I don’t know about you, but the warmer weather is starting to make a stronger appearance here where I live! And for me that’s great news, because now I’m taking a lot of nature walks and I’m spending a lot of time at the park… reading, of course!
I just feel like it’s difficult to top a relaxed afternoon with a cozy book on a park bench. Being outside gives me a lot of good energy, but doing that while reading also allows me to stay in tune with my introverted nature. It’s honestly such an amazing way of spending time for me, that I wish you would experience that feeling as well.
So today’s recommendation post is exactly that! Today I’m sharing with you some books that I think would be perfect to read outside, surrounded by nature on a sunny day. Here they are:
Have no fear, I have books for all of you readers according to genre! Let’s take a look at them individually:
1. On the Fence by Kasie West
For all of my YA lovers out there like myself, I have a great recommendation for you today. This is probably my favorite Kasie West book, and coincidentally, I think this would be perfect to read at the park! This is a very cute romance book featuring a tomboy lead who plays soccer, perfect if you love the “boy next door” and “brother’s best friend” tropes! I honestly love this so much, and I automatically thought of this book because they spend a lot of time outside doing outdoor activities. It’s fast paced and the romance will make you swoon! Definitely recommend this one if you love YA romance. You can find the synopsis below!
“For sixteen-year-old Charlotte Reynolds, aka Charlie, being raised by a single dad and three older brothers has its perks. She can outrun, outscore, and outwit every boy she knows—including her longtime neighbor and honorary fourth brother, Braden. But when it comes to being a girl, Charlie doesn’t know the first thing about anything. So when she starts working at a chichi boutique to pay off a speeding ticket, she finds herself in a strange new world of makeup, lacy skirts, and BeDazzlers. Even stranger, she’s spending time with a boy who has never seen her tear it up in a pickup game.
To cope with the stress of faking her way through this new reality, Charlie seeks late-night refuge in her backyard, talking out her problems with Braden by the fence that separates them. But their Fence Chats can’t solve Charlie’s biggest problem: she’s falling for Braden. Hard. She knows what it means to go for the win, but if spilling her secret means losing him for good, the stakes just got too high.”
2. The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren
If you prefer adult romance, I would recommend “The Unhoneymooners” by the duo of writers Christina Lauren. I know a lot of people pick this up during the Summer because it’s a great beach read, but I can 100% say this has park read potential! You can check the synopsis below to see what the story is about, but I really like how fresh this story feels and the entire vacation atmosphere the book projects, so I thought I’d recommend this one to you. If you haven’t picked this up yet, I highly recommend you give this one a chance.
“Olive is always unlucky: in her career, in love, in…well, everything. Her identical twin sister Ami, on the other hand, is probably the luckiest person in the world. Her meet-cute with her fiancé is something out of a romantic comedy (gag) and she’s managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a series of Internet contests (double gag). Worst of all, she’s forcing Olive to spend the day with her sworn enemy, Ethan, who just happens to be the best man.
Olive braces herself to get through 24 hours of wedding hell before she can return to her comfortable, unlucky life. But when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning from eating bad shellfish, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. And now there’s an all-expenses-paid honeymoon in Hawaii up for grabs.
Putting their mutual hatred aside for the sake of a free vacation, Olive and Ethan head for paradise, determined to avoid each other at all costs. But when Olive runs into her future boss, the little white lie she tells him is suddenly at risk to become a whole lot bigger. She and Ethan now have to pretend to be loving newlyweds, and her luck seems worse than ever. But the weird thing is that she doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, she feels kind of… lucky.“
3. His & Hers by Alice Feeney
Don’t think I forget you, my fellow thriller fans! This is your park read, right here: “His & Hers” by Alice Feeney. I picked this thriller for today’s recommendation because it’s fast paced, intriguing and full of smart twists! But the main reason it’s because I also read this book outdoors and I remember how perfect and fitting it felt. The story is really good and the mystery is very well put together. You can read the synopsis below and see what it’s all about!
“There are two sides to every story: yours and mine, ours and theirs, His & Hers. Which means someone is always lying.
When a woman is murdered in Blackdown, a quintessentially British village, newsreader Anna Andrews is reluctant to cover the case. Detective Jack Harper is suspicious of her involvement, until he becomes a suspect in his own murder investigation. Someone isn’t telling the truth, and some secrets are worth killing to keep.
His & Hers is a twisty, smart, psychological thriller. A gripping tale of suspense, told by expertly-drawn narrators that will keep readers guessing until the very end.”
4. Ikigai by Héctor García & Francesc Miralles
For my non-fiction fans, I have a great park bench recommendation as well! I’ve also read “Ikigai” outside, but the difference this time is that I listened to the audiobook version while walking in nature, not sitting on a bench. I don’t know exactly what it is, but there’s something about this book that emanates really good and inspiring energy. You feel grounded and at peace while reading this, and I truly think it pairs very well with a sunny and relaxed afternoon at the park! You can check the synopsis below for more details!
“Bring meaning and joy to all your days with this internationally bestselling guide to the Japanese concept of ikigai (pronounced ee-key-guy)—the happiness of always being busy—as revealed by the daily habits of the world’s longest-living people.
What’s your ikigai?
“Only staying active will make you want to live a hundred years.” —Japanese proverb
According to the Japanese, everyone has an ikigai—a reason for living. And according to the residents of the Japanese village with the world’s longest-living people, finding it is the key to a happier and longer life. Having a strong sense of ikigai—the place where passion, mission, vocation, and profession intersect—means that each day is infused with meaning. It’s the reason we get up in the morning. It’s also the reason many Japanese never really retire (in fact there’s no word in Japanese that means retire in the sense it does in English): They remain active and work at what they enjoy, because they’ve found a real purpose in life—the happiness of always being busy.
In researching this book, the authors interviewed the residents of the Japanese village with the highest percentage of 100-year-olds—one of the world’s Blue Zones. Ikigai reveals the secrets to their longevity and happiness: how they eat, how they move, how they work, how they foster collaboration and community, and—their best-kept secret—how they find the ikigai that brings satisfaction to their lives. And it provides practical tools to help you discover your own ikigai. Because who doesn’t want to find happiness in every day?”
5. Sweet Bean Paste by Durian Sukegawa
If you are looking for a literary fiction novel, I think this may be the perfect fit for you! This was the first book I have read in 2023 and I loved it. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, in case you don’t know what it’s about, but I recommend you to read the synopsis below to see if it’s a good fit for you. But even if you’re skeptical, I would still recommend you to try this because the story was very wholesome, heartbreaking (in a good way) and completely worth it. It’s also a fairly short book, so why not?
“Sentaro has failed. He has a criminal record, drinks too much, and his dream of becoming a writer is just a distant memory. With only the blossoming of the cherry trees to mark the passing of time, he spends his days in a tiny confectionery shop selling dorayaki, a type of pancake filled with sweet bean paste.
But everything is about to change.
Into his life comes Tokue, an elderly woman with disfigured hands and a troubled past. Tokue makes the best sweet bean paste Sentaro has ever tasted. She begins to teach him her craft, but as their friendship flourishes, social pressures become impossible to escape and Tokue’s dark secret is revealed, with devastating consequences.
Sweet Bean Paste is a moving novel about the burden of the past and the redemptive power of friendship. Translated into English for the first time, Durian Sukegawa’s beautiful prose is capturing hearts all over the world.”
And there you have it friends! I hope you found this recommendation post interesting and I hope you found yourself some new books to read. As usual, I’m always looking for book recommendations so let me know if you have any for me!
Thank you for taking the time to read this post! I hope you liked what I had to share with you today. I’ll see you in the next one! 🙂