The best books about hotels

3 authors have picked their favorite books about hotels and why they recommend each book.

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The Mouse and the Motorcycle

By Beverly Cleary,

Book cover of The Mouse and the Motorcycle

I grew up reading just about everything that Beverly Clearly wrote, and while it would be impossible for me to choose a favorite, Ralph S. Mouse’s adventure with a boy named Keith, who is vacationing in the Mountain View Inn with his family, is one that doesn’t get old, even after all these years. What kid wouldn’t love a story about a talking mouse, not to mention a mouse that saves the day riding a toy motorcycle in search of medicine for his sick new human friend? I certainly did! And if you can’t get enough of Ralph, there are two more books in the series.


Who am I?

When I was a kid, staying in a motel, even a run-down one, was a real treat. Flicking on all the switches to see what they controlled, exploring the bathroom for fun soaps and little shampoo bottles, sharing a room with my sister, swimming in the motel pool, and getting to eat sugar cereals at breakfast—all this was a wonderland to me as a kid. It was part of what made writing No Vacancy so much fun. There’s so much you can do with a motel or hotel setting, and I love to see what other authors come up with. I hope you do too!


I wrote...

No Vacancy

By Tziporah Cohen,

Book cover of No Vacancy

What is my book about?

Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn’t eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman’s dream, but at least it’s an adventure. Miriam befriends Kate, whose grandmother owns the diner next door, and finds comfort in the company of Maria, the motel’s housekeeper, and her Uncle Mordy, who comes to help out for the summer.

But when it becomes clear that only a miracle is going to save the Jewel from bankruptcy, Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create their own. Otherwise, the No Vacancy sign will come down for good, and Miriam will lose the life she’s worked so hard to build. A Sydney Taylor Honor winner and National Jewish Book Award finalist.

At Bertram's Hotel

By Agatha Christie,

Book cover of At Bertram's Hotel: A Miss Marple Mystery

It’s hard to choose a Miss Marple book – they are all so good – but I have settled on this one as it reminds me of London, where I used to live. Miss Marple is my favourite elderly female protagonist of all time, because of the means by which she takes such good advantage of people’s underestimation of her abilities. She is wise, insightful, and clever, and I find her enjoyment of her ‘treat’ visit to the hotel very endearing – who wouldn’t love a holiday in a posh hotel at someone else’s expense?


Who am I?

I was eleven years old when my father introduced me to my first Agatha Christie mystery, and I’ve never looked back. When the time came to write a crime novel of my own, I knew that I wanted it to be set in Beverley, but I didn’t expect my plot to lead me to write about a pensioner. Perhaps it’s not surprising – older people have a vast knowledge of the world which can only make them more interesting as central characters in fiction. It has inspired me to seek out more books with a pensioner/crime theme – I hope you enjoy the ones on this list!


I wrote...

The Botanist

By Anne Wedgwood,

Book cover of The Botanist

What is my book about?

Retired doctor Lilian Templeton has a dead body in her garden and there is nothing she can do to stop the gas men digging it up. DI Ronnie Twist and her sergeant, Luke Carter, are not fooled by Lilian’s apparent innocence, and a game of cat and mouse ensues as Lilian seeks to hide her murderous past and avoid detection.

What led Lilian to kill? How many murders has she committed? And will she get away with it? Set in the East Yorkshire market town of Beverley, this is the first in the Twist in the Tale series.

The Year of Dan Palace

By Chris Jane,

Book cover of The Year of Dan Palace

Like a male version of Eat Pray Love, where the main character doesn't seem to really learn anything from the experience and already started out rather selfish, The Year of Dan Palace shows us Dan's ongoing struggle with love in a world where he believes the end is nigh. His constant internal battle with himself over how he wants to live his life is at the forefront of every single moment in this captivating text, as we find ourselves yelling at the book in an attempt to convince Dan to get over himself and just start living life for once.

This book will grab you and hold you until you finish the final pages, all the time hoping that Dan does find some happiness, or at least validation of his greatest fears, by the time the book ends.


Who am I?

As an independent author, I’ve been lucky enough to find a wealth of other independent authors out there. People who are doing things that aren’t quite mainstream. Artists who are experimenting with the written word and doing truly unique things. Where the world is filled with books made for the sole purpose of being turned into movies, these authors are creating works of fiction that are suited for the written word. Masterpieces that will make you think and want to find even more new forms of fiction. Simply put, independent authors are pushing books into new realms that you simply can’t find in the mainstream market.


