If you’re one of the millions of Americans planning their next trip, you’re not alone. But have you read a book about your vacation destination…while on vacation? One of my favorite prompts from a past reading challenge was to read a book set in the location of your current vacation. Being in the locale where the books took place allowed me to connect with the books in a way that I would not have otherwise.
Whether you’re in the dreaming phase of vacation planning or on vacation as you’re reading this, if you’d like to add a bookish spin to your time away, here are a few options for your next vacation-inspired read.
According to Travel + Leisure these are some of the most popular international vacation destinations, so here are some accompanying reads.
Photo by Fernando Jorge on Unsplash
Islands in the Stream by Ernest Hemingway
Follows the fortunes of Thomas Hudson, from his experiences as a painter on the Gulf Stream island of Bimini through his antisubmarine activities off the coast of Cuba during World War II.
Bad Monkey by Carl Hiaasen
Andrew Yancy–late of the Miami Police and soon-to-be-late of the Monroe County sheriff’s office–has a human arm in his freezer. There’s a logical explanation for that, but not for how and why it parted from its shadowy owner.
On Stranger Tides by Tim Powers
Blackbeard, ghosts, voodoo, zombies, the fable Fountain of Youth…and more swashbuckling action than you could shake a cutlass at, as reluctant buccaneer John Shandy braves all manner of peril, natural and supernatural, to rescue his ensorcelled love.
Photo by Kate Kasiutich on Unsplash
The Invisible Bridge by Julie Orringer
A Hungarian-Jewish architecture student arrives from Budapest with a mysterious letter he promised to deliver. But when he falls into a complicated relationship with the recipient, he becomes privy to a secret that will alter the course of his family’s history.
Strangers in Budapest by Jessica Keener
Budapest: gorgeous city of secrets, with ties to a shadowy, bloody past. It is to this enigmatic European capital that a young American couple, Annie and Will, move from Boston with their infant son shortly after the fall of the Communist regime.
Prague by Arthur Phillips
Five American expats come to Budapest in the early 1990s to seek their fortune—financial, romantic, and spiritual—in an exotic city newly opened to the West. They harbor the vague suspicion that their counterparts in Prague have it better.
Photo by Cameron Mourot on Unsplash
The Lost Vintage by Ann Mah
To become one of only a few hundred certified wine experts in the world, Kate must pass the notoriously difficult Master of Wine examination. She’s failed twice before; her third attempt will be her last chance.
The Snakes by Sadie Jones
Psychologist Bea and Dan, a mixed-race artist, rent out their tiny flat to escape London. Driving through France they visit Bea’s dropout brother Alex at the hotel he runs in Burgundy. Disturbingly, they find him all alone and the ramshackle hotel deserted, apart from the nest of snakes in the attic.
The Vintner’s Luck by Elizabeth Knox
One summer night in 1808, Sobran Jodeau sets out to drown his love sorrows in his family’s vineyard. Drunk, he stumbles on an angel: “Someone had set a statue down on the ridge. Sobran blinked and swayed. For a second he saw what he knew–gilt, paint and varnish, the sculpted labial eye of a church statue.
Zorba the Greek by Nikos Kazantzakis
Zorba, a Greek working man, is a larger-than-life character, energetic and unpredictable. He accompanies the unnamed narrator to Crete to work in the narrator’s lignite mine, and the pair develops a singular relationship.
The Dark Labyrinth by Lawrence Durrell
A group of English cruise-ship tourists debark to visit the isle of Crete’s famed labyrinth, the City in the Rock. The motley gathering includes a painter, a poet, a soldier, an elderly married couple, a medium, a convalescent girl, and the mysterious Lord Gracean.
The Island by Victoria Hislop
On the brink of a life-changing decision, Alexis Fielding plans a trip to her mother’s childhood home in Plaka, Greece hoping to unravel Sofia’s hidden past. Given a letter to take to Sofia’s old friend, Fotini, Alexis is promised that through Fotini, she will learn more.
Want to continue reading about destinations? Try the Uncorked Librarian‘s America Reading Challenge or Read the World for international recommendations.
Remember that our digital library allows you to pack light! Download a few books from Libby or Hoopla to keep you company.
Enjoy your trip!