12 Books to Devour On a Long Flight
Need an addictive read for your next trip? We asked our favorite authors (including Lesley Lokko and Erin Morgenstern) to name one mesmerizing book that got them through multiple time zones.
In Meg Wolitzer's lovely, wise The Interestings
, Julie Jacobson begins the summer of '74 as an outsider at arts camp until she is accepted into a clique of teenagers with whom she forms a lifelong bond. Through well-tuned drama and compassionate humor, Wolitzer chronicles the living organism that is friendship, and arcs it over the course of more than 30 years.
—Abbe Wright, O
's assistant books editor
"A Visit From The Goon Squad
by Jennifer Egan. So good I read it twice. Johannesburg-London-San Francisco is a long flight."
—Lesley Lokko, author of One Secret Summer
by Ann Patchett. I don't particularly like flying, so it was perfect—completely absorbing."
—Erin Morgenstern, author of The Night Circus
"Lee Child can shrink a six hour flight like nobody else. I’ve read all of his books, but his last book was The Affair
. If he ever stops writing, I might have to stop flying."
—Jacqueline Sheehan, author of Picture This
"The Underside of Joy
by Sere Prince Halverson. Fortunately, I was traveling for work by myself, so my children didn't go neglected. It turns out that you don't need little TVs on the seat in front of you or internet access 35000 feet in the air if you have a great, great book."
—Allison Winn Scotch, author of The Song Remains the Same
"The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime
. I bought it at the airport in London and by the time we landed in New York, the book looked like it had been through a tornado. That's how quickly I tore through it."
—Jennifer Miller, author of The Year of Gadfly
Photo: Ben Goldstein/Studio D
"I read Emma Donoghue's Room
on a long flight and loved the book so much I almost forgot to disembark at my destination city."
—Kristin Hannah, author of Home Again
"It was one of Jilly Cooper's wickedly funny British novels about the upper class—Riders
, a send-up of the rich, sex-made world of show-jumping equestrians. A stewardess asked if I would sit with an unaccompanied 10-year-old, and even though I had stopped every 15 minutes to chat, I was stuck to that book for 7 hours, all the way from Rome to New York."
—Eloisa James, author of Seduced by a Pirate
"No Longer a Gentleman
by Mary Jo Putney. There are dungeons (so like a plane!) and a handsome man to rehabilitate (and he doesn't mind at all!). It was easy to get lost in spite of a four-hour delay and wind turbulence over the Great Lakes."
—Cathy Maxwell, author of The Scottish Witch
"The Infinite Tides
, by Christian Kiefer. If you ask Christian what this book is about he will say, 'It is about a depressed astronaut.' But it is about so much more than that. It is about the particular way each of us makes sense of the world, and all the losses within it that combine to make a life. It is about the perfect beauty of mathematics, and the imperfect beauty of the solar system. I didn’t even know I was on a flight, let alone a long one."
—Pam Houston, author of Contents May Have Shifted
"I read The Paris Wife
by Paula McLain on a recent flight to Paris and it made everything (at least on the Left Bank) feel very familiar during the week that I then spent in that city."
—Lois Lowry, author of Son
Photo: Lara Robby/Studio D
"Stephen King's 11/22/63
, about going back in time to try to stop the Kennedy assassination. It's impossible to stop reading. It got me back from Indianapolis (through Chicago) with my sanity."
—Maile Meloy, author of The Apothecary
Next: Author's reveal "the book that totally surprised me"