Have you ever heard anyone say that flying is the best part of traveling? Me neither. You might be really excited to arrive to your destination, but you have to go through airport security, wait before boarding the plane, and deal with the uncertainty of who will be seated next to you. And if the flight is long, then everything is just ten times worse. For long flights, you usually get to watch cool films or listen to bizarre albums like traditional Chechnyan music or something. Or, if you're like me, you can doze off until they start serving food. However, there is no better option to make time go quickly than devouring a short yet interesting book in your eight-to-twelve-hour flight. Here are some options you can consider for your next flight. They’re not too long, they have exciting plots, and there are options for all tastes and moods.
This Is How You Lose Her, Junot Díaz
This collection of short stories by Dominican-American author Junot Díaz revolves around Yunior and his failed relationships. In each story, we read about Yunior’s relationships with different women, as well as the environment where he grew up, which has shaped the way he sees women. Each story is entertaining in its own way, and the tone is refreshing and relatable. The stories are so fun and the writing is so fluid, you won’t even notice when the plane is landing.
White Teeth, Zadie Smith
British author Zadie Smith presents a story about two families in North London, one headed by Archie Jones, and the other by his friend Samad Iqbal, who he met while fighting together during the Second World War. Although they are completely different, the stories of these two friends and their respective families explore in a fun and quirky way themes like race, history, and gender. Even though this book might seem long at first glance, its light and familiar tone is sure to help time pass quickly.
Evil under the Sun, Agatha Christie
If you feel like solving some riddles and mysteries, Agatha Christie is a must. You can pick any of her crime novels (they're all amazing), but I personally recommend this one because, what better way to add some thrill to your vacation than reading a crime novel taking place in a holiday destination? In this story, Hercules Poirot, Christie’s famous detective, is taking a break at an isolated hotel in Devon. However, a few days later, a puzzling murder on the beach will end his vacation much sooner than he expected.
Kitchen, Banana Yoshimoto
Banana Yoshimoto mostly deals with the Western influence in Japanese culture. In this novel, this theme is explored alongside her country’s traditions, as well with other topics such as loss, family relationships, and gender. After losing her grandmother, young Mikage Sakurai, who works as a culinary teacher, befriends her grandmother’s friend, Yuichi, and Eiko, his transgender mother, as she attempts to recover from her loss.
Misery, Stephen King
Now, we're going to change things up a bit. If you want something scary and gripping that you won’t be able to put down, this masterpiece by Stephen King is a novel you can't miss. After having a car accident, writer Paul Sheldon is rescued by the strange Annie Wilkes, who claims to be his number one fan. He can’t move because of his injuries, so he depends entirely on Wilkes, who isn’t as innocent as she pretends to be.
Flowers for Algernon, Daniel Keyes
This science fiction novel tells the story of Charlie Gordon, a man with an IQ of 68 who volunteers to be a subject in an experiment to enhance his intelligence. Written as a journal, the story follows Charlie’s intellectual evolution, to the point that he becomes a genius and starts wondering about the person he was before the experiment and where everything will lead. The writing of this story makes it an easy and quick read, and the protagonist’s evolution will make you ask yourself whether knowledge is a virtue or a curse. Just a piece of advice: tissues will come in handy with this novel.
Want to read more interesting books? Take a look at these lists: