Celebrate National Read a Book Day!

Discover personalized book recommendations based on your favorite hobbies for your day off.

Book Culture Fiction On This Day Recommendations

If you had a day off of work, what would you do? Are you the outdoorsy-adventure type or are you a binge-watching homebody? National Read a Book Day falls on Labor Day in America this year, so we’ve come up with a list of book recommendations for you based on your plans for your day off.


Depending on where you live, your time to enjoy a refreshing summer swim may be drawing to a close for the year. If you like to spend your day off taking laps in the pool, here are some books we think you’d enjoy:

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell


Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits who are smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love-and just how hard it pulled you under. (Macmillan)

Alex, Approximately by Jenn Bennett


In this delightfully charming teen spin on You’ve Got Mail, the one guy Bailey Rydell can’t stand is actually the boy of her dreams—she just doesn’t know it yet. (Simon and Schuster)


Who doesn’t need a day off to catch up on their sleep? Nothing is better than sleeping in as late as you want guilt-free. If this is your plan for National Read a Book Day, here are some recommendations for you:

Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard


Red Queen, by #1 New York Times bestselling author Victoria Aveyard, is a sweeping tale of power, intrigue, and betrayal, perfect for fans of George R.R. Martin’s Game of Thrones series. (HarperCollins)

Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo


Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first. Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo returns to the breathtaking world of the Grishaverse in this unforgettable tale about the opportunity—and the adventure—of a lifetime. (Macmillan)


You’re a practical sort of person who likes to feel on top of their schedule. There’s nothing wrong with running a few errands on your day off. If you stop at a bookstore, consider one of these picks:

The Influential Voice by Tricia Brouk


A compilation of stories, personal and historical, that remind us of the power of our voice—along with practical techniques for how to use your voice, on stage and off, in a way that will be the most effective. (Simon and Schuster)

Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy


The legendary Eat That Frog!, with more than 1.6 million copies sold and translated into 42 languages, will change your life. There just isn’t enough time for everything on our to-do list – and there never will be. Successful people don’t try to do everything. They learn to focus on the most important tasks and make sure they get done. (Berrett-Koehler)

Becoming by Michelle Obama


In her memoir, a work of deep reflection and mesmerizing storytelling, Michelle Obama invites readers into her world, chronicling the experiences that have shaped her—from her childhood on the South Side of Chicago to her years as an executive balancing the demands of motherhood and work, to her time spent at the world’s most famous address. (Penguin Random House)


For some, Labor Day may be cause for celebration. Whether you’re gathering virtually or in person somewhere safe, we hope you take time to enjoy the company of your friends and family. When the party’s over, we recommend checking out some of these books:

The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald


The Beautiful and Damned, F. Scott Fitzgerald’s second novel, tells the story of Anthony Patch, a 1920s socialite and presumptive heir to a tycoon’s fortune. Anthony and his wife Gloria are young and gorgeous, rich and leisured, and dedicate their lives to the reckless pursuit of happiness. But this intimate story turns tragic, as their marriage disintegrates under the weight of their expectations, dissipation, jealousy, and aimlessness. (Pan Macmillan)

(pssst . . . check out how Fitzgerald may have plagiarized his wife here)

City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert


From the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat Pray Love and The Signature of All Things, a delicious novel of glamour, sex, and adventure, about a young woman discovering that you don’t have to be a good girl to be a good person. (Penguin Random House)


If you like to spend your day off adventuring in nature, we’ve got the perfect hiking companion for you:

Lands of Lost Borders by Kate Harris


Like Rebecca Solnit and Pico Iyer before her, Kate Harris offers a travel narrative at once exuberant and meditative, wry and rapturous. Weaving adventure and deep reflection with the history of science and exploration, Lands of Lost Borders explores the nature of limits and the wildness of a world that, like the self and like the stars, can never be fully mapped. (Penguin Random House)

Blind Descent by James M. Tabor


Based on his unprecedented access to logs and journals as well as hours of personal interviews, James Tabor has crafted a thrilling exploration of man’s timeless urge to discover—and of two extraordinary men whose pursuit of greatness led them to the heights of triumph and the depths of tragedy. (Penguin Random House)

Into the Wild by John Krakauer


Krakauer’s page-turning bestseller explores a famed missing person mystery while unraveling the larger riddles it holds: the profound pull of the American wilderness on our imagination; the allure of high-risk activities to young men of a certain cast of mind; the complex, charged bond between fathers and sons. (Penguin Random House)

(If none of these books made the cut, check out this list for National Trails Day).

Binge Watching

Can you go through a season in a day? A whole series? If binge-watching TV is your go-to pastime, check out these novels that inspired their own Netflix series.

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo


Soldier. Summoner. Saint. Orphaned and expendable, Alina Starkov is a soldier who knows she may not survive her first trek across the Shadow Fold—a swath of unnatural darkness crawling with monsters. But when her regiment is attacked, Alina unleashes dormant magic not even she knew she possessed. (Macmillan)

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven


All the Bright Places is a heart-wrenching, unflinching story of love shared, life lived, and two teens who find each other while standing on the edge. (Penguin Random House)

Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery


Anne has a temper as fiery as her hair and a knack for finding trouble, and she also has a big heart and a positive attitude that affects everyone she meets. This classic and beloved story makes a wonderful gift and keepsake. (Simon and Schuster)

Road Trip

If you were able to take a road trip for your long weekend, we’ve got some destination picks for you. Enjoy the exotic views with a good novel this National Read a Book Day:

Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens


Where the Crawdads Sing is at once an exquisite ode to the natural world, a heartbreaking coming-of-age story, and a surprising tale of possible murder. Owens reminds us that we are forever shaped by the children we once were, and that we are all subject to the beautiful and violent secrets that nature keeps. (Penguin Random House)

Beach Read by Emily Henry


A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters. (Penguin Random House)


If you’re an avid bookworm like me, you may be spending National Read a Book Day doing just that – reading! If you have the day off for Labor Day (or even if you don’t) here are some recommendations guaranteed to thrill any book lover:

The Lost Apothecary by Sarah Penner


With crackling suspense, unforgettable characters, and searing insight, The Lost Apothecary is a subversive and intoxicating debut novel of secrets, vengeance, and the remarkable ways women can save each other despite the barrier of time. (HarperCollins)

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller


A tale of gods, kings, immortal fame, and the human heart, The Song of Achilles is a dazzling literary feat that brilliantly reimagines Homer’s enduring masterwork, The Iliad. (HarperCollins)

The Removed by Brandon Hobson


Drawing deeply on Cherokee folklore, The Removed seamlessly blends the real and spiritual to excavate the deep reverberations of trauma—a meditation on family, grief, home, and the power of stories on both a personal and ancestral level. (HarperCollins)

Check out more recommendations here!