A job that involves travel must account for a certain amount of downtime to be filled. Books, in my opinion, are the perfect remedy to the problem of free time! Consider one of these wonderful reads before you pick up your phone and doom-scroll on social media.

Fourth Wing

Attention Fantasy Romance readers, this one’s for you! I bought this book on Amazon and then read some reviews and cancelled my order. A few days later I saw a Tiktok covering the book and re-ordered it. Then cancelled after seeing several more videos bashing the book. I finally ordered and received the book almost a month after initially wanting it. I proceeded to devour it in three days and briefly considered re-reading it a week later. It is easily the best new fantasy novel I’ve read in 2023 and the idea that I must wait till fall for the next book in the series brings very real tears to my eyes.

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea


No this isn’t about OceanGate, nor does it have anything to do with the Titanic. This classic tale of nautical adventure by Jules Vern has stood the test of time since its publication in 1870, and for good reason. Without spoiling too much of the story, the main characters journey to find a sea monster and discover it’s not really a sea monster. At which point they are captured and end up seeing other, completely unrelated, sea monsters.

The Martian

If you enjoy meticulously researched sci-fi, humor, and F-bombs then this is the book for you! Imagine Castaway except you’re on Mars. While you journey far from home, consider joining astronaut and biologist Mark Watney as he struggles to survive on an inhospitable planet all alone. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll find yourself craving potato-based foods!


In the mood for current events? I’ve got the book for you! Winston Smith lives in a futuristic society under the watchful eye of Big Brother but his natural curiosity and idealism regarding freedom lead to chaotic revelations regarding the supposedly benevolent government that watches all. This book is great for when you think you may be getting too comfortable with modern society and are looking for something that unnerves you to your very core!


The Greatest Beer Run Ever: A Memoir of Friendship, Loyalty, and War 


You may have seen the movie that came out September 2022 starring Zac Efron but, if not, please consider delving into this book based on the events that took place when Jon Donohue decided to share some beers. What starts as an almost silly venture to track down his friends fighting in Vietnam quickly turns as he comes face to face with the realities of war. A good read for any history and war buffs.  

The Road 

Are you happy and don’t want to be? Well while you travel on the road, consider reading The Road. You may be familiar with the movie starring Viggo Mortesen but, if not, it’s a dystopian road trip (on foot) story about a father and son at the end of the world. Guaranteed to eliminate any of that pesky serotonin you want to rid yourself of!

American Prometheus: The Triumph and Tragedy of J. Robert Oppenheimer  

Whether you donned pink and saw Barbie or black to see Oppenheimer – or sat for five hours to watch both – there’s no denying the atomic success of both movies. Oppenheimer, in particular, brought to light a hugely important figure often forgotten by history. Oppenheimer’s life leading up to the successful completion and deployment of the atomic bomb, and the hearings that followed, make for a riveting story that any WW2 buff should have on their shelf.

And last but by far the least…

The Sword & Shield

That’s right folks, I don’t just write manufacturing themed blog posts, I’m also a published author! If you have any interest in an immunocompromised, cat-loving assassin who gets involved in various shenanigans then this fantasy novel is for you! Chock full of dark humor and found family, it has hundreds of five-star reviews and is – in my totally unbiased opinion – a good time! Is this a shameless plug of my own novel in the hopes that I gain more readers? Absolutely not! It is a humanitarian effort to enrich the lives of those around me by bringing them the word of Emma Khoury.