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Books Set on a Form of Transportation

Whether you are armchair traveling as part of our Book Voyage Reading Challenge, or simply looking for books set on a mode of transportation, our book list is sure to take you where you want to go!

Books Set on Different Modes of Transportation

From planes to trains, and ships to sailboats, these books on this list will transport you around the globe. However, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “It’s not the destination. It’s the journey.” And that’s why, for the list of books below, we’ve focused on stories that take place primarily on a mode of transportation.

Our curated books list spans genres, from historical fiction to contemporary, and from thriller to romance. In addition to planes, trains, and boats, you’ll also find novels and non-fiction reads set aboard airships, bikes, and even space shuttles. We’re happy to have you along for this ride.

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Books Set on Planes, Airships, and in Airports

Book Summary

In this historical fiction novel, we are introduced to Antoine de Saint-Exupéry many years before he became the famed author of The Little Prince. In the 1920s, Antoine, along with Jean Mermoz and Henri Guillaumet, was chosen to pioneer new mail routes around the globe.

In the air, this trio of friends would stop at nothing to ensure that each letter reached its destination. Back on the ground, each of these men had to deal with a world torn apart by war and political factions.

The Book Girls Say…

While this book is a work of fiction, it is true that Antoine de Saint-Exupéry was an aviation pioneer. He became a military pilot in the early 1920s and was later a commercial pilot working airmail routes in Europe, Africa, and South America. Later, during WWII, Antoine disappeared when his plane crashed over the Mediterranean.

Antoine’s famous novella, The Little Prince, begins with a pilot being stranded in the desert. Like the fictional pilot, Antoine was once stranded in the Libyan desert after his plane crashed there in 1935.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

This historical fiction novel is based on the real people aboard the last flight of the Hindenburg as it traveled from Germany toward Lakehurst, New Jersey. The book provides one possible scenario for the mysteries of what caused the explosion aboard the zeppelin.

The Book Girls Say…

This is a well-researched novel that draws upon biographies, survivor accounts, charts, and other documentation about the final flight of the Hindenburg. Some readers found it helpful to make a list of passengers because the book is told from many different perspectives. The author does a good job of clarifying what is fact and what is fiction.

If you are interested in reading another book set about the Hindenburg, be sure the check out Three Words for Goodbye below in the “Books Set on Multiple Modes of Transportation” section of our list.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in the 1930s

Book Summary

Dev’s ex-girlfriend is getting married to Tara’s ex-boyfriend. These two strangers meet on a plane bound for Paris, both set on breaking up the wedding. But when a volcano erupts in Iceland, Dev and Tara are left stranded when their plane is forced to land at London’s Heathrow Airport.

This novel is described as Bollywood on the page and sheer fun, while the connection between the characters is described as realistic and charming. The end of the book includes a glossary of the Hindi phrases used throughout the book.

The Book Girls Say…

In 2010, Iceland’s volcanic eruption caused major disruptions to air travel over much of Europe. Over 100,000 flights were canceled over an 8-day period, affecting nearly 10 million passengers. This fictitious story imagines the story of just a few of those people.

Fight or Flight is another fun rom-com that starts with a flight diverted due to volcanic ash. When Ava’s flight is delayed, her journey home gets entangled with that of an arrogant Scotsman named Caleb. Everywhere she turns, there he is, driving her crazy! In line at the ticket counter, at the airport restaurant, and in the seat right next to her on the plane. This enemies-to-lovers story gets pretty steamy.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

96% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Twelve-year-old Edward boards a plane with his beloved older brother and his parents, bound for their new home and life in California, but when the plane tragically crashes, Edward emerges as the sole survivor. After recovering from his injuries, he goes to live with his mom’s sister and her husband with the eyes of the world on him. Everyone is eager to hear his story.

His aunt and uncle work hard to shield him from all the attention and to allow him time to process his loss, but when Edward uncovers a stack of letters, he discovers an unexpected path to healing.

