Spring Break 2017

Out of Africa

By Baroness Karen von Blixen-Finecke

This book provides an interesting perspective on British colonialism in Africa in the early 20th century. What is particularly interesting is that it is told from the point-of-view of a woman. Even though she is a noblewoman, the story is unique as she is not only a Dane in a British colony, but she doesn't fit the stereotype of the typical "aristocratic woman".

The Poisonwood Bible

By Barbara Kingsolver

This book is about a missionary family that moves to the Belgian Congo just before the massive upheaval of 1960. Not only is it about a physical journey there, but also the journey that each character goes on internally to understand themselves and cope with the world around them. It's a fantastic read, one that I would recommend to anyone who wants a thought provoking (but not too taxing) book. *p.s. the last time I checked, there was a copy in the community book exchange!!*

Nocturnal Animals

By Austin Wright

The story is kickstarted when a family traveling to Maine for a vacation finds themselves in a situation fit for our worst nightmares. The book is actually a frame narrative, with the seemingly innocuous frame becoming more and more eerie as you journey through the twisted inner story. Watch the trailer for the new film adaptation, but read the book first!

Isle of Dreams

By Keizo Hino

This captivating novel combines elements of science fiction, fantasy, and environmental commentary to explore the strange, powerful bonds between humans and the world. It follows Shozo Sakai, a widowed architect in post-war Tokyo, as he learns more -- possibly too much -- about his environment. A quick, haunting read that will totally transport you!

Bloody Jack

By L.A. Meyer

High seas adventure, strong female protagonist, Napoleonic era, need I say more? It's the first book of probably my favorite series ever (sorry J.K. Rowling). A London street urchin named Jackie Faber dresses as a boy ala Mulan and becomes a ship's boy on a Royal Navy ship. It's swashbuckling adventure to far-off places with spot-on historical context.

The Golden Compass

By Philip Pullman

Any reading list about travel or destinations would be incomplete without this high fantasy classic. The alt-Victorian world of Oxford, the frozen land of Svalbard, laboratories, hot air balloons, houseboats: The Golden Compass has some of the most vivid and memorable places in children's literature. Spring Break is the perfect time to visit (or revisit!) these strangely familiar lands.

How the García Girls Lost Their Accents

By Julia Alvarez

This book highlights the journey of a family from the Domincan Republic who had to flee the island due to the Trujillo dictatorship and start a new life in the United States. Told in reverse chronological order from the perspectives of the different sisters, this novel gives a personal account of the migration experience. An absolutely great read!

The Alchemist

By Paulo Coehlo

A fairly short read (perfect for car and plane rides or the beach!), this international best-seller narrates the magical and allegorical journey of a young man from Andalusia on a search for treasure in Egypt. A great read for anyone looking for inspiration.

Driving Hungry

By Layne Mosler

A easily read book about traveling the world and eating lots of foreign food-what we all wished we were doing over Spring Break.

Gulliver’s Travels

By Jonathan Swift

A fun satire about the places that Gulliver travels and the adventures he experiences there (encounter cool made-up words like Houyhnhnms)


By China Miéville

A steam-punk adventure about travelling to the ends of the world and beyond.