I thought I might be able to help. All of these are in paperback, because I find it much more difficult to haul 5-8 hardbound books. Any of the below books would be divine at the beach or the pool, on the campground or in the air. I often try to match my reading to my destination, hoping to add a little insider info to my trip. Just a tip.
In Euphoria, Lily King’s intoxicating trek into the exotic locale of Papua, New Guinea, three anthropologists (Australian, American and British) find themselves far from home. King’s anthropologists are simulacrums of Margaret Mead, her husband Reo Fortune and her future husband, Gregory Bateson.
Anthony Doerr’s gorgeous novel won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize. All The Light We Cannot See encompasses WW2 within an examination of the lives and worlds of two teenagers: Marie-Laure LeBlanc, a blind French girl, and Werner Pfenning, a German whiz-kid desperate to live the coal mine fate of his home town of Essen. Written mostly in the present tense, with recurring flashbacks throughout both children’s lives, All The Light progresses inevitably to their meeting during the siege of St.-Malo, France, in August of 1944.
Tana French has become one of my obsessions. She publishes a new book, I must have it in hard back and begin reading immediately. In the Woods, her first novel, remains my favorite of her five books; however, all are excellent. Her most recent, The Secret Place, is my second favorite. These are page-turning, mystery novels set in Ireland with a cast of realistic, driven and haunted characters.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter. On the rugged, Mediterranean coast of Italy, a land of five towns clings stunningly to the edge of the cliffs; accessible only by boat, offering fresh seafood pulled daily from the Ligurian sea by men whose families have done the same for centuries and a hiding place from the modern world, the Cinque Terre seems just the place for Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor to have sought refuge during the filming of Cleopatra in Rome. In Jess Walter’s sumptuous novel Beautiful Ruins, they do just this. And the tale of the IT couple’s visit to Porto Vergogna, a lonely innkeeper, a starlet, star-crossed lovers, a wannabe screenwriter (whose big concept is “Donner!,” a movie about the Donner party,) a nauseating Hollywood producer and fifty years of frustrated confusion make the novel one of my top five reads.
A New York family brings a large set of first world problems to Mallorca, where even more challenges await: a Spanish tutor both mom and daughter have the hots for, a retired Spanish tennis stud and lots of gorgeous food and descriptions and you have The Vacationers by Emma Straub. https://daeandwrite.wordpress.com/2014/08/29/the-vacationers-by-emma-straub/
Other books that would make great traveling companions: The 19th Wife, by David Ebershoff (Utah); Boy, Snow, Bird (Maine); Where’d You Go Bernadette, by Maria Semple (Seattle); The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion; The Perfume Collector, by Kathleen Tessaro (Paris), Dominance, by Will Lavender.
I’d love to hear what you’re reading!