International Staycation Reads

Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay
Image by Dariusz Sankowski from Pixabay

Staycationing this year? These books with international settings can get you "travelling" safely throughout the world.

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Eye of the Beholder (Ravenstone Fiction) 9780888016492

Randy and Steve have finally tied the knot and head south to Puerto Vallarta to celebrate. Unfortunately, Randy’s romantic beach walks and candlelit dinners are put on hold when a fellow traveller is found dead. Instead, Randy and Steve have to find meaning in the murder to catch the culprit. If they don’t, the honeymoon just might be over.

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Macaws of Death (Ravenstone Fiction) 9780888012746

Tropical birds in a smuggled suitcase. Expensive. Beautiful. Dead. But for field biologist Robyn Devara, this latest grim reminder of the illegal trade in endangered species includes an unexpected surprise--one of the birds is unknown to science.

Hot on the trail of the mysterious macaw, Robyn finds herself stationed at an isolated field camp in the Costa Rican jungle, where she must deal with a research team that includes a former wildlife trafficker, his angry nemesis, sundry wide-eyed graduate students, and a university professor who seems to think that grad students fall below paramecia on the academic tree of life. All this as well as shifty maintenance workers, a sexy project leader, and a shadowy group of armed poachers with itchy trigger fingers. It's certainly an exciting change from routine paperwork. Exciting, that is, until communication with the outside world is cut off, deadly snakes start slithering into cabins, and members of the field team begin to die...

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Bread, Wine, and Angels (Literary Fiction) 9780888012135

A young girl is growing up in San Giovanni, Italy, a remote village in the southern corner of the country, waiting for her parents to return from “poor America,” (Canada). Living with her aunt, grandmother, and four other siblings, she is raised on the life lessons that come from cooking and the value of knowing what to do with the ingredients once you have them.

Bread, Wine & Angels sees village life through the innocent eyes of the young child as she listens to wiser women tell her the place of a girl, yet watches these women live lives quite the opposite. Her struggles are felt as she attempts to get an education, always waiting and dreaming of America—the home of the brave and the land of the free.

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Madame Balashovskaya's Apartment (Literary Fiction) 9780888012357

Madame Balashovskaya's Apartment is a complex tale of love and betrayal revolving around ninety-year-old matriarch Eugenie Balashovskaya. She is approaching the end of her life, but her apartment in Paris is very much alive with the comings and goings of her family and the remembered presences of those she has loved and lost.

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A Possible Life (Literary Fiction) 9780888013323

Daniel Clevenger has a successful career as a professor and writer in Winnipeg. But his two university-aged sons are growing up and Daniel is still haunted by memories of his late wife. Then he meets Magda, an attractive, recently-divorced art historian, a specialist in the Italian Renaissance. Magda encourages Daniel to join her for an academic conference in Tuscany. Daniel ignores Magda's chattering colleagues to immerse himself in the beauty, history, and sunshine of northern Italy. Daniel becomes intrigued by the life of Masaccio, the Renaissance master who revolutionized painting with his depictions of emotion and use of light. He speculates on Masaccio's life, his art and loves, and his mysterious death.

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Santiago (Literary Fiction) 9780888012999

When Dominique arrives in Roquebrun, France to visit her old art school friend Julia, it is with mixed feelings of impatience and resignation. Impatience with being forced to take a vacation from her architectural firm and at the presence of Julia’s cynical brother Colin. As the trio take their first steps on the 700-kilometre pilgrimage that will lead them through the north of Spain to Santiago de Compostela, Dominique wants nothing more than to hop a train and head home.

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One Room in a Castle (Literary Non-Fiction) 9780888011947

One Room in a Castle is an adventurous and intimate portrait of the rural Mediterranean, its culture and its inhabitants. Connelly allows the reader private glimpses of her world, and the world at large with a new collection of letters and stories based on her travels in Spain, France and Greece.

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Don't Try This at Home (Literary Non-Fiction) 9780888016539

Rob Krause and Daria Salamon sold their car, rented out their Winnipeg home, and packed up their two young children to embark on a 12-month journey around the world. In this dual retelling of their ambitious year away from home, Don't Try This at Home chronicles the hilarious and sensational misadventures of a Canadian family as they travel across 15 different countries in the southern hemisphere. In an honest reflection on parenting, marriage, and living for a year on a tight budget, Krause and Salamon take readers through some of the world’s most stunning vistas while meeting the challenges of foreign customs, broken-down buses, stomach bugs, personal loss, and their often less-than-enthusiastic children.

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Touch the Dragon (Literary Non-Fiction) 9780888013767

At the age of 17, the adventure-seeking Calgary teenager went to Thailand on a Rotary exchange program and her life changed forever. Twenty-four years later, Connelly is still travelling and writing, inspiring the world with her stories.Through vivid imagery, humour and careful observation of the families, school friends and Buddhist rituals around her, Connelly brings to life the small village in northern Thailand where she stayed for a year.Initially homesick and frustrated by the habits and lifestyle of the gentle but patriarchal Thais, Connelly begins to view herself as one of them by the end of her stay.