Here’s a list of seven books that let you travel from your sofa and, why not, daydream about your next trip.
Nowadays, we can travel with our imagination thanks to webcams, foreign films and streaming platforms. One day soon we can fly to Paris to walk along the Seine, but also get to taste the typical specialties of the mountains in Peru thanks to our remote control.
Books have always been great travel companions too: there is nothing better than reading a good book to pass the time and keep your brain trained, not to mention that at least 90% of all of us had put “read more” on the list of good intentions for this year.
So here is a list of books to read to travel around the world while relaxing comfortably on your couch.
1. The White Nights by Fedor Dostoevsky – Saint Petersburg
A true classic, a short and dense story that is able to give back the magical atmosphere of the warm luminous nights of Saint Petersburg. The coupling of life, the one with the ephemeral flavor of summer that everyone dreams of, with intimate and philosophical exchanges is set among the backdrop of the beautiful Russian city.
2. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby – London
A dusty record shop in 1990s London. Rob, the owner of the shop, kills downtime by creating random top five lists (“most memorable rip-offs of all time” or “Best Records to Hear on a Rainy Monday Morning”) with his colleagues. He decides to compile his five most memorable break-ups, sett him off on an adventure.
3. New York Trilogy by Paul Auster – New York
In this collection of meta-political stories, the author deals with many themes, often philosophical and surreal. The backdrop is a New York with blurred features that flow melodiously with the events and thoughts of the protagonists. Of course, there are the skyscrapers and Central Park, but there’s also a gloomy atmosphere and a sardonic tone that are quite appropriate for a city like New York.
4. All the iron of the Eiffel Tower by Michele Mari – Paris
A sophisticated, complex and literary novel that accompanies the reader through the beautiful passages of Paris. The city is made even more evocative by all the objects, fetishes, and literary characters that inhabit them. Hungry for more Paris? Here are ten other books that will take you there.
5. The White Album by Joan Didion – Los Angeles
The beauties and oddities of Los Angeles in the 1960s and 70s recounted by one of the most important contemporary writers. The essay collection reveals myriad intriguing tales, from Jim Morrison’s recording studio to the Manson case to her own private affairs.
6. The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafóna – Barcelona
This novel combines mystery, a love for books and secrets of the city of Barcelona, among its beautiful modernist buildings and dilapidated post-war streets. The owner of a second-hand bookshop leads his 11-year-old son to an elegant but decadent Catalan capital in search of the “Cemetery of Forgotten Books,” then finds himself with one different from the others—a “cursed” book that governs and changes the course of the narrated facts.
7.Midnight’s Chirldren, Salmon Rushdie – various cities in India
Saleem Sinai is born at the stroke of midnight on August 15, 1946, the very moment India becomes independent of the Britsh and is connected telepathically to the other children born during this hour (1,001) in total. The author uses magical realism to tell an allegorical story of this time in India’s history while traveling up and down the entire Indian subcontinent.