5 Books to Escape to this Summer

08 June 2023

With summer now upon us, you may be thinking about setting off on holiday sometime soon. Lucky you! Or maybe you’re spending this summer at home, taking some time to rest but dreaming about being somewhere else. If that’s the case, then let us help you. Here at The Reading Agency, we believe that books can transport you somewhere else in a way that no other media can. Rather than watching a film set abroad, with a book you can experience a setting and enjoy it alongside the characters. It’s time to head further out than ever before on your Road to Reading. Here are five books to help you escape this summer!

1. Egypt – Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

The tranquillity of a cruise along the Nile is shattered by the discovery that Linnet Ridgeway has been shot through the head.

She was young, stylish and beautiful, a girl who had everything – until she lost her life. Hercule Poirot recalls an earlier outburst by a fellow passenger: ‘I’d like to put my dear little pistol against her head and just press the trigger.’ Yet in this exotic setting, nothing is ever quite what it seems…

One of our books from World Book Night 2020, experience the magic of Egypt without having to put up with the heat!

2. Colombia – Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Fifty-one years, nine months and four days have passed since Fermina Daza rebuffed hopeless romantic Florentino Ariza’s impassioned advances and married Dr Juvenal Urbino instead. During that half-century, Florentino has fallen into the arms of many delighted women, but has loved none but Fermina.

When Fermina’s husband is killed trying to retrieve his pet parrot from a mango tree, Florentino seizes his chance to declare his enduring love. But can young love find new life in the twilight of their lives?

From our list of books from World Book Night 2011, enjoy both the beauty of Colombia and Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s writing in Love in the Time of Cholera.

3. France – Paris for One by Jojo Moyes

Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She has never even been on a weekend away with her boyfriend. Everyone knows she is just not the adventurous type.

But, when her boyfriend doesn’t turn up for their romantic mini-break, Nell has the chance to prove everyone wrong.

Alone in Paris, Nell meets the mysterious moped-riding Fabien and his group of carefree friends. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life?

Set in the city of love itself, and one of the 2023 Quick Reads from World Book Night, Paris for One is a fun, light-hearted tale of finding love when you least expect it.

4. Spain – The Black Mountain by Kate Mosse

It is May, 1706. Ana, a young Spanish woman, lives in a small town on the north-west coast of Tenerife with her mother and twin younger brothers. The town is in the shadow of a mighty volcano, which legend says has the devil living inside it. However, there has been no eruption for thousands of years and no one believes it is a threat.

One day, Ana notices that the air feels strange and heavy, that the birds have stopped singing. Tending the family vineyard, a sudden strange tremor in the earth frightens her. Very soon it will be a race against time for Ana to help persuade the town that they are in danger and should flee before the volcano erupts and destroys their world.

Another Quick Read (from World Book Night 2022), journey both into the past and to the largest of the Canary Islands in this thrilling adventure.

5. United Kingdom – Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home.

His aim was to take stock of the nation’s public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named Hardy; place names like Farleigh Wallop, Titsey and Shellow Bowells; people who said ’Mustn’t grumble’, and ‘Ooh lovely’ at the sight of a cup of tea and a plate of biscuits; and Gardeners’ Question Time.

If you prefer to stay in the UK this summer, look no further than Notes from a Small Island. This bestselling book has become one of the nation’s most loved books, providing a funny and insightful look into this small island.


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