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Binge-then-Read: Travel-Inspired Reads

Binge Then Read Amazing Vacation Rentals

Summer is in full swing, and while the world is starting to open up again we are dreaming of visiting far away lands. Our Book Chat librarian, Haley, recently finished watching, the popular trending Netflix show, The World's Most Amazing Vacation Rentals. In the show three travelers visit vacation rentals around the globe and share their expert tips and advice for every budget.

Haley put together an amazing list of novels and nonfiction that will transport you to new places, and maybe help you plan your next adventure.


Novels to Transport You to Another Place

Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

Island of Sea Women by Lisa See

The Island of Sea Women introduces readers to the fierce and unforgettable female divers of Jeju Island and the dramatic history that shaped their lives. Beginning during a period of Japanese colonialism in the 1930s and 1940s, followed by World War II, the Korean War and its aftermath, through the era of cell phones and wet suits for the women divers, Lisa See gives you a close look at a disappearing culture.

This beautiful, thoughtful novel illuminates a world turned upside down, one where the women are in charge, engaging in dangerous physical work, and the men take care of the children.

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Disappearing Earth by Julia Phillips

Spellbinding, moving—evoking a fascinating region on the other side of the world—this suspenseful and haunting story announces the debut of a profoundly gifted writer.

Taking us through a year in Kamchatka, Disappearing Earth enters with astonishing emotional acuity the worlds of a cast of richly drawn characters, all connected by the crime: a witness, a neighbor, a detective, a mother. We are transported to vistas of rugged beauty—densely wooded forests, open expanses of tundra, soaring volcanoes, and the glassy seas that border Japan and Alaska—and into a region as complex as it is alluring, where social and ethnic tensions have long simmered, and where outsiders are often the first to be accused.

In a story as propulsive as it is emotionally engaging, and through a young writer's virtuosic feat of empathy and imagination, this powerful novel brings us to a new understanding of the intricate bonds of family and community, in a Russia unlike any we have seen before.

 

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

During winter break of her senior year of college, cartoonist Lucy Knisley and her mother embarked on a six-week adventure in Paris to celebrate milestone birthdays: Lucy's twenty-second, and her mother's fiftieth, each angst-inducing for their own reasons. Staying in a small rented apartment with plenty of quirks in the fifth arrondissement, they surprise themselves by falling into their new surroundings with an unexpected ease, content filling their days with visits to the market, cafe, and museums. French Milk tells the story of it all through Lucy's illustrations and photos.

Filled with gorgeously charming drawings and photos of the sights, smells, and tastes of the City of Light, French Milk will make anyone pine for a tall glass of it—with a fondant, of course.

 

Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

The Secret Keeper of Jaipur by Alka Joshi

In New York Times bestselling author Alka Joshi's intriguing new novel, henna artist Lakshmi arranges for her protégé, Malik, to intern at the Jaipur Palace in this tale rich in character, atmosphere, and lavish storytelling.

It's the spring of 1969, and Lakshmi, now married to Dr. Jay Kumar, directs the Healing Garden in Shimla. Malik has finished his private school education. At twenty, he has just met a young woman named Nimmi when he leaves to apprentice at the Facilities Office of the Jaipur Royal Palace. Their latest project: a state-of-the-art cinema.

Malik soon finds that not much has changed as he navigates the Pink City of his childhood. Power and money still move seamlessly among the wealthy class, and favors flow from Jaipur's Royal Palace, but only if certain secrets remain buried. When the cinema's balcony tragically collapses on opening night, blame is placed where it is convenient. But Malik suspects something far darker and sets out to uncover the truth. As a former street child, he always knew to keep his own counsel; it's a lesson that will serve him as he untangles a web of lies.

 

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

Everything Inside by Edwidge Danticat

From the internationally acclaimed, best-selling author of Brother, I'm Dying, a collection of vividly imagined stories about community, family, and love. Rich with hard-won wisdom and humanity, set in locales from Miami and Port-au-Prince to a small unnamed country in the Caribbean and beyond, Everything Inside is at once wide in scope and intimate, as it explores the forces that pull us together, or drive us apart, sometimes in the same searing instant.

