Summer Reading: Location Titles | Wyatt’s World

Vacation-specific reading is a common request from patrons before they escape on a summer adventure. These five books offer travelers—those intrepid and those more inclined to an easy chair—a range of targeted choices.

Letters from Skye by Jessica Brockmole (Ballantine). Visitors to Scotland, especially the Isle of Skye, should enjoy this epistolary tale that merges missives from both World Wars. The first set of letters brings to life Elspeth Dunn, a poet living on the isolated slopes of Skye, while the second features her daughter, Margaret. Combined, the correspondences offer a charming and evocative glimpse into family secrets and events of the past. 

The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko (Scribner). Even readers unwilling to venture beyond the rim of the Grand Canyon will experience vicarious thrills from reading this epic adventure story about its fastest river passage, enhanced by a vivid tour of the Canyon’s history and geology. 

Crazy Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan (Doubleday). Singapore sparkles in this witty, fun, and glitzy debut novel of manners that traces the fate of Rachel Chu as she travels to the astounding city to meet her boyfriend’s family. Upon arrival she discovers that his family is rich beyond belief—and that there are any number of people wondering what she is doing in their world. 

Italian Ways: On and Off the Rails from Milan to Palermo by Tim Parks (Norton). For readers journeying to Italy there could hardly be a more companionable, charming, or funny guide than Parks. Riffing off train trips, he guides readers deep into the history of rail travel and Italian culture. Along the way he presents an Italy that guided tours never show.

Fin & Lady by Cathleen Schine (Sarah Crichton Bks.: Farrar). Set in a detailed and lushly described 1960s Greenwich Village, and then later on the Island of Capri, Schine’s hip and lively take on the Auntie Mame story offers readers two locations in which to immerse their imagination.

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Neal Wyatt About Neal Wyatt

Neal Wyatt compiles LJ's online feature Wyatt's World and is the author of The Readers' Advisory Guide to Nonfiction (ALA Editions, 2007). She is a collection development and readers' advisory librarian from Virginia. Those interested in contributing to The Reader's Shelf should contact her directly at