As the days turn warmer, you might be starting to think about where you want to spend your summer. And more importantly, what books you want to pack with you for your trip. If heading out on a far flung international trip is calling your name, this list of books is sure to inspire your wanderlust!
Travel to Zambia to an old colonial settlement a few miles from majestic Victoria Falls, called The Old Drift. Here, on a foggy night, an Old Drifter makes one mistake that has lasting consequences for generations on three Zambian families. Your travels may start in Zambia, but by the time you’ve finished this book you will have traveled to places beyond space and time as each generation emerges through a panorama of history, fairytale, romance, and science fiction.
In this powerful novel, interconnected stories build to reveal what time erases and what remains. In the near future of this book, Bangkok is now completely underwater, and is now a place where only tourists are taken to glance upon the drowned old city. Fluid in its prose and structure, when you read this book, you can almost feel the rock of the tide.
In Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things, readers witness the rise and fall of India as portrayed through a singular family. Seven-year-old twins Estha and Rahel see their world shaken irrevocably by the arrival of their beautiful young cousin, Sophie. It is an event that will lead to an illicit liaison and tragedies accidental and intentional, exposing a country drifting dangerously toward unrest.
Zagreb, 1991. Ana is a carefree ten-year-old, living with her family in a small apartment in Croatia’s capital. But that year, civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, splintering Ana’s idyllic childhood. Even years later, when Ana is a college student in New York, she is haunted by the events that forever changed her family, and so she returns to Croatia, hoping to make peace with the place she once called home. Moving back and forth through time, Girl at War is an honest, generous, brilliantly written novel that illuminates how history shapes the individual.
When New Yorker Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and quality time with the man she hopes to marry. But Nick has failed to give his girlfriend a few key details. One, that his childhood home looks like a palace; and two, that he just happens to be the country’s most eligible bachelor…
This book has been inspiring international travel since it first hit bookshelves in 2006. This beautiful memoir follows Elizabeth Gilbert as she makes a journey across the world in search of what she truly wants from life. She sets off to explore the art of pleasure in Italy, the art of devotion in India, and the balance between the two on the island of Bali. Wise, funny, and truthful, you’ll be packing your bags before you’ve finished the last page.
In Istanbul in 1975, Kemal and Sibel, children of two prominent families, are about to become engaged. Until the day that Kemal meets a beautiful shopgirl and immediately falls in love, and act which will forever put him at odds with the rest of the Istanbul elite. As Kemal tries to win over the shopgirl, he becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his lovelorn progress–amassing a museum that is both a map of a society and of his heart.
A mythic love story set in Trinidad, Ayanna Lloyd Banwo’s radiant debut is a masterwork of lush imagination and exuberant storytelling—a spellbinding and hopeful novel about inheritance, loss, and love’s seismic power to heal.
Barcelona, 1945: A city slowly heals in the aftermath of the Spanish Civil War. Daniel, an antiquarian book dealer’s son who mourns the loss of his mother, finds solace in what he finds in the “cemetery of lost books,” a mysterious book entitled The Shadow of the Wind, by Julián Carax. But when he sets out to find the author’s other works, he makes a shocking discovery: someone has been systematically destroying every copy of every book Carax has written. Soon, Daniel’s seemingly innocent quest opens a door into one of Barcelona’s darkest secrets–an epic story of murder, madness, and doomed love.
Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit back, and get ready to be transported to the French countryside. In this witty and warm-hearted account, you’ll live vicariously through Peter Mayle as he decides to move into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote country of Provence with his wife and two dogs.
Xuan Juliana Wang introduces us to the new and changing face of Chinese youth. From fuerdai (second-generation rich kids) to a glass-swallowing qigong grandmaster, her dazzling, formally inventive stories upend the immigrant narrative to reveal a new experience of belonging: of young people testing the limits of who they are, in a world as vast and varied as their ambitions. In stories of love, family, and friendship, here are the voices, faces, and stories of a new generation never before captured between the pages of fiction.
Casiopea Tun spends her days cleaning the floors of her wealthy grandfather’s house in a small town in Mexico. She dreams of a new life, but that reality seems as distant as the stars. That is until she finds a wooden box in her grandfather’s house, and when she opens it, she accidentally frees the Mayan god of death. This god requests (demands) that she help him recover his throne from his treacherous brother. Soon, Casiopea is on a cross-country odyssey that takes her from the jungles of the Yucatán to the bright lights of Mexico City.
Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond the beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book.
With effortless grace, celebrated author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie illuminates a seminal moment in modern African history: Biafra’s impassioned struggle to establish an independent republic in southeastern Nigeria during the late 1960s. We experience this tumultuous decade alongside five unforgettable characters: Ugwu, a thirteen-year-old houseboy who works for Odenigbo, a university professor full of revolutionary zeal; Olanna, the professor’s beautiful young mistress who has abandoned her life in Lagos for a dusty town and her lover’s charm; and Richard, a shy young Englishman infatuated with Olanna’s willful twin sister Kainene.
When Tina Das finds herself at a crossroads both professionally and personally, she wonders if a weeklong trip to Delhi for her cousin’s lavish wedding might be just the right kind of escape. Maybe a little time away from New York will help get her mind straight about her stalled career, her recent breakup, and her nagging suspicion that she’ll never feel as at home in America as she does in India. But with the entire Das family in attendance, a relaxing vacation is decidedly not in the cards. Infused with warmth and charm, Destination Wedding grapples with the nuances of family, careers, belonging, and how we find the people who make a place feel like home.