 


Novels About Travel and Vacations

Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes

Women in Sunlight by Frances Mayes

The story of four American strangers who bond in Italy and change their lives over the course of an exceptional year, from the bestselling author of Under the Tuscan Sun.

Kit Raine, an American writer living in Tuscany, watches from her terrazza as the three American women carry their luggage into the stone villa down the hill. Who are they, and what brings them to this Tuscan village so far from home? An expat herself and with her own unfinished story, she can't help but question: will they find what they came for?

 

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

Through brilliantly imagined characters and stories, interwoven with haunting, playful, and revelatory meditations, Flights explores what it means to be a traveler, a wanderer, a body in motion not only through space but through time. Where are you from? Where are you coming in from? Where are you going? We call to the traveler. From the incomparably original Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration.

 

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

The Last Resort by Marissa Stapley

The Harmony Resort promises hope for struggling marriages. Run by celebrity power couple Drs. Miles and Grace Markell, the "last resort" offers a chance for partners to repair their relationships in a luxurious setting on the gorgeous Mayan Riviera.

Johanna and Ben have a marriage that looks perfect on the surface, but in reality, they don't know each other at all. Shell and Colin fight constantly: after all, Colin is a workaholic, and Shell always comes second to his job as an executive at a powerful mining company. But what has really torn them apart is too devastating to talk about. When both couples begin Harmony's intensive therapy program, it becomes clear that Harmony is not all it seems—and neither are Miles and Grace themselves. What are they hiding, and what price will these couples pay for finding out?

As a deadly tropical storm descends on the coast, trapping the hosts and the guests on the resort, secrets are revealed, loyalties are tested and not one single person—or their marriage—will remain unchanged by what follows.

 

The savage detectives by Roberto Bolaño

The Savage Detectives by Roberto Bolaño

New Year's Eve, 1975: Arturo Belano and Ulises Lima, founders of the visceral realist movement in poetry, leave Mexico City in a borrowed white Impala. Their quest: to track down the obscure, vanished poet Cesárea Tinajero. A violent showdown in the Sonora desert turns search to flight; twenty years later Belano and Lima are still on the run.

The Savage Detectives follows Belano and Lima through the eyes of the people whose paths they cross in Central America, Europe, Israel, and West Africa. This chorus includes the muses of visceral realism, the beautiful Font sisters; their father, an architect interned in a Mexico City asylum; a sensitive young follower of Octavio Paz; a foul-mouthed American graduate student; a French girl with a taste for the Marquis de Sade; the great-granddaughter of Leon Trotsky; a Chilean stowaway with a mystical gift for numbers; the anorexic heiress to a Mexican underwear empire; an Argentinian photojournalist in Angola; and assorted hangers-on, detractors, critics, lovers, employers, vagabonds, real-life literary figures, and random acquaintances.

 

The jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

The Jetsetters by Amanda Eyre Ward

When seventy-year-old Charlotte Perkins submits a sexy essay to the Become a Jetsetter contest, she dreams of reuniting her estranged children.

When she wins the contest, the family packs their baggage—both literal and figurative—and spends ten days traveling from sun-drenched Athens through glorious Rome to tapas-laden Barcelona on an over-the-top cruise ship, the Splendido Marveloso. As lovers new and old join the adventure, long-buried secrets are revealed and old wounds are reopened, forcing the Perkins family to confront the forces that drove them apart and the defining choices of their lives.

Can four lost adults find the peace they've been seeking by reconciling their childhood aches and coming back together?

 

The Rest of the Story Sarah Dessen

The Rest of the Story by Sarah Dessen

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah Dessen comes a big-hearted, sweeping novel about a girl who reconnects with a part of her family she hasn't seen since she was a little girl--and falls in love, all over the course of a magical summer. Emma Saylor doesn't remember a lot about her mother, who died when Emma was twelve. Now it's just Emma and her dad, and life is good, if a little predictable...until Emma is unexpectedly sent to spend the summer with her mother's family that she hasn't seen since she was a little girl.

