5 good books for a great Spring Break

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Shhh, did you hear that? Mmmhmm, us too. Spring Break is calling.

We hope you’re headed for a sandy destination, where the quiet roll of waves lulls you to a mid-afternoon nap while the kids entertain themselves in the sand. (Who are we kidding, that’s not Spring Break, that’s heaven, isn’t it?) Or maybe you’re retreating to the mountains, where the sounds of nature fill the space around your campfire.

Or MAYBE, you’re just kickin’ it at home, enjoying not having to rush around every morning like a maniac just to get everyone where they need to be.

Whatever your Spring Break plans, adding a good book to the mix will enhance your experience 10-fold. Reading is a vacation in and of itself — it’s a way for us to mentally escape life’s rigor and exist, if only briefly, in a world where we’re the observers, not the actors.

So pack that suitcase with a couple of good reads on top and enjoy. Need some ideas? A few of our loyal fans and team members who are avid readers have some recommendations for you:


The Mothers by Brit Bennett

This is a truly engaging debut novel about a relationship that twists and turns over the course of a decade in the characters lives. It's a story about community, a church family, a friendship, and the deep, inseverable roots that our mothers leave within us. Reader be warned though: this isn't a "wrapped up in a pretty bow by the end" type of novel, but the writing is beautiful, and like a secret kept hidden for years, evokes longing, hope, and regret.  

— Mandy Prather, Somerset, Ky., Associate Director of the Norton Center for the Arts


Defending Jacob by William Landay

Last summer, I read Defending Jacob, an older book but definitely worth the read if you haven’t checked it out yet. Defending Jacob tells the story of Andy Barber, a respected attorney, whose son is accused of murdering a classmate. Landay captured me from the first page as he told the story of Barber attempting to prove his son’s innocence, and the end took my breath away. It completely caught me off guard! I was captivated by this book so much that I recently purchased Landay’s The Strangler to read soon!

— Lesley Stringer, Somerset, Ky., New Life Industries Graphic Designer


The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

This was a book I loved reading. It was easy to read, kept you intrigued and had a little side of sass. Your typical suburban North Carolina Country Club isn’t too typical, and let’s be real, we all love a juicy story and this book delivers more than one. If it takes you a second to get into it, don’t worry, it’s just giving you the background you’ll need later. Enjoy this on the beach and be thankful for a boring life (LOL). I was, anyway!

— Mandy Bastin, Somerset, Ky., New Life Industries Social Media Specialist


The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

If you liked Gone Girl or The Girl in Cabin 10, then this book is for you! This mesmerizing story focuses on child psychologist Anna Fox, who hasn't been outside her home in months. She claims to be an agoraphobic, who has severe anxiety attacks whenever stepping foot outside the home. Anna spends her time chatting with patients online, watching movies and spying on her neighbors. More importantly, Anna occasionally abuses her prescription meds, which causes you to question her integrity whenever she witnesses a violent crime next door. As the story unfolds, careful clues are dropped into the story, furthering the mystery behind what happened to Anna and her neighbors. I was completely wrapped in this story, continually going back and forth between truth and reality. It was a great debut novel by this author, and I look forward to another from her!

— Kathleen Bradley, Somerset, Ky., New Life Industries Marketing Manager


The Paris Wife by Paula McLain

OK, so confession: I love Ernest Hemingway. His writing style so simple yet so poetic, his story so romantic and yet so complicated. When I traveled to Key West, his home, complete with all the six-toed cats, was the first place I wanted to see. So when I was introduced to The Paris Wife by Paula McLain, a historical fiction novel written from the perspective of Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson, I was intrigued — who else could provide better insight into his adult life? Based on research into the letters between Hadley and Ernest, this story details his pursuit of his passion (and probably his only true love), writing, and explore’s Hemingway’s introduction into a colorful and famed group of the 1920s — Gertrude Stein, Ezra Pound and F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald. This is a grand love story, full of deception and heartbreak, and one of the few books I would consider reading over and over again.

— Julie Harris, Somerset, Ky., Print & Pixel Creative Brand and Content Strategist

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