9 Transportive Books To Read When You Need A Break From City Life But Can't Afford A Getaway

Whether you're living in New York City or Los Angeles or somewhere in between, city life can be a lot to handle. Sometimes, you just need to get away for a while — breath the fresh air, meditate in the sound of silence, walk without running into anyone else, bask in the mist of the ocean breeze. If you don't have the time or the funds to get away, here are some books to transport you away from the city for a little while.

A good book can transform any space into the Gobi Desert or the English countryside or the far-reaches of outer space. You may be reading these books on the subway or listening to them on audiobook as you sit in traffic, but no matter where you are, they'll sweep you up and whisk you off on the adventure of a lifetime. By the time you've finished, hopefully the city will feel just a little more manageable and you'll feel a little bit more prepared to tackle the rest of your day.

So if you're looking for a change of pace, pick up one of these transportive reads that are almost as a good as a weekend out of town:

'The Art of the Wasted Day' by Patricia Hampl

Can you just imagine leading a life where the only item on your to-do list was "daydreaming"? In this lovely nonfiction book, Patricia Hampl explores the culture of leisure and examines the people in history who have led such a life, including from two Irish women who retired in rural Wales and Michel Montaigne, who retired from court to write in solitude.

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'The Great Alone' by Kristin Hannah

The year is 1974, and Ernt Allbright has just returned home from the Vietnam War when decides to uproot his family to live off the grid in Alaska. At first, the remote corner of Alaska where they make their home seems to be the solution to their problems, but as the days grow shorter and colder, Ernt's mental health begins to deteriorate.

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'State of Wonder' by Ann Patchett

Biologist Dr. Marina Singh journeys to the Amazon rainforest in search of her missing mentor. Once there, she discovers that there's more to the story than she possibly imagined.

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'Claire of the Sea Light' by Edwidge Danticat

Edwidge Danticat transports readers to a small Haitian seaside town as its people reckon with the disappearance of a young girl. Fair warning: this book might just break your heart.

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'Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback' by Robyn Davidson

If you love Wild by Cheryl Strayed, you need to pick up this incredible memoir about Robyn Davidson's 1700 miles trek the unforgiving Australian Outback with four camels and a dog. Davidson recounts how she dealt with the sweltering heat and the dangerous creatures she encountered, as well as the discoveries she made along the way.

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'The Long Way to a Small, Angry Planet' by Becky Chambers

Join the motley crew of the Wayfarer as they take on a job that sends them on a long journey into deep space. With fabulous characters, an expansive universe, and plenty of shenanigans, this is the feel-good sci-fi novel you need in your life.

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'Sag Harbor' by Colson Whitehead

Head out to the Hamptons with this wonderful book by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Underground Railroad. The year is 1985, and Benji Cooper is one of the only black students at an elite prep school in Manhattan. While his school-life can be messy, every summer he escapes to an African-American community in Sag Harbor. Benji is determined to make this summer an epic one, and readers will follow along on his wild quest to reinvent himself.

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'The Sunlit Night' by Rebecca Dinerstein

This book will take you to Lofoten, an archipelago of six tiny islands in the Norwegian Sea, 95 miles north of the Arctic Circle. Frances has journeyed to Lofoten from Manhattan after a heartbreak, and Yasha has come from Brooklyn to fulfill his father's wishes to bury him "at the top of the world." As the two navigate the intensity of the far North, a tight bond forms between them.

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'The Drunken Spelunker's Guide to Plato' by Kathy Giuffre

Kathy Giuffre plays with Plato’s Allegory of the Cave from The Republic and transports you to a bar in a small town in Appalachia. Josie has just arrived from an even smaller town, and has started a gig as a bartender at the Cave. The patrons of the bar each sing off the page, forming a charming story about the families we build for ourselves.

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