The 5 best books to read on a long haul flight

Taking to the skies? Add these to your hand luggage...

There are no two ways about it: a long haul flight is boring. Sure, you might be able to be visiting pastures anew or stepping foot inside a city you never thought you’d have the opportunity to, but the journey to get there can be a traitorous thing. Films become dull and the company next to you might never be worth engaging in, so there’s only one thing for it: read a decent book.

The Secret History, Donna Tartt

This international bestseller has gained a cult following – and for good reason. This is a real page-turner filled with compelling drama, whose story follows the deep influence that a group of eccentric misfits at an elite New England college come under from their charismatic classics profession. It follows the lives of these powerful characters who push the boundaries of morality to the point where their lives change forever.


Train Dreams, Denis Johnson

Widely regarded as one of America’s greatest ever fiction writers, and this book is absolutely no exception. Following an ordinary man living during extraordinary times in Western America during the start of the Twentieth century, we follow the life of this man, witnessing both his shocking personal defeats and the radical changes that transform America in his lifetime.

Waugh Abroad, Evelyn Waugh

If you’re taking to the skies for personal travel rather than anything business related, this is the book for you. As a documentation of a series of travel journals kept by Waugh, the book is full of wit and hilarity and will leave you with a thirst for travel – potentially even inspiring you to keep a journal of your own.

The Talented Mr Ripley, Patricia Highsmith

Hopefully you would have already seen the film but if you didn’t realise it was even a novel first, you need to rectify that. Obviously the heart of this film is a psychological thriller, but it takes an incredible tour around Italy and is a true turner in every sense of the word. A cult book with a huge fan-base, this is a novel every man (and woman, for that matter) needs to get his hands on.

Into the Wild, Jon Krakauer

This remarkable novel is a true story, retold by mountaineer Jon Krakauer. It follows the tragic tale of Christopher Mccandleuss, a young idealist who leaves his life – and modern society – behind. First, he donated his college find to charity and subsequently leaved his car of the side of the road before allowing nature to take a toll on his life.

Further Reading