Transportive Novels

The pandemic has limited our ability to travel, however that doesn’t mean you cannot engage in some armchair journeying from the comfort of your home.  You can escape to, explore, and get a feel of faraway lands, cities and countries not just through travel books and sites, but also through a number of fictional reads.

Here are a few novels that can transport you to other places—no passport or flights required.

They are available either as ebooks or audiobooks on Overdrive/Libby.

beachThe Beach at Galle Road: Stories by Joanna Luloff

A beautiful, atmospheric collection of interconnected stories that explores themes of memory and identity amid the consequences of the Sri Lankan civil war.

Every Day Is for the Thief by Teju Cole

A young Nigerian living in New York City goes home to Lagos for a short visit, finding a city both familiar and strange. In a city dense with story, the unnamed narrator moves through a mosaic of life, hoping to find inspiration for his own.

Four Seasons in Rome: On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World by Anthony Doerr

Exquisitely observed, the book describes Doerr’s varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats — the chroniclers of Rome who came before him—and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus.

God Loves Haiti by Dimitry Elias Légergod

A story of romance, politics, and religion that traces the fates of three lovers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, and the challenges they face readjusting to life after an earthquake devastates their city.

A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers

In a rising Saudi Arabian city, far from weary, recession-scarred America, a struggling businessman named Alan Clay pursues a last-ditch attempt to stave off foreclosure, pay his daughter’s college tuition, and finally do something great.

The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

This novel transports you to a small, nearly-forgotten Mediterranean island off the coast of Italy, where four generations of the same family bear witness to a century of gossip and drama, love and loss, secrets and mysteries, successes and sacrifices.

havanaNext Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity—and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution.

Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts

Set in the underworld of contemporary Bombay.  Narrated by Lin, an escaped convict with a false passport who flees maximum security prison in Australia for the teeming streets of a city where he can disappear.Accompanied by his guide and faithful friend, Prabaker, the two enter Bombay’s hidden society of beggars and gangsters, prostitutes and holy men, soldiers and actors, and Indians and exiles from other countries, who seek in this remarkable place what they cannot find elsewhere.

Snow by Orhan Pamuk

An exiled poet named Ka returns to Turkey and travels to the forlorn city of Kars. His ostensible purpose is to report on a wave of suicides among religious girls forbidden to wear their head-scarves. But Ka is also drawn by his memories of the radiant Ipek, now statedivorced. Amid blanketing snowfall and universal suspicion, Ka finds himself pursued by figures ranging from Ipek’s ex-husband to a charismatic terrorist.

State of Wonder by Ann Patchett

It introduces readers to Dr. Marina Singh, a woman who is about to venture into the lush, dark, mysterious Amazon alone, in search of her mentor Dr. Annick Swenson, a researcher who has disappeared while working on a valuable new drug.

-Archana, Adult Services & Acquisitions Librarian

Livingston, NJ 07039, USA

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