The Thread: Armchair travels for when we’re stuck at home

A rainbow
A rainbow runs over the ruins of the ancient Roman Forum during a sunset in Rome.
Alberto Pizzoli | AFP via Getty Images

I’m not going to pretend that reading about Marrakech is as exhilarating as going there. It isn’t. But at the moment, armchair traveling is as close as we’re going to get to the real thing.

I have a trio of books that will open your senses and ignite your curiosity as if you’ve touched down in a foreign land. 

First, we’re headed to the Greek Islands and to the first novel in a detective series recommended by librarian Nancy Pearl.  “The Messenger of Athens” by Anne Zouroudi follows the rotund Detective Hermes Diaktoros as he investigates the death of a wife with a passion for another man. Diaktoros is charming, skilled and wise.

For our next book, we travel to Rome as part of a memoir from the author of “All the Light We Cannot See.” But before he wrote that Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, he spent a year in Rome with his wife and newborn twin sons doing the research for it. The memoir, called “Four Seasons in Rome,” reminds us — in the most wonderful way — what it’s like to be a stranger in a strange land.  

My third book for your armchair travels is both a kind of travel journal and a family memoir by one of my all-time favorite novelists.  Isabel Allende’s book, “My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile” sparked my interest and gave me context for the handful of trips I’ve made to her homeland. 

So, here are three Thread must-reads for the armchair traveler in you:  

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