Although we no longer have as much time to soak up the sun as we did when we were kids, hopefully, you have at least a few days of relaxation ahead of you! Whether you’re vacationing in exotic destinations or spending the day at the beach, most days off can be further improved by a good book. With that in mind, we’ve put together a list of five of our favorite books from the past year! People around the office anonymously submitted their recommendations, and winners were chosen from those with the most votes. So sit back, relax, and enjoy these great stories:
Forest Dark by Nicole Krauss
Although one of the main characters is a former attorney, Forest Dark is a sharp divergence from our daily lives. The novel chronicles the journeys of two New Yorkers as they travel to Israel in search of meaning. After his divorce and the death of his parents, larger-than-life Jules Epstein travels to Tel Aviv with vague plans to honor his parents. Instead, he finds himself involved in a film about the life of King David. At the same time, a novelist named Nicole tries to escape the realities of her divorce and writer's block. This is a story about divided selves, metamorphosis, and self-realization. Instead of claiming to provide all the answers, this book revels in their absence.
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz
If you’re looking for a story that will engage you from start to finish, best-selling author Anthony Horowitz has penned the perfect novel. This modern-day mystery takes the reader to the heart of a quiet English village and plunges them into the life of Susan Ryeland. Ryeland has spent years editing the manuscripts of a mystery novelist, but his latest story may be hiding something much darker. Horowitz provides room for the reader to act as the detective, uncovering ambition, jealousy, and twisted motives hidden inside the story within a story.
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life by Samantha Irby
Normally, a collection of essays conjures images of summer reading from senior year of high school. This couldn’t be further from the reality of Samantha Irby’s second collection. The book is filled with raucous humor and topics ranging from working at an animal hospital to applying for The Bachelorette and a semi-romantic vacation to scatter her father’s ashes. This book is the perfect choice for people who tend to read shorter stories, and the humor is sectioned into easily digested parts!
Startup by Doree Shafrir
If you’re interested in the tech industry, you’ll enjoy Shafrir’s novel, Startup. This book is just as much about the perils and triumphs of sudden internet fame as it is about the fascinating and fast-paced world of building a company. The cast of characters includes the founder of the startup, a journalist searching for a viral story, and an unlikely social media manager. By a former online journalist, this story is delightfully written and rings so true it MUST have come from an insider.
The Book of Joan by Lidia Yuknavitch
A reimagined Joan of Arc, this story is set in a near future, in a world ravaged by war and environmental disaster. Humans have relocated to CIEL, a platform perpetually floating above the radioactive earth. Although they’ve found a new home, their problems are not yet solved. Jean de Men, a bloodthirsty cult leader, quickly finds himself at odds with Joan, a martyr and a symbol for revolution. What Jean doesn’t know is that Joan possesses a unique gift that is capable of changing the trajectory of human destiny.