Did you know that October is National Book Month here in the US? If you’re an avid reader, now’s the time to get lost in a good book, especially seeing as we can’t exactly travel very far right now. To get you in the mood, we’ve got a selection of the best books that’ll transport you to another time and place without you having to move very far at all. This week, we’re tackling fiction, so let’s take a look at some of the best fiction books that’ll take you on a journey whilst you’re at home during the pandemic.
The Kite Runner
A worldwide favorite and a tear-jerker for sure, The Kite Runner is Khaled Husseini’s number 1 bestselling novel that’ll have you traveling to Afghanistan in 1975 and following 12-year-old Amir on his heartbreaking and devastating journey. All Amir wants to do is enter the local kite fighting competition, but a dark and twisted turn in the plot shows that that won’t be possible.
This is a tale of redemption after a terrifying and gruesome act shatters Amir’s life forever. Then, after being forced to flee from Afghanistan to America by the Russians, Amir must decide whether he’ll travel back to his birth country to find solace and recover from his tortured past.
The Disappearance of Emily Marr
If you’re more into nail-biting thrillers set in beautiful spots, try The Disappearance of Emily Marr. It’s a tale of seduction, scandal and tragedy, and will have you guessing up until the very end of the story.
As a new friendship is sparked up between Tabby Dewhurst and Emmie Mason when Tabby lands in the beautiful Ile de Ré, France, she notices that Emmie has a penchant for suspicious and secretive behavior. Tabby falls deeper into the pit of suspicion throughout the story, and you’ll be shocked by what she discovers when she returns to England.
City of Girls
If New York’s hot on your list, Elizabeth Gilbert’s best-selling novel City of Girls will not only transport you straight into the city, but it’ll wind back the clock by almost 100 years too, so you can experience the glamour and scandalous nature of New York circa 1940.
You’ll follow Vivian, who’s just been kicked out of her home and sent to live with her aunt who runs a theater company in The Big Apple. This is a story with a unique and heartbreaking love story that’ll have you wishing you could rub shoulders with everyone who lived through 1940’s New York City. You may shed a tear or two in the middle of the novel, but you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the end of it. This is one of those un-put-down-able novels that’ll have you wishing it came with a part 2.
Transporting you to the slums of India, Djinn Patrol, by Deepa Anappara is a heart-warming tale that’ll have you following Jai, a nine-year-old self-imposed detective using skills he’s learnt from various cop shows attempting to search for missing children in his slum along with a few of his best pals.
With a cheeky narrator like Jai to lead you on this journey through the heart of India, you’ll be crime fighting alongside him in some of the most dangerous areas of his district. Let’s hope it all comes out well on the other side.
Shantaram, written by Gregory David Roberts has been said to have the pace of a thriller with the irresistible storytelling that’ll have you second guessing morals all the way through this novel based in Bombay by way of Australia.
Set in the early 1980’s, Shantaram follows Lin, armed robber and heroin addict, who’s just escaped from a maximum security prison and fled to Bombay. It’s in Bombay that he joins the mafia and begins money laundering and forging, falls in love, and lands himself in jail again. And again. Based on a true story, this novel will have you running through the slums of Bombay yourself. It’s a great read that’s got bestseller written all over it.
Crazy Rich Asians
Perhaps you already saw Crazy Rich Asians when it came out in movie theaters, and even if you have, it’s still worth a read if you want to discover the fast paced lives of Singapore’s rich and famous.
Kevin Kwan’s masterpiece follows Nick, who takes his American Chinese girlfriend home with him, only for her to struggle to fit in with his wealthy and flamboyant family. This is a novel rich in excitement and humor that’ll give you an insight into a lot of Singapore’s culture. It’s a quick read that’s actually part of a series, so we’re guessing it’s the type of book to leave you hungry for more.
The Star Side of Bird Hill
The debut novel of Naomi Jackson, The Star Side of Bird Hill is a tale of two sisters sent from their home in Brooklyn to their grandmother’s home in Barbados after their mother is deemed unfit to look after them.
This is a coming of age story for the two sisters, who rebel, find themselves in a new community and face heartbreak as their father – a man neither of them really know – tries to make his way back into their lives. You’ll find The Star Side of Bird Hill a poetic if not a heartbreaking read, and learn to love both sisters through their journey to becoming young women.
Americanah is Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s bestselling novel from 2013. Set in Nigeria, you’ll follow Ifemelu’s life as she travels from Nigeria to New York and back again. Ifemelu is in charge of a popular blog, which tackles race in America, and you’ll find out everything that she has to say on the matter.
Watch her fall in love with Obinze and see him flee to London when he fails to find residency in the states alongside Ifemelu – then follow their lives across three continents. When they find each other 13 years later, a lot has changed. Is it for the better? And can they ever make things work?
Have you read any of our picks already? Or have you just put them all on your wish list? Which country would you most like to be whisked off to? Let us know in the comments. Join us again next week when we’ll be talking about the best non-fiction books that’ll have you traveling the world from your armchair.