Make It Better Staff Picks: Books to Travel With

Every summer, there are lists upon lists of suggested beach reads. We know beach reads are good intentioned, but really, when it comes to the beach or laying by the pool, that book gets abandoned for the perfect sun session or a romp in the water. So Make It Better’s staff wants to give you a list of books you should travel with — whether it’s on a plane to an exotic destination or your commute to and from work via the train.

The House of the Spirits” by Isabel Allende or “Team of Rivals” by Doris Kearns Godwin

"The House of Spirits" by Isabel Allende"Team Of Rivals" by Doris Kearns Godwin

“The House of Spirits” is the best fiction and actually best read in many years. For nonfiction, “Team of Rivals” is particularly timely because of the potential Republican convention nominating dynamics. But also inspiring because it is all about Lincoln’s character and values. Our world is hungry for better character and values. — Susan B. Noyes, founder and publisher

Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France’s Cote d’Azur and Italy’s Costa Bella” by David Shalleck and Erol Munuz

"Mediterranean Summer: A Season on France's Cote d'Azur and Italy's Costa Bella" by David Shall

A perfect read for foodies and home cooks with European wanderlust, this book chronicles the experience of a young American who takes a job as the personal chef to a highly discerning Italian billionaire couple. The enticing mix of travel narrative, mouth-watering food descriptions and recipes will inspire you to get in the kitchen this summer — and leave you yearning to spend your next vacation jet-setting to Europe’s chicest coastal hotspots. — Brooke McDonald, managing editor

Big Little Lies” by Liane Moriarty

"Big Little Lies" by Liane Moriarty

This book is long enough (512 pages) to get you through an entire vacation, but you also won’t want to put it down. Plus, you’ll want to read it before the HBO series starring Nicole Kidman and Reese Witherspoon begins next year. — Anna Carlson, digital editor

The Intern’s Handbook” by Shane Kuhn

"The Intern's Handbook" by Shane Kuhn

You would never suspect the office intern is actually an assassin embedded in an organization to kill an executive right? And Human Resources is actually a murder-for-hire organization placing said interns into top-level companies. It’s a book that’s a bit sexy, full of dark comedy, action and it’s hard to put down. The sequel, “Hostile Takeover,” is also worth a read. — Heather Leszczewicz, social media manager

Me Before You” by Jojo Moyes

"Me Before You" by Jojo Moyes

I couldn’t put this book down. This story of love and friendship brings to life two people who couldn’t be more different — and poses the question: What do you do when making the person you love happy also means breaking your own heart? Bonus: theres a sequel (“After You“) and extra bonus: it’s a motion picture. — Erica Barraca, art director

Joy and Suffering: My Life with ALS” by Martin J. D’Amore, M.D.

"Joy and Suffering: My Life with ALS" by Martin J. D'Amore, M.D.

Perspective is key in life. Each chapter begins with a quote or a verse. The author, Marty D’Amore, shows that having joy in your mind and heart is a choice. Choosing joy allows grace and balance and peace to permeate your soul. Every person I have given this book to has welcomed the opportunity to witness faith and kindness in action. It’s either a quick read — or a book you can have in a carry on bag — and read a chapter at a time. — Barbara Murray, account executive

The Hobbit” by J.R.R. Tolkien

"The Hobbit" by J.R.R. Tolkien

The last vacation I went on I read “The Hobbit” and l loved it! It really helped me relax because I had the time and brain power to really commit to the storyline, which is something I normally have a hard time doing with my mind on everyday distractions. — Gabrielle Tasiopoulos, philanthropy editor

Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway” by Sara Gran

"Claire DeWitt and the Bohemian Highway" by Sara Gran

I love mysteries and thrillers, so I was immediately drawn to this book that I picked up in an airport on vacation. I love books and shows with strong female leads that don’t necessarily always have redeeming qualities; a must-read for any fans of Gillian Flynn‘s (author of “Gone Girl“) novels. It’s gritty and suspenseful and puts you in a world completely outside of your own. — Antea Gatalica, editorial intern

 

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