and deadly--consequences. (Summary by GoodReads).

2. Harry Potter

Do I even have to justify this one? And no, I did not include a specific Harry Potter book because its impossible to choose favorites. The Harry Potter books are easy to read yet incredibly engaging-- they are simply NOT just for kids. However, if its been a while since your last Hogwarts visit, starting with the Philosopher’s Stone is never the wrong choice. But don’t be surprised if starting this book causes a pleasure- reading- addiction that lasts much longer than our one week Spring Break.

3. Crazy Rich Asians

If you haven’t already spoiled yourself with the movie version, definitely read the book Crazy Rich Asians. While the new and extremely popular movie does not shy away from showing the extravagance of the Young family lifestyle, the book offers more insight into the elaborate and detailed family drama, childhood, and love story. This book is the perfect beach read because of it’s an easy, lighthearted, funny, and romantic plot line. Not to mention-- you can enjoy the movie on the plane ride home!

Crazy Rich Asians is the outrageously funny debut novel about three super-rich, pedigreed Chinese families and the gossip, backbiting, and scheming that occurs when the heir to one of the most massive fortunes in Asia brings home his ABC (American-born Chinese) girlfriend to the wedding of the season.

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home, long drives to explore the island, and quality time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars, and that with one of Asia's most eligible bachelors on her arm, Rachel might as well have a target on her back.

Initiated into a world of dynastic splendor beyond imagination, Rachel meets Astrid, the It Girl of Singapore society; Eddie, whose family practically lives in the pages of the Hong Kong socialite magazines; and Eleanor, Nick's formidable mother, a woman who has very strong feelings about who her son should--and should not--marry. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian JetSet; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money; between Overseas Chinese and Mainland Chinese; and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich. (GoodReads)


4. Another Side of Paradise, Sally Koslow

If you haven’t read (and fell in love with) The Great Gatsby by this point, you may be an entirely lost cause to the literary world. But for those of you that have, Another Side of Paradise is an absolute must-read. This book chronicles the life of Fitzgerald, not in mundane biography style, but through the intricate, intoxicating and fascinating story that focuses on his infamously adulterous relationship with Sheilah Graham. The author frames their relationship in an innocent and candid manner, unlike the many gossip columns that ridiculed the two.

The author of the acclaimed international bestseller The Late, Lamented Molly Marx imaginatively brings to life the shocking affair of F. Scott Fitzgerald and his longtime lover, Sheilah Graham, in this dazzling novel of romance, celebrity, and Gatsby-esque self-creation in 1930s Hollywood

In 1937 Hollywood, gossip columnist Sheilah Graham’s star is on the rise, while literary wonder boy F. Scott Fitzgerald’s career is slowly drowning in booze. But the once-famous author, desperate to make money penning scripts for the silver screen, is charismatic enough to attract the gorgeous Miss Graham, a woman who exposes the secrets of others while carefully guarding her own. Like Scott’s hero Jay Gatsby, Graham has meticulously constructed a life far removed from the poverty of her childhood in London’s slums. And like Gatsby, the onetime guttersnipe learned early how to use her charms to become a hardworking success feted and feared by both the movie studios and their luminaries.

A notorious drunk famously married to the doomed “crazy Zelda,” Fitzgerald fell hard for his “Shielah” (he never learned to spell her name), a shrewd yet soft-hearted woman—both a fool for love and nobody’s fool—who would stay with him and help revive his career until his tragic death three years later. Working from diaries and other primary sources from the time, Sally Koslow revisits their scandalous love affair, bringing Graham and Scott gloriously alive in this compelling page-turner saturated with the color, glitter, magic, and passion of 1930s Hollywood and Sheilah’s dramatic transformation in London. (GoodReads)

5. Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn

The epitome of a page-turner, Gone Girl is absolutely insane in all the best ways. The author commences by framing the main character, Amy, as the eternal ‘it girl’ before categorizing her as an insane killer who tries to frame her husband for her own murder. The book chronicles both the social upheaval against Amy’s husband at home and Amy’s life as she hides from the real-world and watches her husband squirm under the pressure of Police and media, who both point fingers. Entirely unpredictable, this book will have you asking a million questions throughout yet will provide answers that will blindside you in the final pages.

Marriage can be a real killer.

One of the most critically acclaimed suspense writers of our time, New York Times bestseller Gillian Flynn takes that statement to its darkest place in this unputdownable masterpiece about a marriage gone terribly, terribly wrong. The Chicago Tribune proclaimed that her work “draws you in and keeps you reading with the force of a pure but nasty addiction.” Gone Girl’s toxic mix of sharp-edged wit and deliciously chilling prose creates a nerve-fraying thriller that confounds you at every turn.

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears from their rented McMansion on the Mississippi River. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy's diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

As the cops close in, every couple in town is soon wondering how well they know the one that they love. With his twin sister, Margo, at his side, Nick stands by his innocence. Trouble is, if Nick didn’t do it, where is that beautiful wife? And what was in that silvery gift box hidden in the back of her bedroom closet?

With her razor-sharp writing and trademark psychological insight, Gillian Flynn delivers a fast-paced, devilishly dark, and ingeniously plotted thriller that confirms her status as one of the hottest writers around. (GoodReads)

(The Light Between Oceans, by M Stedman… another fantastic read)