Hawaii Travel Guides

Our Favorite Page-Turning Novels To Read On The Plane

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As a traveler myself, I know how long the plane rides into and out of Hawaii can be and how crucial to my overall enjoyment a good book can be, whether I’m on a trip for pleasure or just using the flight as a reprieve from work. Here are some page-turning books that can pass the long flights in no time.

General reading

novels for the plane

All Involved by Ryan Gattis 

This novel covers the four days during the Rodney King Riots that the police presence in Los Angeles disappeared from many townships, leaving gangs to their own devices. Brutally honest, compassionate, and real, All Involved is the perfect crime novel to keep you interested. The first time I read it, I read it in one sitting. And the second time. If you enjoy that, his follow-up novel, Safe, was also fantastic.

Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott

Lamott’s first work of non-fiction recounts the first year of her son’s life, her experience as a new single mother, her struggles with faith, and the loss of her best friend to cancer. I wasn’t expecting this to be gripping, revelatory, and all the other words that appear in blurbs, but I could not put it down. It is characterized by humor and grace, with a lot of heart and honesty.

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Col. Chris Hadfield

An honest-to-goodness astronaut wrote a book about what it means to be a human being after leaving the planet, training to do so, and raising a family along the way.

The Martian by Andy Weir

An astronaut stranded on Mars fights to survive, and NASA fights to save his life. Plus, it’s got a movie with Matt Damon in it. What’s not to love? In all seriousness, I expected to read this book over the course of a week and made time to finish it within two work days.

Young adult novels

Turtles All the Way Down by John Green

This latest novel from John Green kept me glued to my seat from start to finish. It follows Aza Holmes, a young woman with OCD, as she and her best friend attempt to solve the mystery of the disappearance of a local billionaire. By far his best book (and also the one I will re-read shortly).

Every Day by David Leviathan

Wakes up in a different body every day, and always in love with the same girl.

Maximum Ride by James Patterson

Maximum Ride and her adopted family were the subjects of cruel experiments that gave them wings (I mean that literally). When one of the flock is kidnapped, Max and the gang have to race to rescue her before it’s too late.

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline 

This book dances along the line between young adult and adult, and it’s also got a new movie coming out. In this book, players attempt to beat a fully immersive video game, with a total virtual reality set-up, to win the unimaginably large inheritance of the game’s developer after his death.

Young Readers

The Wanderer by Sharon Creech

A family (two male cousins, one female cousin, and three uncles) set off to sail across the Atlantic Ocean to visit their father/grandfather. The novel is told through the complementary diaries of two of the cousins. Family secrets, sailing, storms, and adventure collide. This is a book I re-read in adulthood.

Some Kind of Happiness by Claire Legrand

A girl, writing a story about a magic kingdom, finds her real life and her imaginings beginning to collide as she connects with her long-estranged family.

The Harry Potter Books by J. K. Rowling

Just a reminder that these are great reads! Why not re-read them on the plane?

What books pass the hours for you? 

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