To shake things up and offer a fresh perspective, I invited my dear friend and fellow traveler, Ida M., to write a guest post for Global Heartbeat. Ida is the curious and creative mind behind About A Book, a beautiful blog dedicated to the lost art of reading and the wonderful world of literature. Today, Ida shares her top reads of the year that are worth packing in your carry-on bag.
7 Books to Read While Traveling
By Ida Mašić
Travel often provides a whirlwind of adventure, new experiences, interesting encounters, and a seemingly endless list of things to see and do. But it also comes with a great deal of downtime, as you make your way from destination to destination. Whether roaming the world via planes, trains, or automobiles, you will likely find yourself with extended periods of free time along the way. So, what is a traveler to do? In my opinion, a compelling story is always a great way to pass the time, and I have found a good book to be the perfect way to turn a long journey into its own adventure.
Before you embark on your next trip, consider taking one of these page-turning stories with you. Just don’t forget to create incredible ones of your own!
The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
“Just do something. You might make a mistake, then you can fix it. But if you do nothing, you can’t fix anything. And your life might turn out full of regrets.”
A lovely book that will speak to anyone looking to make a change, be brave, and pursue a passion. Nina Redmond is a librarian who loves finding the perfect book for each reader. However, when her job becomes obsolete, she realizes a long-standing dream to have a bookshop by opening a bookmobile. She sets off to change not only the lives of those she encounters, but her own as well.
A Robot in the Garden by Deborah Install
“… life takes us in peculiar directions sometimes, and on those occasions the only thing to do is give it a high-five and roll with it.”
For a sweet and heart-warming read, A Robot in the Garden is the perfect little book to sink into. It tells the story of thirty-four-year-old, Ben Chambers who feels so stuck in life that it begins to take a toll on his marriage. One morning, his wife discovers a robot in their garden, and soon Ben develops a bond with the little mechanical guy, named Tang. When Tang begins to break down, he and Ben set out on a life-changing journey to find Tang’s creator and fix him.
Vicious by V. E. Schwab
“Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.”
If you are in the mood for something in the fantasy category, you can’t go wrong with this brilliant book. It follows the story of two best friends turned enemies, and the quest for revenge. Victor and Eli started out as college roommates whose research into Extra-Ordinaries (Eos) results in serious consequences that land Victor in jail. Ten years later, Victor is free and set on destroying his former friend. An engrossing book that does a wonderful job of highlighting the complicated relationship between Victor and Eli, Vicious also brings up interesting questions regarding morality and the use of knowledge and power.
Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid
“There is a larger plan there. Everything happens for a reason. Isn’t that what they say?”
Maybe in Another Life provides an interesting take on the choices we make and how those choices impact our path in life. Hannah Martin has moved around from city to city never truly finding her place or her passion. At twenty-nine she returns to her hometown of LA determined to make a home for herself. During her welcome home party, she is faced with a choice – a choice that ultimately determines the path her life will take. The book splits into two parts, and through alternating chapters, readers follow the consequences of each choice.
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet by Becky Chambers
“From the ground, we stand;
From our ships, we live;
By the stars, we hope.”
The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet is one of those rare books I recommend to just about everyone. It is an exceptionally smart and wonderfully charming novel about a crew of nine characters of diverse species, whose job is to punch holes through space in order to create shortcuts. Even if science-fiction is not typically your thing, this one is definitely worth a read. With compelling characters and a story that is captivating, endearing, and thought-provoking, how can you go wrong?
In Other Words by Jhumpa Lahiri
“I believe that what can change our life is always outside of us.”
For fans of non-fiction, look no further than Jhumpa Lahiri’s In Other Words, in which she discusses her love of Italian and her dedication to learning and mastering the language. Lahiri wrote the book in Italian, and it has been uniquely published to show the original Italian text on every left hand page and the English translation on every right hand page. This was a very personal undertaking for the author, and it is a very honest and open account of the challenges of adopting a new language and how it relates to identity and culture.
Brave Enough by Cheryl Strayed
“I think of quotes as mini-instruction manuals for the soul.”
This little book is perfect to carry with you and refer to whenever you find yourself in need of inspiration, courage, motivation, or just a little pep-talk. Brave Enough consists of a variety of quotes from the works of Cheryl Strayed, author of the popular book Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail. Travel can be challenging, daunting, bring up strong emotions and even spark doubts. This collection of quotes helps to push through those moments. Plus, Cheryl Strayed always tells it like it is.
And so do I.
An obvious and major THANK YOU to Ida for sharing her time, wisdom, and creativity with us. She’s a real gem, and you guys should check out her blog, About A Book. I can’t wait to dive into her recommendations, but… how do I decide which to read first?!?
Hey Readers! Have you read any of Ida’s recommended books? If so, what did you think about them? What are your favorite reads that fellow travelers should consider? Share them in the Comments below!