On the Road
Jack Kerouac’s semi-autobiographical novel takes the reader on a vibrant, loud, and poetic journey across America. It will transport you not only across the country but back in time, to 1950s underground America, with all the sex, drugs, and jazz that defined that era.
Life on the Mississippi
Before settling to write down the beloved Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain had some adventures of his own, training as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River. In this memoir, he fondly remembers his journey from St Louis to New Orleans, and takes you along for the ride.
This novel begins with a woman escaping being murdered by husband, and swimming naked to Florida — and that’s not even the most farcical moment. Carl Hiaasen’s transformation of Florida into the setting of ridiculous satirical adventures will make you completely forget you’ve been at home all summer.
The Horse Whisperer
When Grace and her mother Annie undergo the long cross-country trip from New York to Montana, their journey is not just geographical. Their trip to a Montana ranch takes them, and the reader, on an emotional journey towards a heart-wrenching conclusion. Warning: the book is more hard-hitting than the film.
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
Hunter S. Thompson
This infamous novel follows the protagonist to Las Vegas in a drug-induced haze. The conventional narrative is abandoned in favor of a series of hallucinogenic trips in which the lines between reality and imagination are blurred. Prepare to be pulled down the rabbit hole by this vivid and dynamic novel.
Wild (Movie Tie-in Edition)
Wild follows Cheryl Strayed’s extraordinary journey up the West Coast. With no prior backpacking experience, she braved the hike alone, having a series of spiritual realizations along the way. If that sounds like too much work, let Wild bring you on the trip right from your comfy couch.
When a family decamps from Manhattan for a 2-week Mediterranean vacation on the island of Mallorca, underlying tensions follow them to the idyllic locale. Unsurprisingly, while sequestered together on holiday, secrets are revealed and jealousies surface. A delicious and fast-paced read.
Have you been stuck at home all summer watching your Facebook friends post pictures of their exotic travels around the world? If you didn’t get a vacation this year, and you’ve been staring at the same small town all season, your home turf can seem pretty inadequate. These 14 utterly transportive books set in the good ol’ US of A will take you on incredible adventures, show you your own country through brand new eyes, and remind you that you don’t need to go abroad to have an amazing summer.
What books have you read that make you feel as though you’ve traveled to the locale in the setting? Let us know in the comments!
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Bookshelf curated by Emma Oulton.
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