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We all know the feeling of a good book, the way a story can transport you to a totally different reality for hours on end. Our summer reading lists are always growing and books pile up on our e-nightstands all throughout the year.
From sci-fi comedy thrillers like Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy to serious memoirs like Man’s Search for Meaning, there are certainly plenty of life-changing books available for your reading pleasure.
But Spring Break is right around the corner and we want to make sure you get the best bang for your buck on this Spring holiday.
Our recommended packing list for making the best Spring Break ever:
- Plenty of coconut oil (to keep your skin nourished and ready to combat the sun)
- A journal (for the inner work)
- Travel insurance (plus the European Health Card for European destinations)
- A thought-provoking book (like one of the ones below)
- A reusable water bottle (like the one from this Ultimate Gift Guide)
- Loose clothing for tropical places
- An open heart
As for your thought-provoking book…
1. Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho
This quirky story has an uplifting message for all and you can’t help but feel good at the end of it. As is true for most Paulo Coelho stories, it is short and sweet, making it the perfect book for your Spring holiday. Veronika, the main character in this funny and thought-provoking story, tries to commit suicide. However, she is unsuccessful and ends up in a hospital for the mentally ill. The reader follows along with her experience as a “normal” person trapped in a loony bin. Her lesson is a beautiful one that can be applied to anyone’s circumstances, which might explain why it’s such a popular book.
2. Flawed by Cecelia Ahern
This fantasy book is all kinds of mind-blowing and will surely make you a fan of Cecelia Ahern (author of P.S. I Love You) if you aren’t already. Flawed tells of a time set in the future, where their country is ruled by a moral system over a legal system. The judges are responsible for overseeing cases of misconduct. But when morality swings too far to the extreme, it can become oppressive. The heroine of this story gets passed through the morality-based system in the most extreme of ways, yet emerges as the leader of a new movement. In a similar fashion to Margaret Atwood’s Handmaid’s Tale, Cecelia Ahern manages to open a thoughtful and entertaining discussion about where our current society might be headed.
3. East of Eden by John Steinbeck
This classic by John Steinbeck dissects the dichotomy of “good” and “evil” by investing the entire life stories of characters to help explore the relationship between the two. It follows a man to the Salinas Valley in California as he falls in love. The consequences of this relationship will play out in an Adam and Eve sort of way, then when they give birth to twin boys, another biblical parallel is made with Cain and Abel. John Steinbeck successfully tells the story in a way that makes you feel as if you are there, all the while opening a curious discussion about good and evil.
4. All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
This book follows the story of a young blind French girl and a German boy whose lives collide as German forces invade France during World War II. This remarkable story follows the young girl from childhood when her father taught her how to survive in a world where war was imminent. It continues with her story into adulthood and it is absolutely gut-wrenching. It stirs the human spirit in a way that you can’t help but surrender to the book.
5. A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
If you’re looking for a novel that will grip you by the heart so much so that you can’t bear to put it down until it is actually finished, then this is it. The book follows the lives of four men from college age to the end of their lives. They are ordinary lives, but the author writes about them in such an extraordinary way that you can’t help but obsess about them. It’s a long one but it is a rich story that will pull on all the heartstrings and make you think about your relationships in your life. But as a fair warning, it is a tearjerker.
6. Speak No Evil by Uzodinma Iweala
Contemporary issues are always something that you should stay up to date on, even if that means reading fictional events with a cocktail in hand. Speak No Evil is an eye-opening follow up novel to Beasts Of No Nation, where a young Nigerian immigrant and track star is settled and content in Washington DC with his beloved family. However, his parents soon find out that he’s been using Grindr, which gives him a one-way ticket to Nigeria for a ‘homosexual cleanse’. While the world is becoming much more tolerant of civil partnerships and gay marriage, it’s still an issue in many countries across the globe. This book poses as an important reminder.