I wrote...

The Agora Files - Part 1

By Adam Oster,

Book cover of The Agora Files - Part 1

What is my book about?

When dying alone on the hot sands of the Mohave Desert, Cyrus has no regrets. He loves a challenge. Being tasked with running from San Francisco to Boston in fifteen days, while the United States government and a host of bounty hunters hunt for him, sounds like fun. Being at death’s door only a day into his trip doesn’t faze him either. It’s when he’s joined by fellow runner Eve, bringing new emotions to the surface, his confidence cracks.

The Agora Files follows Cyrus Rhodes, a smuggler in a dystopian near-future, as he unwillingly works to take down a corrupt government. This series is a non-stop thrill ride of a road trip across America that looks to expose who the real villains are.

The Inn Between

By Marina Cohen,

Book cover of The Inn Between

Oh, this book! I loved this creepy mystery, set in a strange and isolated inn where something unusual is most definitely going on. The author deftly uses flashbacks to slowly unravel the mystery, and when you figure out what is happening, I guarantee you will gasp. This is a genre-bending book that doesn’t shy away from grappling with emotionally intense issues while being an absolutely riveting read.


Who am I?

When I was a kid, staying in a motel, even a run-down one, was a real treat. Flicking on all the switches to see what they controlled, exploring the bathroom for fun soaps and little shampoo bottles, sharing a room with my sister, swimming in the motel pool, and getting to eat sugar cereals at breakfast—all this was a wonderland to me as a kid. It was part of what made writing No Vacancy so much fun. There’s so much you can do with a motel or hotel setting, and I love to see what other authors come up with. I hope you do too!


I wrote...

No Vacancy

By Tziporah Cohen,

Book cover of No Vacancy

What is my book about?

Buying and moving into the run-down Jewel Motor Inn in upstate New York wasn’t eleven-year-old Miriam Brockman’s dream, but at least it’s an adventure. Miriam befriends Kate, whose grandmother owns the diner next door, and finds comfort in the company of Maria, the motel’s housekeeper, and her Uncle Mordy, who comes to help out for the summer.

But when it becomes clear that only a miracle is going to save the Jewel from bankruptcy, Jewish Miriam and Catholic Kate decide to create their own. Otherwise, the No Vacancy sign will come down for good, and Miriam will lose the life she’s worked so hard to build. A Sydney Taylor Honor winner and National Jewish Book Award finalist.

The Sanatorium

By Sarah Pearse,

Book cover of The Sanatorium

We’re back in the Alps—this time in Switzerland—and a storm’s a-brewin’. The Sanitorium follows an uptight detective hoping for some much-needed time away from work. But, lo and behold, the mountainside hotel of Le Sommet is anything but relaxing. I loved the cold and creepy isolation this book offers, and much of the mystery in the book centers on the hotel’s previous existence as a sanitorium for women with tuberculosis. Aside from the landscape, the way Pearse subtly criticizes the historical mistreatment of women in this book is what really hooked me.


Who am I?

This topic is very close to my heart, as a lot of my readers know me as “the landscape guy.” My two award-winning mystery thrillers (and the serial killer thriller I'm currently writing) feature chillingly explosive landscapes (the Sierra Nevada Mountains, the Gates of the Arctic, and the Rocky Mountains). Readers and reviewers have mentioned time and again how I utilize landscape as a character in its own right, and I have very much been influenced by other authors who do the same. There is so much opportunity in these remote and high-altitude landscapes to propel the dread and isolation for these types of stories.


I wrote...

Three Houses on a Hill

By Nicholas Holloway,

Book cover of Three Houses on a Hill

What is my book about?

Three Houses on a Hill follows Lazalier Brady, an ex-firefighter on the verge of homelessness who must provide for his cancer-stricken toddler by accepting a groundskeeper position in the wild and frozen interior of Alaska. By day, he tends to the grounds and structure of the Dilbrook Mansion. By night, he sits huddled in his Cabin, haunted by the secrets of an eerie Shack perched on the western ridge of Horseshoe Hill. When Laz stumbles upon a charred corpse in the woods, he unearths a web of murderous secrets kept hidden by the mysterious Dilbrooks, and suddenly finds himself in the deadly center of it all.

