You’re headed out of town for summer vacation (finally), and you have just one stop to make on the way: the library. While we’re already know you have a long and carefully cultivated TBR list, this isn’t the time to bust it out. This is a moment to be practical. You only have about as long as it takes the most restless family member to get bored, and we all know that’s not much time at all. You need a book that you know will be great, but you mostly need a book that you know for sure will be on the shelves. You don’t have time to wait on hold or put in a request, you have to walk out book in hand.
Lucky for you, the diverse and varied libraries across the country tend to have a few things in common, and there are a few books we love that will almost definitely be there. These are all popular books that are a least a few years old, a combination that ensures that your library has a few copies on hand and that not all of them will be checked out. Here’s your foolproof, get-it-from-the-library-any-time list.
8 Books You Can Get From the Library Right Now
JUST IN TIME FOR SUMMER READING
1. 13 Little Blue Envelopes Series by Maureen Johnson
This has everything we want in a summer vacation read: romance, adventure, and just a little mystery. It tells the story of Ginny, a girl who’s sent a surprise summer trip through Europe when her aunt passes away. She’s led through her trip by blue envelopes that reveal her instructions for her next destination, from directions to a London flat to a command to meet a handsome stranger. Even better, this is a series. Pick up the sequel to find out the end of the envelope saga, and to make the story last through your whole vacation.
When Ginny receives thirteen little blue envelopes and instructions to buy a plane ticket to London, she knows something exciting is going to happen. What Ginny doesn’t know is that she will have the adventure of her life and it will change her in more ways than one. Life and love are waiting for her across the Atlantic, and the thirteen little blue envelopes are the key to finding them in this funny, romantic, heartbreaking novel.
- Buy 13 Little Blue Envelopes now!
2. The Book Thief by Markus Zusak
If you want to spend your trip with an epic novel that will pull you completely out of your world and into the book (your family decided on a road trip vacation this year and your brother is driving you bonkers), you’re going to want to check out The Book Thief. It’s the story of a girl named Liesel in Germany in 1939. One night she picks up a book she finds on the ground and takes it home. She doesn’t know, but it’s a book called The Gravedigger’s Handbook, a book that belongs to Death himself. Through the book, he helps to tell Liesel’s story as she learns to read and grows up in Nazi Germany.
It is 1939. Nazi Germany. The country is holding its breath. Death has never been busier, and will be busier still.
By her brother’s graveside, Liesel’s life is changed when she picks up a single object, partially hidden in the snow. It is The Gravedigger’s Handbook, left behind there by accident, and it is her first act of book thievery. So begins a love affair with books and words, as Liesel, with the help of her accordian-playing foster father, learns to read. Soon she is stealing books from Nazi book-burnings, the mayor’s wife’s library, wherever there are books to be found.
But these are dangerous times. When Liesel’s foster family hides a Jew in their basement, Liesel’s world is both opened up, and closed down.
- Buy The Book Thief now!
3. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon
This is a mystery narrated by our very intelligent, math whiz protagonist who has little in the way of social skills. He hates to be touched and he’s better at reading animal’s emotions than people’s. When his neighbor’s dog is killed in the middle of the night, it throws off his carefully regimented life and gives him a new purpose: to solve the mystery. This is a funny and charming but poignant read, ideal for anyone looking for a perspective-shift.
Christopher John Francis Boone knows all the countries of the world and their capitals and every prime number up to 7,057. He relates well to animals but has no understanding of human emotions. He cannot stand to be touched. And he detests the color yellow.
Although gifted with a superbly logical brain, for fifteen-year-old Christopher everyday interactions and admonishments have little meaning. He lives on patterns, rules, and a diagram kept in his pocket. Then one day, a neighbor’s dog, Wellington, is killed and his carefully constructive universe is threatened. Christopher sets out to solve the murder in the style of his favourite (logical) detective, Sherlock Holmes. What follows makes for a novel that is funny, poignant and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing are a mind that perceives the world entirely literally.
4. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
I guarantee your library has a shelf dedicated to John Green books. He’s a fan favorite for his engrossing romances that are perfect for the beach, the pool, the backseat, or wherever you find yourself this summer. The Fault in Our Stars tells the story of Hazel, a girl with terminal cancer, who meets Augustus Waters at a Cancer Kid Support Group. It just might be the sappy read you need to kick off the summer. If you’ve already read The Fault in Our Stars, or it’s checked out, any of his books are a sure bet for a good summer read.
Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten.
- Buy The Fault in Our Stars now!
5. Eragon series by Christopher Paolini
If fantasy is more your wheelhouse, you can pick up the Eragon series. It tells the story of a poor farm boy named Eragon who finds a dragon egg in the forest. All of the sudden his world is turned upside down and he’s granted access to a new world full of magic and ancient traditions. You have four incredible books to learn if he rises to the challenge of becoming a Dragon Rider, with intrigue and fantastical worlds along the way.
A world of adventure.
When Eragon finds a polished blue stone in the forest, he thinks it is the lucky discovery of a poor farm boy; perhaps it will buy his family meat for the winter. But when the stone brings a dragon hatchling, Eragon soon realizes he has stumbled upon a legacy nearly as old as the Empire itself.
Overnight his simple life is shattered, and he is thrust into a perilous new world of destiny, magic, and power. With only an ancient sword and tge advice of an old storyteller for guidance, Eragon and the fledgling dragon must navigate the dangerous terrain and dark enemies of an Empire ruled by a king whose evil knows no bounds.
Can Eragon take up the mantle of the legendary Dragon Riders? The fate of the Empire may rest in his hands.
- Buy the Inheritance Cycle Series now!
6. Feed by M.T. Anderson
If you were a fan of A Brave New World, The Hunger Games, or the Uglies series, you’ll like Feed, a dystopian novel about teenagers that are connected through technology, are relentless consumers, and are constantly monitored by the internet feeds inside their heads. It’s a biting satire, and the scariest part is that it came out in 2004 and it feels more true than ever. If you want a book that will make you throw your phone into the ocean, this is the one for you.
Identity crises, consumerism, and star-crossed teenage love in a futuristic society where people connect to the Internet via feeds implanted in their brains.
For Titus and his friends, it started out like any ordinary trip to the moon – a chance to party during spring break and play with some stupid low-grav at the Ricochet Lounge. But that was before the crazy hacker caused all their feeds to malfunction, sending them to the hospital to lie around with nothing inside their heads for days. And it was before Titus met Violet, a beautiful, brainy teenage girl who has decided to fight the feed and its omnipresent ability to categorize human thoughts and desires.
- Buy Feed now!
7. Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard
If you love the TV show Pretty Little Liars, why not go back to the source? The show was based on this book series by Sara Shepard that details the good, the bad, and the pretty of four friends in Rosewood, Pennsylvania. One of them, Alison, disappears suddenly, and the other three friends are secretly relieved. They each had a secret that only Alison knew. There are sixteen books in this series, and you’ll have to read them all to get to the bottom of all the mysteries, so these will keep you busy all vacation, and maybe even all summer, long.
Set in ultra-trendy Rosewood, Pennsylvania, Pretty Little Liars centers around four beautiful girls who are hiding some very ugly secrets, and the one person who knows them all…and is not afraid to spill.
- Buy the Pretty Little Liars series now!
8. Angus, Thongs, and Full-Frontal Snogging by Louise Rennison
This is the first book in the Confession of Georgia Nicholson series, a funny, absurd, and often too relatable peek into the world of Georgia Nicholson, a teenage girl in England. It has definite Bridget Jones’s Diary vibes, and it’s the perfect light and entertaining summer read. There are ten books in this series, if you’re interested in staying in Georgia’s world for a little while longer.
Angus: My mixed-breed cat, half domestic tabby, half Scottish wildcat. The size of a small Labrador, only mad.
Thongs: Stupid underwear. What’s the point of them, anyway? They just go up your bum, as far as I can tell.
Full-Frontal Snogging: Kissing with all the trimmings, lip to lip, open mouth, tongues … everything.
Her dad’s got the mentality of a Teletubby (only not so developed). Her cat, Angus, is trying to eat the poodle next door. And her best friend thinks she looks like an alien — just because she accidentally shaved off her eyebrows. Ergghhhlack. Still, add a little boy-stalking, teacher-baiting, and full-frontal snogging with a Sex God, and Georgia’s year just might turn out to be the most fabbitty fab fab ever!
What’s the best library book you’ve read recently? Let us know in the comments!