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PHOTO: Annie Spratt

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Summer Reading List

Satisfy Your Wanderlust with Books

“A book is a magical thing that lets you travel to far-away places without ever leaving your chair,” writes author Katrina Mayer. And good thing since with summer plans dashed, many homebound travelers are creating reading lists in place of itineraries this year. In the spirit of armchair travel, Cassie Clemens, owner of Roundabout Books in Bend, suggests a few titles that transport a reader’s imagination to far-flung destinations without leaving home. “When we open a book, we are transported to other worlds and new ideas,” says Cassie. “We can grow, learn, and live in a new place, experience another life, even if it’s just for a few hours at a time. Sometimes that’s all we need.”

"The Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett

“A stunning new novel about twin sisters who leave their small town and escape to New Orleans, where their lives ultimately diverge into separate paths. Weaving together multiple strands and generations of this family this book is about race, identity, fate, and prejudice,” Cassie says. “It’s so good.”


New Orleans

"A Long Petal of the Sea" by Isabella Allende

Based on a little-known story of the poet Pablo Neruda commissioning a ship to bring 2,200 refugees from Spain to safety in Chile. “This historical fiction novel is Allende at her best, and tells the story of two people who start over on a new continent,” says Cassie.


Across continents, from Europe to South America

"Ten Thousand Doors of January" by Alix E. Harrow

“The epitome of escape fiction, this novel incarnates the phrase ‘Books Open Doors’ by manifesting actual doors between worlds,” says Cassie. “A book where writers are the creators of worlds, love transcends time and space, and magic lurks in every book. This book is enchanting.”


New England to begin, then multiple “stops”

"A Burning" by Megha Majumdar

Finally, Cassie recommends this new book, “An electrifying debut novel about three people who seek to rise and find their lives entangled in the wake of a train crash in India. Her short but powerful novel rings of epic tragedy but will keep you holding your breath to the very last page.”


West of Bengal


  • PHOTO: Annie Spratt