- Books are set in a variety of locations around the globe and it can be fun to read a story that’s set in a place that you’re visiting.
- While in The Hamptons, enjoy the richness of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby.”
- Enjoy Maria Semple’s “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” in Seattle, Washington, to read about certain landmarks as you visit them.
- Visit INSIDER’s homepage for more stories.
Reading a book that’s set in the place you’re travelling to can be a wonderful experience. After all, there’s nothing like following characters as they fall in love, get lost in magic, and seek revenge in the very place you’re standing (or lounging) in.
For when you want to match your reading to your surroundings, here’s which fiction book you should read based on your next travel destination.
When visiting San Francisco, California, check out “The Joy Luck Club.”
Amy Tan’s work of fiction follows four Chinese immigrant families that start a club to play mahjong. The stories of the women’s’ past and present are interwoven with the game of mahjong in San Francisco, California.
Consider picking up “The Great Gatsby” if you’re going to The Hamptons in New York.
Although the “West Egg” and “East Egg” in the classic novel more greatly resemble the Great-Neck and Port-Washington peninsulas on Long Island, F. Scott Fitzgerald is believed to have been inspired by The Hamptons when crafting this book.
Set in the Jazz Age, the book’s decadence, hot summers, and longing for past lovers make it a great companion for pool hopping, charcuterie eating, and luxury shopping in The Hamptons.
As you’re travelling around Amsterdam, read “The Fault in Our Stars.”
Previously adapted into a film in 2014, John Green’s story of star-crossed teenagers famously includes a trip to Amsterdam. The Anne Frank House and The Rijksmuseum are two of many major destinations mentioned in the book.
Plus, the bench from the film adaption of this novel has even become its own tourist spot.
Save “A Confederacy of Dunces” for New Orleans, Louisiana.
John Kennedy Toole’s hilarious novel follows Ignatius J. Reilly as he bumbles through the French Quarter of New Orleans.
Louisiana landmarks like the Mississippi River, the hot dog stands, the former D.H. Holmes Department Store, Werlein’s Music Store, and local movie theatres like the Prytania Theatre are all mentioned in this book.
You can even visit the fictional Ignatius J. Reilly himself – there is a statue of the bumbling oddball outside the former D.H. Holmes Department Store on Canal Street, eternally “studying the crowd of people for signs of bad taste in dress.”
Bring “One Hundred Years of Solitude” to read in South America.
A significant work of literature, Gabriel García Márquez’s classic follows generations of the Buendía family as they live in their South-American town. García Márquez’s magical realism paired with his lush descriptions make the book a perfect read for visiting some of the breathtaking sights of South America.
For an enhanced experience, read “Where’d You Go Bernadette?” in Seattle, Washington.
Maria Semple’s novel, which has recently been adapted into a movie, is told in emails, transcripts, and stories. It follows Bee Branch trying to track down her agoraphobic architect mother Bernadette Fox.
Set in Seattle, Washington, this hilarious yet heart-wrenching novel is a great companion as you visit landmarks mentioned in the book, such as the Space Needle’s restaurant.
In London, read V. E. Schwab’s magical series “Shades of Magic.”
London, England, is oftentimes the epicentre for Dickens’ classics and modern love stories, but it’s also a great setting for fantasy books.
“A Darker Shade of Magic” and its two sequels posit that underneath the gritty facade of London, there’s another city where magic exists. The series has thieves, pirates, royals, and different types of magic that all come at a cost.
“Call Me by Your Name” by André Aciman should perhaps be read in the summertime, in Italy.
André Aciman’s novel is said to take place in the Northern-Italian seaside region of Liguria. And if you’ve seen the 2017 coming-of-age film adaptation of the book, you’ll already know the story depicts beautiful summers in Northern Italy, complete with seaside encounters and lush greenery.
If you’re visiting New York City, enter the mind of Holden Caulfield.
“The Catcher in the Rye” is a classic tale of a lost teenager’s unplanned trip to New York City. In the JD-Salinger novel, Holden visits a nightclub in the East Village, goes ice skating in Rockefeller Center, and takes his sister to the Central Park Zoo.
In Greece, take in Madeline Miller’s mythology-filled book “Circe.”
Madeline Miller’s retelling of Homer’s “The Odyssey” has Circe as the heroine. Banished to her island, this witch among gods visits Crete, the heavens, and the depths of the oceans in this evocative, mythical tale.
Reading about Circe and other facets of Greek mythology while you’re in Greece surrounded by ancient structures and artifacts can perhaps make the story feel even more immersive.
For an American road trip with an unclear destination, dig into “American Gods.”
Neil Gaiman’s “American Gods” can practically serve as an itinerary for a cross-country road trip. The book follows ancient myths, gods, and spirits of different cultures immigrating to America along with their people. The book’s protagonist Shadow tries to disentangle himself from the mess of it all as he sees more of the US than he ever thought he would.
Destinations mentioned in the book include American tourist attractions like House on the Rock in Spring Green, Wisconsin, and Rock City in Lookout Mountain, Georgia.
“Midnight’s Children” is a fantastical novel that illuminates some of the histories of India.
Salman Rushdie’s story begins at midnight, on the night of India’s independence, when the 1,001 children born that hour are found to possess magical powers. Featuring lush imagery and magical realism, the book is set during 20th-century India.
Haruki Murakami’s “1Q84” is a dystopian adventure that’s perfect for the plane ride to Japan.
Famed Japanese author Haruki Murakami creates an alternate 1984 called 1Q84 where nothing feels right and everything is slightly different. Set in Tokyo, Japan, this dystopian, mystery-filled fantasy novel is sure to keep you captivated during your trip.
Sue Monk Kidd’s “The Secret Life of Bees” paints a picture of South Carolina.
While spending a sunny day in the southern US, consider picking up Sue Monk Kidd’s critically acclaimed novel. Set on a beekeeping farm in South Carolina in 1964, this coming-of-age story about a young teen is a great read during hot Carolina summers.
“The Elegance of the Hedgehog” is excellent reading for a trip to Paris.
Before sauntering down the Champs-Élysées, open Muriel Barbery’s novel for a delightful peek into the lives of wealthy Parisians. Set in an upscale French apartment building, the story follows two unlikely people who discover they are kindred souls.
If you’re going to Alaska, add Kristin Hannah’s “The Great Alone” to your list.
The gorgeous mountains and the bitter cold of Alaska can all be found in the book-club favourite “The Great Alone.”
In this coming-of-age tale, Vietnam veteran Ernt Allbright impulsively moves his family to Alaska so they can learn how to survive off the grid, but this move to the remote wilderness comes at a great cost.
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