Got a flight coming up? Pick up one of these books that are great for travel.

By Rebecca Renner
Updated July 01, 2019
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Reading a book can help keep you calm while you’re in the air or pass the time on a long flight. But don’t make the mistake of choosing the wrong book. Pass up high-stress genres like serial-killer thrillers—or worse, books that involve plane crashes—and grab one of these nine stress-free books to read on an airplane instead.

Penguin Random House

A Place for Us, by Fatima Farheen Mirza

This novel, which revolves around an Indian-American family, begins with a wedding and the return of an absent son. Leave extra room in your carry-on luggage for all love this book has to offer.

To buy: $16;

Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine, by Gail Honeyman

Eleanor Oliphant, the novel’s out-of-touch protagonist, doggedly pursues a crush that was never meant to be. At the same time, she fails to see the charming man right in front of her. Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine is rare because, while nothing truly horrible happens in the present of the book, the story is still gripping. You won’t want to put it down until your plane lands.

To buy: $17,

Crazy Rich Asians, by Kevin Kwan

Enter a Singapore that you have never imagined, one full of glamour and gossip. Protagonist Rachel Chu ventures to Singapore to see her boyfriend Nick’s home and attend a family wedding. Little does she suspect that she’s about to walk into a sparkling, glitzy, and drama-filled life.

To buy: $10;

Penguin Random House

Florida, by Lauren Groff

This short story collection shows the real Florida in all its grunge, beauty and strangeness. If you love short stories, and even better — if you’re flying to the Sunshine State — check out this collection and immerse yourself in the swamp.

To buy: $21;


The Kiss Quotient, by Helen Hoang

Stella Lane has Asperger’s syndrome. She uses math to force the wild world to make more sense. The only thing she hasn’t been able to compute yet is dating, until she comes up with a plan. This sweet book will totally make you forget about turbulence.

To buy: $9;

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles

Count Alexander Rostov only knows the good life. But his days as a Russian aristocrat come to an end when a Bolshevik tribunal sentences him to live out the rest of his days under house arrest in the grand Metropol Hotel. Nothing really happens in this novel—in the best way. It’s a brocade of gorgeous language that will make you forget you’re hurtling through the air in a metal tube.

To buy: $18,

Little, Brown

Calypso, by David Sedaris

Sedaris shows his darker side in this collection of essays. Don’t let the darkness dissuade you, though. Calypso is his funniest, most insightful collection yet. Both oddball and incisive, Sedaris will make you think—even while you’re laughing hard enough to get funny looks from your neighbors.

To buy: $25;


Number One Chinese Restaurant, by Lillian Li

Restaurant life has its share of drama already, but when things go awry at the Beijing Duck House, its owners, the Han family, find themselves in a tangled web of mischief. In this smart, witty book, the Han family’s troubles will help you forget about your own drama.

To buy: $22;

All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin

Nina Browning’s life in upscale Nashville seems perfect. She’s rich, and her son was just accepted by Princeton. But one night, a shocking photograph mires her life in scandal. You can dive right into the drama and forget you don’t have any leg room.

To buy: $17,