Like many people, I have a serious case of wanderlust. However, as a broke college student, I can’t exactly get on a plane and travel the world whenever I want.
So instead, I travel the world through reading books that take me to faraway places. In this list are 15 books that will draw you out of the ordinariness of your day to day and into the secretive world of geishas in Japan, lavish parties on the French Riviera, and a mysterious house in idyllic Cornwall, England.
Your adventure starts here:
1. Euphoria, Lily King
Set in Papua New Guinea, Lily King‘s Euphoria examines the fascinating love triangle between three anthropologists in the 1930s.
2. The Wonder, Emma Donoghue
The Irish countryside is the backdrop to The Wonder by Emma Donoghue, which involves an English nurse trained by the famed Florence Nightengale and a young girl who is being praised as a miracle for being able to go without food.
3. Villa America, Liza Klaussmann
In Villa America, Liza Klaussmann brings to life the glamorous lives of Sara and Gerald Murphy, a couple that was well-known for their epic parties and famous friends in the French Riviera.
4. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, Lisa See
In this coming-of-age novel written by Lisa See, readers are given an intimate peek into the everyday lives of two families in 19th century China.
5. A Thousand Splendid Suns, Khaled Hosseini
Khaled Hosseini‘s emotionally powerful novel focuses on the bond between two women in Afghanistan and the struggles that they must endure.
6. The House at the Edge of Night, Catherine Banner
This beautiful story from Catherine Banner takes place on the small, secluded island off the coast of Italy named Castellamare, and chronicles the lives of the residents through generations.
7. Sideways on a Scooter: Life and Love in India, Miranda Kennedy
In her memoir, Miranda Kennedy provides commentary on what it’s like to be a single American woman living in the bustling and rapidly growing world of India.
8. The Housemaid’s Daughter, Barbara Mutch
Taking place in South Africa during Apartheid, Barbara Mutch‘s The Housemaid’s Daughter examines the relationship between an Irish woman and the daughter of her housemaid, who she treats as both her daughter and her student.
9. The Muse, Jessie Burton
Switching between English and Spanish landscapes, Jessie Burton‘s The Muse focuses on the lives of two engrossing women and their hidden connection to each other.
10. TMemoirs of a Geisha, Arthur Golden
This novel by Arthur Golden tells the powerful story of how a girl of lowly status becomes one of the most successful geishas in Japan.
11. All the Light We Cannot See, Anthony Doerr
Anthony Doerr‘s All the Light We Cannot See is set during World War II and flips between the lives of a blind girl living in France and a boy in Germany training to become a Nazi.
12. The Lake House, Kate Morton
Taking place in Cornwall, England, this compelling mystery penned by Kate Morton involves an old, unsolved kidnapping of a young boy.
13. The Violinist of Venice: A Story of Vivaldi, Alyssa Palombo
Alyssa Palombo‘s historical fiction novel centers on the romance between a beautiful merchant’s daughter and a famous violinist and composer with the enchanting city of Venice, Italy acting as the perfect backdrop.
14. Welcome to the Goddamn Ice Cube: Chasing Fear and Finding Home in the Great White North, Blair Braverman
In this memoir by Blair Braverman, readers are transported to the snowy, twilight world of Norway, as Braverman narrates the gripping story of how she learned how to drive sled dogs.
15. Eat, Pray, Love, Elizabeth Gilbert
With all these wondrous books, you really don’t need to drop a bunch of money on fancy vacations to travel the world. Sometimes exploring can be as simple as picking up a new book.
Which books do you read when you’re feeling adventurous?
Share some of your favorite reads with us in the comments! We’d love to know!