Book Recommendations: Summer Relaxation

Posted By: Chris Charnecki | Aug 17, 2019 | Readathon

Here’s my book recommendations for Team Relaxation. I’m sorry to say that I have not read quite as many books as my rival Team Captain, but I’ll do my best to offer up some good ideas for reads for this readathon! Ellie has been so helpful as to add some additional recommendations from herself in the honorable mentions, so check those out too!

Challenge #1 – Day at the Library: Read the Group Book Sorcery of Thorns

Book Cover for Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

Sorcery of Thorns by Margaret Rogerson

It’s the group book, so it’s basically the only one I can recommend for this challenge. However, if you are unable to get a copy of this book or have already read it, feel free to read an alternate book for this challenge, something that has to do with books and/or libraries is preferred. We’ll understand!

Challenge #2 – Cool Off: Read a book under 200 pages

Book Cover for The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

My Pick: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

I’ve sorta been on a kick to go back and read some of the books that famous films have originated from just to see what their source material is. The world of Oz was always interesting to me, and I felt it would be a nice and easy read to get through for this challenge. I really enjoy the Wizard of Oz movie, so the book seems like an easy pick for me.

Book Cover for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

We read this book for Books and Booze, and it was definitely an interesting read. It’s one of the most esoteric books I’ve ever read, and you might or might not like it’s obscure sense of charm. However, the book is definitely a short, quick read, and learning about the original story of Alice sure was interesting.

Book cover of My Hero Academia Vol. 1 by Kohei Horikoshi

My Hero Academia, Vol. 1 by Kohei Horikoshi

If you like reading manga and are also a fan of superheroes, then you need to read My Hero Academia! It’s a Japanese take on the western superhero story, and it’s done really well! This being manga, it also makes it an even easier and fun read, if that’s what you’re looking for. This book will also satisfy the Clear Skies challenge, if you need a book for that!

Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

Book Cover of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark by Alvin Schwartz

I think about this book a lot when I think of horror. I read it all the way back in elementary school, and it was pretty terrifying to eight year-old me! The illustrations are especially horrific hand have stayed with me to this very day! It must be somewhat as good as I remembered it being since it’s being adapted into a movie this year. If you like horror, maybe try giving this collection of short stories a shot!

Honorable Mentions: Saga by Brian K. Vaughan, The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde

Challenge #3 – Clear Skies: Read a book with blue on the cover


My Pick: The Archived by Victoria Schwab

The main reason I picked this book was because I really enjoyed Schwab’s writing from when I read A Darker Shade of Magic earlier this year. I figured I should choose a book from an author I wanted to read more of for this challenge, and that led me right to Schwab. From what I’ve heard about this book, it’s more of a paranormal fantasy about keeping an archive of dead people, so it definitely sounds interesting!


Catch-22 by Joseph Heller 

This book is one of my favorites! I recommend that everyone at least gives it a shot at some point, but during the readathon is the perfect opportunity! Easily the best and funniest satirical war novel I’ve read, Catch-22 highlights the eccentricities of the bureaucracy of war. The downfalls of this book, though, are definitely that it’s dense and Heller’s writing is eccentric itself. I had trouble when I read it at first, but around the midpoint of the book I started to understand it better, and it quickly became a page-turner.


The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman

After reading through Good Omens, I want to read through more Gaiman and Pratchett. This one seems to be recommended to me a lot, and the supernatural premise seems really interesting! Personally, I think it would be really cool to be raised by the dead instead of raising the dead, and from what I can tell, that’s what this book is about. I probably won’t get around to reading it this readathon, but it’s for sure going onto my TBR for some time in the future.


The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Most of what I know about this book is from the animated film that came out a few years ago. I loved that movie, so of course I hope the original story is just as good. This story is about a boy who lives alone on a small planet, adventuring away one day to discover the universe through the different characters he meets. I really like charming and imaginative stories like this and hope to personally read it myself soon! This book will also satisfy the Cool Off challenge!

Honorable Mentions: An Absolutely Remarkable Thing by Hank Green, We Hunt the Flame by Hafsah Faizal, Spinning Silver by Naomi Novik

Challenge #4 – Lazy River: Read a book set near a body of water 

Book Cover for Life of Pi by Yann Martel

My Pick: Life of Pi by Yann Martel

Life of Pi seems like an interesting book to me. I think it’s a book about a boy and a tiger on a boat or something. I don’t really know much about it beyond that, but honestly that’s enough to get me interested. Who knows, maybe this book will give me the life revelation I really needed and will fulfill my personal desire to go to Asia and hang out with a tiger. Maybe I’ll just read it and hate it. Those are the only two possible outcomes. This book will also satisfy the Clear Skies challenge.

Book cover for The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

The Great Gatsby is an absolute classic, and a quick read, making it perfect for a readathon! A simple story about unrequited love set on the shore of Long Island Sound in the 1920s. If you haven’t read this book yet, please do! This book will also satisfy the Clear Skies challenge, giving you two-for-one for reading this book!

