As the summer comes to an end, it always seems like families are trying to fit in one final trip. A summer odyssey is always fun, but who says that adventures can only happen during this time of year?
I find that the best adventures come from the books we read. Where else can we go to a far-off land or find ourselves falling for the disease-stricken lovers? And while you may be able to visit Hogwarts in Orlando, it is much more cost-effective to encounter it on the page.
There are plenty of times when my family has all read the same book, and we are able to talk about our experiences together, but there are also times when we all read different books and are able to share many unique stories. Whichever way your family does it, there are some great options for everyone to read.
Already shortlisted as one of the best books of the year, The Girl On The Trainwill shock readers with its twists and turns. Brilliantly written in three perspectives by Paula Hawkins, the book follows what happen after a girl sees something disturbing from the train window on her way to work. When the following events take a turn for the worst, the girl tells the police everything she knows.
This psychological thriller captivates readers from the getgo and makes you wonder what little details you may have never noticed. People are calling it theGone Girl of 2015 for good reason, as women will be talking about the ending for years to come.
“The Help” director Tate Taylor has already signed on to direct the film adaptation, and Emily Blunt is in talks to play one of the leading roles.
With little help and a lot of science, astronaut Mark Watney must figure out how to stay alive on Mars after being stranded by his colleagues, who thought he was dead. “The Martian” is a great look at everything that could go wrong—and does go wrong—when you are on a planet that cannot sustain life.
Author Andy Weir is able to create an intriguing lead character with Watney. He says what he feels and rarely has a filter. Readers will be holding their breaths in anticipation of his explorations, laughing at his frustration and learning from his scientific skills. “The Martian” is an enjoyable read and will likely be the talk of the Academy Awards this year, with a film starring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain and Jeff Daniels being released this October.
For the 20-somethings:
Everybody loves Mindy Kaling nowadays, and that is probably really surprising to the actresswriter. It is hard to understand why—with her roles in both “The Office” and “The Mindy Project”—but her road to fame has not been an easy one.
Kaling starts off her memoir by saying it will “take you two days to read,” and she is absolutelyright. Her story is both funny and captivating, and will have you finishing it so fast that you will not know where the time went. She talks about everything from Steve Carell and her time on “Saturday Night Live” to best friends and what role she would play in a Disney movie (this was obviously before “Inside Out.”)
While being both relatable and funny, Kaling gives great advice that any 20-something can use. Now is the perfect time to read “Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? (And Other Concerns)” before her second book, “Why Not Me?,” is released next month.
For the teens:
Who hasn’t seen “Jurassic World” this summer? It is currently the highest-grossing film of the year and the third-highest-grossing film of all-time. But what many teenagers might not know is that it all started with a book.
Released in 1990, Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park imagined what would happen if a man with infinite money and resources was able to bring dinosaurs back from extinction. Unsurprisingly, the results look fantastic, but are extremely dangerous. When a Tyrannosaurus and several Velociraptors get loose, the humans do all they can to survive. The book is as thrilling as the movie and features enough science that you will probablylearn more here than in a full year of school.
For the children:
Have you ever wondered what happened to Cinderella, Snow White and Red Riding Hood after their stories finished? Fear no more. Golden Globe-winning actor Chris Colfer (“Glee”) has written a four-part series featuring all the fairytale characters we have all grown up with, titled The Land of Stories.
After their grandma comes for a visit, twins Alex and Connor Bailey find that her book contains more magic than the stories within it. The two are transported to the Fairytale World where they have to collect some of the best-known fairytale accessories (like Rapunzel’s Hair and Sleeping Beauty’s cursed spindle) in order to return home. The adventures do not stop there, and in the following books, Alex and Connor will find themselves taking on creatures that they have only dreamed of.
All of these books can be enjoyed by anyone in the family, though some books do have more mature language than others. Regardless of what you read, all of these books allow you to take a mental vacation and escape into another world. So don’t fret that summer is ending, because the adventures are just beginning.
This article first appeared on Boca Magazine on August 12, 2015 and can be found here.