As a bookstore, we know the power of stories. Our shelves are full of tales of adventure and intrigue, romance and rogues, heartbreak and hope. Stories have the power to pull us out of the trials of our own lives, or connect us with others who’ve shared our struggles. They can be entertaining or enlightening. They can be a single sentence long or over a thousand pages.
As booksellers, we excel at travelling the world on the pages of a book. There’s nothing better than traversing through the jungle or braving arctic winds from the warmth of your favorite reading chair. The sign of a good storyteller, after all, is the ability to carry you away to another world.
In honor or World Storytelling Day we’ve collected some of our favorite stories that span the globe. Grab a copy of the ones that speak to you and begin your journey!.
A Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
Takes place in: Greece
This historical fiction novel follows the Greek hero, Achilles, throughout his life. The story is told through Achilles’ life-long companion, Patroclus, and culminates with the Trojan War. With extensive research, Miller follows the path of history but portrays the intense relationship between Patroclus and Achilles.
No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering by Clara Benson
Takes place in: Throughout Europe
This travel memoir follows author Clara Benson as she embarks on a twenty-one-day adventure across the world with a man she meets on the dating site, OKCupid. Armed with only her credit card and a toothbrush, Benson’s story is an adventure in facing the unknown.
Born a Crime by Trevor Noah
Takes place in: South Africa
A memoir by late-night host Trevor Noah, this story starts in South Africa during the apartheid. Noah is born to a white father and black mother, a marriage that is illegal. He spent the beginning of his life hidden away from the government who could take him away.
Asking for It by Louis O’Neill
Takes place in: Ireland
Protagonist Emma O’Donovan wakes up the morning after a party with no memory of what happened the night before. Photographs surface of the night’s events and the residents of the small town in Ireland don’t want to believe what the pictures reveal.
Certain Dark Things by Silvia Moreno-Garcia
Takes place in: Mexico City
Delve into the world of fantasy with this dark novel about vampires. When a garbage collector meets a vampire on the run from a rival blood-drinking clan, he falls under her spell. As tensions rise in Mexico City, it’s a game of making it out alive and mortals aren’t known for their longevity.
Lagoon by Nnedi Okorafor
Takes place in: Nigeria
When the fate of the country (and the world at large) lies in the hands of three strangers after a gigantic mysterious object crashes into the ocean, they must work against the clock to survive. This science fiction story is a thrilling adventure from the first page to the last.
The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden
Takes place in: Russia
In this dark and twisted tale, Arden takes readers on a journey into the frozen depths of Russia. A phenomenal work of magical realism, she combines the weary and draining task of surviving in feudal Russia with the whimsy and weight of Russian fairy tales.
Brother, I’m Dying by Edwidge Danticat
Takes place in: New York City, Haiti
This powerful memoir follows Danticat through the first twelve years of her life in Haiti, and later in New York City. A moving exploration of reconciling the past and the present, Danticat lays bare her experience as two of the most important men in her life — the uncle that raised her in Haiti and her father — face their deaths.