While you can’t travel, we thought the best we could give you was an escape. Below are three travel books we recommend if you are missing that vacation feeling or if you just want to read a good book after exhausting Netflix again.
Zoe Willis, travel writer – A year in Provence by Peter Mayle
This is the perfect escape book to get you into the summer vacation feeling
A Year in Provence is the bestselling treatise by the writer Peter Mayle, in which he and his wife talk about buying and moving to a house in the Luberon region of Provence. Warm and humorous, Mayle charms the reader with descriptions of Provencal life, from interactions with locals to delicious food. These memoirs are structured month after month to give a seasonal portrayal of French country life, rather than just focusing on the sunny beaches that the south of France is so famous for. Mayle is a character studies expert who portrays the quirks and quirks of French culture with dry British humor, while also showing how we can all benefit from living slower – one sip of sunshine at a time.
This is the perfect escape book to get you into the summer vacation feeling. It’s both a guide and a booklet for this less-frequented corner of the world, ideal for any budding international student.
Ellie Duncan, Travel Writer – 1Q84 by Murakami
When I read Murakami, I always want to visit Japan – although I’m not entirely sure why. The world of 1Q84 is troubling and the two main characters are dissatisfied with their lives, which is reflected in the description of their surroundings. But there is something about it that is just fascinating.
There is another level of escapism: It is based on a parallel universe, which is at the same time close to our own and beyond.
Murakami stands out for his description of the little details, like the food the characters cook and eat or the places they pass while traveling, which is what really attracts you. There is another level of escapism: it is based on a parallel universe. at the same time close to our own and beyond. Mysterious magical themes run through the story, followed by twists and turns that Murakami easily incorporates into the narrative. You are totally drawn to the world. Jay Rubin and Philip Gabriel, who translated 1Q84 into English, also have some credit. The prose flows beautifully as Murakami’s voice and the novel’s Japanese roots come through. Each of these elements combine to create a gripping and haunting immersion into another world.
Aimée Calvert, Tour Guide – Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
During the first lockdown, I was looking for something that would distract me from whatever was going on. I missed that holiday feeling very much and decided to order some popular travel books. My favorite, by far, was Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love.
Their descriptions and experiences in Rome encouraged me to put Italy on my bucket list.
Published in 2006, this book is a reminder of Gilbert’s travel year after their marriage failed. She divides her time between Rome (where she eats), India (where she prays) and the final stretch in Bali (the place where she rediscovers love). This book is not just an iteration of their travels, but an in-depth look at Gilbert’s thoughts and struggles. The novel is deeply personal and you can’t help but feel sorry for her in part, and then you remember that she has traveled to beautiful places for a year and you envy her again.
Their descriptions and experiences in Rome encouraged me to put Italy on my bucket list. I started writing down the places she described in the hope that one day I could visit her too. If you’re looking for travel inspiration along with a simple read, I would definitely recommend this one. It’s also been turned into a film with Julia Roberts so you can have twice as much escape!
For more travel reading:
9 books to inspire you to travel
Travel journal | Chile
Top 3: travel guide