6 Books To Escape With This Summer

No flights abroad for us, but that doesn't mean our minds can't wander

Via Unsplash

Last summer we all quickly accepted that going on holiday was not going to happen, and we were happy enough to explore out own beautiful island and embrace staycationing instead.

As the summer of 2021 is quickly approaching, any chances of a holiday in the sun seem slim and it’s a slightly more bitter pill to swallow this time around.

How we’d love to be spending two weeks in the sun or planning an impossible number of restaurants to visit on a summer city break. Rather than dwell on this too much, we’re all for getting a bit of escapism wherever we can instead.

Netflix, box sets and TV just aren’t quite cutting it anymore, and nothing can transport you somewhere else more than a great book. Diving into your imagination, just through some pieces of paper in your lap, can transport you to different countries, eras, and worlds all while curled up on your sofa.

We know it’s not quite the same as a real escape, but we quite like the idea of imagining we’re in Italy or Bali, or NYC, while lounging in the back garden, there are so many places we want to visit!

We certainly won’t miss that 5 am RyanAir flight for sure.

‘Call Me By Your Name’ by Andre Aciman 

Romance, summer, and Italy in the sun. What more could you want? Andre Aciman’s iconic novel has all of that to boot, ideal if your current daydream involves a sunny location.

The story follows 17-year-old Elio as he falls in love with a 24-year-old student, Oliver, who has come to stay for the summer. It becomes clear pretty quickly that their blossoming relationship is not just a summer fling, but something much deeper. Set in the 1980s, this encapsulates everything we love about holidays, long endless sun-soaked days to fill, flirting and hazy nights out feeling slightly dazed and sunburnt.

‘Rules Of Civility’ by Amor Towles

Perhaps it’s not just your home you’re looking to escape, but 2021 in general? If so, we’d highly recommend a read of Amor Towles’ ‘Rules of Civility’, which is set in 1930s New York, to bring your imagination to a different era entirely.

Amidst the glitz and glamour of NYC we meet 25-year-old Katey training to be a secretary. After a chance encounter with the handsome (and crazy rich) Tinker Grey, her life begins to change. Soon she’s rubbing shoulders with high society and working at Conde Nast.

But, faking it til you make it always has its drawbacks and things aren’t all straightforward for this new socialite as she tries to make her way in the world.

‘Eat, Pray, Love’ by Elizabeth Gilbert

Okay, so we know this book has become something of a meme but hear us out. The premise is very ‘woo-woo’ rich lady needs to ‘find herself’ but there is something so appealing about this story.

If you’re not familiar with the plot (and you haven’t seen the 2010 film starring Julia Roberts) it’s a biographical account of when Elizabeth, already a successful writer decided to get up and leave her life for a while. Her marriage ended and suddenly everything she thought she had always wanted was no longer bringing her joy. Setting off on a radical year-long adventure, she spent a year in Rome, India, and then Bali in a bid to re-learn how to live life well.

Whatever your thoughts are on her mission, you can’t deny that her description of all the places she visits are gorgeous and we could read about her eating delicious pasta and gelato in Rome forever. Get is on a flight to Italy, stat.

‘Malibu Rising’ by Taylor Jenkins-Reid

If you were a fan of ‘Daisy Jones and the Six’, get excited, as Taylor Jenkins-Reid has a new novel on the way. Already generating a lof of hype, her next book, ‘Maliby Rising’ is set over the course of one night, where a family and their secrets begin to spill out uncomfortably, changing them forever.

The well-known family, the Rivas, are hosting their annual end-of-summer party which, for reasons you will slowly discover, gets out of control. By the following day the house has gone up in flames, and generations worth of lies, deception and secrets are suddenly out in the open.

Set in 1980s Malibu, this book will transport you to a world of wealth, celebrity, and scandal that will have you hooked. The best drama is always family drama (the Kardashians in Malibu is another good example that springs to mind) and this story has it in spades. Out this Thursday, May 27th. 

‘Where the Crawdads Sing’ by Delia Owens

Although the world of this novel might not be one you immediately want to be in, the protagonist is doing her very best to disappear, and take you, the reader, along for the ride. Ideal if you want to be transported to anywhere beyond the four walls you’re living in right now!

The story follows Kya, who as a child becomes slowly abandoned by everyone she knows, living a life of squalor and solitude at the edge of the marshlands, a place few people bother to go. Rather than despair, Kya adores the marshlands, immersing herself into it fully and embracing nature and all it has to offer, surviving through everything it throws at her.

However, she can’t keep the real world and love at bay forever. We adored this book which came out in 2018 and is soon to be made into a film starring Normal People’s Daisy-Edgar Jones.

‘The Talented Mr. Ripley’ by Patricia Highsmith

Although at first, this story doesn’t quite sound like a world you want to escape into, reading it you’ll soon change your mind. A psychological thriller, Tom Ripley will stop at nothing for the life he so desperately covets.

Money and success are what he’s after and he makes friends with all the right people to do so. Then, when his lifestyle starts to catch up with him he gets the opportunity to start over in arguably the most beautiful part of Italy, the Amalfi Coast.

This hedonistic tale is nothing but pure escapism, as the reader, like Ripley, gets to slowly sink into this new world of glamour and opulence in Southern Italy.


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