15 Books To Read That Will Cure Your Wanderlust


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Source: @michellereadsbooks
Source: @michellereadsbooks

Looking to get away, but don’t exactly have the funds for it this year? We get it—sometimes an extravagant trip to Europe or a cross-country adventure just isn’t in the cards, which means you have to get crafty if you’re feeling that travel bug but can’t let it roam free. Thankfully, books can be the perfect escape to achieve that wanderlust you feel. Books allow us to experience adventure in someone else’s eyes, taking in the scenes and the landscapes of both places that exist and places that are completely fictional, allowing us to feel like we are traveling right alongside the characters that take up those pages. So if the most you’ll be able to travel this summer is to a beach, a lake, a coffee shop, or even a cozy space on your couch, then take one of these books with you and experience the adventure of a lifetime—without making your wallet scream.

Christina Lauren
Something Wilder

If running through the Canyonlands with puzzling clues to find a hidden treasure with a hot, sexy love interest that originally got away, this is the book for you. Christina Lauren (a pen name for the duo author team) is the queen of writing enthralling romance novels, and this one will take you on a grand adventure. When Lily Wilder is forced to give up the ranch she once called home, she moves to Utah where she takes tours on “treasure hunts” for days at a time, only to be assigned to a group of guys that—oh no!—includes her ex-lover Leo Grady. But what was supposed to be a week of safe adventure turns dangerous and heart-pounding as Lily and Leo are forced to team up to find the treasure that her late father may have left behind for her.

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Melinda Moustakis

Escape to the rural woods of Alaska and follow the stories of Lawrence and Marie who, after a quick courtship and wedding, are now living on their 150 acres destined to be their homestead. But building a homestead in 1950s Alaska isn’t an easy feat, especially as the couple suffers through hardships beyond the freezing cold winters and wildlife surrounding them. Homestead is full of stunning imagery of the Alaskan landscape through every season of the year, with prose that will leave you in a place of wonder and awe far after you put the book down.

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Jade Chang
The Wangs Vs. The World

Ready for an epic cross-country road trip full of family drama and new beginnings? After Charles Wang loses his job and his fortune because of the financial crisis, he packs up his family and moves them cross country from Bel-Air to upstate New York. This book is highly entertaining while also diving deep into the heart of what it means to find your way in America as you take in the beautiful landscapes of the country from the car.

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Jenna Evans Welch
Love & Gelato

If your mother’s one last dying wish was for you to go to Italy for the summer and—gasp!—meet the father you never knew…would you go? That’s what has Lina hopping on a plane and committing to a summer in Tuscany where she stays with a man she has never met. But as her summer progresses and she meets the ever-so-cute Ren, she soon discovers secrets about her mother’s past she barely knew that take her on a grand adventure across Italy—from Florence to Rome and all of the charming hidden gems (and bakeries!) in between.

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Agatha Christie
Death On The Nile

A luxurious riverboat cruise across the Nile River goes terribly wrong as the beautiful and famous Linnet Ridgeway is shot in the head. But who other to solve the mystery than Hercule Poirot, one of Agatha Christie’s famous fictional detectives, whose brilliant brain is able to unearth the truth about what really happened the night of Linnet’s death—all while you explore the Nile and all of the stunning Egyptian views.

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Jess Walter
Beautiful Ruins

A love affair that almost takes place on the stunning Italian coast in 1962 gets a second chance fifty years later as a couple rekindles in Hollywood. This novel will take you across the stunning blue waters of the Ligurian Sea as you embark on a love story full of laughter, plot twists, heartbreak, and soon, hope.

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Emma Straub
The Vacationers

Take a two-week vacation with the Posts and their extended family at the Balearic island of Mallorca as they commemorate many celebrations: wedding anniversaries, graduations, and the simple joy of being able to escape from reality. And yet among the gorgeous mountains and beaches, it seems this unique set of characters can’t just walk away from what haunts them at home as their secrets soon come to light as the family struggles through what it means to truly love each other amidst excruciating conflict and pain.

