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Books That Take Place On an Island

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Whether you found this post searching for books set on an island set on an island, or are participating in our Book Voyage reading challenge, we hope you find your perfect arm chair travel getaway on our list below. From the Mediterranean to the Caribbean, and from the tropical South Pacific to books set in cooler temperatures off the east coast of the USA, our list of recommended books offers a wide variety of island vibes.

Three angled book covers in shades of blue with The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand in the center

What Kind of Books are Included On This List?

We’ve compiled a great list of island novels, as upwell as some wonderful memoirs and travelogues. If you prefer lighter island books, you’ll find some great rom books and escapist fiction on our list (and even more on our beach reads list), but our recommendations also run the gamut from historical fiction to epic family sagas, with a few non-fiction picks mixed in for good measure.

For this list, we have focused primarily on islands that are not already covered by another region in the Book Voyage Challenge. For example, there are many island nations in Southeast Asia that are included on our Southern Asia book list, so we did not include those books here to avoid duplicates. Additionally, you’ll find more island books on our lists for other regions, such as Madagascar on the Africa book list, and the Galapagos on the South America book list, and New Zealand on the Australia/New Zealand book list.

There are a lot of classic tropical island adventure books – like Swiss Family Robinson, Treasure Island, and Robinson Crusoe – set on fictional islands. For our list, however, we’ve selected books set on islands that you can pinpoint on a world map.

The Best Books Set on Islands

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Throughout the list, we noted the books currently available as part of Kindle Unlimited Subscriptions.

You are welcome to choose any book that you’d like to read for the 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 Other Regions of the World

In addition to the island books included on our list above, many of our books lists for specific regions of the world also include additional books set on islands. If you are interested in reading a book set on a specific part of the globe, these lists are a great resource.

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Monday 20th of March 2023

Thank you for yet another amazing list!

A couple of new(er) releases Ive been super excited about that are set on islands: Loyalty- Lisa Scottoline Other Birds- Sarah Addison Allen River Sing Me Home- Eleanor Shearer

Joanne Paine

Friday 3rd of March 2023

Re: Book Set on an Island - There are remarkable writers from Newfoundland, Canada, with such incredible stories. Would you consider including some titles from there?

Melissa George

Friday 3rd of March 2023

We always welcome suggestions! We also have a North America list as part of Book Voyage that would include Newfoundland.

Books Set in North America - Book Girls' Guide

Monday 10th of October 2022

[…] Islands: In addition to the countries listed above, there are also many island nations and territories that are considered part of North America. You’ll find many of those covered on our list of books that take place on islands. […]

Michelle Johnson

Monday 21st of March 2022

I know it's heavy, and with the description in the April email we're trying to get away from heavy for a bit, but I was disappointed that Island of the Missing Trees by Elif Shafak was not on the list. It's one of the best books I've read in a long time, and the island of Cyprus - both its inhabitants and its flora and fauna - are central to the novel. Would love to see it added, so others can find it like I recently did.

Monica S.

Friday 18th of March 2022

I just happened to pick One Night on the Island for the 30 year-old challenge. Now I can also read it for an Island this month. Thanks!