The best books for escapism to another time and place in the world

Katherine L. Bichler Author Of Beneath the Sand
By Katherine L. Bichler

The Books I Picked & Why

The Forgotten Garden

By Kate Morton

Book cover of The Forgotten Garden

Why this book?

Let’s escape to London and Australia! This historical mystery is written from three generational viewpoints spanning the 1900s, 1970s, and 2000s. Cassandra is mourning her beloved grandmother, Nell, when she stumbles upon an old family secret. Solving the mystery leads her not only to answers surrounding her family but herself as well. Morton masterfully moves between countries and protagonists making you lose yourself in her writing. I dare you to try and put it down!

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Between Shades of Gray

By Ruta Sepetys

Book cover of Between Shades of Gray

Why this book?

This historical fiction novel is Young Adult, but is a must-read for adult historical fiction lovers as well. Set in the WW2 era, Lina and her family are deported from Lithuania and forced to work in Siberian labor camps under the Soviets. This powerful story depicts a harrowing journey of survival and the ugly truth of the awful conditions some displaced Europeans had to endure during Stalin’s rule. The sense of place in this book is well done, even if the place is not great. 

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A Thousand Splendid Suns

By Khaled Hosseini

Book cover of A Thousand Splendid Suns

Why this book?

Best known for his novel The Kite Runner, Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns is one not to be missed. Set in Afghanistan, this follows the heart-wrenching story of two women, Laila and Mariam, from different generations that are brought together in an unlikely way. Aligned in their misfortune, they form a friendship as they try to survive and find happiness in their circumstance. This book sheds light on the awful way women are treated in other parts of the world and you feel like you are on a journey of your own as you follow theirs.

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By Adrienne Young

Book cover of Fable

Why this book?

Abandoned by her father on an island filled with thieves and little food, young Fable figures out how to survive and get herself off the island to find her father and demand answers. She discovers that the world of gem trade is more dangerous than she thought as she tries to navigate her new life and build a relationship with her estranged father. This book takes you to the seas and vividly describes life as a crew member on a ship with all the pirate vibes you could want. Adrienne Young is a master at keeping you turning the pages and getting lost in her world.

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Red Queen

By Victoria Aveyard

Book cover of Red Queen

Why this book?

This is the first installment of one of my favorite series to date. In this fantasy world, people are divided by blood: silver or red. Mare, a commoner with red blood, finds herself working in the palace of the silver elites. It is discovered that despite the color of her blood, she possesses the power of the silvers. The palace declares her a long-lost silver princess in an attempt to hide what she can do. Mare walks a dangerous line of pretending to be a silver and secretly working with the Red Guard to take down the elites and shift the balance of power.

This book has a little bit of everything: romance, adventure, magic, and suspense. You can easily escape into the world Aveyard created and will want to devour this series. 

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