15 Books to Satisfy Your Wanderlust Right Now

By Amanda Wowk

March 24, 2020

While all of our travel plans are on hold right now, dreaming about travel doesn’t have to be. Nor should we ignore the need for a brief mental reprieve. As author Jhumpa Lahiri once said: “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.” Absent travel, reading is perhaps the ultimate form of escapism. So until we can travel again, here are 15 books set in faraway places that will inspire your mind to wander:

1. “A Gentleman in Moscow” by Amor Towles

Set in: Moscow, Russia

travel books

2. “Outlander” by Diana Gabaldon

Set in: The Highlands of Scotland

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3. “Shantaram” by Gregory David Roberts

Set in: Bombay (now Mumbai), India

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4. “Beautiful Ruins” by Jess Walter

Set in: Porto Vergogna and Florence, Italy; Hollywood, CA; Edinburgh, UK; Portland, OR

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5. “Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail” by Cheryl Strayed

Set in: California, Oregon, and Washington

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6. “All the Light We Cannot See” by Anthony Doerr

Set in: Saint-Malo and Paris, France; Zollverein, Schulpforta, and Berlin, Germany

7. “Sweetbitter” by Stephanie Danler

Set in: New York, NY

8. “Pachinko” by Min Jin Lee

Set in: Yeongdo, Korea; Osaka and Tokyo, Japan

9. “This Must Be the Place” by Maggie O’Farrell

Set in: County Donegal, Ireland

10. “Where the Crawdads Sing” by Delia Owens

Set in: North Carolina 

11. “The Paris Wife” by Paula McLain

Set in: Paris, France

12. “A Tale for the Time Being” by Ruth Ozeki

Set in: Tokyo, Japan and British Columbia, Canada 

13. “The Map of Salt and Stars” by Zeyn Joukhadar

Set in: Syria, Jordan, Egypt, Libya, Morocco, and Spain

14. “The Yellow House” by Sarah M. Broom

Set in: New Orleans, LA

15. “The Night Tiger” by Yangsze Choo

Set in: Malaysia