There was a time when I couldn’t go on holiday, or when I had a late one and I really craved a break. I’m not going on holiday this year and I’m reminded of those other years. And how I tried to find books to fill the void.
When I didn’t go on holiday in 2019 I found a reading challenge called 20 Books Of Summer and ended up reading books that transported me to other places, real or fantastical. And last year I continued the series I’d read the previous summer. This year I find myself wanting to read those same books, I’ve been looking back fondly to those summers and the books I enjoyed. When I didn’t have a holiday, reading those books made a huge difference. I was going to do the challenge this year but I am reading two tomes of novels and I don’t think I’ll finish them in time.
But it is a perfect time to look at the books I enjoyed. And to share the idea with others, if you want a book to give you a holiday feeling, a trip somewhere, be transported away, then maybe one of the books in this list will be the answer.
I have to start with the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon since I’m currently reading the fifth book in the series. There’s nothing like the escapism of a different country and a different place. This book will take you to Scotland, telling you Claire’s story of travelling through sacred stones into historic Scotland. It’s an epic series, a wonderful story, historical with the thrill of fantasy and a dash of romance. Read it for escapism.
This book set in Wales is a beautiful read. I reviewed this here on my blog. The atmosphere of this book will transport you to Wales, maybe not a typical holiday read but it’s a poetic story with so much depth. A book tangled in myth and fantasy with an echo of ghosts. Perfect if you want something to stay with you, to make you feel and something a little bit dark. Read my full review here. (Also Wild Spinning Girls by Carol Lovekin is set in Wales and another good one). .https://bookwormjenblog.wordpress.com/2019/10/15/ghostbird-by-carol-lovekin/
This book is prefect if you need something to take you away. It’s Raynor Winn’s memoir of when she walked the South West Coastal Path. I loved this immersive story of wild camping on the coast, tales of various places along the coast line and the story of why she decided to do it. Definite escapism even with the sadness in her story.
I haven’t read this book, but I’ve read the two follow ups. If you love a mystery this is the book for you. Set in beautiful Cornwall with a dark edge this series has to be added to this list. The stories are riveting, the setting amazing and the characters interesting.
I can’t avoid mentioning the Poldark books. I started reading this historical series after watching the tv series. I love the way Winston Graham makes you feel like you’re right there by the sea in some of his scenes. If you love sagas, drama, history and Cornwall, this is your book.
Turning to a perfect, light hearted read, this is a lovely story of when Polly moves to beautiful Cornwall to start afresh and try to open up her own bakery. Heart warming indeed, romance, food and of course a beautiful setting.
Sometimes you just need to get back to nature and sit and enjoy. This is a book that will inspire you to do just that. It’s beautifully written and I’d recommend it to anyone for a good immersive read.
I know I’ve mentioned a lot of books set in Cornwall, I just can’t help it places stay with you after you visit. But here’s two set somewhere else worth listing here: Driving Over Lemon’s is about Chris Stewart moving to Aundalucia to a remote mountain farm. The place is gorgeous and the characters are interesting. My family and Other Animals, is a lovely read, set on Corfu, we join the Durrells as they start a new life, with colourful characters, family dramas and animals!
The Historian is my favourite book so it had to make this list. If you love vampires this is for you. A sweeping story that will take you on a trip through Europe as the character tries to find her father. A story within a story, as her father tried to find the answer to a mystery that begins when he discovers an old book with a only a map within the pages. I love this so much, I bought it from Tenby and every time I read it I’m reminded of the exact time and place I started reading it for the first time, on a bench overlooking the sea.
So that’s my list. There’s so many others I could add, fantasy books guaranteed escapism and those I’ve still yet to read. But I wanted to keep it as short as possible. If you’ve read any of these let me know in the comments, or if this list inspires you to read (tell me if you liked the book!) or find your own similar books do share.
What books do you love to read over the summer? Can you recommend any to add to this list?
Happy Summer and Happy Reading.