9 Recommended Books To Read During Your Travel (Part 1)

Since I was a kid, I have always wanted to travel the world. However, I’m not lucky enough to be born in a family who is keen to travel.

To tell you a bit about my family background is that they come from a rural area in West Java called Ciamis. And for people in Ciamis, moving to Bandung, the capital city of West Java province in Indonesia is already a big deal.

There is a saying about us Sundanese people, a stereotype about how Sundanese people are way too comfortable to remain staying in their own land. And that is exactly how my family is like.

I’ve always got the desire to travel since I was a kid when I always asked my Mom to go some other place for holiday instead of going to Ciamis for a hundredth time everytime. My Mom’s response is always the same, “You can travel one day when you’re older.”

Growing up, I started to love reading because that’s the only way I could imagine how it was living outside my hometown. Hence, my interest in International Relations that led me to choose it as a major when I was in the university.

Today, I’m lucky enough to be able to travel well enough to see some places in the other part of the world. But I’ve never lost my interest to read. So now not only that I could imagine how it was to imagine in some particular place, but also I could do it while I travel as well.

So this time, I’m gonna list 4 out of 9 favorite books of mine that I’d like to recommend you my fellow travelers. These are not exactly travel-related books, but I’m sure these books will add the joy of traveling in your favor. Enjoy!

1. One Hundred Names (Cecelia Ahern)

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Why did I purchase the book?

This is actually the first book from Cecelia Ahern that I managed to read. I know, I know. Cecelia Ahern is one of the best authors in the world and she knows how to create a story and turn it into a best-seller. Not to mention that she’s the sister-in-law of Nicky Byrne (ex-Westlife). I mean, a lot of reasons to start reading her masterpiece(s)!

However, I decided to buy and read this book to get myself introduced to her book in 2015 simply because I was running out of books to read. And honestly, the reason why I never gave Cecelia Ahern a try was because I watched P.S. I Love You and I didn’t think I was into the movie. Maybe I should’ve read the book instead.

The Plot

Kitty Logan is a journalist whose career has been destroyed by scandal while at the same time she lost her mentor, Constance. Before she died, Kitty asked her about the story that she always wanted to write, and the answer is buried in the file she has found in her office later on: a list of one hundred names.

And for that, Kitty decided to assign herself doing the most important task of her life: the story her mentor never got a chance to write.

“I think that the story one covers often reveals more about the person writing it than perhaps the story revealing itself.”

-One Hundred Names, Cecelia Ahern

Why is it suitable to read during your travel?

I gotta say, Cecelia Ahern IS an excellent author. That’s for sure. I suppose PS. I Love You movie was quite misleading that I probably have to give it a try to read the book just to see if it was actually amazing like One Hundred Names.

I mean, the plot where Kitty had to find out the correlation between one hundred names listed and transform it into one amazing story could be relevant for you fellow travelers. I mean, come on, I’m sure at times you need to choose what places you want to visit in a  limited number of days you travel to ensure that you’ll make a remarkable journey.

2. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)

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Why did I purchase the book? 

Because if anything, this book is legendary to the point everyone who has read it would always recommend it with a super good review.

I only got a chance to finally read this book last year, and just like everyone, I gotta say this one is simply a must-read book for anyone who likes to read a story with some moral message inside it.

After all, it’s a children’s book. And now that we’re adults, there’s always a part of you who’s still a child and in need for this story. 🙂

The Plot

A story about a pilot who stranded in the desert, he woke up one morning to see the most extraordinary little fellow. The rest, to say the least, is history.

“The only things you learn are the things you tame. People haven’t time to learn anything. They buy things ready-made in stores. But since there are no stores where you can buy friends, people no longer have friends. If you want a friend, tame me!”

-The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Why is it suitable to read during your travel?

First of all, this is a story about a pilot stranded in the desert. I mean, this is a story about someone who travels. And how the traveler can encounter the shortcomings, new friends, and new experience in general. If that doesn’t sum up why travelers could relate to the story, then I don’t know what does.

