Sick of this election? Wanna escape it all? What better way than through a book, or two–or 10!
I teamed up with my best friend, Scholastic’s Nikki M, who happens to be an award winning book expert.
Together we came up with a list of 34 books designed to take your mind off all the craziness going on in politics right now.
There’s something for everyone–whether you love novels, thrillers, self-help, sports, memoirs, young adult, historical fiction, romance, audio books, children’s books or even coloring books.
Part One: Nikki’s Picks
Let’s start with Nikki’s picks. She texted images to me while at–where else–a bookstore! Bank Square Books in Mystic, to be exact.
Titles include links to each book, descriptions courtesy Amazon.com unless noted otherwise.
1. A Certain Age “The bestselling author of A Hundred Summers brings the Roaring Twenties brilliantly to life in this enchanting and compulsively readable tale of intrigue, romance, and scandal in New York Society, brimming with lush atmosphere, striking characters, and irresistible charm.”
2. Rad Women Worldwide “From the authors of the New York Times bestselling book Rad American Women A-Z, comes a bold new collection of 40 biographical profiles, each accompanied by a striking illustrated portrait, showcasing extraordinary women from around the world.”
3. Today Will Be Different “A brilliant novel from the author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette, about a day in the life of Eleanor Flood, forced to abandon her small ambitions and awake to a strange, new future.”
4. Hungry Heart “Generous, entertaining…this memoir will enthusiastically reach out to female readers and swiftly draw them close.” —Publishers Weekly
5. Attachments “Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “
6. Dumplin’ “For fans of John Green and Rainbow Rowell comes this powerful novel with the most fearless heroine—self-proclaimed fat girl Willowdean Dickson. With starry Texas nights, red candy suckers, Dolly Parton songs, and a wildly unforgettable heroine—Dumplin’ is guaranteed to steal your heart.”
7. The Language Of Flowers “Victoria Jones is unable to get close to anybody. Now eighteen, she realizes she has a gift for helping others through the flowers she chooses for them. But an unexpected encounter with a mysterious stranger has her questioning what’s been missing in her life.”
8. The Dollhouse “This novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City’s glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950’s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side-by-side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret.”
9. What Light “From Jay Asher, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Thirteen Reasons Why, comes a holiday romance that will break your heart, but soon have you believing in love again. . . .”
10. The Snow Child “In her haunting, evocative debut, Eowyn Ivey stakes her claim to a Russian fairy tale, daring the reader–and the characters–to be lulled into thinking they know the ending.” — Malissa Kent
11. The Singing Bones “Wicked stepmothers, traitorous brothers, cunning foxes, lonely princesses: There is no mistaking the world of the Brothers Grimm. Now artist Shaun Tan shows us the beautiful, terrifying, amusing, and downright peculiar heart of these tales as never before seen.”
12. Quiet “The book that started the Quiet Revolution…”
13. Papillon “Papillon is a very fluffy kitty. So fluffy that he’s lighter than air! His owner tries to weigh him down, but Papillon just wants to fly.”
14. Smile “Raina just wants to be a normal sixth grader. But one night after Girl Scouts she trips and falls, severely injuring her two front teeth. What follows is a long and frustrating journey with on-again, off-again braces, surgery, embarrassing headgear, and even a retainer with fake teeth attached.”
15. Ghosts “Raina Telgemeier has masterfully created a moving and insightful story about the power of family and friendship, and how it gives us the courage to do what we never thought possible.”
16. We Found A Hat “Two turtles have found a hat. The hat looks good on both of them. But there are two turtles. And there is only one hat. . . . Evoking hilarity and sympathy, the shifting eyes tell the tale in this brilliantly paced story in three parts. The delicious buildup takes an unexpected turn that is sure to please loyal fans and newcomers alike.”
17. Zen Shorts “With graceful art and simple stories that are filled with love and enlightenment, Jon Muth — and Stillwater the bear — present three ancient Zen tales that are sure to strike a chord in everyone they touch.
18. Art Therapy The Ultimate Election 2016 De-Stresser! “This beautifully illustrated kit is the perfect gift for creative people everywhere who like to use coloring and drawing as a means to focus the mind and de-stress.”
Part Two: Christine’s Picks
Ok, on to my part of the list…it’s super short compared to Nikki’s. We’ll pick up with number 19–Razor Girl, the hilarious book I’m currently reading. (Photos are screen shots from the Kindle app on my iPad.)
19. Razor Girl “Raucous . . . The dialogue somehow sounds believable even at its most deadpan hilarious, and the multi-pronged satire—of Florida, corrupt cops, bumbling criminals, and, most exquisitely, the entertainment industry—is gentle but merciless.”
