Not every summer affords us a chance to journey somewhere exciting or exotic. Maybe the ol' 9-to-5 has us chained to town or a lack of scratch makes travel unfeasible. But even when we're stuck staycationing, books let us visit lands and eras far removed from our own. And how far they transport us doesn't depend on where or when they were penned. A book written in our own neighborhood can be a gateway to any corner of the globe or moment in history, as this year's Summer Fun roundup attests. All five authors have ties to Austin, and yet their books carry us to Okinawa, small-town Appalachia, the future of technology, and even Austin in the days before the Armadillo and MoPac. (This last, Elizabeth Crook's Monday, Monday, has just been selected for the Mayor's Book Club.) So sit down and let someone from home send you someplace far from it. – Robert Faires
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