The chapters in the book alternate between Edward’s day-to-day life during the three years following the accident, and a minute-by-minute recounting of the ill-fated flight, through which we are introduced to many of the other passengers.

The Book Girls Say…

Although the main, named character is a teen, this is not a YA book. Half of the book details the experiences of the adults on the plane. As you would expect, this book is heavy in the grief department, so be prepared and keep the tissues close by.

Dear Edward was a Goodreads Choice Award Nominee for Best Fiction in 2020. Though it is a work of fiction, the author has stated that it was loosely inspired by the 2010 crash of Libyan-operated Afriqiyah Airways Flight 771, in which the sole survivor was a 9-year-old boy. When Ann Napolitano learned about this crash, she said, “This story flayed me. I could not imagine how that boy would be OK and I could feel from the stickiness of my obsession that I was going to have to write a book that created a set of circumstances to make him OK.”

The book has also been adapted into a television series on Apple TV+.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Marian Graves was only an infant when she was rescued from a sinking ocean liner in 1914. She was raised along with her brother, James, in Montana, where they first encounter the miracle of flight when bi-planes pass through town.

By age 14, she has dropped out of school to pursue her love and entered into a dangerous partnership with a bootlegger. He subsidizes her plane and lessons, but with conditions. However, with his assistance, she’s able to pursue her ultimate dream in the 1950s – circling the globe, including flying over the North and South Poles.

In addition to Marian’s story, you’ll follow actress Hadley 100 years in the future as she plays the role of Marian in a movie. As Hadley digs deep into Marian’s life, you’ll see similarities in their self-determination despite their daily lives being so different.

The Book Girls Say…

This Booker Prize finalist is a long book at 600+ pages, and reviews are split on whether all those pages are necessary. We haven’t read it ourselves but noticed some mentions of child abuse, abortion, and explicit scenes, so keep that in mind if you prefer cleaner reads.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books that Span Multiple Continents

Book Summary

One hundred and fifty people board a flight to New York. What they don’t know is that thirty minutes earlier, the pilot’s family was kidnapped. The pilot is told that the only way his family will survive is if he follows the kidnapper’s orders and crashes the plane. Buckle up!

The Book Girls Say…

Author T.J. Newman is a former bookseller and a flight attendant. Falling was her debut novel and was named a best book of the year by USA Today. This aviation thriller is set for a film adaptation, and reports indicate that T.J. Newman is also set to write the script.

The author’s second novel, Drowning, is about a commercial flight that crashes in the Pacific Ocean just minutes after takeoff. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. The twelve survivors on the plane are forced to close the doors, and they are trapped when the plane sinks two hundred feet to the bottom of the ocean.

Train Mysteries & Other Books Set on Trains

In addition to the books listed below, author Paul Theroux has several classic train travelogues such as The Old Patagonian Express and The Great Railway Bazaar. Keep in mind that his books were written in the 70s and are not always culturally sensitive to the regions he visited.

Book Summary

A snowstorm stops the progress of the famous Orient Express train, trapping everyone on board overnight. In the morning, millionaire Samuel Edward Ratchett is discovered dead in his suite, stabbed multiple times. However, his cabin door was locked from the inside, so how did this happen? And does this mean the murderer is still on the train?

The Book Girls Say…

While this is actually book #10 in the popular Hercule Poirot series, it’s the most recognized train mystery and a great introduction to Agatha Christie. Be warned; we hear that once you read one, you’ll want to quickly read more!

Book Summary

Selva could have her pick of nearly any man in Ankara, Turkey, but the only one she loved was the handsome Jewish son of a court physician. Despite the protests of their families, the two marry and are determined to build a new life in Paris. But when the Nazis invade France and begin rounding up Jews, it’s no longer safe for them to stay.

