10 Books for Your PCS Escape

woman putting books on the shelf
(Justin Armstrong/DVIDS)

Books for your beach vacation sure sound nice, but if you're moving this summer, you're really looking for books to help you escape. To escape the stress of the movers packing, loading and (gulp) unloading your things. To help pass the eight to 10 hours you're spending on the road traversing the country. And to help you enjoy the luxury of that hot tub at the hotel.

We aren't here to judge what you read, or how you read it. We're fans of magazines, short stories, audiobooks, podcasts and old-fashioned paperbacks. We like all the categories, such as young adult, mystery, romance and thrillers. We sometimes even like nonfiction.

Here are 10 top books to read this summer -- for whatever you're trying to escape.

1. Big Summer by Jennifer Weiner

We're fans of Jennifer Weiner any time of the year, but her new release "Big Summer" is perfect for an escape. A disastrous wedding on Cape Cod illuminates friendship and forgiveness in an easy-to-read, fun book you won't want to put down -- because the movers will pack it if you do.

2. The Guest List by Lucy Foley

If you like mysteries of the Agatha Christie and Anne Perry variety, check out "The Guest List" by Lucy Foley. It's another wedding-centric read, though this one takes place off the coast of Ireland, and someone turns up dead. And remember, even the best-laid plans can go awry without proper follow-through.

3. Hollywood Park by Mikel Jollett

Here's a nonfiction read for you. Mikel Jollett was born into the cult that later morphed into the Church of Synanon, and life didn't get better from there immediately. Abandonment, abuse, poverty and trauma followed him until he attended Stanford. Then, he wrote his book, "Hollywood Park."

4. Mexican Gothic by Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Fantasy, horror and suspense come together in the novel, "Mexican Gothic," set in 1950s Mexico. Dreams of blood and doom haunt Noemi when she visits her newly married cousin in an isolated mansion. Sounds like something to read during the daylight hours.

5. The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes by Suzanne Collins

I'm not sure this needs much introduction, but if you like "The Hunger Games," then you're more than ready for the prequel, "The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes." Rumors say it starts on the morning of the 10th Hunger Games reaping, but we're not giving away all the secrets.

6. Beach Read by Emily Henry

Two writers -- who are both in a rut -- end up moving into neighboring beach houses. They couldn't be more different, but they decide to swap assignments and experience each other's writing worlds. What could possibly go wrong? Read "Beach Read" and find out what does, and doesn't, happen this summer.

7. Don't Ask Me Where I'm From by Jennifer DeLeon

Jennifer DeLeon's "Don't Ask Me Where I'm From" comes highly recommended by popular author Celeste Ng. The story of a young high school LatinX and first-generation American trying to fit into her predominately white school will tug at your heartstrings. As her father's deportation is revealed to her and racism ramps up at her school, Liliana Cruz must figure out where she stands.

8. The Mirror & the Light by Hilary Mantel

If you're a history fan, the name Thomas Cromwell will be familiar. Known for working miracles for the tyrant King Henry VIII, he was a self-made man who found himself teetering on the line of being in the king's good graces and not. "The Mirror & the Light" shows the power and poise that Cromwell used when playing in the English court. Note: If you're like me and simply must read things in order, start with the first two books in the Wolf Hall trilogy, "Wolf Hall" and "Bring Up the Bodies."

9. Don't Read the Comments by Eric Smith

In the world of online gaming, things are hardly ever what they seem. And in "Don't Read the Comments," we see exactly that. Playing video games is an escape for main characters Divya and Aaron, and they soon pair up to play. Then, other teens get involved, and things turn ugly.

10. The Groom Will Keep His Name: And Other Vows I've Made About Race, Resistance, and Romance by Matt Ortile

"The Groom Will Keep His Name," recommended by Casey McQuistion, author of "Red, White & Royal Blue" (another one we highly recommend reading!), is a collection of witty essays from Matt Ortile, who came up against a bit of resistance when he moved from Manila to Las Vegas.

Alright, military spouse, charge up your Kindle, gather those audible credits or -- if you're not moving quite yet -- hit up the library to get cracking on this list of great books. And let us know what else you're reading that we may have missed.

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--Rebecca Alwine can be reached at rebecca.alwine@monster.com. Follow her on Twitter @rebecca_alwine.

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