It's often during winter that we think of getting away and traveling to exotic or warmer climes. It's impossible for most of us to drop everything and physically travel to some of our dream locations, but with books, we can still get there. Here are some of our recommendations for books that will let you travel without having to leave your cozy chair.
The White Masai by Corrine Hofmann. The White Masai combines adventure and the pursuit of passion in a page-turning story of two star-crossed lovers from vastly different backgrounds. Corinne, a European entrepreneur, meets Lketinga, a Samburu warrior, while on vacation in Mombasa on Kenya's glamorous coast.Despite language and cultural barriers, they embark on an impossible love affair. Corinne uproots her life to move to Africa—not the romantic Africa of popular culture, but the Africa of the Masai, in the middle of the isolated bush, where five-foot-tall huts made from cow dung serve as homes. Undaunted by wild animals, hunger, and bouts with tropical diseases, she tries to forge a life with Lketinga. But slowly the dream starts to crumble when she can no longer ignore the chasm between their two vastly different cultures.
Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang. The story of three generations in twentieth-century China that blends the intimacy of memoir and the panoramic sweep of eyewitness history. An engrossing record of Mao’s impact on China, an unusual window on the female experience in the modern world, and an inspiring tale of courage and love, Jung Chang describes the extraordinary lives and experiences of her family members: her grandmother, a warlord’s concubine; her mother’s struggles as a young idealistic Communist; and her parents’ experience as members of the Communist elite and their ordeal during the Cultural Revolution.
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she’s never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb….
As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all.
Neopolitan Series by Elena Ferrante. This a 4-part book series that starts with My Brilliant Friend. The series follows the lives of two perceptive and intelligent girls, Elena Greco and Lila Cerullo, from childhood to adulthood. The girls grow up near Napes, Italy and the books give you an excellent feel for what it would be like to live there. Highly recommended!
The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith. This a quick read with a good love story. The majority of the book is set on an airplane and then finishes in London. Since I have personally traveled to London I felt like I could picture the setting better while I read. The location definitely ads something special to this story.
Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. The astonishing saga of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's survival for over a year on the ice-bound Antarctic seas, as Time magazine put it, "defined heroism." Alfred Lansing's scrupulously researched and brilliantly narrated book has long been acknowledged as the definitive account of the Endurance's fateful trip. Reading this book will not warm you up, but it will keep you riveted and you'll learn all about how to survive if you're stranded in the Antarctic.
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The novel tells the story of the rise and fall of the mythical town of Macondo through the history of the family. It is a rich and brilliant chronicle of life and death, and the tragicomedy of humankind. In the noble, ridiculous, beautiful, and tawdry story of the family, one sees all of humanity, just as in the history, myths, growth, and decay of Macondo, one sees all of Latin America.