After learning that Selva is among the citizens trapped in France, a group of Turkish diplomats devise a plan to transport Selva, Rafael, and hundreds of Jewish people to safety. From Ankara to Paris, Cairo, and Berlin, The Last Train to Istanbul crisscrosses a war-torn continent in an uplifting tale of love and adventure.

The Book Girls Say…

While only a portion of this historical fiction novel is set on the train, readers say that this is the most impactful part of the story.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/16/2023

Book Summary

Each morning, August gets on the Q train at the same stop and sees the same mysteriously compelling girl, Jane. August tries to ignore her, after all, she moved to New York to prove that cinematic love stories don’t exist, and the only smart way to go through life is alone.

But then Jane, in her leather jacket, unexpectedly saves August’s day. Soon, seeing her subway crush becomes the best part of August’s daily routine. But there’s a problem. Jane doesn’t just look like a 70s rocker. She actually displaced in time from the 70s and stuck on the subway. Now, it’s August’s turn to save Jane.

The Book Girls Say…

Public transit is one of the most important forms of transportation when it comes to both travel and daily life. This book puts a major time travel twist on what it’s like when you see the same strangers day after day on the subway.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/17/2023

Book Summary

This historical fiction turns the table on Agatha Cristie’s popular Murder on the Orient Express and places Agatha as the main character aboard the train. In the book, she boards the train in disguise using the name Mary Miller after her marriage ends in 1928.

Two other women aboard are also trying to make fresh starts, Agatha’s cabinmate is archeologist, Katharine Woolley. Her first marriage ended in tragedy, propelling her toward a second relationship mired in deceit. Meanwhile, Nancy is trying to conceal a pregnancy as a newly married woman carrying another man’s child.

Each of the three women is guarding their own secrets, but as they journey toward the Middle East, their lives intersect with lasting repercussions.

The Book Girls Say…

Agatha Christie did travel on the Orient Express herself, including meeting the real Katharine Wolley. However, the character of Nancy and the majority of the story is fiction. Readers say that those familiar with Murder on the Orient Express will see some connections to Pierot’s journey, but that you don’t have to be familiar with that book to enjoy this fast-paced mystery. The book also includes elements of romance.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/17/2023

Book Summary

Each day, Rachel rides the same commuter train in London. As she travels past the back gardens of the houses on the route, she sees the same couple again and again, and begins to feel like she knows them. She even names them, Jess and Jason. From Rachels’s point of view, their life looks idyllic. She wishes she could be as happy as they are.

But one day, she sees something shocking. The train continues on, but now everything has changed. Told from three points of view, this one will keep you guessing!

The Book Girls Say…

This thriller won the 2015 Goodreads Choice award for Best Mystery & Thriller. The protagonists are not likable, so if that is a deal-breaker for you, be sure to skip this one.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

95% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Looking to escape his circumstances, Jacob Jankowski jumps onto a passing train and suddenly finds himself thrust into the world of a circus struggling to survive during the Great Depression.

Because Jacob is just shy of his veterinary degree, he’s put in charge of caring for the circus menagerie. He becomes enamored with Marlena – the star of the equestrian show. But Marlena is married to the circus’s cruel animal trainer. Jacob also meets Rosie, an elephant that everyone had hoped would help save the circus, but who appears to be untrainable.

The Book Girls Say…

If you’ve already enjoyed Water for Elephants and would like another book about a traveling circus, try The Circus Train by Amita Parikh, which is set in 1938 Europe amid WW2.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/15/2023

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in the 1930s

Books Set on Boats & Ships

Historically, water has been a primary mode of transportation for both people and vital resources. This is reflected in classic literature with books like Moby Dick, Huck Finn, The Odyssey, and The Old Man & the Sea. Any of those would be a fun pick if you’re looking for a classic book. You can also find many books set at sea on our list of Books Set in Antarctica.

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Author Torre is Australian but plans a year in the US to escape a bad relationship at home.

