Updated: Mar 27
In this time of solitude and self-isolation, there is just so much binge-watching you can do. Here are my favorite 5 books to take you to a new location.
1. Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
Written by a zoologist, this is the story of a girl who raises herself in the wetlands of North Carolina. Stunningly evocative, this book carries me away. The descriptions of the birdlife and shore line are simply rich.
2. The Guide Brunetti series by Donna Leon
Leon just published number 29 in this fascinating series of mysteries. Venice, Italy is always a character as important as the murderers and cheats that Brunetti encounters. The first is Death a La Fenice, the most recent - Trace Elements. They need not be read in order. One of my favorites is Aqua Alta which takes place during the high tides that flood the city.
3. A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles
Taking place in a 30-year span in the Metropol Hotel in Moscow, this novel tells the story of Count Alexander Rostov who is sentenced to house arrest in the Metropol after the Bolshevik Revolution. The inner workings of the hotel are fascinating (you will never think of your stay in a hotel the same way) but more important are the flights of memory that Rostov takes while he lives every day in the same place.
4. Hawaii by James A. Michener
All of Michener's books are so thoroughly researched that they take you deep into their locations. Hawaii is especially fun as it starts with the creation of the islands and through their settlement by the Polynesians, all the way through Pearl Harbor and statehood. A new location that's warm and beautiful, a bit of history - what could be better?
5. The Spenser series by Robert Parker
I am a mystery fan (in case you couldn't tell) and I do love these books that take place in the Boston area. Spenser has his own code of honor and behavior, as all good private eyes do. Parker captures the essence of Boston's waterfront, its gritty side and the beauty of its old city.
What are your favorite books for escaping to a new landscape?