Five Books to Transport You to Different Countries This Summer!

Unfortunately, many of our summer plans have been postponed or canceled due to the current pandemic that looms over the world. Although you can no longer travel overseas to places you’ve dreamt of all year, you can still enjoy your summer and travel by snuggling up with a good book. Here is a list of five books that can transport you to a different country. These books will take you from traditional tea ceremonies in Japan to the Andes Mountains in Chile, the city of lights (Paris), and much more! No need to buy expensive tickets, or leave  your home; just curl up on your couch, sip on some tea, and allow your imagination to go on an international journey. 

The House of Spirits by Isabel Allende (Chile):

The first country you’ll visit is Chile. Isabel Allende’s House of Spirits dives into both the essence of Chilean culture and the history that has built Chile into the nation it is today. It is an unforgettable and epic novel that brought fame to Allende. In the novel, she elegantly weaves in her personal experiences, politics, and the power of love, magic, and fate. The main characters—the Trueba family— take you on a journey through the political and social disruption that took place in the 1970s, which continues to influence the social and political climate that currently exists in Chile. This is a story of magical realism and history that will allow you to envision the breathtaking landscapes of the Andes mountain staring back at you, and learn about the idiosyncrasies of Chilean culture and society. 

Memoirs of a Geisha is one of my favorites. Arthur Golden takes you on an exciting adventure that passes through many regions in Japan. From a small, cold fishing town to Kyoto (the infamous Geisha district of Japan) and the beautiful islands near Okinawa. We get to experience how Japan was during World War II.

At the age of nine, Chiyo and her sister were taken to Kyoto, only to be separated from one another. While Chiyo’s unique blue-grey eyes led her to fall under the hands of the “mother” geisha, her sister did not have the same fate and was sold elsewhere and disappeared from the story. Golden describes the sacrifices Chiyo makes to build a life for herself in the solitary world of the Geisha. Golden teaches us some about the Japanese culture, the reality of what a Geisha symbolizes, and the multiple accomplishments and duties that they must fulfill to maintain their beauty, elegance, and status. This is a novel of unconditional love, beauty, and truth; it will take you on an unforgettable journey.  

Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden (Japan):

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (France): 

Who doesn’t love the city of lights? For me, freshly baked baguettes and croissants you can enjoy from a boulangerie are hard to beat. Going up the Eiffel Tour and being consumed by the view while enjoying a wonderful meal makes for a great vacation. This is what All the Light We Cannot See evokes. 

Anthony Doerr takes you to Paris during World War II, and he traces the lives of two characters from completely different backgrounds. Marie-Laure lives in Paris with her father, a locksmith for the Museum of Natural History.  Sadly and unexpectedly, she becomes blind at a young age; however, her father helps her overcome that obstacle and teaches her how to navigate the city independently. In 1940, Marie-Laure and her father flee to Saint-Malo due to the challenges brought on by the German occupation. In parallel, Doerr also gives us a peek into 8-year-old Werner Pfennig’s life. He lives with his sister, Jutta, at an orphanage in Germany. It is a beautiful novel that gives us a taste of French life during WWII and showcases the loving friendship developed among two very different children, who ultimately find comfort, solidarity, and love within one another in such a painful time. 

The next destination on our travel list is Italy with Under the Tuscan Sun. Frances Mayes opens the door and pushes us through to dig into Italian traditions and amazing Italian cuisine. Mayes tells us about the efforts to renovate an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside.

The book is packed with Mayes’s Italian recipes and gardening advice. It takes us to the vineyard near her garden, the nearby hill towns, and the lively markets filled with enchanting people. She is so lyrical and poetic throughout the book that you can close your eyes and feel like you are by her side, watching her navigate her Italian village.

Under the Tuscan Sun by Frances Mayes (Italy): 

A Week in December by Sebastian Faulks (United Kingdom):

Our final destination is London, home of Big Ben, Trafalgar Square, the Tower of London, Buckingham Palace, and so much more. In A Week in December, Sebastian Faulker explores the holidays in 2017 London.

For seven days, Faulk tracks the intersecting lives of seven people. The novel points to how the lives of seven very different people are strongly intertwined. Some obstacles the characters face are terrorism, the internet (and how it is taking over human relations), greed, and unconditional love. Enjoy this satirical novel which gives us a private tour of modern-day London!

