Itching to Travel? (Guaranteed No Bedbugs!)
If you’ve got an itch to travel, but no time or cash, this list might just be the next best thing!
Better than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers. Edited by Don George. Discover Buenos Aires with Alexander McCall Smith, the Sudan with Joe Yogerst, and India with Isabel Allende. Check out where you’d like to go or not go (San Quentin with Joyce Carol Oates, anyone?) This collection will give you an interesting taste of some authors you might not have read before.
A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson. Bill Bryson is at his most hilarious as he hikes the Appalachian Trail. Originally from Iowa, Bryson has spent the last 20 years in Britain. Although packed with funny anecdotes of his adventures, his observations on the culture of the United States and his knowledge about hiking in this area are perhaps the most interesting parts of the book. It’s like taking a hike with a smart and funny friend.
Sixpence House: Lost in a World of Books by Paul Collins. Ever wondered if those quirky charming towns filled with eccentric characters you see on British TV really exist? Book lover Paul Collins finds out after he moves his family from San Francisco to Hay-on-Wye in Wales, a village famous for its 40 bookstores. A nice little story about books and the people who love them.
Don’t Let’s Go to the Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood by Alexandra Fuller: A fascinating look at growing up in Zimbabwe/Rhodesia as the wild child of white African farmers during the Rhodesian civil war. Fuller is a terrific writer with a unique voice that makes life in post-colonial Africa come alive. Her life is not one most of us would choose, but you’ll enjoy being taken along for the ride.
River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze by Peter Hessler: An American Peace Corps volunteer spends 2 years as an English teacher in the remote town of Fuling in China’s Sichuan Provence. The town had rarely had a foreign visitor; he notes the culture shock both he and the local residents feel upon meeting each other. His insights into how events such as the completion of the Three Gorges Dam and the handover of Hong Kong affected the lives of everyday people are thought-provoking.