19 Books To Read During Quarantine To Make You Feel Like You’re Traveling

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Quarantine might make the world feel smaller, but there are plenty of ways to scratch that travel itch without leaving your home. These books set around the world will hold you over until it’s finally time to dust off your passport.


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Happy reading!

1.

Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton


Penguin/Berkley

This book will transport you not only through time, but to the colorful and lively streets of Cuba. Alternating between Havana in 1958 and 2017, this novel delves into Cuba’s tumultuous history and enduring culture. In present-day Miami, Marisol has promised to spread her recently departed grandmother’s ashes. So Marisol heads to Havana, where her grandmother’s childhood stories come to life, and she discovers more about her own culture than she could have imagined.

Get it from Bookshop for $13.80, Barnes and Noble for $13.50, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

2.

The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin


William Morrow Paperbacks

Set in contemporary Nigeria and sprinkled with insights into its culture, this novel tells the story of Baba Segi, his four wives, and their huge secret. When Bolanle marries into Baba Segi’s family, she is pressured to begin providing children for her husband. When it appears as if she’s barren, the family’s tight-knit secret begins to unravel, changing their lives forever.

Get it from Bookshop for $13.75, Barnes and Noble for $14.95, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

3.

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan


Doubleday

Between the delicious descriptions of Singapore’s world-renowned food and gorgeous greenery, you’ll forget you’re on your couch and not exploring the island country. When Rachel’s boyfriend invites her to visit his family in Singapore, she’s shocked to find out she’s currently dating one of Asia’s most eligible — and rich — bachelors. She joins his family and friends in a luxurious and lavish lifestyle she’s never known, but will her love for him be enough for them to accept her?

Get it from Bookshop for $14.72, Barnes and Noble for $16.00, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

4.

The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams


William Morrow

If you want to feel like you’re tanning on a tropical beach and learn about history, then this book’s for you. In 1941, reporter Lulu Randolph arrives in the Bahamas to investigate the rich elite who escaped wartime in favor of warm weather and sandy beaches. She finds more than just a hot scoop when she meets Benedict Thorpe, a scientist expat, but when Nassau’s richest man is found murdered and Benedict disappears, Lulu is thrust into a mystery that can only be solved by unraveling Benedict’s mysterious past.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.63, Barnes and Noble for $16.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

5.

In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson


Broadway Books

Naturally, this book all about Australia’s diverse culture, wildlife, and geography will make you feel as if you’re traversing the great Down Under yourself. Between interactions with friendly locals, exploring its Mars-like landscapes, and, of course, experiencing the plethora of (sometimes scary) wildlife, this book takes you on an in-depth ride through the continent. Plus Bryson tells his (real-life) stories with a sense of humor that’s sure to brighten your quarantine.

Get it from Bookshop for $16.56, Barnes and Noble for $15.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

6.

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel García Márquez


Harper Perennial Modern Classics

Although the setting of this novel is fictional, the vivid descriptions of the Colombian jungle will have you grabbing your bug spray and ready to set off on your own adventure. The town of Macondo, Colombia, is just as eccentric and mysterious as its founders: the Buendiá family. This magical and complex story follows the progression of both Macondo and the Buendiás and how they change — and don’t change — with time.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.63, Barnes and Noble for $14.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

7.

From Scratch: A Memoir of Love, Sicily, and Finding Home by Tembi Locke


Simon & Schuster

With rich imagery of the Italian countryside and passages devoted to Italian cooking, this memoir will not only restore your faith in love, but also have you ready to jet off to Italy to find it yourself. It tells a bittersweet story of true love that spans culture, countries, and even death. When Tembi’s husband dies, she returns to his home in Sicily to spread his ashes. Along the way, she recounts their decadeslong love story and the struggle they overcame to make love work.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.64, Barnes and Noble for $17.00, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

8.

The Paris Hours by Alex George


Flatiron Books

Although this story only lasts 24 hours, it takes you across Paris’ arrondissements so you’ll feel as if you saw the city yourself without ever stepping onto le metro. It tells the (somewhat historically true) tale of four people living in the City of Love over the course of a single day in 1927. A refugee, an artist, a maid, and a journalist’s stories all come together in a captivating tale of Parisian life during the roaring ’20s.

Get it from Bookshop for $24.29, Barnes and Noble for $23.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

9.

The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan


Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

If you’ve never been to Taiwan, don’t worry, because this novel is about to take you there for the first time. When Leigh’s mother dies by suicide, she realizes how disconnected she is from her maternal roots in Taiwan. So she travels to Taipei to meet her mother’s estranged parents, with only her stunted Mandarin and curiosity about her mother’s hidden past to guide her.

