With travel restrictions limiting our movement and travel, especially during the summer months, books can transport us to countries and places we might never dream of visiting. Take advantage of some time on your hands, and explore the world through words and your imagination.
Here are our 5 top picks for books that show you different cultures in different countries:
1- The Parisian by Isabella Hammad – An epic tale that begins before the First World War, this story is about a Palestinian man who travels to France before the first world war, to study medicine. The story takes us back to a town in Palestine where his story continues.
2- The Guest List by Lucy Foley – Hop off to the Irish coast to an exclusive wedding party on an exclusive island – this is a whodunnit kind of book reminiscent of Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot – the setting, the colourful characters and the murder.
3- Pavilion of Women by Pearl S. Buck - Travel to China in this fascinating portrayal of culture and life through the eyes of a family matriarch, who takes a decision on her 40th birthday that has repercussions for all those living in the household. A wonderful look into Chinese culture and the role of women in China.
4- Ten Minutes, Thirty-Eight Seconds in this Strange World by Elif Shafak – In the city that straddles two continents, we meet a group of friends, each with his or her own story tell, living with their individual demons and pasts, who all come together to offer the friend a dignified end to her life. The book is narrated from the interesting angle of the deceased friend, on the premise that the mind is still active for ten minutes and thirty-eight seconds after death.
5- Celestial Bodies by Jokha Alharthi – It isn’t every day that we get a book set in the quaint and quiet Sultante of Oman in the Arabian Gulf. This book offers us a glimpse into modern Oman through the story of three sisters, each with a different path to travel.
Stay safe and stay reading!