Cannot go to Bali? Read these wonderful books set in Bali, with its lush landscapes, vibrant culture, and spiritual allure, which have been a source of inspiration for artists, writers, and dreamers for centuries. Known as the “Island of the Gods,” Bali’s enchanting beauty and rich traditions provide the perfect backdrop for captivating stories. In this blog post, we embark on a literary journey through the tropical paradise, exploring ten beautiful books set in Bali that transport readers to the heart of this province.
These books set in Bali not only capture the island’s physical beauty but also delve into its cultural richness, spirituality, and the complex interplay between tradition and modernity that defines Bali’s unique identity.
Books Set in Bali
Eat, Pray, Love – Elizabeth Gilbert
A hugely popular one among books set in Bali. It’s 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She’s in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they’re trying for a baby – and she doesn’t want any of it.
A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own journey in search of three things she has been missing: pleasure, devotion and balance. So she travels to Rome, where she learns Italian from handsome, brown-eyed identical twins and gains twenty-five pounds, an ashram in India, where she finds that enlightenment entails getting up in the middle of the night to scrub the temple floor, and Bali where a toothless medicine man of indeterminate age offers her a new path to peace: simply sit still and smile. And slowly happiness begins to creep up on her. A good one among books set in Bali.
The Paradise Guest House – Ellen Sussman
It starts as a trip to paradise. Sent on assignment to Bali, Jamie, an adventure guide, imagines spending weeks exploring the island’s lush jungles and pristine white sand beaches. Yet three days after her arrival, she is caught in Bali’s infamous nightclub bombings, which irreparably change her life and leave her with many unanswered questions. An interesting one among books set in Bali.
One year later, haunted by memories, Jamie returns to Bali seeking a sense of closure. Most of all, she hopes to find Gabe, the man who saved her from the attacks. She hasn’t been able to forget his kindness – or the spark between them as he helped her heal. Checking into a cosy guest house for her stay, Jamie meets the kindly owner, who is coping with a painful past of his own, and a young boy who improbably becomes crucial to her search. Jamie has never shied away from a challenge, but a second chance with Gabe presents her with the biggest dilemma of all: whether she’s ready to open her heart. A romance among books set in Bali.
Shalimar the Clown – Salman Rushdie
While not exclusively set in Bali, this novel among books set in Bali takes readers on a journey through various global locations, including the magical landscapes of the island. Shalimar the Clown was once a figure full of love and laughter. His skill as a tightrope walker was legendary in his native home of Kashmir. But fate has played him cruelly, torn him away from his beloved home and brought him to Los Angeles, where he works as a chauffeur. One morning he gets up, goes to work, and kills his employer, America’s former counter-terrorist chief Maximilian Ophuls, in view of the victim’s illegitimate daughter, India.
The killing has its roots halfway across the globe, back in Kashmir, a ruined paradise not so much lost as shattered. And gradually it emerges that beyond this unholy trinity of Max, India and Shalimar, lurks a fourth, shadowy figure, one who binds them all together.
A Bali Conspiracy Most Foul – Shamini Flint
Inspector Singh is back, but this time on secondment to Bali. A bomb has exploded and Singh has been sent to help with anti-terrorism efforts. But there’s a slight problem: he knows squat about hunting terrorists. He’s much better suited to solving murder! So when a body is discovered in the wreckage, killed by a bullet before the bomb went off, Singh should be the one to find the answers – especially with the help of a wily Australian copper by his side. But simple murders are never as simple as they seem – and this one has far-reaching global consequences. A cute one among books set in Bali.
The Painted Alphabet – Diana Darling
Magic, depravity, spiritual ambition, sensuality, and love — The Painted Alphabet binds mythic and modern time together in a rich, slyly suggestive novel based on an old Balinese poem. In a fresh and startling picture of Bali — where witches coexist with tourists and talking animals — the novel explores a kaleidoscope of vanity, desire, and the longing for goodness among books set in Bali.
Bali Raw – Malcolm Scott
What’s it like to live in Bali full time and what do you need to do to survive in a supercharged party environment. Bali Belly the survival guide takes the reader behind the scenes and it shows them how to get by when holidaying or living in Indonesia’s number one holiday island Bali. An interesting one among books set in Bali.
Shadow of the Moon – M. M. Kaye
While primarily set in India, this historical novel features a captivating section in Bali among books set in Bali. M. M. Kaye, author of The Far Pavilions, sweeps her readers back to the vast, glittering, sunbaked continent of India. Shadow of the Moon is the story of Winter de Ballesteros, a beautiful English heiress who has come to India to be married. It is also the tale of Captain Alex Randall, her escort and protector, who knows that Winter’s husband-to-be has become a debauched wreck of a man.
When India bursts into flaming hatreds and bitter bloodshed during the dark days of the Mutiny, Alex and Winter are thrown unwillingly together in the brutal and urgent struggle for survival.