We hope these books can inspire you to travel using your imagination! We know in stressful times, there is nothing better than preparing some tea and diving into a world completely different from our own! Find them all at

17 Book Quotes to Celebrate Summer

The Summer Solstice officially marks the beginning of summer on June 20, 2020. It is the longest day of the year as the north pole is at its greatest tilt towards the sun. On this day, the sun travels its longest path through the sky in the Northern Hemisphere, making it the day with the most sunlight. Beaches opening, flowers blooming, and grasshoppers chirping are all comforting signs that summer has arrived.

Although this year is much different with COVID-19 weighing heavy on many us, here are some of the best summertime quotes to elevate your mood. Whether you’re in need of a trip down memory lane of what summer once was or in search of the perfect quotes for Instagram captions, you’ll appreciate these catchy lines about the season.

“It was June, and the world smelled of roses. The sunshine was like powdered gold over the grassy hillside.”

Maud Hart Lovelace, Betsy-Tacy and Tib

“Summertime. It was a song. It was a season. I wondered if that season would ever live inside of me.”

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Last Night I Sang to the Monster

“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.”

F.Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“Do what we can, summer will have its flies.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.”

Sarah Dessen, Along for the Ride

“Summer, after all, is a time when wonderful things can happen to quiet people. For those few months, you’re not required to be who everyone thinks you are, and that cut-grass smell in the air and the chance to dive into the deep end of a pool give you a courage you don’t have the rest of the year. You can be grateful and easy, with no eyes on you, and no past. Summer just opens the door and lets you out.”

Deb Caletti, Honey, Baby, Sweetheart

“Summer romances end for all kinds of reasons. But when all is said and done, they have one thing in common: They are shooting stars-a spectacular moment of light in the heavens, a fleeting glimpse of eternity. And in a flash, they’re gone.”

Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook

“I fell for her in summer, my lovely summer girl, from summer she is made, my lovely summer girl, I’d love to spend a winter with my lovely summer girl, but I’m never warm enough for my lovely summer girl, it’s summer when she smiles, I’m laughing like a child, it’s the summer of our lives; we’ll contain it for a while she holds the heat, the breeze of summer in the circle of her hand I’d be happy with this summer if it’s all we ever had.”

Maggie Stiefvater, Shiver

“Summers had a logic all their own and they always brought something out in me. Summer was supposed to be about freedom and youth and no school and possibilities and adventure and exploration. Summer was a book of hope. That’s why I loved and hated summers. Because they made me want to believe.”

Benjamin Alire Sáenz, Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

” Shall I compare thee to a summers day? Though art more lovely and more temperate: rough winds do shake the darling buds of May, and summer’s lease hath all too short a date;”

William Shakespeare, Sonnet 18

Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.

Jenny Han, The Summer I Turned Pretty

“Early June, the world of leaf and blade and flowers explode and every sunset is different.

John Steinbeck, The Winter Of Our Discontent

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me, those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language,”

Henry James, In An International Episode

“The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn, but the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with too much color.”

Natalie Babbitt, Tuck Everlasting

“It is easy to forget now, how effervescent and free we all felt that summer. Everything fades: the shimmer of gold over White Cove; the laughter in the night air; the lavender early morning light on the faces of skyscrapers, which had suddenly become so heroically tall. Every dawn seemed to promise fresh miracles, among other joys that are in short supply these days.”

Anna Godbersen, Bright Young Things

“One benefit of Summer was that each day we had more light to read by.”

Jeannette Walls, The Glass Castle

” A good swimming pool could do that – make the rest of the world seem possibly insignificant, as far away as the surface of the moon”

Emma Straub, The Vacationers

New Donation Bins Acquired in the Northeast

book bin

This is great news for our customers and our mission.  Read the release below:

Press Release – For Immediate Release

“Discover Books” acquires book collection bin assets of “Big Hearted Books, LLC.”

BOSTON, MA – BALTIMORE, MD – August 22nd, 2018 – The United States Federal Bankruptcy Court District of Massachusetts Eastern Division recently authorized the sale of the collection box assets of Big Hearted Books and Clothing, LLC, aka Got Books, to Discover Books, a Baltimore-based organization, with operations throughout the United States and Canada.  These collection boxes service the Northeast including Massachusetts, Maine, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Connecticut and New York.

“This acquisition furthers our mission to provide gently used, affordable books to consumers and donations to our literacy partners.  Moreover, it strengthens our ability to responsibly recycle remainders for reuse providing an essential service for the residents of the Northeast,” states Gary Broache, CEO of Discover Books.

Since the bankruptcy of Big Hearted Books, many of the collection boxes have not been serviced resulting in many questions and concerns for the hosts.  “With the recent court authorization occurring on August 20th, we are committed to making all efforts to service partner locations,” states Mr. Broache.  “The additional and timely servicing of over 1,200 new collection boxes is a big task, and we ask for the patience of our new partners while we get our teams rolling.”

