Are you tired of Christmas season starting the day after Halloween? Are you tired of talking about presents and gift lists and that creepy Elf on the Shelf thing? Do you just need an escape from tinsel and sappy music?
Have no fear! I’m here to help with an eclectic list of books to allow escape from the holidays. They range from murder and mayhem to family and love (but not the holiday season!). All of them have happy endings though, so read without fear of being bummed out.
- The In Death books, by JD Robb They’re all fantastic murder mysteries featuring Eve Dallas, her love interest Roarke, and assorted characters that grow and change over the series. Some of them actually do take place over the holidays, but if you haven’t read them before, start at the beginning with Naked in Death. It doesn’t have any holiday mentions whatsoever. There’s romance in every book, but unlike most romance novels, with 40+ books in the series, we get to see what happens after “happily ever after.”
- Graveminder, by Melissa Marr When Rebekkah’s adopted grandmother dies, she finds out that she’s the one who now has to carry out a peculiar arrangement with death, performing a ritual at every grave to make sure the dead stay dead.
- There Will Be Lies, by Nick Lake Shelby has lived her whole life protected by her overprotective mother. But when she’s hit by a car and goes to the hospital, she starts to learn secrets about herself and her family. Meanwhile, she starts being transported to the Dreaming, where Coyote asks her to save the world.
- Ready, Player One, by Ernest Cline Most of my friends who are hardcore gamers or like hard sci-fi had multiple issues with this book, so be warned. I thought it was just a fun, fast read with lots of 80s nostalgia. It’s coming out as a movie next year, so now’s a good time to read it.
- 600 Hours of Edward by Craig Lancaster An autistic man who’s life is rigid and structured has a run-in with the new neighbor and her son. He starts to realize there’s more to life than routine.
- Made You Up, by Francesca Zappia I absolutely loved this book, though it’s not without problems. It’s YA, and the main character is struggling with schizophrenia. *It’s not an accurate portrayal of schizophrenia.* But if you overlook that, the book is a lot of fun.
- Pollyanna, by Eleanor H. Porter This is my go-to pick me up book. Whenever I need a refresher course on optimism, I read this.
- All the Ugly and Wonderful Things, by Bryn Greenwood I pretty recommend this on every list for any reason. But it fills all the promises I made, so you should read it. Everyone should read it.
- Almost Interesting, by David Spade I’ve never been a huge David Spade fan, but this was funny. He talks about his days in SNL, which was interesting. I listened to the audiobook, which I think made it more enjoyable.
- Wild, by Cheryl Strayed This fantastic memoir is the reason I now want to someday walk at least part of the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl is struggling in her life after a divorce and the death of her mother, so hikes 1,000 miles with little preparation, and learns a lot about herself in the process.
Are you all-in for the holidays, or already over it?