Do you ever have days where you just want to put away your to-do list and settle in with a good book instead? Well today is the perfect excuse to do just that, because it’s Drop Everything and Read day! This nationwide holiday honoring Beverly Cleary’s birthday is the perfect excuse to throw your responsibilities out the window and pick up a new book. Here are the books we’re dropping everything to read.
I’d give anything to drop everything and read this heartfelt saga from the beloved, bestselling author of THE BOY IN THE STRIPED PAJAMAS. John Boyne’s new novel shows readers the story of Ireland from the 1940s to today through the life of one ordinary man. Adopted by a well-to-do if eccentric Dublin couple, Cyril is adrift in the world, anchored only by a friendship with the glamourous and dangerous Julian Woodbead. At the mercy of fortune and coincidence, he will spend a lifetime coming to know himself and where he came from. —Taylor
This novel takes place over the course of a single day, which is about how long it’ll take you to read it. The neurotic yet charming narrator Eleanor Flood hooked me on the very first page. Eleanor wakes up with the best of intentions, determined to take control of all the little things that have gone awry in her life, but gets thrown off course when her husband is suspiciously absent from his office. Maria Semple’s writing style is totally infectious, and her brilliant insights about family, love, and the weirdness of day-to-day life are wrapped up in a hilarious roller coaster of a story. I started reading this on a flight and I didn’t want to get out of my seat when the plane landed. —Lara
Can you imagine anything more horrifying than your parents writing a JOY OF SEX–like book that becomes a mega-bestseller? Right, I didn’t think so. Paul and Roz Mellow’s four children grow up under the shadow of such Kama Sutra. Sure, it’s the 1970s, but even then no one wanted to learn that much about sex from their parents. If you love Meg Wolitzer’s wit and insights in THE INTERESTINGS, THE WIFE, and her new one, THE FEMALE PERSUASION, you’ll love her smart, funny, delicious novel THE POSITION, about love and sex and family in all its heartfelt, complicated forms. —Wendy
Imagine if your parents wrote a bestselling Joy of Sex–type book when you were in middle school. A horror like that would not ever go away, even thirty years later when your parents are long divorced, and you and your siblings are adults with sex lives of your own. The Position isn’t as well known as Meg Wolitzer’s bestseller The Interestings, but for my money, it’s even more delicious.
For the last 50 years, one family has continued to enchant and enthrall America. There have been countless books, movies, podcasts, theories, and television specials about them, and whenever it seems like there’s nothing more to learn, a new detail, story, or perspective emerges that sucks us back in. I’m talking, of course, about the Kennedys. Eileen McNamara’s new biography of Eunice, sister to JFK, Bobby, and Teddy, and eventual founder of the Special Olympics, is an eye-opener that proves she was the one to leave behind the most impactful legacy, defying her gender and family politics to change the world. I can’t wait to read it. —Julianna
This little novel emulates the style of a classic Victorian comedy of manners but takes place in modern day Brooklyn’s literary scene. It follows the story of an incorrigible young novelist and—you guessed it—his love affairs. Equal parts cozy and juicy, it’s the kind of book you’ll drop everything—aside from a warm cup of tea—to curl up with. —Nikki
Adelle Waldman’s witty debut is one of Kaling’s all-time favorites. Nate Piven is a rising star who has to balance both magazine assignments and women. With tough-minded intelligence and wry good humor THE LOVE AFFAIRS OF NATHANIEL P. is an absorbing look at what one man really thinks about women, sex, and love.
This lush, dark saga has always been a drop-everything-and-read book for me. I once got into trouble for reading it under my desk in middle school science class! When young Louisiana plantation heir Louis is made a vampire by the radiant, sinister Lestat, the two embark on an engrossing journey that will take them from New Orleans to Paris to Austria, over the course of two hundred years. —Sarah Jane
Here are the confessions of a vampire. Hypnotic, shocking, and chillingly erotic, this is a novel of mesmerizing beauty and astonishing force—a story of danger and flight, of love and loss, of suspense and resolution, and of the extraordinary power of the senses.
Whenever people ask me to recommend a superhero graphic novel to get started with, I always offer BATMAN: THE LONG HALLOWEEN. This is classic Batman: a detective desperate to stop the terrifying serial killer stalking the streets of Gotham while also combating his most infamous enemies. A distinctly noir and dark comic, this is a suspenseful and haunting mystery. —Kerry
As a reader (and general person in the world), I’m fascinated by belief systems and the people who subscribe to them, so when I first saw Going Clear, the controversial HBO documentary about Scientology based on this book, I was absolutely riveted—and my excitement level went through the roof when I found out that the man behind it was Lawrence Wright, who is known for his fast-paced narratives, intense reporting, and impressive detail. I got a copy as soon as I could, but then it somehow kept falling to the bottom of my to-read pile. Well, no longer! It’s moving right up to the top, where it belongs. Do not disturb! —Julianna
With years of research, dozens of interviews, and writing as rousing as the best thrillers, GOING CLEAR is the astonishing tale of Scientology and its fraught relationship with Hollywood, the IRS, and its own members. Compelling and thought-provoking, Lawrence Wright asks us to evaluate just what constitutes a religion and how faith works in our modern times.