Books have a tendency to transport you, whether it's someplace familiar or completely uncharted territory—emotionally and geographically. As you embark on your summer vacation, why not pack a page-turner that fits in seamlessly with your new surroundings? We asked Amazon Editorial Director Sara Nelson for her top picks based on buzzy travel destinations, from New York City to Stockholm. Prep yourself for a serious case of wanderlust, and make sure to leave some room on your Kindle, too.
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1. NORTHERN CALIFORNIA: THE GIRLS BY EMMA CLINE
While The Girls is by no means a ringing endorsement to visit northern California (it's a fictional retelling of the notorious Charles Manson murders), it elucidates how much that part of the country has changed since the '60s, and tells a side of the story that was relatively absent from all of the court documents: the perspective of the girls in the cult, and what motivated them in the face of extreme danger.
Available at Amazon | $17
2. LAKE HURON: A DOUBTER'S ALMANAC BY ETHAN CANIN
The midwest plays a central character in this novel about a mathematician named Milo Andret from Cheboygan, Mich., who succumbs to the allure of California in the '70s, and his equally gifted son, Hans, a hedge-fund manager who unfortunately inherits father's predisposition toward substance abuse and alcoholism.
Available at Amazon | $18
3. STOCKHOLM: THE CROW GIRL BY ERIK AXL SUND
If you enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, you'll relish this buzzy Scandinavian novel, which follows a detective named Jeanette Kihlberg who attempts to solve a string of gruesome murders in Stockholm. In the middle of her investigation, she begins to consult a therapist who's accustomed to working with troubled patients, and their paths begin to cross in an unexpected way. Warning: This one deals with heavy subjects and is not for the faint-hearted.
Available at Amazon | $21
4. NEW YORK CITY: SWEETBITTER BY STEPHANIE DANLER
This engrossing story centers around a 22-year-old waitress named Tess, who arrives in the big city from the midwest circa 2006 and begins working at a trendy restaurant in downtown Manhattan (loosely based on the author's own experiences). At her new gig, she becomes embroiled in a love triangle with a co-worker and a bartender named Jake, and we're treated to the nuances of the romance, fine dining, and everything else that comes with being a young girl about town.
Available at Amazon | $15
5. LONDON: EVERYONE BRAVE IS FORGIVEN BY CHRIS CLEVE
Set against the emotionally wrought backdrop of World War II, this unique read is told through the lens of two characters: Alistair, a British soldier, and Mary, a privileged young woman who volunteers to teach children left behind after The Blitz in London. Their lives intersect with each other as well as Alistair's roommate, Tom, in love and loss.
Available at Amazon | $17