We all travel for different reasons. Some of us are looking to unplug and relax, some of us seek out adventure and thrill, and others might want to explore an unfamiliar culture’s food, art and people. Traveling has a funny way of teaching travelers more about themselves than the destination they sought out. This summer might have you packing your beach bag, your back packing backpack, or just wandering out to your own back yard. But no matter where you are (physically or mentally) there’s a title that can transport you further than you ever expected.
1. If you’re looking to expand your boundaries: A Tokyo Romance: A Memoir by Ian Buruma
Travel to Tokyo in the 1970’s through the eyes of a young Ian Buruma, who in 2017 became the editor of The New York Review of Books. His memoir dives into underground Japanese culture firsthand – following his years as a performer, dancer, filmmaker and journalist.
2. If you’re feeling a little lost: In Search Of Us by Ava Dellaira
This novel centers on mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. Exploring the past and revealing the present all at once, the novels follows both of their stories at age 17. In the present, Angie embarks on a road trip to find the father she never knew. In the past, Marilyn’s decisions unfold and bring clarity to the present.
3. If you’re looking for romance and mystery: Love & Gelato by Jenna Evans Welch
Lina begrudgingly fulfills her mother’s dying wish by spending the summer in Tuscany. When she arrives, she receives one of her mother’s journals recounting her time living in Italy. The journal leads Lina on a mission to unearth old secrets in her journey toward self-discovery.
4. If you love the thrill of the chase: The Bette Davis Club by Jane Lotter
Middle-aged Margo is paid fifty grand to track down her runaway bride of a niece. She, and the jilted fiancé, set off on a raucous cross-country pursuit. On the way, their unexpected discoveries give Margo more than she bargained for, but exactly what she needs.
5. If you want to skip town and start over: The Upside of Falling Down by Rebekah Crane
The sole survivor of a plane crash, Clementine wakes up in an Irish hospital with no recollection of her previous life. She hides out in Ireland, stuck somewhere between remembering her old life and trying to create a new one. Delightful chaos ensues in a novel that explores what might really happen if you attempt to rewrite your story.
6. If you’re scared to branch out on your own: Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes
This work contains a collection of stories; the chief of these follows a young woman who is stood up by her boyfriend on her very first trip abroad. Unceremoniously forced out of her comfort zone, Nell discovers the self-sufficient side she never knew she had in the romantic backdrop of Paris.
7. If you’re tempted to run from your problems: Less by Andrew Sean Greer
Finding himself invited to an ex boyfriend’s wedding (and unhappy with his unsuccessful novel-writing career), protagonist Arthur sets off on a worldwide tour. Attending literary events of questionable merit, Arthur explores Vietnam, Japan, Morocco, India, France and more. This topsy-turvy tale provides entertainment in a way only serial misfortune can.
Wherever you’re traveling this summer, we hope a good book goes with you. And if you aren’t traveling, we hope a good book can take you new places. Leave your favorite book titles in the comments section and don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss out on new blog content.