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Amanda Eyre Ward
The Jetsetters

Craving a European cruise this summer, but it’s not exactly in the budget? The Jetsetters will solve that problem for you. After submitting an essay to win a jet setting trip and actually winning, 70-year-old Charlotte Perkins finds herself packing her bags and inviting her estranged three children to join her for ten days for an ideal European excursion. Yet through the beautiful landscapes of Athens, Rome, and Barcelona, the over-the-top cruise soon becomes a vehicle for finally opening up as Charlotte and her children share secrets and deep wounds that need to be healed.

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Becky Dean
Love & Other Great Expectations

Ever dream of having the perfect reason to escape to London, kind of like your very own version of being Amanda Bynes in What a Girl Wants? This is the book for you—especially if you’re a bit nerdy about books with many references to classic novels. After an injury forces Britt Hanson off the soccer field, she decides to embark on a scavenger hunt across England in an attempt to win the prize money that could change her life. And even though (very cute) Luke Jackson isn’t supposed to be sharing any clues, Britt finds herself teaming up with the native as they embark on a swoon-worthy adventure across cobblestone streets and the English countryside.

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Nina George
The Little French Bistro

You can’t have a list of books full of wanderlust without at some point mentioning an escape to France, especially if it takes you on a journey to a wholesome bistro in the French countryside. After years of being stuck in a loveless marriage, Marianne decides to escape from her Parisian life to a simple life on the coast of France where she meets a colorful cast of characters who teach her what it means to enjoy life’s simple moments, and that it’s never too late to go after what you want.

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Lorena Hughes
The Spanish Daughter

After inheriting a cocoa estate in Vinces, Ecuador, Puri decides to take a trip with her husband across the Atlantic Ocean and leave their home in Spain to claim what is rightfully theirs. But their travel doesn’t go as planned when they discover a mercenary was sent to murder Puri aboard the ship—but ends up killing her husband instead. Set in 1920s Ecuador, Puri quickly hides her identity in men’s clothing in hopes of freeing herself from the rules women are expected to follow…only to be met with even more threats from an enemy hoping to claim her father’s legacy.

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Lisa See
The Island of Sea Women

The joy of reading a book is how it can plop you right into a world you may not have previously known, and that is exactly what Lisa See attempts in her eloquently researched novels such as The Island of Sea Women. This story follows the tale of two girls living on Jeju, an island off of Korea’s coast as they are trained to become Haenyeo divers, a collective of women divers who collect shellfish and other seafood for trade. The story follows their friendship as the women travel and work, experiencing the hardships of World War II and the Korean War, and what finally pushes their special bond to a breaking point.

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Alix E. Harrow
The Ten Thousand Doors of January

Secret doors to magical worlds? Sign us up! Set in the early 1900s, this story follows January Scaller as she discovers a strange book that is the key to many unknown worlds found through the secret doors of the sprawling mansion she lives in with the wealthy ward, Mr. Locke. This story takes you on a grand adventure of magic, love, and grand storytelling as January discovers that there’s more to her story than she may have realized.

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Kristin Harmel
The Book of Lost Names

If you can’t get enough of World War II novels and want your next read to have a little adventure, this novel will have you along for the mystery of a lifetime as Eva Traube Abrams discovers the truths behind a book that was once lost: The Book of Lost Names. It will have you jumping from libraries in Germany to the streets of Paris to mountain towns in Switzerland as Eva reunites with the people from these texts, and her own stories as a graduate student in 1942 unfold.

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Emily Henry
People We Meet on Vacation

You may not be able to jet off on your own trip, so might as well tag along in this rom-com adventure written by the romance queen herself, Emily Henry. Best friends Poppy and Alex have vacationed together every year until, two years earlier, everything was ruined. Yet in an attempt to get out of a rut, Poppy decides to ask Alex to go on one last vacation together, and he actually agrees. This friends-to-lovers romance is witty and charming as it takes you on different vacations across the globe, and will have you wanting to pack your bag…and call that longtime crush you’ve always wanted to vacation with, wink wink.

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