Stephen King described books as a “uniquely portable magic”, and Neil Gaiman said they are “a dream you can hold in your hands”. Part of what makes books special is the way they are able to transport us from where we are – be it the library or under a blanket reading by torchlight – to an entirely different place. Reading is a simple and cost-effective way to travel the world from the comfort of your own home; something which has become even more valuable in recent months. If you have a wandering soul, and you want to quench your wanderlust, or if you just need an escape from your own reality, here are 80 books that will take you on a journey from one side of the planet to the other.

Afghanistan – And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini

Albania – Broken April by Ismail Kadare

Algeria – The Plague by Albert Camus

Angola – A General Theory of Oblivion by Jose Eduardo Agualusa

Argentina – The Lighthouse at the End of the World by Jules Verne

Armenia – Forgotten Fire by Adam Bagdasarian

Australia – Last Woman Hanged by Caroline Overington

Botswana – When Rain Clouds Gather by Bessie Head

Brazil – Indiana Jones and the Seven Veils by Rob MacGregor

Brunei – Devil of a State by Anthony Burgess

Cambodia – First They Killed My Father: A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers by Loung Ung

Canada – Everything on a Waffle by Polly Horvath

Chile – The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende

China – Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China by Jung Chang

Colombia – One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Costa Rica – The Lonely Men’s Island by Jose Leon Sanchez

Cote d’Ivoire – The Bitter Side of Sweet by Tara Sullivan

Cuba – The Crook Factory by Dan Simmons

Democratic Republic of the Congo – The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Denmark – The Little Book of Hygge: The Danish Way to Live Well by Meik Wiking

Ecuador – Galapagos by Kurt Vonnegut

Egypt – Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie

El Salvador – Bitter Grounds by Sandra Benitez

England – Atonement by Ian McEwan

England – Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Finland – The Most Dangerous Game by Gavin Lyall

France – All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Germany – Mother Night by Kurt Vonnegut

Ghana – The Beautyful Ones Are Not Yet Born by Ayi Kwei Armah

Greece – The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell

Hong Kong – Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester

Hungary – The Angel Makers by Jessica Gregson

Iceland – Absolution by Olaf Olafsson

India – Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie

Indonesia – Journey to the End of the Whale by John David Morley

Iran – The House of the Mosque by Kader Abdolah

Iraq – The Last Girl: My Story of Captivity and My Fight Against the Islamic State by Nadia Murad and Jenna Krajeski

Ireland – What the Wind Knows by Amy Harmon

Israel – The Sum of All Fears by Tom Clancy

Italy – The Boy Who Was by Grace Taber


Japan – Coin Locker Babies by Ryu Murakami

Malawi – The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Brian Mealer

Mali- The Bad-Ass Librarians of Timbuktu: Their Race to Save the World’s Most Precious Manuscripts by Joshua Hammer

Morocco – King of the Wind by Marguerite Henry

New Zealand – The Quiet Earth by Craig Harrison

Nigeria – Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

Oman – The Turtle of Oman by Naomi Shihab Nye

Pakistan – A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif

Palestinian Territory – Where the Streets Had a Name by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Panama – The Tailor of Panama by John Le Carre

Peru – The Heights of Macchu Picchu by Pablo Neruda

Romania – Dracula by Bram Stoker

Russia – War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy

Rwanda – A Sunday at the Pool in Kigali by Gil Courtemanche

Saudi Arabia – Eight Months on Ghazzah Street by Hilary Mantel

South Africa – Ah, but Your Land is Beautiful by Alan Paton

South Africa – Fiela se Kind by Dalene Matthee

South Korea – The Court Dancer by Kyung-Sook Shin

Spain – Nada by Carmen Laforet

Sri Lanka – Island of a Thousand Mirrors by Nayomi Munaweera

Sudan – Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorafor

Sweden – After the Flood by P. C. Jersild

Switzerland – Daisy Miller by Henry James

Syria – The Beekeeper of Aleppo by Christy Lefteri

Tanzania – Twilight’s Last Gleaming by John Michael Greer

Thailand – The Beach by Alex Garland

The Netherlands – The Kaiser’s Last Kiss by Alan Judd

Tunisia – The Tremor of Forgery by Patricia Highsmith

Turkey – Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernieres

Turkmenistan – Unknown Sands: Journeys Around the World’s Most Isolated Country

Uganda – The Last King of Scotland by Giles Foden

Ukraine – Voices from Chernobyl by Svetlana Alexievich

United States of America – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald

United States of America – To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

Uruguay – The New Troy by Alexandre Dumas

Venezuela – Green Mansions: A Romance of the Tropical Forest by William Henry Hudson

Vietnam – On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous by Ocean Vuong

Yemen – Salmon Fishing in the Yemen by Paul Torday

Zambia – Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight by Alexandra Fuller

Zimbabwe – Nervous Conditions by Tsitsi Dangarembga

*DISCLAIMER: This list is by no means comprehensive. If you have any opinions on books that did not make it onto the list, feel free to reach out to PDBY; we would love to hear your suggestions!


Image: Kayla Thomas

Illustration: Cassandra Eardley



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I’m Kendra! Coffee addict, cat lover, postgrad student. Usually found reading, napping, or doodling.