Right now, we all need a little adventure. Feast your eyes on these escapist reads to bring you to a new, magical place. We have books about the literary worlds we escape to—the real and the imagined—along with guides to the hidden treasures of the world. And a bonus? You can view the magnificence of the world’s best art museums with books that collect the entire selection of art. Get ready for some fabulous escapist reads.
Booked explores eighty iconic literary locations across the globe. The best part is that they're actually places you can visit yourself. There's the Monroeville, Alabama courthouse (To Kill a Mockingbird), Chatsworth House (inspiration for Pemberley in Pride and Prejudice), and Segovia, Spain (For Whom the Bell Tolls). Complete with photographs, history, and little-known facts about the locations, readers can finally put a reality to the places they've read about.
by Anja Grebe
Introduction by Ross King
The Vatican is home to one of the world's finest art collections and is one of the most visited places on Earth. Now, you can visit from your home. From Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel to Raphael's frescoes, feast your eyes on the many beauties within the Vatican in this collection. The book is organized into sections representing the different museum areas and showcases each of the 976 items inside.
Illustrated by Katie Vernon
Magical Places is a beautifully enchanting guide to the world's most magical spots. Organized into chapters like Places of Healing, Haunted Places, and Fairy Tale Locales, readers can explore the world of magic from their own homes. From well-known sites like Stonehenge to lesser-known places like the pink Lake Retba in Senegal, Nikki Van De Car's illustrated book showcases it all. Many places include sacred rituals and incantations, as well as history and gorgeous photography.
General editor Laura Miller
Contributions by Lev Grossman
Contributions by John Sutherland
Contributions by Tom Shippey
Dig in to the stories of almost 100 of the most beloved fictional worlds in Literary Wonderlands. This is a deeply researched collection about the creation and meanings behind each setting, spanning from Spenser's The Fairie Queene to Murakami's 1Q84. Each location includes an overview of the story's plot and characters.
Contributions by Anja Grebe
Commentaries by Vincent Pomarède
The Louvre houses 3,022 paintings in its permanent collection—from da Vinci's Mona Lisa to Vermeer's The Lacemaker—and they're all cataloged in this magnificent collection. Organized by the four main painting collections, view the paintings of the Italian School, Northern School, Spanish School, and French School in chronological order by artist's date of birth.
by Emma Jacobs
A jaunt to Paris may seem daunting enough, with all the major highlights to see, but it's the hidden sites off the beaten path that are the focus of Little(r) Museums of Paris. Emma Jacobs takes readers on a journey of whimsy through the city, from the Institute of the Arab World to the insides of artists' apartments. Each tour entry includes information on the museum: its collection, history, and map. It's the perfect little illustrated book to get a deeper look at the wonder of Paris.
In The Atlas of Happiness, Helen Russell takes readers around the world to see the ways in which different nations find happiness in their lives. It's an illustrated guide, chock full of advice, history, and philosophies, traversing Spain, New Zealand, Russia, Syria, Canada, and so many more.
by Ross King
by Anja Grebe
With nearly 2,000 reproduced artworks, Florence takes readers to the heart of the Renaissance, including works from Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, and more. Included with the art are essays about the paintings, politics, and everyday life in Florence.
Edited by John Sutherland
Literary Landscapes collects more than 50 literary worlds and delves deep into how they work within their stories. From the sounds of Mississippi River steamboats in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn to the Neapolitan breezes in My Brilliant Friend, John Sutherland's collection covers the best real-life literary settings. Each location gets a rundown of its geography, location, and terrain, along with how it works within the stories that are set there.
Explore the world of danger and fright in the Atlas of Cursed Places, a collection of mysterious spots on Earth. From the coal town where the ground is constantly on fire to the Nevada triangle, where dozens of aircraft have disappeared without a trace, enjoy a travel around the eerie sites around the world from the comfort of your own home. Olivier Le Carrer's book includes vintage maps and humorous profiles of each site.
What to Read Next
Ashley Holstrom is a book person, designing them and writing about them for Book Riot. She lives near Chicago with her cat named after Hemingway and her bookshelves organized by color.