Book Cover for Circe by Madeline Miller

Circe by Madeline Miller

Apparently Ellie also included this on her list, however since I’ve read (most of) it, my recommendation should be considered more. This book is a retelling of the story of Circe, a woman banished to live alone on an island in ancient Greek mythology. I’m always a sucker for mythology, and this book is no exception. I need to get around to finishing this book someday, but since I need to write more book recommendations, that day is not today.

Book Cover for The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle

The Last Unicorn is a book that is quite surprising. It’s about a unicorn who finds out her kind had been stolen by the evil King Haggard, whose castle stands atop a sheer rocky cliff over the ocean. In order to find the other unicorns, she must leave the safety of her home and risk being among humans. I loved this book, mainly because it’s tone was morose. It had all the charms of a fairytale, but sort of twisted. It reminded me a lot of classic Grimms’ Fairy Tales. Don’t go into this one expecting a fluff piece!

Honorable Mentions: And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie, To Kill a Kingdom by Alexandra Christo, Treasure Island by Robert Louis Stevenson

Challenge #5 – Catch Up With an Old Friend: Re-read one of your favorite books 

Book Cover for Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

My Pick: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Speaking as a Nerd™, I love Video Games, so you know I already read this book. I read it back in highschool and loved it. Then, the movie came out. It was way different from what I remember the book being, and it also came with some pointed criticisms of the book itself. These reasons were enough to make me want to re-read it and see if I still love it as much as I used to. There’s also never a bad time for more 80s nostalgia, and this book is ALL about the nostalgia.

Book Cover for The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan

I feel like this is a really good recommendation for this challenge considering it’s hard to find someone who hasn’t read this book. While this read might not hold up quite as well as you remember it, Percy Jackson is still a really fun read about Olympic gods in the modern day! Re-reading this book makes me want to go back and re-read the whole series, but I’ll first have to find some free time in order to do that! This book will also satisfy the Lazy River challenge since it takes place near multiple different bodies of water.

This one is all subjective

I can’t be the one to tell you what your favorite books are, so find favorite and enjoy rereading it!

Challenge #6 – Stay Inside Gaming: Read a sci-fi book 

My Pick: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Book Cover for Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy is a book that I’ve been meaning to read for a long time. I know it’s a book that many of my friends laud and love, so it’s been on my radar for a while. I like the funnies, and from what I have heard Douglas Adams was a funny guy, so this book seems right up my alley. This readathon gives me a good excuse to finally sit down and read it.

Book cover for The Martian by Andy Weir

The Martian by Andy Weir

One of my favorite sci-fi books! If you want to feel smarter than you actually are while laughing along the way, then this book is for you. Andy Weir’s clever writing style helps bring to life the struggles of a man who was deserted on Mars, yet desperately clings to a chance to live. It’s in my opinion a must-read book for any sci-fi fan, and this readathon is the perfect time to pick it up and experience it if you haven’t yet. The movie is also pretty great. 

Book cover for Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card

Enders Game by Orson Scott Card

It’s been a long time since I’ve read this one, but I loved Ender’s Game when I first picked it up. It’s about a small boy learning to be an adept commander of space battles, and what’s not to love about that? I don’t have too much more to say about this since I read it so long ago, but I remember it being a really good book and okay movie. So read the book instead.

Book cover for Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

Brave New World by Aldous Huxley

This is a classic dystopian story about a world that has utilized genetic engineering and conditioning to create a callous utopian society full of unquestioning citizens. If you like dystopian novels like 1984, The Giver, etc. then this book is probably already on your radar. Maybe give it a try this readathon!

Honorable Mentions: Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Aimie Kaufmann, Red Rising by Pierce Brown, The Diabolic by S.J. Kincaid

Challenge #7 – Long Walks on the Beach: Read a book longer than any of your other books 

Book cover for Console Wars by Blake J. Harris

My pick: Console Wars by Blake J. Harris

This book has been on my TBR forever, and I really cannot wait to sit down and read it. It’s a telling of the story of the rivalry between Nintendo and Sega during the 80s and 90s told through the personal accounts of the president of Sega of America at the time. The gamer inside me loves the history that this book explores, since video games seem to have a rich history, but it’s often not talked about. If you like the idea of this book but aren’t convinced on reading this, it’s being adapted into a TV show. This book will also satisfy the Clear Skies challenge.

Book cover for It by Stephen King

It by Stephen King

You’ll be hard pressed to find a book longer than this one. Clocking in at around 1100 pages, this book recommendation is for anyone who wants a real challenge for this readathon. If you haven’t heard of this book somehow, it’s Stephen King, so its a horror book. This one in particular is about a scary clown that pops up around every 27 years or so. Just be ready to sit down for a full 24 hours to read this one.

This one is subjective again

This all depends on the other books you pick for your readathon TBR, so just take a look at those and go from there!

After reading these fantastic book recommendations, I’m sure you’ve decided to join the better team (Team Relaxation) for this readathon! Either way, I hope you enjoy your time during the readathon no matter how many books you’re able to read. (But still join Team Relaxation if you actually want to win!) If you do want to lose, check out Ellie’s book recommendations for Team Adventure.

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