Jamaica Inn

By Daphne du Maurier,

Book cover of Jamaica Inn

Off the Map is a tribute and to me the greatest tribute novel of all times is Jamaica Inn. It’s clearly a love letter from du Maurier to Emily Bronte’s Wuthering Heights, but given a much greater darkness and gravity. She breathed la vie de la vérité into Bronte’s vision and in doing so became every bit as influential as Bronte did with her novel. You read Cormac McCarthy’s Outer Dark or Blood Meridian – there’s the pale-faced preacher as the leader of the mysterious trio and as Judge Holden, respectively. A tribute to a tribute. Amazing, beautiful, worthy work.


Who am I?

I loved the sea even when I was a child in a family that couldn’t afford to spend much time around it! Reading books, I was always drawn to adventure on the seas – the first book I can clearly remember reading was Pinocchio when I was about 8, and the last third with the Terrible Dogfish. My latest novel, Spirits of the Ice Forest, is all about Vikings and their struggle to establish a toehold on Vinland, as well as the Native Americans who resisted them, and both being seafaring people was a huge part of what attracted me to that chapter in history.

I wrote...

Off The Map

By Max Davine,

Book cover of Off The Map

What is my book about?

Written with the intention of capturing the spirit of novels of the era in which it is set, Off The Map is a nostalgic tribute to writers such as Jules Verne, Charles Dickens, and Robert Louis Stevenson. 

By 1873, the oceans, it's said, were tamed, at least that's what young French orphan girl Chanel Angeli thought when she settled down and married into a rich mining family by means of their charming, gorgeous heir Oliver Aubry. When Beaumont betrays and enslaves Oliver on the isolated piece of land, which is thought to be capital city of Atlantis, Chanel escapes and teams up with the devil-may-care captain of the Margeaux, endeavoring to rescue her husband, but along the way she finds, within herself, uncovering many mysteries of her own...

The Maid

By Nita Prose,

Book cover of The Maid

The Maid is a wonderful, whimsical book about Molly, a maid in a posh hotel who finds a body. Molly is on the spectrum and is treated unfairly by her colleagues, with a few notable exceptions. A natural truster, she takes things—and people—at face value. Molly is so lovable! Endowed with quirks such as calling the family nest-egg money “the Faberge”, she is charming and we can’t help but root for her. One of her strengths is that, despite all that happens, she never loses her faith in human nature.

Here's a thought from Molly, and I think this applies to us all: "My truth is not the same as yours because we don't experience life in the same way."


Who am I?

I’ve always been fascinated by people, especially people who don’t follow the herd, who lurk on the edges of society, who are strongly individual. Their opinions often seem wiser than those of society and the media, and I find it refreshing to climb into their shoes… That’s why my fictional characters might be obsessively making harps, counting everything in sight, or embarking on a mission to save penguins! The books I’ve listed here contain a range of eccentrics. Molly The Maid, Harold Fry, Iona Iverson, Noman Foreman, and Janice are all marvellous characters who made me laugh, cry and ponder. I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.


I wrote...

How the Penguins Saved Veronica

By Hazel Prior,

Book cover of How the Penguins Saved Veronica

What is my book about?

Eighty-five-year-old Veronica McCreedy is estranged from her family and wants to find a worthwhile cause to leave her fortune to. When she sees a documentary about penguins being studied in Antarctica, she tells the scientists she’s coming to visit—and won’t take no for an answer. Shortly after arriving, she convinces the reluctant team to rescue an orphaned baby penguin. He becomes part of life at the base, and Veronica's closed heart starts to open. 

Her grandson, Patrick, comes to Antarctica to make one last attempt to get to know his grandmother. Together, Veronica, Patrick, and even the scientists learn what family, love, and connection are all about. The UK title of this book is Away With The Penguins.

I'll Meet You There

By Heather Demetrios,

Book cover of I'll Meet You There

All the characters in this book felt totally real and the situations they find themselves in and live through are honest.  And I’m not just talking about the main characters here – all the supporting characters have their own personalities and don’t resort to stereotypes as shorthand.  The romance developed organically and felt like something healthy that both Josh and Skylar needed in order to really accept who they are.


Who am I?

I’m a YA writer who likes to tackle difficult subject matter. My books cover things like euthanasia, drug abuse, coming out, and accessing sex as someone with a disability. If my books are found by even just one person who needs to see themselves in a story, then I feel like my job is done.


