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Books That Take Place On an Island

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As we travel the globe via the Book Voyage Reading Challenge, things can get pretty heavy and overwhelming at times, especially as we read about parts of the world that have struggled immensely with war and dictatorships. That’s why this month, we’re giving you an opportunity to take a mental break, armchair travel style! In April, we’ll be reading books that take place on an island!

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.

As always, you are welcome to choose any book set on an island that you’d like. To help you get started, 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.

You can read all about the Book Voyage challenge, find new book lists each month, and download your free printable map book tracker, with a color-coded map of each region here.

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 Island Books

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

Image with text "Shop The Book Voyage Souvenir Collection" and photos of a t-shirt, mug, and reading journal, each with the phrase "Book Voyage" and passport stamps for each region in the Book Voyage reading challenge

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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!

Books Set in Australia and New Zealand - Book Girls' Guide

Saturday 19th of June 2021

[…] Zealand and 12 other island nations in the South Pacific. We focused our armchair travels on island books last month, but we saved books set in New Zealand for this month’s […]

Molly @ Molly's Book Nook

Friday 21st of May 2021

When I clicked this post I was like " oh I hope they have some recommendations based in Greece! ". My expectations were met lol Lots of great recommendations here overall too!

Angela Rathbun

Friday 21st of May 2021

Molly, I honeymooned in the Greek Isles so it took some restraint on my part for this whole list not to be set in Greece, haha. We hope you enjoy some of our recommendations!

2021 Reading Challenge - Read Around the World - Book Girls' Guide

Thursday 20th of May 2021

[…] June: Books Set on an Island […]