On a night out in a San Francisco bar, she meets Ivan, a handsome Argentinian adventurer, and they have undeniable chemistry together. The only problem is that he’s leaving on a long trip alone across the ocean in his small boat. This sounds like a worst-case scenario to Torre, who gets seasick and has a fear of the water.

When her only options are saying goodbye to the deep connection she’s developed with Ivan or joining him on the boat, she chooses to face her fear of the water, and they set sail. This memoir chronicles the good and bad of their epic journey together as she embraces adventure in her mid-twenties.

The Book Girls Say…

Melissa read this memoir as an Islands pick for the Book Voyage Challenge last year and had a hard time putting it down because you really begin to feel like you’re with Torre and Ivan on the boat.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books with Characters in Their 20s

Book Summary

As WWI rages in continental Europe, two New York heiresses, Sydney and Brooke Sinclair, are scheduled to set sail for England. Brooke is engaged to marry an aristocrat in the society wedding of the year. Sydney is drawn to the burgeoning suffragette movement, which is a constant source of embarrassment to her proper sister.

As international tempers flare, the German embassy releases a warning that any ships making the Atlantic crossing are at risk. Undaunted, Sydney and Brooke board the Lusitania for the seven-day voyage, not knowing that disaster lies ahead.

The Book Girls Say…

If you’re interested in learning more about the sinking of the Lusitania, consider Dead Wake by Erik Larson. This narrative non-fiction is filled with glamour and suspense. In true Erik Larson fashion, it’s also quite detailed and wordy, but highly rated by our readers who picked it for the Decades Reading Challenge.

For another fiction option set on the Lusitania, we also recommend The Glass Ocean, co-authored by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig, and Karen White.

Book Summary

In 1934, the luxurious cruise ship SS Morro Castle was headed on a roundtrip voyage from New York to Havana with New York heiress Catherine Dohan aboard. However, her image of having it all is a lie and her past catches up with her on the ship. She must join forces with a charismatic jewel thief to figure out who wants her dead.

Another passenger, Elena, is on the run after a devastating betrayal. She’s returning to Havana for the first time with her mind set on revenge. Danger abounds on what should have been a pleasant trip as Elena and Catherine’s fates intertwine and they fight to see justice served.

The Book Girls Say…

This historical fiction is based on a true story and is not related to Chanel Cleeton’s popular Perez Family series.

Book Summary

For 22 years, Becca has been married into her husband’s uber-wealthy family of lawyers. At first, her husband was one of the good guys. But as he got older, he began representing the types of clients that made his parents rich—the smarmy guys who have done terrible things to women and had the money to avoid punishment. After overhearing a particularly disturbing comment that went unaddressed by her husband, Becca reaches her breaking point and leaves her marriage.

During the divorce proceedings, the judge is shocked that she isn’t protesting her decades-old prenup and plans to walk away with absolutely nothing. Instead, the judge declares that she should get to keep the fancy sailboat that bears her name.

Becca runs into a dreamy guy at the boatyard who helps her sell the boat, but the buyers are in Miami. To save money on the delivery, she recruits her 21-year-old daughter to sail with her from New England to Miami along the US coast. The only problem is that she has no idea how to sail.

The Book Girls Say…

This is a fun, guilty-pleasure pageturner that provides more depth to the characters than a standard romance. While the romance portion of the book is only ⅓ of the story, there is a steamy scene or two.
For another romance with deeper themes set aboard a sailboat, try Float Plan by Trish Doller.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/15/2023

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

The 22 Best Books of 2022

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

98% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

When you think of maritime disasters, the Titanic is probably the first that comes to mind. But the deadliest disaster at sea occurred in 1945 when a Soviet submarine sunk the Wilhelm Gustloff, a German cruise liner, in the Baltic Sea.

As WWII drew to a close and the Red Army advanced on Germany, a massive evacuation effort began to ferry civilians, soldiers, and equipment to safety. The Wilhelm Gustloff, which had a capacity of 1,800, was packed with more than 10,500 passengers. More than 9,000 people lost their lives when the ship sank, including 5,000 infants and children.

