Summer Travel Reading Guide: Part 2

Still not found your ideal travelling book for the summer? Well never fear, in Part Two of our Summer Travel Reading Guide we recommend some more essential exotic page turners to suit your every travel need. From the far reaches of India to a world of fantasy, these books will take you on a journey, one that will make yours go by the blink of an eye.


Fancy travelling somewhere ‘out of this world’ this summer? Why not peruse Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island? Treasure! Seas! Pirates! What does this trio declare? That’s right, adventure and a compulsion to mix up some cheeky rum in a coconut infused pina colada and sway around like a drunken Jack Sparrow. But if your summer holiday is not quite as perilous and thrilling and daredevil as Jim Hawkins then grab that bottle of rum, find a quiet spot and hungrily pursue the wonderful world that this novel offers.

Or maybe you want to read Tolkien but don’t possibly have time to spare for Lord Of The Rings? Well never fear, I first read the Hobbit at the age of 14 and marvelled at how easy and gripping the adventures of Bilbo Baggins were to follow. Not only does he put you in the mood for baggy trousers too, you begin to see everything in ‘cute’ terms whilst also being reminded of The Chronicles Of Narnia (another classic series that is perfectly acceptable to devour in the warmth of your wardrobe.)

You could also re-read J.M Barrie’s wondrous novel Peter Pan and travel with Peter and Wendy to Neverland and back. Magic, adventure, sentiment – what else is summer about? This short read is the perfect length to peruse leisurely and set you in the right mood for adventures of your own!

However, as an advocate of reading this wonderful series endlessly, I would also highly recommend Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. The first one is not only a classic, but it’s easy to devour in a single day and literally takes you places as your mode of transport is taking you to your destination. Travel with Harry from Muggle-hood to Wizardhood, from Kings Cross (Ideal if you’re doing the same!) to the depths of Scotland and even ride a broomstick to dizzying heights.


If you find yourself on a body of water this summer then Yann Martel’s The Life of Pi is an excellent read. After all, who doesn’t want to join Pi’s unintended adventure on a lifeboat in the middle of the ocean with just a Bengal tiger for company? I mean, at least by reading this episode you’re completely safe in the confines of tigerless water which is a great cause of celebration really.

Also, Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is a timeless-American must for anyone venturing out to America this summer and in particular those of you skulking around Mississippi Valley and the River. His relentless taste for adventure easily puts me in the mood for grabbing a raft and just seeing where the eddying currents will take me…probably capsized and flicked by fishes but hey, it’s the drive for travel and adventure which counts here!


Why not grab a glass of freshly-brewed and steaming Masala Chai and recline with Gregory David Roberts’ Shantaram? Written in beautiful prose, this masterfully created love story between Lin and Karla, will incite sentiments of affection for both the country and your everyday surroundings in a surreal way.

Another must read is Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes series. Holmes encounters many mysteries attributed to India and the East. Escapism, travel AND a mystery to uncover? What a spicy mix!

For those who want to read something of an intricate value, uncover Jeet Thayil’s Narcopolis, where narcotic drugs and especially opium, transport you to the hazy streets of Bombay in the 1970s. Thayil offers an extremely gentle insight into this other world replete with hazy encounters and sudden vivid recollections. Definitely a read for Summer time!

Finally, Sarah Macdonald’s Holy Cow: An Indian Adventure is an ABSOLUTE must read! Whilst ‘holy cow!’ is one of those popular colloquial terms that is thrown around easily these days, it really is an amazing situation to be in when the prophecies of an airport beggar proves to be true. Using India as her centre, she throws herself head-first into this kaleidoscopic country and begins to question her own fragile mortality and inner spiritual void.


I don’t believe in regrets and the only way around that is by embracing the excitement of life with a resounding affirmative. So take a leaf out of Danny Wallace’s Yes Man and say ‘yes’ more often that you normally would- who knows where a simple journey can take you! From Australia to Amsterdam, Barcelona to Singapore, this brilliantly funny book shows just how far a ‘yes’ can go.

Happy reading!

Radhika Chond

Image credit: Paul Bence via Flickr

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