A book can be so powerful that it might begin to transport you to another place and time...at least temporarily. And sometimes, a book can give you major wanderlust. So redditor u/trekbette asked, "If you could pick a book set in a real place and vacation in that place to read it, what would you read and where would you go?" Here's how people responded.
1."Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes made me seriously yearn to travel to Italy to see it all for myself. The novel makes everything seem so magical: the people, the culture, and the food, which for me is the most important part of traveling."
3."My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell. In fact, my parents met on the Greek Island of Corfu where they both independently traveled because they were inspired by this book."
4."I read All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr while traveling in St. Malo, France, the walled city where the story takes place. It made both the book and the visit so much more interesting."
5."I actually camped in Estes Park, Colorado, last year and read The Shining by Stephen King while on that very trip. It was awesome to tour the hotel and then read about it later in this horror novel."
6."I'd read Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, on Prince Edward Island. I have wanted to go to PEI forever."
7."After I finished Sometimes a Great Notion by Ken Kesey, I felt this huge desire to travel to the coastal mountains of Oregon. Kesey evokes the raw and even visceral nature of the area in this honest and compelling novel about family and relationships. His writing makes you want to see the setting for yourself."
8."I had plans to visit Barcelona, so I started reading The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. Once I got to the city, I walked by the house where the story is set. It was very cool and made the book even more meaningful to me."
9."India was never really on my bucket list until I read Shantaram, a novel by Gregory David Roberts, which is set in Mumbai. It was such a great read with such vivid imagery — I am now dying to travel there."
10."I completely fell in love with the idea of Venice, Italy, as a child while reading The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke. When I finally got to travel there, it felt completely surreal to be in the place that I had imagined for so long."
11."Crying in H Mart by Michelle Zauner made me want to visit South Korea immediately. This book is full of emotion, but the imagery and descriptions of Korean food are at the heart of the memoir. Zauner described both Korean cuisine and her mother's recipes in such detail [that] you could almost taste them. It made me want to book a plane ticket and eat my way through Seoul just to experience all the textures and flavors I was reading about."
12."The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah is set in rural Alaska in the 1970s, and it seems absolutely beautiful. The author's writing basically turns Alaska itself into a character. I almost wanted to uproot my life and move there by the end of the book. Not to mention the whole novel is amazing."
13."For me it's Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. I've always wanted to go to Scotland, but it was always just one of those hazy travel dreams. Then I read Outlander, which made me start devouring info about the Highlands. I couldn't not see it for myself, so I finally went ahead and booked my trip."
14."I read Midnight in the Garden of Evil while sitting in a leafy park square in Savannah, Georgia. It made the words on the pages come to life and was magical."
15."I read Silence by Shūsaku Endō while on deployment. My ship happened to be heading to Japan. It's a short novel so I was able to finish by the time we reached Sasebo. While there, I got to experience the places that are described in the book, like the 26 Martyrs of Japan Museum and the monument in Nagasaki."
16."I'd love to read The Old Man and the Sea in Havana, Cuba. In fact, one of my lifetime goals is to read Hemingway's books in the locations where his stories are set."
17."I read Ulysses by James Joyce while studying abroad in Dublin. It was an absolutely amazing experience. It was so special to have a sense of place that grounded me in the novel. In fact, I don't think I would have enjoyed the book much (or even at all) if I had read it elsewhere."
18."I read For Whom the Bell Tolls while in the Spanish Pyrenees. I'd give both the book and the setting a 10/10, each made even more enjoyable because of one another."
19."A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. This book made me want to hike the Pacific Northwest Trail and to experience more nature. In fact, it really inspired me. I'm now planning a hiking trip from Glacier, Montana, to the Olympic Peninsula in Washington."
20."A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle. This book inspired me to drive my campervan to Provence in the South of France and spend two weeks in bliss that I will never forget."
21."I was reading Angels and Demons by Dan Brown while on a vacation in Europe. I ended up finishing the book while I was in Rome. It was incredible reading about specific Roman fountains, statues, and churches, and then being able to see them with my very own eyes that same day."
22."Black Cake by Charmaine Wilkerson is a story that takes place in multiple settings, but the one that really stands out is an unnamed Caribbean island. The island itself — the secret coves, lush landscape, and temperamental sea — almost takes on its very own character. It might have to do with the fact that I read this book during the freezing-cold month of January, but I found myself seriously yearning to be transported to Jamaica, Barbados, or the like, where I could feel the calm breeze of palm trees and hear the sounds of lapping waves hitting the shore."
23."When I was in Colombia, I chose to read Gabriel García Márquez's One Hundred Years of Solitude. It was an amazing read, and the location made it even better. I could feel everything about the story coming to life."
24."I read The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy while I was on holiday in Kerala, India. It's an amazing book about love and loss set in Varkala, Southern India. It's beautifully written and a certain tear-jerker, but it was made even more special by the fact that I could really picture the scenery."
25."When I discovered I would be moving to France for two years, the first thing I did was start to read The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas. I took a weekend trip to Marseilles to visit the prison at Chateau d'If. I brought along my book and read my favorite passages while sitting on the island. Sitting there in the sun with my book and a cool sea breeze is one of my most cherished travel memories."
26."Wild by Cheryl Strayed. Strayed writes about her adventure hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, but this memoir inspired me to just to go out into the world and walk. Since finishing it, I was inspired to walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain."
27."Exit West by Mohsin Hamid. This is not your typical travel book. In fact, it explores serious issues like the refuge experience, but reading it made me want to see more of the world. I think often of the mysterious doors that can take us anywhere — from an African desert to the beach in Greece. Traveling is not always pretty, and not all places are full of beauty, but Exit West captures the true essence of wandering, which is to actually see the differences and similarities of places all over the world."
Have you read a book that captivated you so much you actually wanted to visit the setting in which it takes place? Tell us in the comments below!
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