This historical fiction YA novel, tells the stories of four passengers – 21-year-old Joana, who is fleeing her native country of Lithuania; Florian, an artist from East Prussia; 15-year-old Emilia from Poland, who is pregnant; and Alfred, a pompous 17-year-old German soldier.

When tragedy strikes, each of them – regardless of country, culture, or status – must fight for their survival.

The Book Girls Say…

This has been a popular pick among many of our readers who selected it for our Books Set in Eastern Europe reading prompt in prior years, but since the majority of the book is set aboard the Wilhelm Gustloff in the Baltic Sea, it makes an even better pick as a book set aboard a ship.

One of our readers stated, “This book is so sad, so moving, and so well written. I enjoyed the fast flip between characters… it kept the story moving right along.”

Book Summary

Greta James had musical talent from childhood, but her parents had different visions of where that talent would lead. While her mother was her biggest fan, her dad could only see the likely pitfalls of a music career.

She has spent years trying to prove him wrong and reached the point of appearing on magazine covers and playing sold-out shows. However, with the pressure of a sophomore album and the shock of her mother’s recent death, Greta has an on-stage meltdown that goes viral.

She very reluctantly agrees to join her dad on an Alaskan cruise because she hopes it will give her an escape from media coverage and the pressure of her struggling career. Their relationship is as icy as the Alaskan waters. But together aboard the ship, they will finally come to terms with the baggage of their past so that they can face the future.

The Book Girls Say…

This book had much more depth and emotion than Angela expected going in. While there is an element of romance in the book, this is really the story of a father and daughter dealing with grief and being forced to confront the challenges that drove them apart.

Shipped by Angie Hockman also features characters on a cruise ship. In this rom-com, the main characters are employees of the cruise line competing for a promotion while sailing to the Galápagos Islands. Shipped is perfect for fans of the enemies-to-lovers trope!

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

20 Books Like Daisy Jones and the Six

Book Summary

The East India merchant ship, the Saardam, was carrying spices and other mysterious cargo to Amsterdam in 1634. Samuel Pipp, the world’s greatest detective is imprisoned on board, but he’s headed to be executed for a crime he may or may not have committed. His bodyguard and friend, Arent, is also on board and determined to prove Samuel is innocent.

But the sailing is not smooth, mysterious and terrible things begin happening. Is it a curse? A mystery that goes deep into the past threatens to sink the ship, killing everyone. Can Arent solve the mystery before anyone else dies?

NOTE: Strange events aboard are believed by characters to potentially be of a demonic or evil nature, and livestock are slaughtered on the ship, so this book won’t be for everyone.

The Book Girls Say…

Devil and the Dark Water was a 2020 Goodreads Choice Nominee for Best Mystery & Thriller and several other mystery awards. The author also wrote the popular locked room mystery, The 7 1/2 Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle.

For a more contemporary thriller set on a boat, try Woman in Cabin 10.

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/17/2023

Book Summary

In 1946 after WW2, the HMS Victoria set out from Sydney with arms, aircraft, a thousand naval officers, and 650 war brides. The women each made promises to men in wartime and were now headed to England on a six-week voyage to be reunited with their soon-to-be husbands.

Despite the Navy’s many strict rules, the brides and men aboard quickly found their lives entangled. The novel focuses on the stories of four cabin mates. For one of the young women, Frances, the journey will change her life in ways she never could have predicted.

The Book Girls Say…

Reviews say that the linear plot and realistic characters make this a great read when you’re looking for something simple and on the lighter side. Each chapter starts with a non-fiction snippet based on the experiences of the real war brides or sailors aboard the ship.

Book Summary

This short, 168-page novella is the kick-off to the Ginger Gold series of 1920s cozy mysteries. Ginger is stylish, a war widow, and a former British Secret Service Agent.

