The Best Picnic Books

For reading—and eating—al fresco.


Tap the book covers to learn more

“A book of verse beneath the bough

A loaf of bread, a jug of wine, and thou

Beside me singing in the Wilderness—

Ah, wilderness were paradise now!”

Omar Kháyyám praised the simple pleasure of eating and relaxing outside in his 12th-century poem Rubáiyát; the English caught on about five centuries later. Regardless of when it began, picnicking has become ingrained in our culture, mostly because it’s so easy yet so rewarding: put together a light meal, grab a book and a blanket, and go to town (or rather, to country).

Now that it’s warm enough for you to plan your own outings, check out these books; they’ll help you scour the farmers’ market for the best seasonal ingredients, make everything from snacks to feasts, locate the best picnic spot…and, of course, give you a book or two to bury your nose in while you enjoy the lovely weather outdoors.

Featured image: Creative Family/


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About Natalie Zutter

Natalie Zutter

NATALIE ZUTTER has always been a voracious reader, from reading Agatha Christie and Entertainment Weekly above her age level as a kid to squeezing 52 books into the year whenever podcasts aren’t taking over her commute. A 2016 Amtrak Residency writer, Natalie also writes plays about superheroes and sex robots, and Tumblr rants about fandom. You can find her giggling over pop culture memes on Twitter @nataliezutter.

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