When you’ve got nowhere to go and nothing to do but stay indoors and lounge on your couch this wet season, catch up on some reads that will take you to places and inspire you to travel
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
What happens when a reckless out-of-prison man meets a cautious, intellectual writer? They blaze across the country together and discover that even though they seem like complete opposites, they’re actually alike. Dean Moriarty meets young writer Sal Paradise, and together they forge an unusual friendship as they begin a journey across the country for three years. The book chronicles Jack Kerouac’s travels in North America with his friend Neal Cassady, as they discover a deep love for America and meet colorful characters, experience trying times and marvel in the beauty of destinations that all lead to their personal development.
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Author Bill Bryson brings yet another follow up to his travelogue around the UK, as he documents the unique British life and the country’s beautiful destinations. Growing up in the cornfields, Bryson led a monotonous and boring life – he has always dreamed of living in New York, Chicago or Paris, where “everything was bright and something was always happening.” Bryson finally got away in his early 20s and first arrived in the UK in 1973 and backpacked around Europe. It was in the UK where he got a job and settled with his wife, Cynthia and four kids. Notes is a hilarious tour of Bryson’s adopted country, and you’ll laugh at his view of the British lifestyle as seen from his own unapologetic perceptions.
A Year in the World: Journeys by a Passionate Traveller by Frances Mayes
The title itself is a preview of what the book is about, and this page-turner tells Mayes’ travels to Spain, Portugal, France, the British Isles, and to the Mediterranean world of Turkey, Greece, the South of Italy, and North Africa. If you’re a fan of Under the Tuscan Sun, you’ll love this book that also has commentaries on art, culture, and personal reflections about living in transit around the world’s most beautiful countries. She rents houses among locals, shops at neighborhood markets, wanders in the back streets, and completely immerses herself in her temporary homes.
Book lust to go by Nancy Pearl
Who better to trust on book recommendations than a librarian? The New York Times calls her “the talk of librarian circles” – Nancy Pearl, a librarian, author, and bookseller. Her knowledge of books is unprecedented, and this spawned a monthly TV program in Seattle where she talks about her favorite books in the series called “Book Lust.” The Book Lust to Go is a comprehensive list of reading for more than 120 destinations around the world. Nancy’s book about books will definitely give you that feeling of possibility, anticipation, and excitement. She writes, “All my life I have been a virtual traveler — through books — to places far and near.”
Life is a Trip by Judith Fein
You’ve heard it a lot of times – life’s a trip – and Judith Fein takes this saying to heart. She tells about the “transformative of the magic of travel” and takes readers on 14 exotic journeys where she learns from other cultures new and transformative approaches to family discord, death, success, fear, faith, forgiveness and overcoming trauma.From Mexico to Micronesia, and from Vietnam to Istanbul, the book will make you want to get up from your chair and hit the road. With no schedule, Judith takes her time in the exotic places for a complete experiential travel and opens herself up to the unexpected.
Maphead by Ken Jennings
Ken Jennings is a living legend, having won Jeopardy! 74 times for seven years straight. Jennings is a certified nerd and proud of it, and he shares his love for maps, what he calls the “wide weird world of geography,” and travel in his second book, Maphead. The book profiles Google Maps engineers, geocachers, imaginary mapmakers, rare map collectors, National Geographic Bee contestants, road-trippers and other “mapheads” who love latitude, longitude and everything in between.
With this book list, you don’t have to leave the comfort of your home to travel. So curl up, bring out your hot chocolate, and let your mind roam!