With summer vacation right around the corner, you're probably thinking of books that properly suit the places you're going. (We forbid you from reading a Scandinavian thriller on a tropical beach). Here, 9 ideas to get you started.


“The Shadow of the Wind” by Carlos Ruis Zafron: Barcelona, Spain

This gripping novel about a young bookworm  takes place in the serpentine streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter.


“Disgrace” by J.M Cotzee: Cape Town, South Africa

Winner of the Booker Prize, this J.M Cotzee’s novel set in Cape Town paints an eye-opening picture of race relations and social order in Post-Apartheid South Africa.


“State of Wonder” by Anne Patchett: Amazon, Brazil

Follow Dr. Marina Singh on a research assignment that sends her into to the Heart of Darkness: an isolated outpost in the Brazilian Amazon. Think, rivers crawling with snakes, dense jungles and creepy-crawly insects of every shape and size.


“The God of Small Things” by Arundhati Roy: Rural India

Roy’s breakout novel is set in the South Indian, rural village of Aymanam in the years when a firm caste system and steadfast Hindu traditions ruled Indian society.


“The Kite Runner” by Khaleed Hosseini: Kabul, Afghanistan

Let Hosseini be your tour guide through Kabul, a city which was once wealthy, Western-leaning and cosmopolitan before the days of Taliban rule.


“Wuthering Heights” by Emily Bronte: Yorkshire, England

Two words: The Moors.


“To The Lighthouse” by Virginia Woolf: Skye, Scotland

This picturesque Isle is the setting of Woolf’s classic stream-of-consciousness novel. Idyllic seaside cottages and jutting cliffs galore.


“Let the Great World Spin” by Colum McCann- New York, NY

1970’s New York is the star of this wildly inventive novel about the real French acrobat who walked on a wire suspended between the Twin Towers.


“Ulysses” by James Joyce- Dublin, Ireland

800 pages of mildly comprehensible Dublin, Baby. (Cliff’s notes are acceptable.)