Books That Will Send You Abroad Without Leaving Your Sofa

We hate to be the bearer of bad news, but, summer is rapidly ending. The air conditioning in the office has stopped blasting. We’re reaching for our light jackets before we leave the house more often than not. And our remaining-holiday-days number is looking abysmally small. As the memories of this summer’s travels fade into the background, we can’t help but yearn for more. Why should the season of wanderlust be contained to just a few months?

So, we’ve decided to keep the summer alive and well, just from the comfort of our sofas. This virtual vacation we’ve got a couple thousand miles of travel to trek through, so fasten your seat belts, keep your arms and legs inside the vehicle, and get ready for the literary ride of your life.

The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants

The first stop on our tour is a four for one. In 300 sweet pages, we traverse Greece, Baja California, Maryland and South Carolina. At the core of this tale is a lesson in friendship, family and coming of age, but it’s also an adventure. We fall in love on the boats of Santorini. We go to soccer camp and make questionable decisions in Southern California. We experience the wonderful mundanity of small town America. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is the travel book our teenage hearts deserved, and our adult selves can still appreciate. Bonus: start your own sisterhood. My friends and I tried this a few summers ago when we were all spread across the world. The pants may have been confiscated by Italian customs and never to be seen again, but the camaraderie remains.

The Flower Arranger

Next up, we’re going to Japan. In The Flower Arranger we see it all: the seedy underbelly of Tokyo, the majestic castles of Himeji, the idyllic cherry blossoms of Kyoto, and the dangerous and remote island of Iriomote. This debut thriller showcases the wonderous and unique culture of Japanese culture, from the tradition of the geishas and maikos to the contemporary otaku. The Flower Arranger is the perfect escape from the Western realm into a beautiful — and eerie, in this case — world. 

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

Though it isn’t a full novel, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty packs plenty of adventure into its short story. Walter Mitty is bored with his life. He’s tired of doing his weekly shopping, and he’s tired of taking his wife to her hair appointments. So, like any good daydreamer, he invents several alternate lives: flying fighter planes, gearing up for high-pressure surgery, preparing to deliver a courtroom zinger, and facing a firing squad. Though the film version takes a few more liberties with the travel aspect, the short story is still the perfect getaway and a reminder that we can all dream up a little excitement for our lives every now and then.

Crazy Rich Asians

Dive into a world you’ve never experienced before (and, unless you’re part of the 1%, will probably never experience) with this delightful rom-com. In Crazy Rich Asians, we’re taken from New York to Singapore, with a bachelorette-party stop at a remote Indonesian island for good measure. Not only do we get to steep in the lush surroundings of Singapore, but we get to experience the private life of the uber wealthy. It’s the perfect getaway from the real world of budgeting and responsible spending. 

The Widow’s Cruise

Why not round out our adventures with a good old fashioned cruise? Spoiler: it will end in murder. In The Widow’s Cruise, Private Investigator Nigel Strangeways books himself and his girlfriend Clare onto a relaxing cruise in the Aegean Sea. But, as we’ve come to expect with Strangeways, it doesn’t end up being so relaxing at all. Nevertheless, no adventure is complete with a bit of mayhem and mystery on the high seas.

As always, thank you for reading, and be sure to tweet us @AgoraBooksLDN with your favourite getaway books!