Discover Books logistics personnel are already addressing the most urgent service needs while doing a comprehensive review of all locations in an effort to find, identify and validate the bins and communicate directly with each of the host partners.  “We are committed to our mission and greatly appreciate the loyalty of our new partners,” Broache says.

An 888 toll free number and email address have been established to communicate any partner service needs and questions regarding the recent acquisition.  Please call 888-402-BOOK (2665), or email

Visit us at to find out more information on our program and find affordable books.


Discover Books, a for-profit company, is one of the largest online used book sellers and sources of literary donations to charitable organizations in North America.  Discover Books collects used books through thrift stores, library partnerships, residential pick-up operations, and book collection boxes across the U.S. and Canada.  The company resells, donates, or responsibly recycles used books to achieve its mission.  To date, Discover Books has donated more than 12 million books to those in need and has diverted over 500 million pounds of books from landfills.

Young Adults’ Recommended Reading (by Kate)

As the primary IT guy for our website, one of the benefits my family enjoys is ordering books when I make code changes to After a change, I always order a test book (to make sure everything still works properly). My daughter and wife fight about who gets the next “free” book (free to them – of course I pay for books just as everyone else does, after checking our social media and email campaigns for a coupon code). My 11-year-old daughter wrote a blog post about the books/series she likes the most:

Greetings, fellow readers! My name is Kate. I am in the sixth grade, and here are some of my middle school reading recommendations:

Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I started to read the first (of five books in the series) in the summer before fifth grade. It had been sitting on my shelf, and I decided to bring it along on a trip. Once I started reading it, I could not put it down. It is beautifully written and absolutely hilarious. I finished it at the beginning of the school year, and I was very excited to read the next book in the series. While reading, you will learn about Greek mythology. I already knew some Greek mythology before I read this series, but Riordan brought the characters to life for me. You’ll learn about Poseidon, Zeus, Medusa, Athena, Hera, Demeter, Ares, and many more including cool monsters and Titans. One of my favorite chapters is about Aunty Em’s Gnome Emporium, which turns out to be statue shop – with statues that Aunty Em (Medusa) created with her deadly gaze. I gave the books to my mom when I was done and she likes them, although she has to fight my friends for them because they’re all reading them too! Rick Riordan has four other different series right now and I’ve enjoyed them all as well. I’ll talk about them in my next post.

Visit Percy Jackson on Discover Books

Harry Potter by JK Rowling

The Harry Potter series is very well known to readers all around the world (more than 400 million copies sold, in 55 languages — including Latin and Ancient Greek). JK Rowling is the first author to make $1 billion. The series is about a boy who finds out he is a wizard. In every book he goes on a new adventure, usually with his two best friends Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger. I like to watch the movies after having read the books to see how they are different. The book is always better. My favorite book from the series is The Goblet of Fire.

In this book, Harry has to compete against wizards from other schools in many challenges. My favorite characters in the books are Hagrid, Cho Chang, and Fleur Delacour. I was lucky to have my mom take me for a weekend to Universal Studios in Florida. We visited the World of Harry Potter. I had butterbeer (it’s like an ice cream float – so good!) and we had a lot of fun exploring Diagon Alley. I highly recommend reading the books (first), watching the movies (second), and visiting Universal (if you can- get the butterbeer and chocolate frogs).

Visit Harry Potter Titles on Discover Books

The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

The Hunger Games series is probably my favorite series so far this year. It is thrilling and action-packed. The only problem is younger readers may be frightened by the violence that’s described. The story takes place in the future with a country divided into 12 districts that are harshly ruled by an evil president in the capitol. Every year, two children from each district participate in the “games.” They fight each other until only one person is left alive. As the series continues, there is a revolt. The main character, Katniss, becomes the face of the revolt and is nicknamed the Mockingjay (which is the name of the third/final book in the series). For Christmas last year, I got a bow and arrow set – sometimes my dad calls me Kate-nis when I’m practicing. I don’t mind too much. I watched the movies after reading the books. They were good but left out a lot of parts I enjoyed from the books.

Visit Hunger Games Titles on Discover Books

Other series I recommend:

Diary of a Wimpy Kid by Jeff Kinney – I read all these a year or two ago. Easy to read, funny. Good for younger readers.




Divergent by Veronica Roth – I’m reading this now. It is similar to The Hunger Games in some ways.




The Maze Runner by James Dashner – I’m reading this next.