my top 10 travel reads
It seems to be the season of travel. Whether you are heading towards the European summer, bustling New York City, or the freezing cold Snowy Mountains in Australia, I feel like nothing is more necessary than a good selection of novels to read. See below my top ten favourite books for travel...
1. Sweetbitter by Stephanie Danler
My favourite book this year, Sweetbitter follows a woman's triumphs, setbacks and romances when working in the restaurant world. Poetic and beautifully written, the book is whimsical enough to help you escape the real world, yet juicy enough to keep you on the edge of your plane seat.
2. Look me in the eye by john elder robison
I love a good autobiography when I travel, and purchased this book on my last big trip. John Elder Robison writes about his experiences with Asperger's, ultimately becoming successful in engineering and then inventing KISS's famous Flaming Guitar. Heartwarming, technical and inspirational, good for that Tuesday morning slow brunch.
3. The Moth: 50 Extraordinary True Stories (Edited by Catherine Burns)
This is my favourite book that I cannot recommend enough! Containing fifty short stories, this is an easy book to pick up and put down if you are on a trip that is full of activities. The stories range from those that are completely awe-inspiring (one from a doctor of Mother Theresa, for example) to family fall-outs and college dorm moments. I feel like we spend time abroad to experience the lives of others, and The Moth provides just another layer of enrichment.
4. Lion by Saroo Brierley
A story of loss, travel, adventure and the search for home, Lion is the autobiography of Saroo Brierley, who became lost as a child in the busy streets of India, and ended up being adopted by an Australian family. Unable to remember where his biological family resides in India, as an adult, Brierley set on a mission to find his home and return to his mother. An easy read, yet incredibly deep and engaging.
5. Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan
Slightly satirical and very juicy, Crazy Rich Asians is the story of Rachel Chu, who is dating one of the sons of an incredibly wealthy family in Asia. A great escape into a world that most of us will never see first hand, this is one of those novels that you find yourself completely engaged with and cannot put down. Perfect for a holiday of relaxation, where your biggest worry is which cocktail to order next...
6. Hostages by phil clarke
I love a true crime read when on vacation, and picked this up at a secondhand bookstore in a small beach town a few years ago. I ended up reading the whole book in those few days. Again, Hostages is a set of short stories, making for a great pick-up/put-down read. With each chapter focusing on a specific category (for example, political, for financial gain and aliens abductions!), the book guides you through a series of recounts of hostage situations throughout history.
7. Up in honey's Room by elmore leonard
A funny, wacky piece of crime fiction that is set at the end of WWII, Up in Honey's Room is an easy read, fast-paced and full of entertainment. For those who like something a they can get a laugh out of, but that is still quite intelligent, you can finish this book on a single flight, or over a couple of days.
8. peril at end house by agatha christie
Following in the crime-fiction pattern, any of Agatha Christie's novels are perfect for a short vacation, and I think especially for the cold weather. Despite being about murder, there is something incredibly comforting about Christie's works. Peril at End House is one of my favourites - another 'whodunit' to be solved by Hercule Poirot, and keep you guessing.
9. what remains by carole radziwill
While this book does have a plane crash in it, making it a strange choice for an ideal travel read, I cannot create this list without mentioning it. Carole Radziwill is an ABC journalist and Real Housewife of New York, who was married to fellow journalist, Polish Prince and cousin of John F. Kennedy Jnr, Anthony Radziwill. What Remains is Radziwill's memoir, starting with her childhood and ending in the tragic deaths of JFK Jnr, his wife (and Radziwill's best friend), Carolyn Bessette, and her husband Anthony, all within a few weeks of eachother. Heartbreaking, yet beautifully written, this is the perfect book to encourage reflection and gratitude in our own lives.
10. valley fever by katherine taylor
A witty piece of chick-lit, Valley Fever follows the main character, Ingrid's return to her family vineyard in Fresno, California after an unexpected heartbreak. Focusing on the importance of family relationships, intertwined with some fascinating wine knowledge, Valley Fever is a perfect vacation read, for an ounce self-reflection and just pure indulgence.