Save the tough reads for later. These books are guaranteed to make your morning trek to work go by a hell of a lot faster.
If there’s one thing that sucks more than having a long, painful commute (we’ve all been there), it’s being bored on that commute. After all, if you’re stuck on a train or bus for an undesirably big chunk of your day, you might as well make use of that time doing something other than people-watch your fellow commuters. Believe it or not, there’s a silver lining to having a long daily trek to and from work; that is, having a ton of time to be super well-read.
When it comes to a good read for a long commute, though, not just any book will do. You’ve gotta pick a story so engrossing that it transports to a place far away from your cramped, uncomfortable seat with your neighbour’s music blasting from their headphones. A commute is no place for any book that doesn’t immediately grab your attention and refuse to let go.
That’s where we come in. We’ve done the legwork for you and hand-picked some of the best books of the past year for your reading pleasure. These babies aren’t just good, though–they literally have time-altering abilities. Just take one on your next commute and try and tell us that reading it didn’t shave off a good half hour from your travel time.
I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson
I?ll Give you The Sun’s prose takes a few chapters to get used to?it?s flowery, abstract, and hard to follow at times. That?s the beauty of it, though (it?s also exactly what you?d expect from a novelist who?s also a poet). Jandy Nelson doesn?t spoon feed you her story and takes liberties with describing how each of her protagonists sees the world around them. Speaking of those protagonists, they?re both so devastatingly human that it?s impossible not to feel guilty for abandoning them if you ever actually manage to put the book down. Nelson proves that YA as a genre is definitely not synonymous with vapid characters and lazy writing and we love her for it.
The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins
If you read Gone Girl in approximately 24 hours like we did, you?ll read The Girl on the Train in pretty much the exact same time frame. Hawkins? debut novel has all the same elements as Gone Girl that suckered us in: a charismatic (but unreliable) female narrator, a plot that moves at breakneck speed, and a deeply seeded sense of creepiness that?s both off putting and weirdly addictive. The best part of reading this book on your commute (besides how much faster it?ll make the minutes go by)? You?ll look and feel super meta.
All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
We couldn?t resist throwing a warm and fuzzy love story on this list. We?re using the phrase ?warm and fuzzy? pretty conservatively here, though, since we?re pretty sure our hearts broke a little bit by the end of All the Bright Places (I mean, it?s hard not to have your heart ache at lines like, “You are all the colours at once, at full brightness”). Just try to hold back those tears while you?re on the train to work, people. This book is bigger than its love story, though. Niven is fearless and honest when tackling themes of death and depression?she doesn?t glamourize them or trivialize them either. John Green fans, add this book to your shopping list ASAP.
An Untamed State by Roxane Gay
Besides being one of our favourite feminists and having one of the most intelligent (and hilarious) Twitter feeds out there, Roxane Gay also happens to be an unbelievably talented writer. An Untamed State, her first novel, was released last year and we haven?t been able to get it off our minds since. The plot centers on a woman living in modern-day Haiti and is essentially (as aptfully put by Ellen Wernecke at AV Club) ?a story of a kidnapping that essentially never ends.? Gay takes our expectations as readers?that is, for every story we read to have some sort of resolution, good or bad?and flips them on their head. In a way, that?s what makes An Untamed State so impossible to put down. We have yet to find a book that?s as equally exhausting yet compulsively readable.
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