Our Top Travel Reads for 2020
For me, one of the best parts about traveling is sitting still and digging into a good book (preferably with a cocktail in hand). Especially as a new mom, it’s hard for me to find the quiet to enjoy a book unless I’m on a plane or train, beachside or poolside. In fact, my husband and I recently went to the Conrad Maldives, and I think I spent the first 8 hours in silence on our patio, reading and enjoying the beautiful scenery, wildlife, and plunge pool.
If you’re like me and want to relax with a good book on your vacations, here are some tried and true reads as well as some things I’m looking forward to reading in 2020!
Read It Before the Movie
I love making sure I’ve read the book before I see the movie. I think they inform each other and add color to both entertainment experiences. With so many book-to-movie adaptations coming out in 2020, make sure you’re caught up!
P.S. I Still Love You (YA Romance): To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before was a Netflix hit (and launched the career of your internet boyfriend, Noah Centineo). Read the whole trilogy — To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before, P.S. I Still Love You, and Always and Forever, Lara Jean – for a perfect poolside read.
The Devil All the Time (Psychological Thriller): This book alternatively thrilled and terrified me. About the pain and damage war inflicts on people, read this if you like suspense. Tom Holland stars in the upcoming adaptation.
The Woman in the Window (Psychological Thriller): I confess – I love a good mystery. Woman in the Window is very Gone Girl, very Girl on the Train, very creepy. Agoraphobic Anna Fox thinks she sees an act of violence. What happens next takes up more than 600 pages, but you won’t feel the length of the book. The interiority of the narrator is one of the best I’ve read, and really reminds me of Gillian Flynn’s writing style.
Better than Pulp
Sometimes, I want to read a book and never think about it again (unless I’m writing a blog about it, apparently). This is not an insult; I adore these escapist books and hope you will, too!
The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo (Romance): Evelyn Hugo is a rich, famous Old Hollywood actress with a string of failed marriages. With clear allegories to some of the most gossip-y Hollywood tales, the fictional Evelyn is strong, charming, and lovable.
The Hundredth Queen (YA Fantasy): An orphan becomes a queen and a warrior: it’s a fantasy trope, but I loved the Sumerian mythology that made this fresh and fun. A very quick read that interrogates the expectations of girls as they grow into women and the female friendships that support them.
Stillhouse Lake (Thriller): What would happen if you were married to a serial killer, and he was now after you and your children? I didn’t know I wanted to know the answer to that, but I couldn’t put this down. Another quick read, with three sequels if you really want to commit!
What I’m Looking Forward to Reading
I can personally vouch for the books in the list above, but I also wanted to share my list of books to read on my upcoming travels.
American Dirt, by Jeanine Cummins (Thriller): After 16 of their family members are killed by a cartel at a backyard quinceañera, Lydia Quixano Perez and her son Luca must flee their home in Acapulco as fast as possible. Packing only what they can carry and grab in a mad dash, Lydia and Luca head for the United States, trailed by the cartel every step of their journey. This is a book that’s both hard to read and hard to put down and will no doubt spark a lot of conversation. [preview from Real Simple]
Such a Fun Age, by Kiley Reid (Fiction): A striking and surprising debut novel from an exhilarating new voice, Such a Fun Age is a page-turning and big-hearted story about race and privilege, set around a young black babysitter, her well-intentioned employer, and a surprising connection that threatens to undo them both. [summary from Amazon]
The Night Watchman, by Louise Erdrich: I loved the Round House (a lot) and can’t wait to read more Louise Erdrich. Based on the extraordinary life of National Book Award-winner Louise Erdrich’s grandfather, who worked as a night watchman and carried the fight against Native dispossession from rural North Dakota all the way to Washington DC. [summary from Amazon]