My teachers always told me I should read more books since I wanted to travel the world so badly. At first I didn’t understand what they meant, “how can reading make me travel?” But now I understand. Good books will take you completely out of the world you’re currently living, into a whole new place. Here are four books that will help you travel around the world.
Us by David Nicholls
In the middle of the night, Douglas Petersen’s wife, Connie, informs him that she doesn’t want to be married to him anymore–actually, she isn’t sure if she does or not. When their ill-timed family vacation appears, Douglas believes this is his opportunity to mend his relationship with both his wife and his son, Albie. Nicholls characters are rich with emotional baggage as they travel through the many sights and sounds of Europe. Heart-breaking, relatable and a relationship where no one is to blame. You’ll see yourself in every character–drinking in Paris, watching tourists in Italy–and be rooting for the family until the very end.
The Vacationers by Emma Straub
Warm, funny, and set in the beautiful Balearic island of Mallorca, the Post family’s vacation is one that is full of secrets, jealousy, and family members that push you past your limit. Frank and Jim Post are celebrating their anniversary and trying to make amends for a rocky patch in their marriage; their son Bobby and his much older girlfriend need money–fast; and their daughter Sylvia is desperate to lose her virginity to her Spanish tutor. While the setting will draw you in, the characters will have you devouring the book in hours.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter
This little Italian coastal town named Porto Bergogna will entice you with its beauty and charm–something Walter is so good at capturing. Throughout the story, you are transported back and forth in time where the author captures the small stories of guests in a small hotel in the village. You find out what happens to each of the guests and how their lives and the lives of so many others were changed directly by each character. The novel is truly fascinating and you won’t want to put it down.
An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington
Oh, Karl Pilkington. Because the man is best friends with Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant, he is bound to be pushed out of his comfort zone and let’s just say he gets pushed faaaar out of his comfort zone. The stories in the autobiography coincide with the TV show, where Gervais and Merchant paid for Pilkington to travel to the seven wonders of the world much to Pilkington’s dismay. The adventures and situations he gets up to will have you crying with laughter as well as his very Northern England-look at other cultures.