Plus, since it’s a children’s book, it is actually a light reading with a lot of moral messages inside the story. The book only takes a little space on your backpack, and you can actually enjoy it in one sitting if you want to.

3. The Museum of Innocence (Orhan Pamuk)

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Why did I purchase the book? 

The reason why I bought this book was also related to travel. Why? Because Turkey is the first country I have visited after my home country Indonesia. My first visa stamp on my very first passport was issued by the embassy of Turkey. Needless to say, the reason why I purchased the book is rather emotional.

I bought this book around 2012 when I was based in Semarang due to the fact that I missed Turkey sometimes.

The Plot

The setting of the story is Istanbul in 70s where Kemal and Sibel, a couple from prominent family broke up their engagement as Kemal was enthralled by Fusun, a shopgirl who was also his distant relation.

In his pursuit of Fusun, Kemal becomes a compulsive collector of objects that chronicle his lovelorn progress. These objects have transformed into a museum that is a map for both society and his heart.

“Any intelligent person knows that life is a beautiful thing and that the purpose of life is to be happy. But it seems only idiots are ever happy. How can we explain this?”

-The Museum of Innocence, Orhan Pamuk

Why is it suitable to read during your travel?

Istanbul is a city divided into Asia and Europe, thanks to Bosphorus Strait. And for exactly the same reason, Istanbul in 70s is divided into two society classes: the Westernized bourgeoisie like Kemal and those who come from traditional working class like Fusun.

It’s quite fascinating to learn about the problem encountered in that era, as well as how it makes living in Istanbul sound more exciting. Those who like to learn about cultures would probably love to find out about this ideas.

Also, through this book, Orhan Pamuk has actually established an actual “Museum of Innocence” in Istanbul. It is located in Cukurcuma, around the neighborhood of Beyoglu in Istanbul.

The museum is all based on the story in the book, and you can enter the museum for free if you bring the book with you. So, it’s quite suitable for you who love visiting museums during your travel right? 🙂

FYI, I had a chance to bring the book to the museum but sadly it was closed when I went there. So avoid Monday if you’re planning to visit the museum after you read the book!

4. Leaving Time (Jodi Picoult)

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Why did I purchase the book? 

This is not the first book from Jodi Picoult that I have read since I’ve already got My Sister’s Keeper and The Story Teller on my list. I love all the books written by Jodi Picoult and that’s exactly the reason why I bought this book in the first place.

The Plot

Jenna Metcalf has never stopped thinking about mother, Alice, who disappeared in one tragic accident. Refusing to believe she would be abandoned by her loving mother, even more as a young child, Jenna searches for her mother regularly online and she ended up poring over the pages of Alice’s journals.

In the journey of finding the truth and her mother, Jenna encountered two allies: Serenity Jones, a disgraced psychic and Virgil Stanhope, the private detective who investigated Alice’s case.

“The moral of this story is that no matter how much we try, no matter how much we want it… some stories just don’t have a happy ending.”

-Leaving Time, Jodi Picoult

Why is it suitable to read during your travel?

If there’s anything that I love about Jodi Picoult’s books, it is that it allows you travel back in time since the plot can be so unpredictable and fascinating at the same time.

For someone who loves the idea of time travel, this one will do the work… Also, for those animal lovers, I think this will make you fall in love to elephants!

Believe me, because I do and seriously think about naming my future daughter Maura, after the elephant on the book. 😉

Okay, so they are my 4 favorite books that I’d like to recommend you fellow travelers to accompany you in your journey. I’ll list 5 more books to share with you in the next post.

Meanwhile, have you got any favorite book that you’d like to recommend and suitable to read during your travel? Or if you’ve actually read one of my favorite books and you want to discuss further about this, please drop me a comment below.

Other than that, cheerio and have a good day everyone! 😀


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