As she travels from Boston to London with her dog and a good friend, the captain of their ship is found dead. Soon, she’s entangled in the case and must outwit the murderer before becoming a victim.

The Book Girls Say…

There are 17 additional books in the series if you get hooked on Ginger Gold!

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Mystery Books Set in the 1920s

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

95% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

A Night to Remember is still considered the best book written about the Titanic. It’s a riveting non-fiction account of Titanic’s fatal collision – including what was happening to passengers and staff before, during, and after the iceberg.

While this book is a true account written based on interviews and news reports, it reads like a historical fiction novel.

The Book Girls Say…

Melissa and Angela both rate this one a solid four stars and recommend it to anyone with even a slight interest in the Titanic. Although it’s an older book, it’s a page-turner full of interesting tidbits, and at under 200 pages, it’s a very quick read.

If you are looking for recently published historical fiction stories about the Titanic, consider: Women and Children First, by Gill Paul (which begins on the Titanic and then follows some of the survivors as they arrive in New York), and The Titanic Affair by Amanda Grange (at under 200 pages, this is also a very quick read; it’s also currently available with Kindle Unlimited).

Kindle Unlimited as of: 08/15/2023

Books Set on Multiple Modes of Transportation

We found two books for you with characters who journey on more than one major mode of transportation!

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

100% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

Sisters Clara and Maddie are very different and don’t get along particularly well. But when their dying grandmother calls them to the family estate in East Hampton, New York, and asks them to deliver three letters for her across Europe, they can’t say no to her dying wish.

The sisters are tasked with traveling to Paris, Venice, and Vienna via the Queen Mary and the Orient Express. Adventurous budding journalist Maddie is excited to travel, but Clara would rather stay home to plan her wedding. Along the way, a shocking truth about their family brings the pair closer together.

In 1937, political tensions are rising and Europe feels increasingly volatile, so by the time the sisters complete their final task, they are both happy to be headed home via the Hindenburg.

The Book Girls Say…

Maddie and Clara’s journey by boat, train, and airship is inspired by famed reporter, Nellie Bly’s trip around the world. The author’s note at the end of the book has some great information about Bly. You can also read all about Bly’s journey in the next book on this list…

Book Girls’ Readers Rate This Book

90% Would Recommend to a Friend

Book Summary

After making a name for herself as a crusading young reporter for Joseph Pulitzer’s World newspaper, Nellie Bly was determined to break the record for the fastest trip around the world. She set out on November 14, 1889, on a steamship from New York.

But she had competition. Also setting out from New York that day was a young journalist from Cosmopolitan magazine named Elizabeth Bisland. However, she was on a train heading west instead of a ship heading east.

This wasn’t the only way the two women were total opposites. Nelly was a scrappy reporter raised in Pennsylvania coal country. She used her work to expose social injustice. Elizabeth, on the other hand, was a genteel young woman from an aristocratic Southern family.

This non-fiction account of the journeys of these two trailblazing women reads like a great adventure novel.

The Book Girls Say…

If you’ve read Fiona Davis’ The Address (a favorite of ours), then you’ll remember the fictionalized account of Nellie Bly from that novel. She’s the journalist who went undercover at the Blackwell’s Island Insane Asylum.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Books Set in the 1880s and 1890s: The Gilded Age

World Travel on a Bicycle

Book Summary

When 30-year-old Dean Nicholson left Scotland with a plan to cycle around the world, he had no idea his journey would include adopting a kitten that would make them both internet-famous. Three months into his journey, on a remote mountain road between Montenegro and Bosnia, he found an abandoned kitten. He picked her up and got her to a local vet before setting off on the rest of his trek with his new friend, Nala.

The video of Dean and Nala’s meeting now has had 20 million views. As Nala rode on the bicycle with Dean, the duo experienced the kindness of strangers, visited refugee camps, and rescued animals throughout Europe and Asia.

