From now until Labor Day, you have just over four weeks left to cram in all that summer has to offer, including losing yourself in sunshine, travel and a good story.
Online travel adviser Cheapflights.com (www.cheapflights.com) has compiled their Top 10 Must-Reads before Summer Ends, to help you fill your beach bag with great summer reading fit for any getaway (or staycation). Reuters has not endorsed this list.
1. A Small Hotel by Robert Olen Butler - Perfect for a couple's romantic weekend away, this deeply moving novel chronicles the relationship between Kelly and Michael Hays, beginning with the official last day of their 20-year marriage. Butler, using the perspectives of both Kelly and Michael, tells the tale of all the unexpected turns on the road that is marriage while unearthing the never-ending feelings between man and wife and the consequences of words left unsaid.
2. The Red House by Mark Haddon - The Red House will provide the perfect escape from that family vacation you're hesitantly looking forward to. You'll definitely appreciate your own family a lot more after this one. A wealthy doctor invites his estranged sister and her family to join his family at their vacation home in the English countryside - and of course chaos ensues. This remarkable novel, told through the eyes of each of the eight family members, will provide you with more than your fair share of secrets, resentments and inappropriate desires as these disconnected relatives struggle to understand each other.
3. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn - For the salacious girls' weekend away, you'll want to let your hair down and you'll want to make sure you have a copy of Gone Girl in your purse. On the day of Nick and Amy's fifth wedding anniversary, Amy goes missing and all the signs point to Nick. As he maintains his innocence and fights to prove it, this dark and fast-paced thriller will have you on the edge of your seat, racing to the end in search of the truth. The love story wrapped in mystery will make you contemplate how good relationships go bad - and it'll leave you wanting to go back and start the journey all over again.
4. The House of Velvet and Glass by Katherine Howe - This one is for the solo traveler who relishes in alone time and self-reflection. Sibyl tries to put together all the pieces of her life after her mother and sister die on the Titanic, leaving her with an emotionally guarded father and a drunken, college-dropout brother. Set in Boston in 1915, The House of Velvet and Glass takes you on a journey through opium dens and high society salons, weaving in period detail, romance and a shocking twist that will take your breath away.
5. Seating Arrangements by Maggie Shipstead - Maggie Shipstead's debut novel is the perfect beach read, so grab your shades and your sunscreen because you might be out there for a while. You definitely won't want to put this one down. She explores the absurdities of high-class living through Winn Van Meter, a man who seems to have it all but still isn't happy. Trivial anxieties take over Winn's life as he prepares for the wedding of his oldest daughter, Daphne, and stakes off his secret love for one of her beautiful and wildly flirtatious bridesmaids.
The five other of our top 10 must-reads for the summer are:
6. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green ideal for the romantic traveler
7. Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes for the woman traveling alone
8. The Yard by Alex Grecian for the lover of suspense and mystery
9.True Believers by Kurt Andersen for patriotic travelers
10. Heading Out to Wonderful by Robert Goolrick for the weekend traveler. (Reporting by Alice Baghdjian, editing by Paul Casciato)