The 7 Best Books to Start—and Finish—Over the Holiday Break

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Ah, the holidays. Though it's normally the season for family and friends, festive parties and generally way too much togetherness, things are going to look pretty different this year. But though it's certainly a bummer that we won't be engaging in the aforementioned festiveness doesn't mean the next few weeks have to be a wash. Au contraire: It's actually a fabulous time to escape reality via an unputdownable book. Here are seven books you can start and finish between now and the beginning of 2021.


Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes

In her first novel, NPR culture writer Linda Holmes introduces us to two lovable accidental housemates both desperately in need of a second chance. It’s funny, charming and basically a rom-com in book form. Buy the book


Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane

What’s the best way to forget your own family dysfunction? Dive into someone else’s. This enthralling tale is about two neighboring families whose lives become entwined by one tragic incident. This is more than 400 pages but so absorbing. Buy the book


Nothing to See Here by Kevin Wilson

Lillian and Madison are old friends from boarding school who lost touch after a scandal. But now Madison’s twin step kids are moving in with her, and she wants Lillian to be their caretaker. This heartfelt book is fierier than you’d expect. Buy the book


Trick Mirror by Jia Tolentino

One way to get reading done during busy times? Grab a book that’s broken up into shorter sections. One of your best bets is New Yorker culture writer Jia Tolentino’s debut essay collection. Tolentino has often been called her generation’s Joan Didion and the likeness is spot-on. Buy the book


On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Poet Ocean Vuong’s debut novel, written in the form of a letter from a young man to his illiterate mother, isn’t the easiest read. But it is a meditation on race, class and immigration. It’s also just really beautifully written. Buy the book


The Last Romantics by Tara Conklin

When the Skinners move into a big yellow house, their future looks bright. But tragedy strikes and the four children are left to fend for themselves. We catch up with them two decades later in this sweeping, humanizing epic. Buy the book


Lady in the Lake by Laura Lippman

This whoddunit is a classic 1960s noir about a housewife turned reporter on the trail of a murder case that’s gone cold. The story unfolds in Baltimore over the span of one year, but it will take you far less time to get through this novel. Buy the book