The Bali Mystery – Linda Weaver Clarke
A cosy mystery among books set in Bali. Amelia Moore, the founder of the Moore Detective Agency, specializes in missing persons. Her cases have taken her to some interesting places and put her in some dangerous situations, but she always solves the case. With the help of Rick Bonito, her business is flourishing. When Mrs. Brody hires Amelia and Rick to find her missing brother, they find themselves in Bali, Indonesia. They are mystified why her brother quit his job, put his home up for sale, and ran off to this mysterious and exotic island without telling a soul.
Love and Death in Bali – Vicki Baum
In Love and Death in Bali, renowned author Vicki Baum skillfully intermeshes several different narratives that all culminate in the infamous puputan (the “ending”), the slaughter and mass suicides that brought the old Bali to an end in 1906. Written within living memory of these bloody events, the book tells the story of the passionate and deeply spiritual people who defy Dutch imperial forces through an act that brings them certain death–and certain rebirth among books set in Bali.
The looting of a Chinese trading ship gives the Dutch colonial forces the perfect excuse to intervene in island affairs, but they encounter astonishing resistance. In the battle of Badung, wave upon wave of Balinese clothed in white ceremonial garb charge into the blazing Dutch guns, kris daggers in hand, prepared to die. Who among them will survive, and how will their lives be forever changed?
Balilicious – Becky Wicks
A lot can happen when you set out to ‘find yourself’. Sometimes, you can even lose the plot. From visiting ancient healers with cellphone addictions to leaving a shaking ashram intent on extracting her soul, Becky Wicks soon discovered that six months travelling around Bali wasn’t all going to be about finding inner peace and harmony.
In fact, the perils of possessed teens, eating raw, yogic headstands, diving shipwrecks and dicing with black magic and demons all took their toll on the Island of the Gods. And that was before the vaginal steaming. Becky Wicks lifts the sarong on real life in Bali in a blur of locals, tourists, expats and other eating, praying lovers who arrive… you know… not really knowing who they are. A fun one among books set in Bali.
These ten wonderful books set in Bali provide a diverse and captivating exploration of Bali, offering readers a literary passport to the island’s enchanting landscapes and cultural richness. Whether you’re dreaming of a Balinese escape or seeking to deepen your understanding of this magical destination, these books set in Bali are a gateway to the soul of the “Island of the Gods.”
Check out my other lists about books!
- 10 Uplifting Books
- Great Novels by Poets
- Feel-Good Cozy Mystery Series
- Summer Books – 20 Sexy Novels
- Autumn Books – 20 Cozy Novels
- Winter Books- 20 Atmospheric Novels
- Spring Books – 20 Lovely Novels
- 20 Captivating Gothic Books
- Japanese Books Under 200 Pages
- 20 Best Campus and Academic Novels
- 25 Intriguing Dark Academia Books
- 20 Literary Romance Novels
- 20 Best Food Culture and Food History Books
- Comforting Food Memoirs
- Top 5 Haiku Books
- 15 Best Eco-fiction Novels
- Perfect Christmas Books
- 20 Best Turkish Books
- Standalone Fantasy Books
- Fantasy Book Series
- Novels Based on Mythology and Legends
- Tarot Books to Learn From
- Books About Astrology
- Books About Esotericism
- Books for Book Clubs
- Magical Realism Books
- Mindfulness Books
- Captivating Reincarnation Books
- Remarkable Break-Up Novels
- Books for Travel Lovers
- Brilliant Mythology Books
- Egyptian Mythology Books
- Train Journey Books
- Books Set in Museums
- Books Set in Hotels
- Books Set on Islands
- Books Set in Forests
- Novels Set in Ancient Egypt
- Novels Set in Bookshops
- Novels Set in Libraries
- Books Set in the English Countryside
- Books Set in Edinburgh
- Books Set in Oxford
- Books Set in Istanbul
- Books Set in Rome
- Books Set in Portugal
- Books Set in Egypt
- Books Set in Greece
- Books Set in Mexico
- Books Set in South Africa
- Books Set in New York
- Books Set in Paris
- Books Set in Barcelona
- Books Set in Berlin
- Novels Set in China
- Books Set in Tokyo
- Books Set in Bali
- Novels Under 100 Pages
- Novels Under 150 Pages
- Novels Under 200 Pages
- Novels About Older Woman, Younger Man Relationships
- Novels About Fortune Telling
- Novels About Translators and Interpreters
- Novels About Books
- Best Books About Books
- Novels About Vincent Van Gogh
- Novels About Leonardo da Vinci
- Books About Picasso
- Novels About Marriage
- Novels About Food
- Novels About Writers
- Novels About Music
- Books About Witches
- Books About Divorce
- Novels About Ernest Hemingway
- Best Books About Birds
- Best Books About Walking
- Best Books About Tea
- Books on Social Issues and Identity
- Novels About Scents & Perfume
- Exciting Thriller Novels of All Time
- Books on Art and Creativity
- Mind-Expanding Philosophy Books
- Historical Fiction Novels
- Beautiful Poetry Collections
- Powerful Books About Peace
- Beautiful Romance Novels
Are there any books set in Bali you’d like to add to this list? Would you please share in the comments section below?