Get it from Bookshop for $10.11, Barnes and Noble for $10.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

10.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows


Dial Press Trade Paperback

A real location in the Channel Islands, the descriptions of Guernsey’s beautiful coast will have you sipping a warm cup of tea and feeling as though you’re there yourself. The year is 1946, and writer Juliet Ashton is embarking across England to promote her latest book. Along the way, she stumbles upon the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Juliet becomes obsessed with the society — and its enigmatic leader — and quickly finds herself intertwined with the complicated lives of its members.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.64, Barnes and Noble for $15.50, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

11.

The Year of Living Danishly: My Twelve Months Unearthing the Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell


Icon Books

What better time to embrace hygge than quarantine? When Helen Russell’s husband is relocated to Denmark, Helen hopes it will be a positive change — it is the happiest nation on Earth, after all. This memoir follows a year in Helen’s life, with each chapter breaking down a new learning about the Danish lifestyle, from politics to sex to pastries.

Get it from Bookshop for $13.75, Barnes and Noble for $13.45, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

12.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid


Atria Books

Get ready to be transported into the deceptively glamorous world of Old Hollywood. Evelyn Hugo was Hollywood’s biggest starlet in the ’50s, and, in her old age, she’s ready to reveal the truth about her scandalous past. She chooses Monique, an unknown reporter, to tell her story. Monique accepts the job, but as Evelyn’s history unfolds, she discovers Evelyn’s life wasn’t all the tabloids made it out to be.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.64, Barnes and Noble for $14.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

13.

Exit West by Mohsin Hamid


Riverhead

From Mykonos to Marrakesh to glimpses of Tokyo and San Diego, this book will truly show you the world from cover to cover. Equal parts heartbreaking and whimsical, Exit West imagines a world in which magical doors exist between countries. Using the doors, Nadia and Saeed flee their politically unstable city and take us on a journey across the world that insightfully touches on the realities of travelers versus refugees.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.64, Barnes and Noble for $15.50, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

14.

My Life in France by Julia Child


Knopf Publishing Group

I hope you have ingredients for boeuf bourguignon because we’re taking a culinary trip through France. This memoir tells the story of Julia Child’s foray into French cooking, from perusing Parisian markets to attending classes at the Cordon Bleu. Garnished throughout are stories from her decadeslong marriage, publishing her cookbook, and more from her eccentric life.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.64, Barnes and Noble for $17.00, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

15.

Strange Weather in Tokyo by Hiromi Kawakami


Portobello Books

Missing sushi and sake? This book will curb that craving. When thirtysomething Tsukiko runs into her old high school teacher, «Sensei,» she has no idea the encounter will blossom into a deep friendship…and maybe more? This funny yet moving story is the perfect blend of Japan’s modern and ancient culture wrapped into a delicious rom-com.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.59, Barnes and Noble for $15.45, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

16.

The Outrun by Amy Liptrot


Canongate Books

Yearning for your own Scottish island to quarantine on? Growing up on a sheep farm on Orkney, Amy was desperate to escape her isolated home for the big city. But Amy’s hedonistic life in London quickly spiraled out of control. Fresh into sobriety, she returns to Orkney to come to terms both with her childhood and the events that unfolded in London that brought her home.

Get it from Bookshop for $14.67, Barnes and Noble for $15.95, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

17.

The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay


Grove Press

Set in the Himalayas, The Far Field will have you seriously craving some mountain air. Devastated by the loss of her mother, Shalini sets off from her privileged life in Bangalore, India, for a remote village in Kashmir. She hopes to find a long-lost friend of her mother’s there, certain that he holds the answers to her death, but instead she discovers just how different life outside of her city bubble can be, and how much her choices can affect those around her.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.64, Barnes and Noble for $17.00, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

18.

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter


Harper

Who doesn’t want to go to Italy after seeing that cover? You’ll fly through the pages of this novel without ever actually flying anywhere. Beautiful Ruins begins along the coast of Italy in 1962 and catapults us through fifty years, across multiple countries, and through dozens of different lives. Although mainly a story about people and their complicated lives, it also includes a multitude of settings, each as interesting as the last.

Get it from Bookshop for $15.63, Barnes and Noble for $13.99, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.

19.

Like Water For Chocolate by Laura Esquivel


Black Swan

Filled with Mexican culture and a recipe in every chapter, you’ll be salivating (get it?) to take a trip to Mexico after this. Tita De La Garza, the youngest of her all-female family, has been doomed to a life of taking care of her mother, never marrying or having a family of her own. So when Pedro falls in love with her (and her amazing cooking), he marries her sister in order to get closer to Tita. What follows is a tale of magic, tragedy, and fate that binds their true love together.

Get it from Bookshop for $14.67, Barnes and Noble for $14.45, or from a local bookstore through Indiebound here.






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