When Emma arrives at North Lake, she realizes there are actually two very different communities there. Her mother grew up in working class North Lake, while her dad spent summers in the wealthier Lake North resort. The more time Emma spends there, the more it starts to feel like she is also divided into two people. To her father, she is Emma. But to her new family, she is Saylor, the name her mother always called her.

For Saylor, it's like a whole new world is opening up to her. But when it's time to go back home, which side of her—Emma or Saylor—will win out?

 

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

The Guilt Trip by Sandie Jones

They went away as friends. They came back as suspects.

Rachel and Jack. Paige and Noah. Will and Ali. Five friends who've known each other for years. And Ali, Will's new fiancée. The three couples travel to Portugal for Ali and Will's destination wedding. Arriving at the gorgeous clifftop villa, the weekend away is a chance to relax and get to know Ali a little better. A newcomer to their group, she seems perfectly nice and Will seems happy after years of bad choices.

But when Rachel discovers a shocking secret about Ali, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them holds begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. In Sandie Jones's explosive new suspense novel, jumping to conclusions can become the difference between life and death.

 


Nonfiction Travel Books

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

The Year of Living Danishly by Helen Russell

Given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: Denmark, land of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries, was the happiest place on earth. Keen to know their secrets, Helen gave herself a year to uncover the formula for Danish happiness.

From childcare, education, food and interior design to taxes, The Year of Living Danishly records a funny, poignant journey, showing us what the Danes get right, what they get wrong, and how we might all live a little more Danishly yourselves.

In this new edition, six years on Helen reveals how her life and family have changed, and explores how Denmark, too—other understanding of it—has shifted. It's a messy and flawed place, she concludes—but can still be a model for a better way of living.

 

World's Best Travel Experiences

World's Best Travel Experiences         

Popular actor and award-winning travel writer Andrew McCarthy writes the foreword to this lavish book, offering 400 awe-inspiring destinations chosen by National Geographic's family of globe-trotting contributors; dozens of fun, "Best of the World" themed lists; illuminating sidebars, several by travel and literary luminaries such as Anna Quindlen, Bill Bryson, Gore Vidal, and Pico Iyer; and hundreds of dazzling, oversized, full-color images to bring to life a wide variety of location categories--from entire countries to mountaintop villages to pristine lakes to ancient wonders.

This broad, general interest travel title will appeal to active travelers looking for the next great trip as well as to the many readers who simply love dreaming of visiting far-flung, idyllic destinations, and for those who love to be "in the know" of the next travel trend. Five years after Journeys of a Lifetime hit the stores, fans are eager for the next great set of can't-miss travel hits revealed in this beautiful book.

 

Best in Travel 2020

Best in Travel 2020

This annual bestseller ranks the hottest, must-visit countries, regions, cities and best value destinations for 2020. Drawing on the knowledge and passion of Lonely Planet's staff, authors and online community, we present a year's worth of inspiration to take you out of the ordinary and into the unforgettable. As self-confessed travel geeks, we regularly ask ourselves: where are the best places in the world to visit right now? It's a very hotly contested topic at Lonely Planet and generates more discussion than any other. Best in Travel is our definitive answer.

Lean how well-planned, sustainable travel can be a force for good: for the environment, for local people and for yourself—and include ways to help lower your carbon footprint and protect the areas you visit on your travels.

 

Destinations of a Lifetime

Destinations of a Lifetime

Hundreds of oversized images of the world's most spectacular destinations are featured along with service information on the best and most authentic ways to experience them. A candy box full of visual delights, this book will inspire tangible ideas for everyone's next great trip. National Geographic takes you on a photographic tour of our world in this spellbinding new coffee table travel gift book. Hundreds of Earth's most breathtaking locales are illustrated with vivid, oversized full-color images taken by Nat Geo's world-class photographers.

