weekend getaway

Because nothing says 'I'm going to crush this weekend' like a new book and a comfy spot to read.

In 'Something to Hide,' Family Strife and Nigerian Tradition Lead to Murder in London
In 'Something to Hide,' Family Strife and Nigerian Tradition Lead to Murder in London
Explore modern London with the latest installment in the Inspector Lynley series. It's an intricately plotted murder mystery with a cast of fascinating suspects — with Lynley and Havers as irrepressible as ever.
Danger and Intrigue in the Austrian Alps with the Classic Whodunnit 'Crossed Skis'
Danger and Intrigue in the Austrian Alps with the Classic Whodunnit 'Crossed Skis'
A ski trip in the Austrian Alps is the stuff of dreams: dazzling white snow and mountain vistas as far as the eye can see. But when Miss Bridget Manners plans a ski holiday, it's danger and intrigue on the slopes.
Coming-of-Age in Modern Russia and Small-Town Louisiana with 'Lights All Night Long'
Coming-of-Age in Modern Russia and Small-Town Louisiana with 'Lights All Night Long'
The theme of brotherhood looms large in Russian literature. This murder-mystery mashed-up with a coming-of-age has vividly rendered settings in Russia and Louisiana — a gripping thriller with a bedrock of emotion.
Go on the Hunt for a Killer in the Swedish Forest in the Twisty Thriller 'Dark Pines'
Go on the Hunt for a Killer in the Swedish Forest in the Twisty Thriller 'Dark Pines'
Our heroine Tuva could break up her workday as a reporter by celebrating fika, the Swedish coffee break built around pastries and good friends. Instead, she goes tromping in the woods after a serial killer. Oh, Tuva!'
Get Lost in the Pulitzer Prize-Winning American Classic 'So Big' by Edna Ferber
Get Lost in the Pulitzer Prize-Winning American Classic 'So Big' by Edna Ferber
The plot points of this epic American novel can be quite sad, but the experience of reading it is a life-affirming one, mostly because our heroine Selina Peake — hardy farmer, believer in beauty — will not be daunted.
It's Gourmet Food and Danger in the Desert with Eric Peterson's 'Sunshine Chief'
It's Gourmet Food and Danger in the Desert with Eric Peterson's 'Sunshine Chief'
What's tastier than a twisty murder mystery set in the world of gourmet cuisine? This lighthearted cozy features an endearing found family, sunny desert scenery, vintage train cars, and lots of ice-cold bubbly.
Enjoy a Spoof of Gothic Tropes with Jane Austen's 'Northanger Abbey'
Enjoy a Spoof of Gothic Tropes with Jane Austen's 'Northanger Abbey'
Sure, you could read a novel that takes the Gothic tropes seriously: shadowy manor house, unexplained bumps in the night, dark-as-pitch family secrets. Or you can revel in Austen's tongue-in-cheek approach instead.
Ride the Rails in the Canadian Rockies with the Dick Francis Mystery 'The Edge'
Ride the Rails in the Canadian Rockies with the Dick Francis Mystery 'The Edge'
This mystery novel is the perfect entry into the works of beloved author Dick Francis: a salt-of-the-earth hero, a deliciously dastardly villain, the thrill of horse racing, a touch of romance, and grand adventure.
Time Travel to Victorian London and Flirt with Seductive Danger in 'The Quick'
Time Travel to Victorian London and Flirt with Seductive Danger in 'The Quick'
Get lost in the pages of this novel. You'll hear footsteps behind you on the cobblestones while a chill mist seeps under the door. Victorian London comes to life in a plot that's filled with secrets and surprises.
Mysterious Locked Doors and Ghostly Apparitions in the Scottish Highlands of 'Pine'
Mysterious Locked Doors and Ghostly Apparitions in the Scottish Highlands of 'Pine'
Ghost stories are a combination of melancholy and euphoria, vividly contrasting the joy of being alive with the grief and permanence of loss. The best ones, like 'Pine,' deliver genuine emotion along with the scares.
Take a Stroll Through the Spookier Side of Edinburgh in 'City of Ghosts'
Take a Stroll Through the Spookier Side of Edinburgh in 'City of Ghosts'
Edinburgh, Scotland, offers so many atmospheric sights: the Royal Mile, Edinburgh Castle, Mary King's Close, Greyfriars Kirkyard, and lots of cobbled alleys. This fun ghost story will transport you to all of them.
Libraries, Archives, and Diaries... Oh, My. Fall is the Ideal Time For 'The Historian'
Libraries, Archives, and Diaries... Oh, My. Fall is the Ideal Time For 'The Historian'
This might very well be the ideal book to read in the fall. It's made for shorter days, eerie twilights, crunchy leaves, and a nip in the air — a thrilling tour of Eastern Europe, libraries, history, and legend.
