12 Books for the armchair tourist

The global pandemic is most definitely giving us some major cabin fever, but at least there’s plenty of time to catch up on our reading lists. Although we can’t travel far at the moment, these 12 books are doing a great job of transporting us to bucket list locales we can’t wait to experience in person.


The All-Night Sun by Diane Zinna

Lauren Cress, a teacher at a small college outside of Washington, D.C., befriends a Swedish girl in her class named Siri whose presence helps Lauren heal from the death of her parents 10 years prior. After a spontaneous decision to accompany Siri on a trip back home to Sweden, Lauren begins falling in love with the lush scenery and Siri’s brother, Magnus. In return, Siri becomes resentful toward Lauren. Things take a dark turn on their camping trip celebrating Midsommar’s Eve on Lauren’s last night in Sweden.


It Is Wood, It is Stone by Gabriella Burnham

Two women are brought together in Sao Paulo, Brazil: the unstable housewife Linda and her tactile maid Marta. After Linda leaves her new home in Brazil to run off with an artist, Linda and Marta find an even deeper bond in this novel that touches on class, colorism and sexuality. 


Animal Spirit: Stories by Francesca Marciano

Francesca Marciano writes charming characters into her stories that take place in multiple places in the world. While Animal Spirit is centered in Rome, we are transported to observe couples on a Greek island, a man with his ex-lover in New Mexico, and other people going through moments of human realization. 


Latitudes of Longing by Shubhangi Swarup

Latitudes of Longing explores the terrains of India as the search for love takes its characters across a snow desert, city, island and valley. Swarup combines unique and charismatic protagonists, including a clairvoyant who speaks to trees and a turtle who transforms into a woman, to express the beauty and ugliness of humanity and the measures we take to discover intimacy. 


Little Eyes by Samantha Schweblin

All across the world, from Bangkok to Buenos Aires, there are souls watching that aren’t from this dimension. Little Eyes is a dark science fiction read that exhibits the ways strangers metaphysically reign terror on family homes in an artfully fabricated, yet familiar world. 


All the Way to Tigers by Mary Morris

Mary Morris writes her memoir of searching for tigers in India after an ice skating accident that left her unable to walk during the time she was meant to be on an international sabbatical. While Morris was glued to the sofa, she decided that, should she ever be able to walk again, she would journey “all the way to the tigers” in India. This is Morris’ story of her three-year journey and what came of her search for the endangered animals. 


The Perfect World of Miwako Sumida by Clarissa Goewenan

After Miwako Sumida commits suicide in a remote mountainside village in Japan, Ryusei, her classmate who had feelings for her, travels there to find out the reason. The dark secrets of Miwako’s last days of her life are slowly revealed. Meanwhile, Ryusei’s sister, Fumi, who was an art mentor to Miwako, deals with an unexpected visitor at her place in Tokyo. 


Cantoras by Carolina De Robertis

Five women find sanctuary from their dictator-ruled homeland of Uruguay in an uninhabited cape, Cabo Polonio. The “cantoras”, women who sing, create memories with each other and their lovers over the course of thirty-five years, traveling between Cabo Polonio and their hometown. Carolina De Robertis explores themes of queer love and forgotten history in Cantoras. 


The Far Field by Madhuri Vijay

Shalini treks across the Indian subcontinent to a remote Himalayan village in Kashmir after the death of her mother. She is determined to uncover the truth of the disappearance of a salesman ten years prior, and holds belief that it is connected to the event of her mother’s passing. However, once Shalini arrives at her destination, she is greeted with a full force of Kashmir’s complicated politics and historically-driven tension. Consequently, she must make decisions that could have severely negative impacts on her loved ones. Madhuri Vijay exemplifies Indian politics, prejudice and sexuality in The Far Field.


Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan

Ava arrives in Hong Kong from Dublin and meets Julian, a banker whom she enters a practical relationship with. After cutting ties with him due to his inability to commit, Ava meets Edith, a Hong Kong native who takes through a turbulent and spontaneous romantic experience. When Julian returns to Hong Kong, now trying to win Ava back, she finds herself in a hilariously complicated love triangle.


Here Comes The Sun by Nicole Dennis-Benn

Nicole Dennis-Benn illustrates the distinct lives of Jamaicans to the outsiders who reduce their world to a life in paradise. Margot and her sister, Thandi live in a lavish resort in Montego Bay, and undergo financial, the threat of their village, and Margot’s forbidden love with another woman. In Here Comes The Sun, Benn depicts Jamaica in vibrancy and rawness, expressing both its beauty and flaws in the lives of the women who live there. 


McKenzie Wurtz

McKenzie Wurtz graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in Journalism and Mass Communications and a minor in Studio Art. She is currently a digital and social media intern for SparkPoint Studio. McKenzie enjoys writing, reading, painting and playing video games.

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