Man Reading Newspaper at Beach

Photo Courtesy – wordservewatercooler.com

My two passions in life are traveling and reading, and fortunately I am able to combine these two together. During the summer season, I take one major trip to a destination on my bucket list. As an avid reader, I never travel without several books, and I carefully choose my selections knowing that I will have an abundance of time to read, especially on the plane. It has become a bit of a tradition before traveling, to first stop at Walgreens for all of my travel essentials, and then head over to my local bookstore to carefully select the novels that I’ll get to enjoy on my trip.  There are three books that I’ve recently read that I would highly recommend if you’re looking for a great read on your next vacation.

I’m a sucker for any books or movies about space exploration and The Martian, by Andy Weir, certainly didn’t disappoint. In The Martian, NASA astronaut Mark Watney and his  team travel to Mars as part of the third manned mission to the red planet.  After a catastrophic dust storm, Mark’s crew is forced to leave him behind.  The Martian is the ultimate survival story, and will have you on a wild ride from the second you start reading.  Though the book is filled with scientific jargon, the story is quite readable and the characters are ones you can relate to.  By the end I was dying to figure out the fate of Mark Watney, and found myself turning the pages of the book more quickly than I ever have before.

If you’re in the mood for a great thriller, than The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins is the book for you. Rachel is a depressed alcoholic who rides the commuter train every day, trying to escape the reality of what her life has become. It all changes, when one day Rachel sees something shocking and unexpected out the window of her train. Rachel’s life will forever change as she puts clues together to make sense of what she saw out the window that fateful day. The story is told from the perspective of several different characters, making it difficult to know who to trust and believe. Filled with constant twists and turns, you won’t be able to put this one down.

Over the past several years I’ve been inundated with post-apocalyptic novels so I was a bit hesitant to try the much buzzed about Station Eleven. After reading about 20 pages, I was impressed by the beautifully crafted story presented in Emily St. John Mandel’s breakthrough novel. Station Eleven tells the story of the dark days after civilization’s collapse through the eyes of five different people who are uniquely intertwined. The story is much more than a story of survival, but delicately touches on the themes of relationship, fame, and beauty. This book leaves you with a feeling of renewed hope in humanity, and a sense that the world is worth saving.

As you head out of town for your next big adventure, be sure to grab one of these worthwhile novels for hours of satisfying reading.