Travel might be off the table right now, but words can take us farther than we ever imagined.
Not only can books (and the people who write them) ferry us to places we've only dreamed of visiting, they can also take us back in time, into the future, and even to parallel universes! Like magic teleporting machines, books can root us in a place through incredible sensory detail, so that we smell that curry cooking on the stove in Calcutta, hear the wind as it whistles through the Andes, and feel the sun beaming down onto our skin from a beach on a faraway island—even when we're just sitting on our own sofas. So, while we may be dreaming of Santorini, for now we have to settle for Seattle (or wherever you happen to be right now), but we can still wander the planet through words. We've begun a list of some of our favorite books—novels, memoirs, and even cook books—and organized them by country, and would LOVE if you would help us add to the list! Please share your favorites in the comments so we can continue this journey and shed some literary light with others during these dark(ish) times.
AFGHANISTAN The Kite Runner — Khaled Hosseini
ENGLAND Howard’s End — E.M. Forster Notes From a Small Island — Bill Bryson
FRANCE My Life in France — Julia Child Suite Francaise — Irene Nemirovsky The Paris Wife — Paula McLain
A Moveable Feast — Ernest Hemingway Paris To The Moon — Adam Gopnick
INDIA A Fine Balance — Rohinton Mistry The God of Small Things — Arundhati Roy
Midnight's Children — Salman Rushdie
IRAN Persepolis — Marjan Satrapi
The Witch Elm — Tana French Angela’s Ashes — Frank McCourt The Barrytown Trilogy — Roddy Doyle
ITALY In Other Words — Jhumpa Lahiri Under the Tuscan Sun — Frances Mayes
SCOTLAND Every book written by Irvine Welsh!
THAILAND The Beach Alex — Garland
UNITED STATES Wild — Cheryl Strayed A Walk in the Woods — Bill Bryson GEOGRAPHIC MISH-MASH
Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle — Dervla Murphy The English Patient — Michael Ontaatje Eat Pray Love — Elizabeth Gilbert A Woman Alone: Travel Tales From Around the Globe — (multiple authors)