We have all been confined inside for a little too long. Some of us haven’t even had a chance to be the annoying tourist, as “travel” is now going to the nearest bookstore. To be honest, that is more of a necessity than an occasional activity. That being said: the nomad in me has been craving to visit different places in our gigantic world. Before the pandemic, I fancied myself as a traveler; to visit various small locales and hanging out with people and learning about their lives. So, now I rely completely on the most precious gift of humankind: books!
As today is World Tourism Day, it is only fitting to list down books that can soothe your wandering selves. Here are 5 books from different countries that have not only amazing stories but also explore the culture of these lands.
Dubliners by James Joyce
Ireland, for me, was only Hozier and Saoirse Ronan and that was till I read this amazing collection of short stories named Dubliners. Joyce covers many aspects of the lives of the people of this quaint country, which is usually passed off just as a romantic and scenic visual. The stories have the very engaging depth that will not let you put down the book for even a second.
Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto
The story is about a girl trying to move on from the death of her grandmother and about the friendship she shared with Yoichi and his transgender mother. Every society has something or the other to say and view the members of the LGBTQIA+ community and this book explores this very thought through the story arc of Yoichi’s mother.
Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan
Sometimes the want to travel has more to do with being entertained than to do with learning. For the very reason to be entertained and also learn a little about the metropolitan social life of India, Anuja Chauhan is the one to read. The book is about 5 sisters who are named alphabetically and a quest for love, but it also gives the readers a look into the history of the country as well as the general mentality of this vibrant land.
Out of Egypt: A Memoir by André Aciman
A humongous tree with thick entangled roots is the only comparison that gives justice to Aciman’s family and the culture that is embedded in them. The book Out of Egypt is a memoir written in the year 1994, but the story itself is rooted well before World War 1 when Aciman’s great uncle, Villi was at his peak of flamboyance. Revolving around Villi is his entire family, who were situated in Alexandria, Egypt but believed themselves to be the groomed people from the English countryside. While they themselves wouldn’t consider themselves locals, the book portrays the culture of the country beautifully and with surprising tenderness.
The Lying Life of Adults by Elena Ferrante
We all have lied in our lives and many of us wouldn’t even remember when was the first time we did so. Though Giovanna might not remember when she lied for the first time, she will forever remember when her parents lied to her. The story is set in Italy and is deep as well as innocent in a very contrasting way. It will leave you with many questions for yourself, along with the feeling of having explored the streets of Naples.
Hope you enjoy the stories as well as feel as if you have traveled through the lands!