Best Vacation Books

Now I know what you’re thinking–books to READ on vacation….sort of…maybe…. These are books ABOUT vacations or vacation destinations. I’ve been fair–some are family vacations, so are not. Most are spring or summer, some are winter. Take them to the beach, read them beside the pool, enjoy them on a trans-Atlantic flight or simply read them on your Staycation–it is up to you!


What’s not to love about a Mark Haddon book? Throw in parents of my own age with kids the ages of mine and it’s pretty certain I’ll enjoy it. If you aren’t that age or don’t have kids, don’t let that stop you from reading this gem on the extended family going on vacation together. The Red House by Mark Haddon.


Told from the husband/father’s perspective, this vacation begins with an “end” in mind. While wife Connie and I had our moments and I did not resolve that, I liked everyone in this story to some degree–even the hitchhiking teen with the accordion. Follow Doug and Connie and their son Albie on the familiy’s pre-empty-nest vacation and experience Europe and family dynamics in a way you won’t forget. Us by David Nicholls.


A high-powered American couple and their pressure-cooked teen go on vacation in Mallorca with friends and relatives. The full house, bad wifi and secrets keep it all lively.  Friends are divided over having a family, a son’s girlfriend isn’t working out, spousal jealousy rears its ugly head–all normal family “issues” that make the vacation both interesting and challenging. The Vacationers by Emma Straub.

I am not a fan of fantasy, but I LOVE Sarah Addison Allen’s wonderful little novels!! Her stories have that tiny touch of whimsy, more like a sprinkling of the finest quality of pixie dust, that make them sweetly fun. I think, truly, she deserves her own genre for her marvelously light touch with this–they are books so special, so engaging and wonderful, that I anxiously await each new release. Lost Lake is a fading summer vacation destination. The book tells the story of Kate and Wes, of George, Eby and Lizette, of Billy and Devin and how they deal with loss in their lives. It is not, however, a sad wallow thru grief!! It is a marvelous book peopled with characters who come alive as you read. I took down so many quotes about life experience, about families, about love from this sweet little story. This is the first of her books that I have read in print–the others I have enjoyed in audio. Either way, she never disappoints. Lost Lake by Sarah Addison Allen. See my favorite Lost Lake quotes here.


I would love to spend a week some winter in a lovely old mansion turned Bed and Breakfast on the West Coast of Ireland even without a handsome actor joining the group. This story struck painfully close to home in parts, inspired envy in others, and left me wishing dearly that such a place really existed. I will say the beginning did try my patience, but once the book found it’s stride I didn’t want to stop listening to it.   A Week in Winter by Maeve Binchy

Feel free to leave a comment with your favorite novel about a vacation. I’d love to read them all.

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