adventurous summer reads spanning multiple countries and decades

Adventurous Summer Reads

I always feel more adventurous in the summer. It probably goes back to summer vacation from school as a kid. Not only do I explore more real places in the summertime, but I transport to additional fictional ones though my summer reads. Something about warm sun makes me want to read. But let’s be real, if it’s scorching out, I’m lounging in the air conditioning. These 5 summer reads can help you cling to that adventurous spirit whenever you need it.

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1. East of the Sun by Julia Gregson

I specifically read this novel before we attended an Indian wedding. I wanted the setting and characters to transport me to that vibrant culture. Gregson’s description of the spices and colors of India absolutely took me to the subcontinent. The story follows 3 young Englishwomen as they navigate different aspects of life in colonial India. I enjoyed her style so much that I’m planning to look into her other works. This is a good book to read for clinging to the heat of summer.

2. Delicious: A Novel by Ruth Reichl

This is the most adorable novel I’ve read in awhile. The narrator, Billie, has a new job in NYC working for a food magazine. Her romanticism of the aromas and flavors of food are executed well by Reichl. It’s easy to get hungry while reading this one. While at her new job Billie discovers some old letters that take her into the past. I found this to be a light and quick read that still has substance. This is a perfect beach read!

3. Rooftops of Tehran by Mahbod Seraji

Set in 1970s Iran, this novel is incredibly rich in Persian culture. I’ve been fascinated with the region for many years, and found this book provided more of a cultural understanding than any of the nonfiction books I’ve read. Even without a particular proclivity for Iran, the story of young love against all odds will pull you in. We really are all alike, no matter our ethnic ties. It’s always comforting to me to be reminded of that. This is the perfect summer read for learning something from fiction.

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4. A Change in Altitude by Anita Shreve

I had never read anything set on the African continent, so this story of a couple living in Kenya was a new and delightful experience. I enjoy looking up new words in different languages while I’m reading. If that sounded sarcastic to you, it wasn’t. I really do like it! It sort of feels like traveling. Anyway, Margaret’s journey of self awareness and assertion while navigating an entirely new landscape was refreshing. This is a perfect read for when you want an unusual adventure.

5. The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

This book leads you on a expedition through history and Eastern Europe. The narrator is on a quest to solve a mystery around Vlad the Impaler and Dracula as she finds herself involved from a personal standpoint. While darker than stories I typically read, this thriller kept me interested and intrigued up until the end. I found myself savoring the story because I didn’t want it to end. This is the one of the best books to read for when spookiness and cold weather start to emerge!

Do you like adventurous summer reads? What are some of your favorites?

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