Books About Space Travel

Rather than including fiction books about space travel, most of which fall into the sci-fi category, we opted for non-fiction books about life on a space shuttle and at the International Space Station. With commercial space travel becoming a reality for the future, it seems like the perfect time to read these books that provide insights into the past and present of life in space.

Book Summary

The 1978 NASA class was the most diverse group of astronauts in the space program with the first American women, the first African Americans, the first Asian American, and the first gay person to fly to space. Called the New Guys by the experienced astronauts, this group was at the forefront of a new era of space travel.

This behind-the-scenes book looks at the space program and the crew that manned the first space shuttles and covers the entire shuttle program, including the 1986 Challenger and 2003 Columbia disasters. The book was written with the exclusive participation of many of the astronauts who were caught in the crosshairs of scientific exploration, military demands, and commercial aspirations. Through it all, they became friends, rivals, lovers, and ultimately, family.

Book Summary

Astronaut Scott Kelly has traveled to the International Space Station (ISS) four times, including spending a record-breaking year aboard the ISS. In this memoir, chapters alternate between candid accounts of his 2016 year in space, his colorful childhood, and the years of training that led him there, including his earlier career as a Navy Captain, a fighter pilot, and an engineer.

Scott Kelly and his identical twin, Mark, are both astronauts, and both have spent time at the ISS. When Scott agreed to spend a year in space – more than any other American – Mark stayed on Earth as a control subject, allowing medical experts to compare and discover the effects of extended time in space on the human body.

The Book Girls Say…

We highly recommend the audiobook version of this memoir. Kelly – a true scientist at heart – writes and narrates in a very clear and straightforward manner, while still injecting plenty of humor and heart.

We’ve also heard great things about Col. Chris Hadfield’s book, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth. In addition to providing a detailed, and often amusing, look at life on the ISS, Hadfield also provides his philosophical musings about the life lessons he has learned from his time in space.

Also Featured on These Book Lists:

Must-Listen Memoirs

You are welcome to choose any book that you’d like to read for the Book Voyage Reading Challenge, but we hope that this list of books has given you a good starting point.

Members of our email list and Facebook group, Read with the Book Girls can log ratings for their monthly challenge reads. The logs provide us with data for the “BGG Reader Ratings” that are added to descriptions for future years. We’d love you to contribute your rating after you’ve finished your read this month.

Join the Book Voyage Reading Challenge

Photo of the book voyage reading challenge printable with text about how to join the challenge. Clicking the image takes you to the reading challenge home page with text instructions.

Book Recommendations For Each Region of the World

Can you send me a printable list with the book titles but not descriptions?

This was a big request last year that we weren’t able to add to our plates in 2022. New for 2023, readers who support Book Girls Guide through our Buy Me a Coffee membership site will receive special monthly printable journal pages as a thank you bonus. The voluntary members (we call them our BFFs) help cover the cost of running the challenges so we can keep them free for everyone.

We’re so excited to be able to offer this fun perk this year!

The new pages will be pre-filled with every book title for the month, and include space for you to mark your interest level, make notes about whether you’ve requested the book from the library (or any other notes you’d like), and then fill in your rating. We’ll also include blank lines in case you have other books on your TBR (to be read) list that meet the prompt.

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Angela & Melissa

The Book Girls are best friends who jointly read over 200 books per year. We started Book Girls' Guide in 2019 to help others de-stress and find joy through the power of a great book. We do in-depth research on thousands of novels and non-fiction titles each year to provide curated book lists covering a variety of genres.

Stephanie Moore

Friday 15th of September 2023

I also recommend Dead Wake: The Last Crossing of the Lusitania by Erik Larson. He writes a narrative based on original sources and makes it so readable! Also very good is his book on Churchill - The Splendid and the Vile.

Melissa George

Friday 15th of September 2023

That's an excellent suggestion! Melissa's nephew actually just grabbed that off her shelf and started reading it.

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Looking for your next great read? Try one of the highly-rated titles from our curated book lists.