I wrote...

Stumped

By Kate Larkindale,

Book cover of Stumped

What is my book about?

Ozzy has a super-hot girlfriend who’s ready to take their relationship to the next level.  But a missing condom scuttles his plans for seduction. Furious, Ozzy takes his girlfriend home and drives off—into the path of an oncoming truck. He wakes up with both legs amputated above the knees.

When his girlfriend runs out gagging after one look at him, Ozzy knows he’s a hideous freak. Determined to prove he can be a man despite his disability, Ozzy throws himself into dumping his virginity, but finds there are few people willing to touch legless dudes in wheelchairs. His obsession takes him into an underworld where he discovers the difference between sex and intimacy, and that sometimes the price is much higher than a sex worker’s fee.

Winterhouse

By Ben Guterson, Chloe Bristol (illustrator),

Book cover of Winterhouse

It’s fun to travel and stay at hotels, so I couldn’t resist this mystery set in a very mysterious and magical hotel. When orphaned Elizabeth is sent away to Winterhouse Hotel, she finds a puzzle book and solves cryptic clues that lead to secret passages and magic. Readers will enjoy trying to decipher the secret codes and clever puzzles. Enjoy!!

Who am I?

My love for magical and mysterious books was inspired by Harriet the Spy, Nancy Drew, Judy Bolton, and Harry Potter. Since I was 8 years old, I longed to write my own mystery series—SO I DID! My latest mystery series, The Curious Cat Spy Club, is based on my own childhood club. My friends and I played cryptic games, spied on suspicious neighbors, and helped abandoned kittens. I love writing about mysteries + animals. And I’m excited to share my favorite mysterious and magical books with you!!

I wrote...

The Curious Cat Spy Club, #1

By Linda Joy Singleton,

Book cover of The Curious Cat Spy Club, #1

What is my book about?

Runaway zorse!! When a zebra-horse hybrid gallops down the street, aspiring spy Kelsey Case joins the chase—and finds three tiny kittens left to die in a dumpster. Kelsey and her new friends, Becca and Leo, can’t keep the kittens, so they secretly form the Curious Cat Spy Club. They care for the kittens and solve mysteries to help animals.

Veggie Hotels

By Teneues,

Book cover of Veggie Hotels

If you’re dreaming of travel but unable to hit the road at the moment, this is the perfect coffee table book for the vegan armchair traveler. Written by the creators of the Veggie Hotels web-based directory of vegan and vegetarian hotels, this book is full of gorgeous photos of some of the best cruelty-free digs around the world.

You’ll also find plenty of useful information about all the services and activities these veg and vegan accommodations offer, such as yoga and cooking classes. And chefs from the on-site restaurants even share some of their most popular recipes in the book.


Who am I?

I’ve been living a semi-nomadic lifestyle and traveling the globe for all my adult life, and travel has truly shaped who I am. In 2014, when I learned about the many advantages of a vegan lifestyle for my health, the planet, and the animals, I felt compelled to make the change. There was one thing holding me back, though, which was the fear that being vegan would ruin travel. Fortunately, I gave it a trial run anyway during a three-week trip to Greece and discovered that being vegan actually made traveling even more fun! Ever since, I’ve been sharing my global vegan discoveries on my website, the Nomadic Vegan.

I wrote...

Veggie Planet: Uncover the Vegan Treasures Hiding in Your Favorite World Cuisines

By Wendy Werneth,

Book cover of Veggie Planet: Uncover the Vegan Treasures Hiding in Your Favorite World Cuisines

What is my book about?

Discover the many plant-based dishes that are hiding in plain sight in the world’s best-loved cuisines. Intrepid globetrotter and vegan travel expert Wendy Werneth has explored 117 countries on 7 continents, sampling countless local specialties along the way. In Veggie Planet, she highlights the many naturally vegan dishes in 11 of the world's most famous cuisines and shows you just how vegan-friendly they really are. 

But Veggie Planet is more than just an international travel guide for people interested in the vegan lifestyle. Since the cuisines it describes are widely available (think Chinese, Italian, Indian, etc.), Veggie Planet is a godsend not only for when you’re traveling but also for when you want to enjoy a delicious vegan meal while eating out, even in your own hometown.

Or, view all 11 books about hotels

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