The 9 best books to read on a long flight

Looking for books to read on a long flight? These inspiring reads will keep you entertained until you land at your destination.

Editorial Team

By Editorial Team

a flight of passengers

Flying is even less fun than usual these days, but hopping on a plane is sometimes the only way to get where you want to go. Losing yourself in a good book on a long flight can make the hours fly like minutes.

As travel begins to ramp up again, Blueground is seeing more people than ever embrace flexible living in our furnished rental apartments in Europe, the Middle East, and North America.

Maybe you’re about to move to a new city to start life’s next adventure. Here are some of the best books to read on a long flight.

Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood

Trevor Noah’s memoir of the years before he was famous will make you laugh on one page and cry on the next. The charming late-night host got into a lot more trouble as a young man than you might expect! If you like to listen to audiobooks, it’s worth noting that Noah himself is the narrator of that edition.

Death on the Nile

Agatha Christie is one of the world’s most beloved crime authors, and this whodunnit set aboard a luxury steamship is one of her thorniest mysteries. As wealthy travelers explore the wonders of Egypt, they find themselves wondering which of them could have murdered a beautiful but cruel heiress.

woman reading with low lighting on a window airplane seat

The Gift of Fear

Gavin de Becker’s survival guide isn’t meant to scare you – only to make you learn to trust and appreciate your wise inner voice. An internationally recognized expert on violence, de Becker has advised thousands of celebrities over the years, from Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton to Jeff Bezos. This page-turner is part casebook and part memoir, with anecdotes from de Becker’s crime-fighting past used to illustrate his points about intuition and protecting yourself from harm. This book is perfect for a long or short flight.

Gone Girl

Even if you’ve already seen the film adaptation with Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike, Gillian Flynn’s novel of suspense packs a punch. When a New York transplant goes missing in small-town Missouri, it causes a huge sensation. Where is Amy Dunne? A hapless husband tries to find his missing wife as the police and media close in to indict him for her murder.

Into Thin Air

Climbing Mount Everest is a common enough dream that thousands of people attempt every year. There are also plenty of books written on the subject! Into Thin Air is in a class by itself because 1996 was a year like no other, and a reporter for the Outside magazine just happened to be climbing the peak along with a team of fellow dreamers. Jon Krakauer’s controversial first-hand account of the sudden blizzard that resulted in the deaths of several climbers, including veteran guides, is almost impossible to put down, even on a long flight.

person sitting on aisle seat in an airplane is reading a book


You may have read some of Marcus Aurelius’ most famous work in school, but it’s always worth another appraisal. The famous Roman emperor had a surprisingly spare and witty writing style – fitting since his modesty is unusual compared to most of history’s all-powerful rulers. Even though he lived almost two thousand years ago, Aurelius’ pithy wisdom about love, life, and loss could just as easily be written today. This is one of those books that’s perfect to dive into during a short delay, like the customs line or while you wait at baggage claim.

My Sister, the Serial Killer

If your beloved younger sister killed people, would you keep her secret? This is the question at the heart of Oyinkan Braithwaite’s novel. The aptly named book follows the adventures of mild, responsible Korede and her beautiful, selfish sister Ayoola in present-day Nigeria as circumstances spin ever more out of their control.

The Parable of the Sower

First published in 1993, this powerful dystopian novel by Octavia Butler explores a too-close-for-comfort version of the US in 2025. A small group of neighbors bands together to escape a nightmarish Los Angeles for the relative safety of rural life, collecting fellow refugees along the way. If you liked Stephen King’s The Stand, you won’t be able to put this book down.

A person reading a book on an airplane flight.

The Shining

Speaking of Stephen King, is it possible that you have never read his most famous work? If not, you’re in for a treat. The Shining tells the story of reformed alcoholic Jack Torrance and what happens when he takes his wife and five-year-old son along as he takes on the role of winter caretaker at a five-star hotel nestled in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains. The three recent transplants are snowed into this luxurious setting with only each other for company – or so they thought. The audiobook version narrated by Campbell Scott is a great alternative to a paperback or digital book on a flight.


Caroline Kepnes’ gripping, tongue-in-cheek novel is just as irresistible as its Netflix adaptation. Antihero Joe Goldberg takes the reader along for a ride as he drools over one of the customers at the bookstore where he works…before taking stalking to a whole new level. Best of all, there are two sequels set in Los Angeles and Seattle’s Bainbridge Island to keep you busy on future travels!

Wherever your travels take you, you can feel at home in one of Blueground’s comfortable furnished apartments in cities around the world. All of our move-in ready homes have everything our guests need to show up and start living, with no need for an annual lease. Are you still renting your apartment the old-fashioned way? Flexible living is a convenient alternative that puts you in the driver’s seat.

Editorial Team

Editorial Team

The Blueground editorial team covers the best things to see, do, and experience in our cities around the world.