One thing I've missed during the pandemic is traveling. One good (and cheap and easy way) to solve that is by reading books set in other countries. Here are three I recommend.
1. Stolen Lives, by Malika Oufkir
This is the true story of one woman who spent twenty years in a Moroccan jail with her mother and sisters. They were arrested after Malika's father, General Oufkir and the closest aide to the Moroccan King, was executed for attempting to assassinate the King. She had been adopted by the king as a young child and grew up alongside his daughter with immense luxury and priviledge. I didn't know anything about Morocco or its history before reading this book, so it was fascinating reading this book. However, it was also a bit depressing at times, thinking about Malika being locked up in jail when she was only 19 years old. Used, $6.99. Buy it here.
2. The Crows of Beara, by Julie Christine Johnson
When Annie travels to Ireland to promote a new copper mine in the village of Beara, her career and her marriage are hanging in the balance. She's eager to rebuild her life, but it won't be that easy. For one thing, the residents are dead set against the mine. Then there's Daniel, a local artist who has been recruited to help fight the mine and who Annie is drawn to, despite their differences. I really liked The Crows of Beara because of the setting and it being in a different country, but also because Annie and Daniel were compelling and interesting characters: they were flawed, human, and very relatable. New, $18.95 Buy it here.
3. The Green and the Red, by Armand Chauvel
Is there anything better than a day (or three) in France, if the trip is only by book? I think not. That was my favorite part of The Green and the Red. Lea is the idealistic owner of La Dame Verte, a restaurant in a small town in Brittany, France. Mathieu is the marketing director for the town's biggest pork producer, which is trying to put Lea out of business so they can take over the prime real estate. I liked Lea a lot. I also fell in love with her pet pig, Charlene. New, $17.95. Buy it here.