It’s no secret I’m a travel enthusiast. I love to explore the world, learn about different cultures, and meet new people.
But traveling isn’t cheap, even on a budget! There are a lot of expenses to consider when you want to get away: gas/airfare, food, accommodations, entertainment/attractions, and souvenirs just to name a few.
So what do you do if you want to travel but don’t have the time or the means to go? Read a book, of course!!
Books are a great way to make your way around the globe without leaving the comforts of home. With a travel-centric book you can feel as if you are at an exotic location through the images the author creates with sights, smells, and experiences. And best of all you can don’t even need to pack a suitcase!
But books that take you away to destinations unknown can be as wide and as varied as the world itself. There’s just so much to choose from! So how do you find something that will whet your explorer appetite in a genre you love to read? Well, look no further than this month’s curated book of travel-themed novels (and maybe a nonfiction book or two). I’ve rounded up some great reads that are sure to help you escape to new lands:
Debut Novel: Short on clients and money, professional organizer Nicki Mayfield is hanging up her label maker. That is until the eccentric socialite Katherine O’Connor offers Nicki one last job. Working together, the pair discovers an unusual business card among Ms. O’Connor’s family belongings that leads them on a journey to China. There the women embark on an adventure of faith and self-discovery as they uncover secrets, truths, and ultimately, God’s perfectly arranged plans.
Historical Fiction: Haunted by her sister’s mysterious disappearance, Lucy Wilson arrives in Rowan County, Kentucky, in the spring of 1911 to work for Cora Wilson Stewart, superintendent of education. When Cora sends Lucy into the hills to act as scribe for the mountain people, she is repelled by the primitive conditions and intellectual poverty she encounters. Few adults can read and write.
Born in those hills, Cora knows the plague of illiteracy. So does Brother Wyatt, a singing schoolmaster who travels through the hills. Involving Lucy and Wyatt, Cora hatches a plan to open the schoolhouses to adults on moonlit nights. The best way to combat poverty, she believes, is to eliminate illiteracy. But will the people come?
As Lucy emerges from a life in the shadows, she finds purpose; or maybe purpose finds her. With purpose comes answers to her questions, and something else she hadn’t expected: love.
Inspired by the true events of the Moonlight Schools, this standalone novel from bestselling author Suzanne Woods Fisher brings to life the story that shocked the nation into taking adult literacy seriously. You’ll finish the last page of this enthralling story with deep gratitude for the gift of reading.
SciFi/Fantasy: Montana, USA When Lance Spector quit the CIA, he swore he was out for good. One more government lie and he would go off the deep end. They could find someone else to do their dirty work. As far as he was concerned, Washington, Langley, the Pentagon could all go to hell.
Yekaterinburg, Russia A secret Russian expedition returns with a devastating new pathogen, harvested from the frozen corpses of mammoths. It’s the biological super-weapon they’ve been looking for, an apocalypse-level pathogen, a virus more deadly than anything ever to come from a Russian lab. Something that will stop NATO and the Americans in their tracks. A Biological Chernobyl.
Washington DC, USA A mysterious vial, sealed in a titanium case, arrives at CIA headquarters. They have no idea who sent it, but it comes with a note. “I will only speak to Lance Spector.”
The Asset by Saul Herzog is a stunning new thriller, a spectacular tour de force, a book that has single-handedly taken the publishing industry, and Hollywood rights departments, by storm. This dazzling debut kicks off the jaw-dropping new Lance Spector series, and sets the stage for a franchise that’s on track to break all records. From the mind of one of the most creative and versatile writers working in America today, this book will go down as a classic of the spy thriller genre. If you read only one book this year, this is it. Action, adventure, rebellion, provocative foreign agents, characters you can sink your teeth into. If you’re looking for a new spy thriller series that will stay with you long after you turn the last page, look no further.
Mystery/Thriller: Chinese New Year 1952 Ash Carter had to leave the Near East in a hurry. But when he arrives in Singapore he finds himself in the middle of a much bigger problem. No one knows where, or when, or who but someone is planning an attack. Carter is told to make sure it doesn’t happen. With pressure from politicians and the army and with Chinese Secret Societies watching his every move, he has other plans. He is more interested in finding out who killed his friend.
Nonfiction: She was everything everyone else wanted her to be. Until she followed her own path.
Helena Rho was six years old when her family left Seoul, Korea, for America and its opportunities. Years later, her Korean-ness behind her, Helena had everything a model minority was supposed to want: she was married to a white American doctor and had a beautiful home, two children, and a career as an assistant professor of pediatrics. For decades she fulfilled the expectations of others. All the while Helena kept silent about the traumas―both professional and personal―that left her anxious yet determined to escape. It would take a catastrophic event for Helena to abandon her career at the age of forty, recover her Korean identity, and set in motion a journey of self-discovery.
In her powerful and moving memoir, Helena Rho reveals the courage it took to break away from the path that was laid out for her, to assert her presence, and to discover the freedom and joy of finally being herself.
In 1975, three thousand children were airlifted out of Saigon to be adopted into Western homes. When Mindy, one of those children, announces her plans to return to Vietnam to find her birth mother, her loving adopted family is suddenly thrown back to the events surrounding her unconventional arrival in their lives.
Though her father supports Mindy’s desire to meet her family of origin, he struggles privately with an unsettling fear that he’ll lose the daughter he’s poured his heart into. Mindy’s mother undergoes the emotional rollercoaster inherent in the adoption of a child from a war-torn country, discovering the joy hidden amid the difficulties. And Mindy’s sister helps her sort through relics that whisper of the effect the trauma of war has had on their family–but also speak of the beauty of overcoming.
Told through three strong voices in three compelling timelines, The Nature of Small Birds is a hopeful story that explores the meaning of family far beyond genetic code.
Romance: t’s not every day you bring a boyfriend back as a souvenir.
Katie Wilhite is ready to settle into her new job as a librarian now that college is through, but friends Bree and Skye want one more girls’ trip, and when Bree insists this is her bachelorette fling, Katie agrees. What she didn’t agree to was allowing fun and flighty Skye to dictate the itinerary or for her anxiety to kick in harder than ever … right in front of a cute guy.
Camden Malone had no idea when he agreed to be the voice of reason on his cousin Ryan’s vacation that the trip wouldn’t stay in New Orleans as planned. But when Ryan plots with Skye so that the guys can tag along with the girls all week, he isn’t nearly as upset as he should be. Not with Katie’s fiery temper and flashing eyes intriguing him more by the minute.
Can Katie relax enough to trust Camden and a possible future, or will she continue to push him away as only a vacation fling? And can Camden move past a rocky history of his own to be able to jump into a better future? For a trip that was supposed to be all about fun, there’s a lot of romance going around.
As always, if you have a book you think I need to add to the list, be sure to leave a comment below. I’m always looking for another book to add to my TBR list and reading log as well as something to inspire my next travel adventure!