—Steve Donoghue, The Washington Post
20. I Let You Go “The next blockbuster thriller for those who loved The Girl on the Train and Gone Girl… “a finely crafted novel with a killer twist.” (#1 New York Times bestselling author Paula Hawkins)”
21. Gentlemen and Players “For generations, privileged young men have attended St. Oswald’s Grammar School for Boys, groomed for success by the likes of Roy Straitley, the eccentric Classics teacher. As the new term gets under way, a number of incidents befall students and faculty alike, beginning as small annoyances but soon escalating in both number and consequence.”
22. The Secret Keeper “From the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of The Distant Hours, The Forgotten Garden, and The House at Riverton, a spellbinding new novel filled with mystery, thievery, murder, and enduring love.”
23. Maybe In Another Life “From the acclaimed author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do comes a breathtaking new novel about a young woman whose fate hinges on the choice she makes after bumping into an old flame; in alternating chapters, we see two possible scenarios unfold—with stunningly different results.”
24. Dear Mr. M “The tour-de-force, hair-raising new novel from Herman Koch, the New York Times bestselling author of The Dinner and Summer House with Swimming Pool”
25. The Killing Lessons “When the two strangers turn up at Rowena Cooper’s isolated Colorado farmhouse, she knows instantly that it’s the end of everything. For the two haunted and driven men, on the other hand, it’s just another stop on a long and bloody journey. And they still have many miles to go, and victims to sacrifice, before their work is done.”
26. Fool Me Once “#1 New York Times bestseller Harlan Coben delivers his next impossible-to-put-down thriller. You think you know the truth. The truth is you know nothing.”
27. Nutshell “Trudy has betrayed her husband, John. She’s still in the marital home, but John’s not there. Instead, she’s with his brother, Claude and the two of them have a plan. But there is a witness to their plot: the inquisitive, nine-month-old resident of Trudy’s womb. Told from a perspective unlike any other, Nutshell is a classic tale of murder and deceit from one of the world’s master storytellers.”
28. The Girl From Venice “The Girl from Venice is a suspenseful World War II love story set against the beauty, mystery, and danger of occupied Venice.”
Part Three: Audio Books
These are just BETTER to hear from your speakers rather than read off the page…
29. You “Hypnotic and scary.” —Stephen King “I am RIVETED, AGHAST, AROUSED, you name it. The rare instance when prose and plot are equally delicious.” —Lena Dunham
“From debut author Caroline Kepnes comes You, one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of 2014, and a brilliant and terrifying novel for the social media age.”
Narrated by Santino Fontana, his voice will melt your heart and scare you half to death at the same time!
30. Hidden Bodies “The compulsively readable follow-up to her widely acclaimed debut novel,You by Caroline Kepnes. Hidden Bodies marks the return of a voice that Stephen King described as original and hypnotic, and through the divisive and charmingly sociopathic character of Joe Goldberg, Kepnes satirizes and dissects our culture, blending suspense with scathing wit.”
31. The Arm I put this on the list because my son plays baseball–he’s 12 and he’s been playing ball since he was about 4. Initially, I chose the audio book because I thought it would be boring, but I wanted to learn more about baseball. I was beyond pleasantly surprised. In fact, I’d say this is a must read for all baseball parents, coaches and players.
”A timely and comprehensive look at all aspects of a baseball problem that in recent years appears to approach a crisis.” –(Bob Costas)
”This is a stunning exposé of the hidden story behind the most frequent operation performed on the most important players in this most important game in our country.” –(Ken Burns)
32. Eligible Bachelor Nation here’s your book! “NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Wonderfully tender and hilariously funny, Eligible tackles gender, class, courtship, and family as Curtis Sittenfeld reaffirms herself as one of the most dazzling authors writing today.”
33. The Swans of Fifth Avenue “NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The author of The Aviator’s Wifereturns with a triumphant new novel about New York’s “Swans” of the 1950s—and the scandalous, headline-making, and enthralling friendship between literary legend Truman Capote and peerless socialite Babe Paley.”
34. The Readers of the Broken Wheel Recommend “Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…A heartwarming reminder of why we are booklovers, this is a sweet, smart story about how books find us, change us, and connect us.”
Part Four: Bonus…You’ve read this far, you deserve a reward!
35. Deep Survival This book has been my go-to when times get tough. I listened to the audio book version before running marathons and whenever I felt like I was facing an impossible challenge.
Right now, we’re all feeling helpless. Who can live through this nightmare 2016 political season?
Well, guess what? There’s an answer to that question….
“Laurence Gonzalez combines hard science and powerful storytelling to illustrate the mysteries of survival, whether in the wilderness or in meeting any of life’s great challenges. This gripping narrative, the first book to describe the art and science of survival, will change the way you see the world. Everyone has a mountain to climb. Everyone has a wilderness inside.”
There you have it, a bunch of books that will help take your mind off this crazy election. Read a great book lately? Share it with us in the comment section below!