15 Amazing Books To Read If You Need An Escape From Family Time For A Little While
Do you hear that tinkle of sleigh bells? Do you smell that freshly-baked pie? Thanksgiving has passed, and the holiday season is here — which means plenty of hot beverages, festive music, and of course, family time. And, if you're lucky, time to dig into some amazing new books.
Because no matter how much we love our families, they have a unique ability to get on our nerves. With everyone under the same roof for the holidays, a little family drama is pretty much guaranteed. Between the dinners, the gift exchanges, and the religious ceremonies or other traditions, the holidays means ton of quality time in close quarters with your family.
So here's a big stack of books to help you escape when your family is just too much to handle and you need a little alone time. There's a little bit of everything on here: Hilarious essay collections, epic fantasy series, intriguing memoirs, and addictive thrillers are in high supply. Some of these books will help you to wind down and relax after a long day of dealing with your family. Some will take you into completely different worlds, to help you forget about this one for a while. Others are filled with their own delicious drama, as a way of reminding yourself that perhaps your family isn't so bad after all. (And of course, drama is always better when it's someone else's.)
It's my hope that these books will make you feel like you have friends by your side as you embark on this exhausting holiday season. After all, it's the most wonderful time of year to enjoy a great read.
'Everyone's a Aliebn When Ur a Aliebn Too: A Book' by Jomny Sun
This graphic novel is wonderfully strange, and it will give you something warm to soak in after a long day. It's the story of an "aliebn" that has been sent to earth to learn about humanity and has a series of encounters with various earthlings that are both cute and poetic — from a puppy trying to express its true feelings to an introverted hedgehog with artistic insecurities.
'Dreadnought' by April Daniels
This magnificent book will take you into a world filled with superheroes, adventure, and self-discovery. Danny has been hiding that she's transgender. But when a superhero dies in front of her, transferring her powers, Danny's body transforms too, reflecting the kickass girl she truly is. And she's got some butt-kickin' and world-savin' to do.
'Spineless: The Science of Jellyfish and the Art of Growing a Backbone' by Juli Berwald
You'll be pulled into this memoir about a former marine scientist who, after building a life in landlocked Austin returned to scientific study through an odyssey propelled by a fascination with jellyfish. Not only is this a spell-binding read perfect to escape into, but you'll also get plenty of cool jellyfish facts to share at the holiday table.
'The Wangs vs. The World' by Jade Chang
Fight fire with fire, as they say. So if you're family's being far too dramatic, escape into the crazy world of the Wang family, who just lost their fortune and are now on a road trip across the United States. This is a seriously good read, with characters that will feel like your best friends. It will make you laugh out loud, while also getting the wheels in your head spinning.
'The Go-Between' by Veronica Chambers
You'll definitely want to enter the glitzy world of Camilla del Valle, whose mom is a famous telenovela actress and father is a voice-over superstar. But when Cammi's family moves from Mexico to LA, her glamorous life comes crashing down, and she has to deal with the harsh realities of what living in the U.S. means.
'This Is Just My Face: Try Not to Stare' by Gabourey Sidibe
Gabourey Sidibe's effervescent personality will brighten up even the roughest of holidays. In this fresh and heartfelt memoir, Sidibe feels like your BFF that you've known since the beginning of time and will always give it to you straight. As she recounts her life, from her family's troubled past to landing her career-making role in Precious, you'll feel like she's right there in the room with you.
'The Fifth Season' by N.K. Jemisin
Sometimes, all I want to do is escape into an epic adventure. And if you haven't gobbled up N.K. Jemisin's Broken Earth series yet, you have got to get on it. In a world in which apocalypse-level events happen with regularity and where people called "orogenes" have the magical ability to wield the power of the earth, three female orogenes journey across their constantly shifting land.
'Certain Dark Things' by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Speaking of delicious fantasy, this dark and thrilling novel is set in a Mexico City filled with vampires, gangsters, and, well, vampire-gangsters. Domingo is a street kid who stumbles upon Atl, a vampire desperate to escape to South America. But can the two make it out of the city alive?
'The End of Everything' by Megan Abbott
Fall into the thrilling and brilliant mind of Megan Abbott with this book that won't let you go until you've finished every last drop. Thirteen-year-olds Lizzie and Evie are inseparable BFFs. So when Evie disappears, their panicked suburban community turns to Lizzie for answers, and she finds herself taking the investigation into her own hands.
'Made for Love' by Alissa Nutting
If you love an absurd romp, look no further. Hazel has just left her brain-chip-making, tech-mogul husband to live in a senior citizens trailer park with her father and his sex-doll girlfriend. Filled with unexpected twists, vivacious characters, and some truly hilarious writing, this book is truly a delight to read.
'You Are Here: An Owner's Manual For Dangerous Minds' by Jenny Lawson
Part coloring-book, part-memoir, this beautiful book by Jenny Lawson is the perfect antidote to any stress your family might be putting on you. Read and color along as Lawson doles out heaping helpings of stories and advice.
'One Day We'll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter' by Scaachi Koul
In this sharp and hilarious essay collection, Scaachi Koul recounts stories about growing up the daughter of Indian immigrants in Canada. Filled with mortifying experiences and astute observations about life as a woman of color, this book will quickly grab your attention.
'Mad' by Chloé Esposito
In this sizzling read, self-proclaimed trainwreck Alvie jumps at the chance to swap places with her seemingly-perfect twin sister for a few hours. But when her sister ends up dead, Alvie keeps up the act, only to discover that her sister's life was filled with dark secrets, mafia connections, and even secret lovers. Certain to sweep you up.
'The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet' by Becky Chambers
This is one of those books that when you read it, you feel like all of the characters are your best friends in the whole world. Sail through space with a motley crew of the Wayfarer as they embark on a dangerous job that takes them on a spree of mishaps and adventures.
'Alex and Eliza' by Melissa de la Cruz
Fall into this historical love story—which you might recognize from Hamilton. It's 1777, in the middle of the American Revolution, and Eliza Schuyler is descended from one of the oldest and most powerful bloodlines in New York. She meets Alexander Hamilton, an orphan stationed far below her, who is fighting in the thick of the revolution. So begins their love story, tied to the birth of America.