Favourite Travel Books

Jun 20th, 2007, 11:34 AM
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Favourite Travel Books

Being someone who likes to read about travel, I thought I would post a thread asking anyone interested what their favourite travel oriented books are. This can range from books specifically about traveling or living in a foreign location (i.e., 'A Year in Provence', 'Paris to the Moon'), or you can include a work of fiction that that moves around a lot of different locations (i.e., The Historian [for me, a personal favourite], The Da Vinci Code).

This is a rather light thread when compared to others of course, but I thought it might be fun for those of us to really enjoy reading travel oriented books to see suggestions from other people as well as just sharing our own favourites.
Europhile23 is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 12:19 PM
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I like Paul Theroux's travel books (the true ones, not the novels). Many (most) of his trips are like ordeals , instead of fun travel (he does not go the luxury route) but always interesting. Try ' The Kingdom By the Sea", his trip around the coast of the United Kingdom first. Also, Jonathan Raban who travels by boat usually. And of course to laugh your head off, Bill Bryson. Another favorite is "Italian Days" by Barbara Grizzuti Harris.And,many of Jan Morris' books.
lscott is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 12:28 PM
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Life in the Merde by Stephen Clarke (Paris),
Gringos in Paradise (can't remember the author - about Sayulita near Puerto Vallarta),
On Mexican Time (T. Cohan),
Tales of a Female Nomad - Living at Large in the World.(Rita Golden Gelman),
Leaving Microsoft to Change the World - An Entrepreneur's Odyssey to Educate the World's Children (John Wood),

nanabee is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 12:36 PM
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I laughed out loud throughout "Night Train to Turkistan: Modern Adventures Along China's Ancient Silk Road" by Stuart Stevens. Stevens retraces Peter Fleming's 1935 journey. Though the trip is long and arduous, he maintains an admirable sense of humor throughout. What an adventure.

Currently reading "Eat Pray Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia" by Elizabeth Gilbert. I'm still with her in Italy where her descriptions of the food will send me back sooner than origianlly planned!
AnnMarie_C is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 12:54 PM
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I've got Eat, Pray, Love, on hold from local bookstore in town. Sounds excellent - can't wait to read it.
nanabee is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 01:29 PM
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"Driving Over Lemons," in which Chris Stewart (former Genesis drummer) and his wife move to a small farm in Southern Spain, where he becomes a sheep shearer.
Jen is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 01:35 PM
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Any book by H.V. Morton- he did a series of books- In Search of-England, Scotland, Ireland, etc.
TexasTiger is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 01:49 PM
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Another Stuart Stevens fan here...

also love books by Colin Thurbron...James Fenton.. Redmond O'Hanlon..so very many good ones..

One of my all-time favorites is Slow Boats to China but I cannot find my copy at this moment and cannot recall the author's name..

Peter Hessler also has two good books..
ekscrunchy is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 02:31 PM
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TexasTiger beat me to it! Any H V Morton book is at the top of my travel books list. He is probably the best and most literate travel writer of all times>
jody is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 10:15 PM
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For light reading: Chris Stewart's books about life in the Alpujarras.
For serious reading: any of V.S. Naipaul's non-fiction, though I like his fiction too.
Suelynne is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 10:24 PM
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I loved Miss Garnet's Angel by Sally Vickers. Set in Venice. I can't wait to get there to check out some of the places.

patriciaf is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 11:31 PM
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The Palace Under The Alps, William Bryson. Any other of his books. Iberia, Michener. A real look at Spain.
GSteed is offline  
Jun 20th, 2007, 11:59 PM
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I enjoyed:

"The Reluctant Tuscan: How I Discovered My Inner Italian" by Phil Doran

"The City of Falling Angels" by John Berendt [set in Venice]

"The Twelve Little Cakes" by Dominika Dery [set in Prague]

Woody is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 04:14 AM
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Any of Bill Bryson's books will have you rolling off the sofa as you laugh.

Emily Kimbrough's books, probably now out of print, are great fun. "Our Hearts Were Young and Gay", written with Cornelia Otis Skinner is a howl. It tells of their first trip to Europe as young women in the twenties. Her other books written as middle aged travelers are a handbook of appreciating one's own foibles as well as those of traveling companions.

"Travels around Ireland with a Donkey" by Kevin O'Hara is a delightful saga of a young man's trip to visit relatives and places at a slow pace. It is funny, wistful, and thoughtful.

"Traveling around Ireland with a Refrigerator" is another saga of a young man who is fulfilling a bet. Yes, he did carry a fridge around the green isle. It is a bit irreverent at times, but amusing.

"Sand in my Bra" and "The Thong also rises" are a collection of short stories by and about women travel adventures. As a woman of a certain age, I found some of the adventures a bit puzzling, but did enjoy many of them.

Travelers Tales (in various countries) are collections of travelers' stories. They are found near the travel guides sections in most bookstores (from our local independent to Borders and Barnes and Noble)
teacher33 is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 05:14 AM
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World Hum put together a list of top travel books a few months ago. Has a couple you may have missed.

Jun 21st, 2007, 05:43 AM
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Bill Bryson's views on Europe is hysterical. #

A year in the merde, is also a funny read.

I love reading the Lonely Planet Guides, even if i'm not going to the destination, finding out about different destinations.

Anything by Michael Palin, who i find fascinating
Jun 21st, 2007, 06:31 AM
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All of W. Somerset Maugham's short stories. They are fiction, but very real. A classic!
Kenstee is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 06:58 AM
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I enjoyed reading a book called "Too Much Tuscan Sun", I can't remember the name of the author (I think his first name is Dario), but he was a tour guide who gave private tours throughout Tuscany.

The book was his view of the tourists he worked with and each chapter was a description of a different group of people he guided...Americans, French, British, Germans, etc. It was a funny enjoyable read.

I purchased it while in Tuscany in 2004, but I recently saw it on the bookshelf at my local Barnes & Noble store.
LowCountryIslander is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 09:24 AM
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I second the suggestion of Too Much Tuscan Sun. It is very funny and well written.
nanabee is offline  
Jun 21st, 2007, 09:25 AM
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His name is Dario Castagno. I just received an advance copy of his new book which looks to be in the same vein:

"A Day in Tuscany: More Confessions of a Chianti Tour Guide."

There is another Italian author who I like better than Castagno: Beppe Severegnini. His book, "Ciao America" is his take on the US from the perspective of an Italian who comes to live in the DC area. It is really funny and great reading. He has a new book out, "La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind".
ekscrunchy is offline  

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