Ultimate Guide: Books for a Fun Escape
Updated: Jan 19
In no particular order, here are some wonderful books I've read that managed to pull me out of the worries of my life and transport me into another world. In other words, books that are a fun escape!
Old Cravings by Joy Jarrett-Okay, I lied about the no particular order thing because I'm putting my book right at the top. But honestly, it's so much fun, you'll absolutely find an escape from everyday life in my paranormal romance. Imagine all the tension and longing of a romance with all the tension and suspense of a supernatural thriller. This is a story for people who might not like horror, but love to be scared--perfect for fans of Stranger Things. Piper, a veterinarian, is called back to her ex-husband's ranch to investigate the savage killing of her horse. Something seriously terrifying is happening and when an epic blizzard traps her with Dylan, they're in for the fight of their lives just to survive the night and you'll be turning the pages fast to find out if their rekindled love can survive as well.
Outlander by Diana Gabaldon- If you haven't read the Outlander series, you're in for a real treat. You probably already know it features a WWII English nurse who stumbles through a stone circle in Scotland and finds herself in the eighteenth century and in the arms of the best hero ever, Jamie Fraser. The television series, while fantastic, can't do justice to the world that Gabaldon creates. No other author can paint such vivid pictures in my mind. Reading her books makes me feel I truly have gone back in time. I guarantee if you crack open this book, you'll forget all about what you need to make for dinner that night--or your husband's name, your job title, or what grade your children are in. And really, isn't that what we're all looking for in a book?
The Guest List by Lucy Foley-I'm lucky enough that I got to go to a wedding in a Scottish castle, and while there was definitely no murder there, I completely related to this book's portrayal of the giddiness of wedding guests in an exciting environment drinking too much. There was an incident in Scotland I won't detail, but let's just say alcohol and spiral stairs don't mix well. And in The Guest List, a celebrity wedding on an Irish island and a number of guests hell-bent on revenge don't mix well. Foley's tale, with Agatha Christie vibes for a modern world, will make you grateful you can't afford that trip to Ireland after all.
The Smoke Hunter by Jacquelyn Benson-This book reads like Indiana Jones as a lady suffragette. Absolutely loved the adventure and unexpected paranormal elements.
An Inquiry Into Love and Death by Simone St. James-spooky ghost story. I highly recommend this author for historical fiction that reads like supernatural thrillers with a dash of romance.
All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr-It's rare I find myself reading a sentence multiple times just to savor the words, but Doerr's genius at turns of phrases brought me to tears at times. It's no wonder this won the Pulitzer. This WWII historical fiction novel feels vividly real, and follows the stories of a blind French girl and a young German boy until the heart-rending intertwining conclusion. Beautiful, beautiful book that makes the present fall away.
Cinder by Marissa Meyer-What if I told you about a book with a rough retelling of Cinderella--except she's a cyborg? Oh yeah, and that it's amazing! This YA Sci-Fi Fantasy series is the very definition of fun, with each book in the series pulling you further into the space opera world Meyer created. I want to see the movie of this!
The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss-Rothfuss may not have finished this series yet, but I enjoyed this book so much, I'll overlook it. I know the character of Kvothe can trigger a love/hate response from people, but his character evokes all the best feelings of every fantasy trope you've read. A very Tolkein-esque feeling at that. Kvothe brings a vicarious thrill at being so fricking' awesome as we follow his journey as a scrappy street urchin who's clever enough to claim his own renowned fate. Definitely a book you'll lose yourself in.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens-Loved, loved, loved this book. What a beautiful love story to nature itself. Kya is a young girl abandoned in the marshlands of North Carolina who must fend for herself while living a hermit existence. What follows is a haunting portrait of loneliness and a love affair with the marsh, as well as a murder mystery. The author showed that Mother Nature can be a true mother, teacher, provider, and friend. Evocative of the poignancy of Island of the Blue Dolphins, you will totally escape into Kya's world.
Once Upon a River by Diane Setterfield-This book sucked me right in with a feeling that I was reading something magical. There's a fairy tale essence to this book, but the characters are still drawn to be so lifelike. It's a story to savor, and when I finished the book and closed it, I was left smiling, but sad it was over.
Rook by Sharon Cameron-What a fun homage to The Scarlet Pimpernel. Swashbuckling Paris
YA adventure and alternate French Revolution history will definitely deliver on sucking you into another world.