17 Books That Will Transport You to Another World

Let these beguiling novels help you travel back in time, around the globe or straight into the fantastic.
The Crane Wife

The Crane Wife

320 pages; Penguin Press HC
In this exquisitely written retelling of a Japanese folktale, George Duncan has accepted his midlife loneliness. That is, until a wounded crane shows up in his yard, with a cry like "a mournful shatter of frozen midnight." Soon after a mysterious woman named Kumiko arrives at his print shop in London, the two of them not only fall in love but also create intricate artworks together, communicating through bits of cut paper, feather collages and even dreams. Is Kumiko indeed a human version of the beautiful crane—or not? The answer is irrelevant (though you won't be able to stop reading until you find out). Author Patrick Ness moves between the mundane and the magical, showing that, in life anything is possible—even marriage, given the right circumstances, between a volcano and a bird.
— Leigh Newman