Heading off around the world? Advice for your next holiday: Don’t waste the inevitable excess baggage fare (from those book-filled bags) on novels and books about life in the city when you’re on a Caribbean island, or vice versa. Why not read up on the views, insights and perspectives of authors who have stood where you’re stood, lounged where you lounge? Read a history of what makes a country the way it is today. Gain insight into domestic life abroad. Put simply, try to understand where you are and who you are amongst…

We think everywhere can be improved by a bit of reading, and we’ve started you off with a few of our favourite places to visit in the summer and the books we feel best match them.

Greece

My Family and Other Animals

by Gerald Durrell 

Intended to embrace the natural history of the Greek island of Corfu, the result is a quirky account of island life.

The Caribbean

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

by Junot Diaz

This wacky Pulitzer-prize winner captures the traditions of Dominican Republic and their translation, or mistranslation into today’s social norms.

Italy

My Beautiful Friend

by Elena Ferrante

Ferrante’s modern masterpiece is the literary counterpart to Naples’ intriguing, dark alleyways.

 

 

The Seychelles

Where the Clocks Chime Twice

by Alec Waugh

At the time a world in and of itself, forgotten by most of the world, this description of these tropical islands, their people and their history, ranks among the best of travel writing.

France

A Moveable Feast

by Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast brilliantly evokes the exuberant mood of Paris after World War I and the unbridled creativity and enthusiasm that Hemingway himself experienced.

 

Kenya

Red Strangers

by Elspeth Huxley

An account of the arrival and effects of British colonialists, told through the eyes of four generations of Kikuyu tribesmen in Kenya.

 

 

USA

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton

by Edith Wharton

Edith Wharton wrote about New York as only a native can and this enriches our understanding of the haute New York society she both revelled in and reviled.

Scotland

44 Scotland Street

by Alexander McCall Smith

When the Fringe draws you up to this country’s beautiful capital, accompany it with this joyous, charming portrait of city life and human foibles.

 

I Like It Here

by Kingsley Amis

Mean, narrow-minded but at times very funny, an intolerant writer who has an “acute prejudice about abroad” graces these pages.

 

 

Australia

Voss

by Patrick White

A love story set against the disappearance of an explorer in the outback, Voss paved the way for a generation of Australian writers to shrug off the