Photograph by James Farley, Getty Images
Read Caption

Colorful dwellings line the cliffs of Manarola, a small town in Italy's Cinque Terre region.

Photograph by James Farley, Getty Images

12 Travel Books to Read Before Summer Is Over

Stay on vacation with these travel tales.

Whether you’re lounging on a beach, sitting on a plane, or cruising on a storied river, some good #TripLit is always your best travel companion. Our summer reading list will have you wandering the electric streets of Shanghai, falling in love in Rome, and solving mysteries in Oaxaca. We’d be surprised if you make it to chapter two before you’re booking your next trip.

Love Is in the Air

The Lovers' Guide to Rome, by Mark Lamprell: Three couples arrive in Rome with different agendas, but the Eternal City has other plans in store. Lamprell weaves a charming tale of romance and adventure with a generous helping of gelato.

The Invitation, by Lucy Foley: A love story unfolds between a journalist and an enigmatic woman as they sail along the glamorous Italian Riviera toward the Cannes Film Festival in a yacht full of movie stars.

This Must Be the Place, by Maggie O’Farrell: Daniel Sullivan is a native New Yorker living a quiet life in a secluded house with his wife in Ireland. When a secret from Daniel’s past threatens to shatter his slice of paradise, he revisits memories and relationships scattered across the globe.

True Tales

Street of Eternal Happiness, by Rob Schmitz: Travel to Shanghai and enter the homes and shops of the people who occupy one of its busy streets. Hopes and struggles rise to the surface in this intimate portrait of modern China.

Lassoing the Sun: A Year in America’s National Parks, by Mark Woods: Just before his 50th birthday Mark Woods decided to embark on a yearlong journey through America’s national parks. From the vibrant rock layers of the Grand Canyon to the lush wetlands of Timucuan, Woods discovers the healing power of nature.

Time Travel

Chronicle of a Last Summer, by Yasmine El Rashidi: “Grandmama said that to have a sip of the Nile is like drinking ancient magic.” A young Egyptian girl reflects on life in the politically charged, rapidly changing city of Cairo over the course of three decades.

Enchanted Islands, by Allison Amend: Based on the memoirs of Francis Conway, a woman moves from her hometown in Minnesota to the Galápagos Islands before the start of World War II. This story of love, friendship, and espionage is set against the exotic backdrop of volcanoes and wildlife.

Mount Pleasant, by Patrice Nganang: It’s 1931 in Cameroon and nine-year-old Sara is taken from her family and gifted to the sultan. A compassionate slave disguises her as a boy so she can escape her fate as the sultan’s newest wife, and Sara sees the kingdom through new eyes.

Addlands, by Tom Bullough: Roam through the fields and valleys of the Welsh countryside where a traditional farming family learns to cope with changing times over the course of 70 years.

Unexpected Adventures

Heroes of the Frontier, by Dave Eggers: A mother flees to the Alaskan wilderness with her children to escape her overwhelming life. The family discovers both the beauty and peril of nature while driving a rented RV through a land of silvery lakes, roaming bison, and raging wildfires.

Dancing With the Tiger, by Lili Wright: Descend into Mexico’s underground art world with this literary thriller. American Anna Ramsey navigates the colorful, and sometimes dangerous, streets of Oaxaca in search of the legendary funerary mask of Montezuma.

The House of Hidden Mothers, by Meera Syal: An unconventional relationship forms between a couple from London and a young woman in New Delhi when they hire her as a surrogate to carry their child. Syal tackles the controversial surrogacy industry in India through this powerful story of economic privilege, womanhood, and heartbreak.

What’s on your summer reading list? Share your recommendations with Traveler followers in the comments section below or by using the #TripLit hashtag on social media.