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Grab a Good Book for Labor Day Weekend

Cindy Burnett
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Labor Day reads

Ready for the long weekend? Don’t forget to grab a great book. 

Labor Day weekend is the first holiday weekend after the start of school, which is great timing because everyone in my household is ready for the long weekend! An extra day opens up all sorts of possibilities, and we are staying in town and plan to enjoy a mellow weekend. A number of our friends are headed out of town for the long weekend to take advantage of the additional day off from work or school.

Whether you are savoring some relaxing time at home or laying on a beach soaking up the last rays of summer, a holiday weekend means more reading time. When I am going out of town, the first thing on my packing list: books.  My initial pile is ridiculously big (every single time), usually amounting to more than a book per vacation day. After I make those first selections, I leave it for a day and then begin to whittle it down, but I always end up bringing a few more than I know I will finish because I am a huge mood reader and never know what will sound good next. 

However, for those who are not such obsessive readers (most of the population), making sure that you pick one or two books to pack that are guaranteed to be good can be hard. So many books are published every month and weeding through them to find one that appeals and will end up being a memorable read is overwhelming. Accordingly, I created a little cheat sheet to help.

Are you looking for the latest and greatest historical fiction tale? Then try:

  • The Dragon Lady by Louisa Treger (hardcover) - This book centers around “Ginie” Courtauld, her husband Stephen and their time in Rhodesia before the colony succeeded with its independence quest and became Zimbabwe. Ginie was an independent, free-thinking woman who opted to push for the necessary social changes she knew should happen even when those views made her incredibly unpopular with her peers.
  • The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson (paperback) - This is a tale of family, prejudice, and perseverance. Richardson features numerous issues from 1930s Kentucky - horrific coal mining conditions, the true blue-skinned people that lived in Appalachia and the Pack Horse library service. The story is also a beautiful tribute to literature and the power of reading.
  • The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood (paperback) - Wood’s fascinating and heartbreaking debut novel charts the first five years of the Dionne quintuplets’ sad and storied lives beginning with their births on May 28, 1934. Emma Trimpany, a fictional midwife-in-training and hopeful artist, narrates the girls’ tale through diary entries interspersed with letters and occasional newspaper articles trumpeting various highlights of the quintuplets’ early years.  

Do you want to stay up late with an unputdownable thriller?  Then try:

  • The Whisper Man by Alex North (hardcover) - Told from multiple perspectives, The Whisper Man is super creepy, highly atmospheric and contains a surprising ending. I don’t read books that are this creepy (I would never sleep again), but I have heard nothing but fabulous things about this one from those who do.
  • City of Windows by Robert Pobi (hardcover) – City of Windows is a fresh, fast-paced thriller with a unique and intelligent protagonist. It is one of the best thrillers that I have read in a while, and I raced through this book as fast as I could.
  • Recursion by Blake Crouch (hardcover) – Crouch’s genre-bending thriller combines time travel, memory control and a mysterious new affliction called False Memory Syndrome to create a fabulous page-turner that will appeal to those who normally do not read science fiction. I was not sure this that I would like this one even though tons of people had recommended it me, but I ended up absolutely loving it and still think about it regularly.
  • Never Look Back by Alison Gaylin (paperback) – A true crime podcast producer learns that the female member of a serial killing duo from decades before may have survived a fire thought to have killed them both, and he sets out to learn the truth. Told from multiple perspectives, the story will keep you on the edge of your seat.

Does an entertaining non-fiction tale sound appealing? Then try:

  • I Miss You When I Blink by Mary Laura Philpott (hardcover) - Philpott’s new book of essays has taken the world by storm since it was published in April, and the hype is justified. The book is heartwarming, hilarious, thought-provoking and ultimately highly insightful.  
  • The Plaza by Julie Satow (hardcover) - The Plaza is one of New York City’s most iconic buildings, and Satow traces its history, including both its illustrious past and its not-so-stellar history involving the Indian tycoon who ran the hotel from his maximum security cell in Delhi. Satow writes about the fictional Eloise, while also covering Truman Capote’s Black and White Ball, F. Scott Fitzgerald, and the many other famous and infamous individuals who have graced the lobby and rooms of The Plaza.  
  • The Spy and the Traitor: The Greatest Espionage Story of the Cold War by Ben Macintyre (paperback) - Recently out in paperback, Macintyre’s Cold War-era spy tale received all the accolades when it was first published last year. The Spy and the Traitor tells the story of Oleg Gordievsky, the Russian-spy-turned-British-asset who helped end the Cold War, and it reads like a spy novel.

Would you like to relax with a fun beach read? Then try:

  • The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren (paperback) – The Unhoneymooners is a delight from start to finish. The story chronicles two sworn enemies who end up taking a trip to Hawaii together and realize that they may have more in common than they originally thought. It is a very fun read.
  • Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes (hardcover) - The strength and importance of human connection and relationships is at the core of Evvie Drake Starts Over combined with a fun romantic element and the impact of time on friendships. This book will simultaneously tug at your heartstrings, cause a lot of laughter and result in cheers with the highly satisfying and realistic ending.  

I denoted whether the book is a paperback or a hardcover because some people really prefer one over the other. Have a great Labor Day weekend!

For more book recommendations and bookish thoughts, see @ThoughtsFromaPage on Instagram or Cindy’s Reading Recs

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