Stuck In Town This Weekend? Travel To France, Italy, And Beyond With These 5 Books

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Summer may almost be over, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t still time for a little adventure. Even if you don’t have enough vacation time to go jet-setting or you can’t afford a grand trip around the globe, you can still enjoy one of these short novels set in Europe that will make you feel like you’re anywhere but home.

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to travel the world, but it’s one of those fantasies that is easier (and cheaper) dreamed than done. That is, unless you have the right book. In just a few hundred pages and a couple of hours, a good story can whisk you away to the bustling streets of Paris, the mouthwatering restaurants in Rome, or the famed plazas in Madrid. As The Namesake author Jhumpa Lahiri so masterfully put it, “That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”

Are you ready to see the world without actually having to leave your couch? Then forget the hassle of flying and the expense of backpacking, and instead pick up one of these five short books set in Europe, and get ready for the worldly adventure of your dreams, no passport required.

'Less' by Andrew Sean Greer

Paperback Page Count: 272

Take a trip to Europe and beyond with the hilarious and heartbroken Arthur Less, a struggling novelist on the run from his problems — namely, his ex boyfriend's wedding — back home. Tag along as he nearly finds love in Paris, almost dies in Berlin, and barely gets away safely from a sandstorm to Morocco. Heartwarming and hilarious, the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel is a must-read for book and travel lovers alike.

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'My Italian Bulldozer: A Novel' by Alexander McCall Smith

Paperback Page Count: 240

Visit the idyllic Italian town of Montalcino alongside Paul Stuart, a renowned food writer who, after being dumped, ventures to Tuscany to finish his latest cookbook. When there is a problem with his car rental, though, Paul finds himself experiencing the sights, sounds, people, and, of course, the flavors of the beautiful country on the back of a bulldozer. A sweet and humorous story bursting with memorable characters, My Italian Bulldozer is a delicious romp through one of Europe’s most charming destinations.

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‘One Special Summer’ by Lee and Jacqueline Bouvier

Hardcover Page Count: 72

In this unique illustrated travel journal by Lee Bouvier and her sister, the future First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, readers experience the European continent, from art lessons in Venice to lunches with ambassadors in Paris, through the eyes of two remarkable young women. Despite being written nearly 70 years ago, One Special Summer will feel relatable to any woman who has travelled before, from wardrobe malfunctions to Unwanted romantic advances and beyond.

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‘Gourmet Rhapsody’ by Muriel Barbery

Paperback Page Count: 160

Travel to Paris and revisit the building made famous in Muriel Barberry’s The Elegance of Hedgehog in this fun and charming novel about one of the greatest food critics in the world. With death looming, Monsieur Arthens is desperate for one last taste, but not of just anything: of the Flavor par excellence, only once sampled but never forgotten. Told from multiple points of view, including M. Arthens and a variety of his acquaintances, colleagues, and even a cat, Gourmet Rhapsody will make hungry travelers drool.

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‘Alberto’s Lost Birthday’ by Diana Rose

Paperback Page Count: 288

Set out on an unforgettable adventure with Alberto and his seven-year-old grandson Tito as the delightful duo travel across Spain in an attempt to discover the old man’s birthday. A beautiful exploration of the country’s captivating and often painful history, Alberto’s Lost Birthday is a moving novel that will make you want to pack your bags and take a trip of your own.

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