Fall is the Perfect Time for the Dark Academia of 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics'
Fall is the Perfect Time for the Dark Academia of 'Special Topics in Calamity Physics'
Donna Tartt's 'The Secret History' may be the OG pick for fans of dark academia. But we're partial to this one. Marisha Pessl gives us a slippery heroine, indeed, in Blue van Meer, and the syllabus conceit? Genius.
Food, Family, and Forgiveness in Nigeria with 'Butter Honey Pig Bread'
Food, Family, and Forgiveness in Nigeria with 'Butter Honey Pig Bread'
As you might guess from the title, food — homemade Nigerian food — is as central to this story as the characters and the setting. There's magic and love, turmoil and triumph, salty conversation and sweet forgiveness.
Get Caught Up in Vampire Gang Warfare in Mexico City with 'Certain Dark Things'
Get Caught Up in Vampire Gang Warfare in Mexico City with 'Certain Dark Things'
This fantasy-adventure-with-heart from Silvia Moreno-Garcia has been out of print — we're thrilled about this new, updated edition. You'll be transported to gritty Mexico City with unusual, unforgettable heroes.
Adventure, Introspection, and Fortitude on the Bering Sea with 'The Alaskan Laundry'
Adventure, Introspection, and Fortitude on the Bering Sea with 'The Alaskan Laundry'
This novel has heart and adventure as big as the state of Alaska. Our heroine Tara is both running away and running toward an indefineable something. It seems only challenges and danger can guide her toward home.
In the Novel 'The Waiter,' Everyone is About to Have a Very Weird Day at Work
In the Novel 'The Waiter,' Everyone is About to Have a Very Weird Day at Work
Our sorta hero, the waiter of the title, is having a decidedly weird day. What's unsettling for him is so entertaining for us. He's accustomed to order and his authority; amusing things happen when it's all upended.
A Mystery Reaches from British Columbia to Japan in 'A Tale for the Time Being'
A Mystery Reaches from British Columbia to Japan in 'A Tale for the Time Being'
This story travels back and forth in time and place with a pleasingly dizzying effect. Set in the forests of British Columbia, modern Tokyo, and a timeless monastery, it's challenging, entertaining, and impactful.
There's Mystery and Murder Afoot at Summer Camp in 'The Box in the Woods'
There's Mystery and Murder Afoot at Summer Camp in 'The Box in the Woods'
Summer camp should be a time to make memories and lifelong friendships. But in 1978, Camp Wonder Falls was the site of a brutal murder in the woods. Now Stevie Bell is out to solve the cold case and a new murder.
Real life and fiction collide in the modern Gothic mystery 'The Stranger Diaries'
Real life and fiction collide in the modern Gothic mystery 'The Stranger Diaries'
This novel has all the elements of an ideal escapist read: Gothic atmosphere on a school campus, a mysterious diary, a creepy 19th-century story, possible ghosts, an intrepid detective, and an unreliable heroine. Yes.
Meet Three Heroines with Moxie in 1918 Dublin in 'The Pull of the Stars'
Meet Three Heroines with Moxie in 1918 Dublin in 'The Pull of the Stars'
Time travel to Dublin, Ireland, during the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918 in the company of three remarkable women. This is historical fiction with a page-turning plot that hinges on quiet moments and heroic feats.
sharing is caring!

Wanna help us spread the word? If you like this page, please share with your friends.

our mission

Strong Sense of Place is a website and podcast dedicated to literary travel and books we love. Reading good books increases empathy. Empathy is good for all of us and the amazing world we inhabit.

our patreon

Strong Sense of Place is a listener-supported podcast. If you like the work we do, you can help make it happen by joining our Patreon! That'll unlock bonus content for you, too — including Mel's secret book reviews and Dave's behind-the-scenes notes for the latest Two Truths and a Lie.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.

This is a weekly email. If you'd like a quick alert whenever we update our blog, subscribe here.

no spoilers. ever.

We'll share enough detail to help you decide if a book is for you, but we'll never ruin plot twists or give away the ending.

super-cool reading fun
reading atlas

This 30-page Reading Atlas takes you around the world with dozens of excellent books and gorgeous travel photos. Get your free copy when you subscribe to our newsletter.

get our newsletter
We'll never share your email with anyone else. Promise.
follow us

Content on this site is © 2022 by Smudge Publishing, unless otherwise noted. Peace be with you, person who reads the small type.