Sunday, August 14, 2016

Interesting Reads Set in Exotic Places (Guest Post by Caroline @ Culture Coverage)


Books have the power to transport us to amazing places, and with summer finally here, for those of us not lucky enough to get away on holiday this year, delving into the pages of these fantastic reads offers a perfect cure for our wanderlust.

These five novels, with relatable characters, exciting plotlines and fantastically described settings, provide incredible vicarious traveling experiences and are sure to have you hooked in an instance.

1. The Devil & Miss Prym – Paulo Coelho

Set in the quaint coastal town of Viscos in southern France, this installment in Coelho’s famed series of moral narratives follows a young man seeking to instigate unrest in this peaceful and isolated community.  Miss Prym, a young and idyllic barmaid who longs to make her escape from the sleepy hollow, is thrown into a crisis of morality when the stranger explains he is willing to swap a large amount of gold for an unspeakable deed.

Th novel is set largely around the dynamics of remote village life. It includes picturesque descriptions of the scenic town that are reminiscent of Italy’s famed Cinque Terre and many other beautiful continental cliff-side settlements of coastal Europe. You can almost imagine the seaside breeze on your face and the smell of salt in the air as you turn the pages.

2. Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert

What’s better than a novel set in one exotic place? A novel set in three! In terms of indulging in spectacular scenery, local culture and mouthwatering cuisine, “Eat, Pray, Love” does it best. This famed book has been gaining fans all over the world and is a wonderful representation of the transformation traveling can produce.

Liz is a divorcee, failed girlfriend and altogether discontented with her stale life in America. Instead of accepting her mediocre fate, she buys three tickets, boards a plane and grabs the world by the tail—visiting Italy to eat, India to learn the art of meditation, and Bali to follow her destiny.

Fans of this memoir will be pleased to know that the film version is available on Netflix, but only for subscribers from the U.S. and certain other countries. If you find it’s blocked where you are, then you can follow this Netflix guide by Secure Thoughts to help gain access. 

3. A Thousand Splendid Suns – Khalid Hosseini

Many know of “The Kite Runner,” Hosseini’s legendary novel and subsequent film, which is also available on Netflix. This fantastic release looks at growing up in war-torn Afghanistan from a female perspective.

The book follows two women: the first, a young illegitimate child whose hot temper regularly finds her in trouble at the hands of men; the other a lovesick young girl who is forced to succumb to her family’s wishes to marry her off to an older man when she discovers she’s pregnant.

It’s a harrowing tale, but also an inspirational one, as the two women eventually find solidarity in each other and a strength of spirit that can only be harnessed after so many years of abuse and oppression. Beautifully painted onto a background of the breathtaking Afghan landscape, this tale is truly an unmissable read. 

4. Wanderlove – Kirsten Hubbard

|A combined delight of pictures and drawings, this book does an incredible job of transporting readers to the many spectacular destinations that its plot ventures. “Wanderlove” tells the story of a young, rebellious girl named Bria who has set out on a journey of self-discovery. Readers are treated to tales of remote Belizean islands, ancient Mayan settlements and hikes beneath jungle canopies.

Another key text about womanhood and what it means to find yourself, this story is an essential read for all young girls who have felt the bite of wanderlust. The lessons Bria learns throughout her travels are poignant and relevant to every one of us. The book is a beautiful testimony to how being unsettled can eventually bring you to a place of true peace and understanding.

You can also follow the author, Kirsten Hubbard, and her own amazing adventures on her social media sites. For in-depth recounts of her travels and wonderful photography check out her Tumblr account, which she updates after every journey.

5. The Violet Hour – Whitney A. Miller

If you’re a fan of a little darkness and mystery alongside your vicarious travel, then this one is definitely for you. As part of a strict spiritual movement set in the Far East, Harlow is expected to be perfect at all times. With high hopes for her future and suspicions she will go on to be the next leader, there is no room for error.

However, Harlow fails to take the cult seriously and instead believes it’s all fiction and is more interested in the pop culture of the day than archaic beliefs. After embarking on a journey from Tokyo to Beijing, she realizes that all she’s been told is merely an understatement of reality. Skillfully navigating the supernatural, this epic tale is well crafted and ends with an incredible twist. It’s well paced, descriptive and perfectly structured, making it a truly successful piece of literature.

The sequel to this book, “The Crimson Gate,” has also recently been released, so it’s a great time to get involved with the franchise.

These fives books are all truly interesting reads that will transport you to exotic locations; however, there are many more to chose from. If you know of a novel or author that deserves a place on this list, then be sure to leave a comment below.

About the Author:
Caroline is an entertainment blogger for Culture Coverage and a lifelong bookworm. When she’s not curled up with her latest must-read, she’s scouring the internet in search of new and exciting tales. 

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