Your Next 5 Books: Entertaining books for vacation

Readers in Seattle: Did you know you can get a personalized list of recommended reading? Here’s an example of  Your Next 5 Books — a reader’s request and the librarian’s recommendations (these suggestions from Eric at out Northgate Branch):

A Seattle reader wrote to us and said:

The books that have captivated me most recently are: The Help, The Silver Linings Playbook, Perks of Being a Wallflower, Night Circus, and the Hunger Games series.
I am currently reading Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis but am working slowly through it. I have a few items saved for future reads but I often am worried to try books that are not recommended by friends. I have only recently found time to be able to read for my own pure enjoyment (graduating from college) and don’t really want to take time to read something I don’t enjoy. I like books that are hard to put down as all of the above titles have been. I do not like anything very sexual and I like strong characters. Something with a weak female character especially is disappointing to me.
I really appreciate any suggestions you can give me. I am about to go on vacation and specifically would love some ideas to keep me entertained while traveling.

And here’s what one of our librarians suggested:
Thank you for using Your Next 5 Books, our online service for readers! I created a personalized reading list for you in the library catalog, which you can find here:

“Fangirl” by Rainbow Rowell is a smart and sweet collegiate coming-of-age story with excellent character development. Cath is a freshman in college and avid fan fiction writer coming to terms with the many changes that college brings. Rowell is, in my opinion, one of the best new authors of the past few years.

In her gripping biography “Wild,” Cheryl Strayed details her strenuous solitary journey along the Pacific Ocean. After enduring some pretty dark moments in her life (death and drugs among them), Strayed turned to an unforgiving and challenging wilderness for a fresh start. A powerful and memorable story, made even more so by the fact that Strayed had no prior experience before her seemingly reckless adventure.

I thought of “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” by Benjamin Alire Sáenz when I saw that you enjoyed “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.” This novel isn’t written in the same way, but it’s a moving and beautifully written story of two teens finding an unexpected connection with each other as they come to terms with who they are and who they want to be. I’ll admit that this one got me to tear up more than once, and I didn’t want it to end.

Susanna Clarke’s suspenseful, magical, and impeccably written historical fantasy “Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell” might be a good fit for you if you enjoyed “The Night Circus,” though be warned that it’s a much, much longer story! Clarke creates a believable fictional world, blending history and footnotes, and, despite the surreal plot, relies on the character development to move the story forward.

Finally, I suggest you check out Elizabeth Wein’s unforgettable “Code Name Verity,” a stark first-person narrative of a female WWII-era spy enduring capture and torture by the Germans while retelling the steps (and friendship) that got her there. Very hard to put down!

Congrats on finishing college! It’s liberating to get to choose what you want to read, and I hope you find much to enjoy in these suggestions.



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