There is no better escape than a good book, whether you’ve got the week off or are simply looking for a break while working all week. The intellectually stimulating hobby is currently trending, from local bookstores offering their recommendations to creators on ‘BookTube’ telling audiences what to read next. Yet with so many recommendations on what to read, it can be hard to know where to start. So whether you’re on a beach, curled up at home or finding a spare 30 minutes on your lunch break, here are five recommendations for books you’ll actually want to check out this spring break, for all types of readers. —Julia Dumbrell
If you’re looking for a page turner, you must read My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Otessa Moshfegh. It’s set in New York, in the year 2000, where our unnamed protagonist wants nothing more than to sleep for a year. Moshfegh writes about women in a uniquely grotesque way that makes the readers feel represented and understood, with powerfully shocking events all taking place within the protagonist’s apartment.
If you’re ready to start a life-changing series, I recommend My Brilliant Friend,the first of the Neapolitan Novel series by Elena Ferrante. This book establishes the beautiful friendship between Elena and Lila, two young girls with aspirations who live in rural Italy. Their lives transform throughout the four novels, and this first instalment will pull you in gloriously.
For readers who are looking to support a Canadian author, Vancouver-based Ruth Ozeki captures her experience of living in British Columbia poignantly through A Tale For The Time Being. In the beginning, Ruth finds a journal on a beach in Vancouver Island, written by the enigmatic young character Nao across the shore in Japan. Ozeki’s writing will make you think deeply, seeing yourself both in the Canadian character Ruth and far-off Nao.
If you’re looking for a classic, we promise Valley of the Dolls by Jacqueline Susann is as relevant now as when the book was published in 1966. Over the addictive narratives of three young women, this book examines the trials and tribulations of pursuing fame in New York City. Susann’s writing is like Cosmopolitan meets classic literature. If you’re lucky, you’ll find a copy with hot pink-coated pages like mine.
For a modern masterpiece, Klara and the Sun by Nobel Prize-winning Kazuo Ishiguro fits the bill. The book is easy to read, narrated from the juvenile perspective of an artificial friend, Klara, who becomes the doll for a complex young girl. The subtle differences of Ishiguro’s earth-like world are slowly revealed, and come with a plot twist you won’t soon expect.