These images, coupled with evocative text, feature a plethora of visual wonders: ancient monoliths, scenic islands, stunning artwork, electric cityscapes, white-sand seashores, rain forests, ancient cobbled streets, and both classic and innovative architecture. Loaded with hard service information for each location, Destinations of a Lifetime has it all: when to go, where to eat, where to stay, and what to do to ensure the most enriching and authentic experience.

 

How to travel the world on $50 per day

How to Travel the World on $50 A Day by Matt Kepnes

No Money? No Problem. For nearly a decade, Matt Kepnes (Nomadic Matt) has been showing readers of his enormously popular blog that traveling around the globe can be affordable to all. He proves that as long as you think outside of the box, get off the tourist trail, and travel like locals live, your trip doesn't have to break your bank, nor do you have to give up your comforts.

How to Travel the World on $50 a Day reveals Nomadic Matt's tips, tricks, and secrets to comfortable budget travel based on his experience traveling the world without giving up the sushi meals and comfortable beds he enjoys.

 

Journeys of a Lifetime

Journeys of a Lifetime       

Completely updated for its 10th anniversary, this best-selling inspirational travel guide reveals 500 celebrated and lesser-known destinations from around the globe, from ocean cruises in Antarctica to horse treks in the Andes.

Compiled from the favorite trips of National Geographic's legendary travel writers, this fully updated and revised Journeys of a Lifetime spans the globe to highlight the best of the world's most celebrated and lesser-known sojourns. Offering a diverse array of possibilities, every continent and possible form of transport is covered, illustrated with glorious color photographs.

This book is the perfect resource for travelers who crave adventurous trips—from trekking the heights of Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to mountain biking in Transylvania—and those searching for more specific experiences (the world's top small cruises, hot new museums around the world, secrets for following in the footsteps of film and TV heroes, and more). Each chapter features stunning photography, full-color maps, and practical tips, including how to get there, when to visit, and how to make the most of your journey.

 

Geography of Bliss

The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner

Part travel memoir, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader across the globe to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Qatar, awash in petrodollars, find joy in all that cash? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina so damn happy?

In a unique mix of travel, psychology, science and humor, Eric Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.

 

Take More Vacations

Take More Vacations by Scott Keyes

The founder of Scott's Cheap Flights explains why we're searching for airfare all wrong, shares the strategies that have saved his two million newsletter subscribers a collective $500 million on airfare, and presents a bold new approach for how to see the world while never overpaying for flights again.

Take More Vacations is the guidebook for anyone hoping to turn one annual vacation into three. Readers will discover why the traditional way of planning vacations undercuts our ability to enjoy them, and how a new strategy can lead to cheaper fares and more trips. Why cheap flights never have to be inconvenient flights, and all the steps you can take to get a good fare even when you don't have flexibility. The surprising best week for international travel, and how small airports actually get the best deals.

Keyes challenges the conventional wisdom that it costs thousands of dollars to fly overseas and shows readers how to make previously unthinkable trips possible.

 

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride by Tom Chesshyre

Why do people love trains so much? Tom Chesshyre is on a mission to find the answer by experiencing the world through train travel—on both epic and everyday rail routes, aboard every type of ride, from steam locomotives to bullet trains, meeting a cast of memorable characters who share a passion for train travel. Join him on the rails and off the beaten track as he embarks on an exhilarating whistle-stop tour around the globe, from Sri Lanka to Iran via Crewe, Inverness, the Australian outback and beyond.

 


Book Chat

Do you want to find a book about a specific time, place, country? Are you looking for a beach read or a non fiction book? Whatever you are in the mood for our Book Chat team will give you a personalized recommendation.

Fill out a short form to ask our Book Chat team for help finding your next great read, and they will give you suggestions in 3-5 business days! 

Published on July 19, 2021
Last Modified August 03, 2021