Usually with the flip of the calendar to the New Year, we all begin looking ahead, planning for new adventures. But this year is so different. Booking a flight, planning weekend getaways, mapping out a road trip all remain elusive as we don't yet know when or how travel will be possible again.
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My city, like many, is still in lockdown in order to bring down the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals. Vaccines are being shipped out, but aren't trickling down as fast as I think we all had hoped. I know I am finding lockdown during the coldest and darkest part of the year difficult, and I am sure many of you are as well.
As I daydream of travel, and often play the "where-will-you-go-when-you-can-travel" game with friends and family by text message, I started to think about all the engrossing novels I have read with rich, descriptive settings—and this blog post idea was born.
Here is a list of books to read when you want to experience a new place, but travel isn't an option. From murder mystery to satire, nonfiction to paranormal fantasy; I've hyperlinked the titles below so you can plan your next "trip"!
Medicine River (1989) by Thomas King set in Alberta.
Bellevue Square (2017) by Michael Redhill set in Toronto, Ontario.
Anne of Green Gables (1908) by L. M. Montgomery set in Prince Edward Island.
The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravits (1959) by Mordecai Richler set in Montreal, Quebec.
Monkey Beach (2000) by Eden Robinson set in Kitamaat, British Columbia.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (1994) by John Berendt set in Savannah, Georgia.
The Diviners (2012) by Libba Bray set in New York City.
To Kill a Mockingbird (1960) by Harper Lee set in Alabama.
Serena (2008) by Ron Rash set in North Carolina.
UK and Europe
My Life in France (2006) by Julia Child set in France.
Shadow of the Wind (2001) by Carlos Ruiz Zafón set in Barcelona, Spain.
In The Woods (2007) by Tana French set in Dublin, Ireland.
Angels and Demons (2000) by Dan Brown set in Rome, Italy.
The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie (2009) by Alan Bradley set in the English countryside.
Memoirs of a Geisha (1997) by Arthur Golden set in Kyoto, Japan
Crazy Rich Asians (2013) by Kevin Kwan set in Singapore.
The Vegetarian (2007) by Han Kong set in Seoul, South Korea.
Do Not Say We Have Nothing (2016) by Madeleine Thien set in China (and Vancouver, Canada)
Anil's Ghost (2000) by Michael Ondaatje set in Sri Lanka.
The Luminaries (2013) by Eleanor Catton set in New Zealand.
Reading Lolita in Tehran (2003) by Azar Nafisi set in Iran.
Burial Rites (2013) by Hannah Kent set in Iceland.
The Historian (2005) by Elizabeth Kostova set in Turkey, Hungary, and Romania!
My Sister, the Serial Killer (2018) by Oyinkan Braithwaite set in Lagos, Nigeria.
Mexican Gothic (2020) by Silvia Moreno-Garcia set in the Mexican countryside.
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