Picnic basket with hat, book and grasses on the grass at the summer sunny day. Beautiful outdoor vacation with blue lake view.

Picnic basket with hat, book and grasses on the grass at the summer sunny day. Beautiful outdoor vacation with blue lake view. (nblxer (123RF))

As Yogi Bear would say, “Hey Boo Boo, let’s go get us a pic-a-nic basket.”

Celebrate National Picnic Month by packing your favorite foods into the picnic basket, grabbing a blanket, finding a shady spot under the tree or a sandy spot on the beach and relaxing with that book you’ve had your eye on for a while.

Need a recommendation for your day of relaxation? We’ve got 10.

Picnic in Provence: A Memoir with Recipes” by Elizabeth Bard (2015) (Memoir) (Recipes)

Elizabeth arrives in Provence with her husband and her newborn baby after moving to the French countryside on a whim. Inspired by the local ingredients, they decide to open an artisanal ice cream shop with unique flavors such as saffron and fruity olive oil. Enjoy this blended cookbook and memoir.

Picnics in Hyde Park” by Nikki Moore (2015) (Chick Lit) (Romance)

As part of the “Love London” series, Zoe Harper returns to the UK to help her sister get over a heartbreak. Zoe finds work as a nanny for the rich music producer, Matt Reilly, as part of her sister’s revenge scheme. What she finds is that Matt isn’t as bad as she thought, but can love flourish when a relationship begins with Matt’s grief for his dead wife and Zoe’s plans for revenge?

Otherside Picnic” by Iori Miyazawa, Shirakaba (Illustrator), Sean McCann (Translator) (2020) (LGTB) (Science Fiction) (Horror) (Manga)

A college student ends up in another realm; it is beautiful but filled with monsters. Before the girl is eaten by a monster, she is rescued by Toriko. Together, the two explore the parallel world of the Otherside. This manga series has also been turned into an anime series that you can watch on Crunchyroll.

The Picnic: A Dream of Freedom and the Collapse of the Iron Curtain” by Matthew Longo (2023) (Non-Fiction) (History) (Politics) (Europe)

In August 1989, a group of Hungarian activists organized a picnic on a very dangerous border, The Iron Curtain (border between Hungary and Austria). This book utilizes interviews with activists, East German refugees, border guards, Stasi secret police and more to contextualize this historical event.

Peking Picnic” by Ann Bridge (1932) (Classics) (Historical Fiction) (Asian Literature)

Laura Leroy, an English woman living in China with her attaché husband misses her children and her life in England. Laura agrees to go on a camping trip to a great temple and is amazed by the beautiful scenery surrounding her. However, her trip is interrupted when her group is kidnapped by a group of bandits. Read until the end to find out if they escape the danger.

We Had a Picnic This Sunday Past” by Jacqueline Woodson and Diane Greenseid (Illustrator) (1997) (Children’s) (African American) (Realistic Fiction)

Teeka sees so many people at her family’s annual picnic. There is the reverend, Teeka’s favorite aunt and mean cousin Terrance, but someone is missing, her cousin Martha and her dry apple pie. Where is Martha? Find out with Teeka in this book.

Picnic Comma Lightning: The Experience of Reality in the Twenty-First Century” by Laurence Scott (2019) (Non-Fiction) (Philosophy)

In a world filled with algorithms and influencers, what does it mean to be an IRL human being? What happens when real life gets in the way of the fantasies and false realities presented to us (or that we present online)? Scott attempts to answer these questions and others throughout this book.

Murder Is No Picnic” by Amy Pershing (2022) (Cozy Mystery) (Fiction)

As part of the “Cape Cod Foodie Mystery,” series, professional foodie, Samantha Barnes, is ready to relax and unwind at the annual 4th of July picnic. However, those plans are interrupted when Clara the cook is killed in a house fire. This was no accidental house fire, and Samantha must find Clara’s killer before the picnic. Can you solve the mystery before the last page?

The Single Mums’ Picnic Club” by Jennifer Joyce (2018) (Romance) (Fiction)

Katie’s world is turned upside down when her husband leaves her and their two children for another woman. She finds a crew of other single mothers to share her woes with, Frankie who has just been asked out by the gorgeous dog-walker and George who isn’t sure what to do now that her son spends his days at the nursery. Go on a picnic with these moms on the seaside as they navigate life.

Jake and the Man-Eating Picnic Basket” by Peter Preston (2016) (Middle Grades) (Fiction)

12-year-old Jake unfortunately is an unwilling volunteer for his grandfather’s inventions. At a science fair, one of his secret formulas lands on a normal picnic basket which transforms it into a man-eating monster that begins kidnapping people all over town. Jake must stop the picnic basket before it takes over the world.

author picture
Tamala Malerk is a writer and editor with Stars and Stripes Europe. She has been with SSE since April 2022 writing articles all about travel, lifestyle, community news, military life and more. In May 2022, she earned her Ph.D. in History and promises it is much more relevant to this job than one might think.

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