One of the (many) benefits of becoming engrossed in a good book is the chance to escape reality for a little while. Words become their own means of travel, and some of the best books can make you feel like you’re really inside their pages.
Whether it’s the cobblestone streets of France, a South American jungle, or even a make-believe land, we all love books that make us feel transported. Here are 10 books to read if you want to go on a journey, no plane ticket necessary:
The Paris Hours by Alex George
It’s no wonder so many authors choose to explore 1920’s Paris in their novels. The Paris Hours takes place over the course of one single day in 1927, following the stories of four Parisians who are searching for something they have lost. If you loved All the Light We Cannot See, this book should be next on your list.
NW by Zadie Smith
Take a trip to northwest London with Zadie Smith’s gripping novel, NW. The story follows four Londoners, told through shifting narratives and a stream-of-consciousness dialogue which reflects the complexity of urban life in the city.
The Sun Also Rises by Ernest Hemingway
Haven’t gotten your fill of Europe yet? Try reading one of Hemingway’s most famous works, The Sun Also Rises, to journey through the 1920’s nightlife scene in Paris and bullfighting rings in Spain. Dubbed the novel of the Lost Generation, it’s certainly a perfect story for those looking to get lost in words.
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Americanah is the story of a young Nigerian woman, Ifemelu, who immigrates to the United States from Nigeria. Her young love, Obinze, moves from Nigeria to London and leads an undocumented life, with the two eventually reuniting in Nigeria many years later.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
A beautiful and moving story that is simultaneously a love letter to nature, a coming-of-age tale, and a murder mystery, Owens takes readers on a captivating journey through the marshes of North Carolina in her debut novel.
The Night Tiger by Yangsze Choo
You’ll be transported to 1930’s Malaysia in Yangsze Choo’s fast-paced and vivid story, The Night Tiger. The engrossing historical novel is full of romance, folklore, and mystery. In short, it’s an absolute page-turner that you just might devour in one sitting.
The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward
When a family with a lot of baggage (both literal and emotional) goes on a ten-day cruise, deep dark secrets are revealed and old tensions arise. This addicting story of the Perkins family highlights the courage it takes to reveal one’s true self as the characters travel from Athens to Rome to Barcelona.
Where’d You Go Bernadette by Maria Semple
This hilarious read follows a young daughter, Bee, as she attempts to locate her mother Bernadette, who has mysteriously disappeared from their Seattle home. Both a literal journey to find Bernadette’s whereabouts and a journey into the interesting fictional life or Bernadette Fox, this read will certainly leave you feeling transported somewhere new and exciting.
The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi
Joshi’s brilliant novel centers around Lakshmi, a 17-year-old girl who makes her way alone to the vibrant city of Jaipur, India in the 1950’s. She becomes the most highly requested henna artist to rich and wealthy women, and she must absorb their secrets while being careful not to reveal her own dark past.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Lastly, if you’re looking for a more literal journey, follow along with Cheryl Strayed as she hikes the Pacific Crest Trail on a mission to find herself and heal from her grief.
What is the last book you read? Do you have a favorite author? What’s next on your TBR list?