Do you find your destination information in travel guidebooks and magazines, newspapers, websites or TV shows? You should consider adding books by travel writers to your list of resources.
Right now, I’m savouring Frances Mayes’ A Year in the World. She wrote the popular book Under the Tuscan Sun which unfortunately was made into a dreadful movie. Mayes’ writing is rich and evocative and she sets the scene so well that, later on, you’ll swear you’ve actually seen it.
While Paul Theroux’s writing often paints pictures of places you’d rather not see, Bill Bryson has you laughing both at him and with him.
Most travel guidebooks offer a bite-sized snack of what to see when we travel. Heavy on smart, snappy and sassy and light on real substance, it’s like trying to pack enough food for a month into a picnic basket. You’re bound to get hungry for more along the way.
Think outside the travel guidebook box and you’ll get a real sense of place before you even take-off. Anthologies like Travelers Tales or The Best Travel Writing are ideal places to start your search. Mayes’ bibliography for A Year in the World yields a cornucopia of material while readers looking for a journey into the past can read my article Off the Beaten Path, about famous women travellers from 1650 to 1950. I’ve included a comprehensive list of travel-related books as well. Bon Voyage!
Care to share your favourite books on travel?
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