Book Lists: Travel the World by Book
In my last column, I promised you lists of books on various topics. I’ll highlight ten books in each column. You might want to clip and save them!
The pandemic put all our travel plans on hold, but we can always travel through reading. In the books on this list, talented writers tell amazing stories about the places they visit, and they invite you to come along.
Title: My 25 Years in Provence
Author: Peter Mayle, a British writer who lived in France
Where you’ll go: Southern France
What you’ll find: Great descriptions of food and food culture, gorgeous scenery, unexpected pleasures. Humorous, sweet, and charming.
Title: Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-mile Adventure
Author: Monisha Rajesh
Where you’ll go: From London to Russia, North Korea, Kazakhstan – and Canada
What you’ll find: A young woman’s perspective on train travel and the people she meets. Witty and irreverent.
Title: Blue Sky Kingdom: An Epic Family Journey to the Heart of the Himalaya
Author: Bruce Kirkby, a Canadian adventurer and travel writer
Where you’ll go: Across the Pacific on a container ship, then to South Korea, China, India, Nepal, and finally, a remote monastery in the world’s highest mountain range.
What you’ll find: A big adventure, a rare view of a hidden culture. Meditations on love, devotion, and family. Wise and often funny.
Title: Miles from Nowhere: A Round-the-world Bicycle Adventure
Author: Barbara Savage
Where you’ll go: Across the U.S., then Europe, North Africa, and New Zealand
What you’ll find: Adventure, relationships, humor, danger. 23,000 miles by bicycle, in the 1970s.
Title: Clanlands: Whisky, Warfare, and A Scottish Adventure Like No Other
Author: Sam Heughan and Graham McTavish, stars of the “Outlander” series
Where you’ll go: Across Scotland by van, boat, kayak, bicycle, and motorcycle.
What you’ll find: Scottish history and culture via two funny men. Hilarious, rollicking, colourful, earthy.
Title: Elsewhere: One Woman, One Rucksack, One Lifetime of Travel
Author: Rosita Boland, a solo adventurer and travel writer
Where you’ll go: Peru, Pakistan, Antarctica, Bali, Japan, and more. Nine journeys in all.
What you’ll find: Both travel and introspection, from a perspective of a female solo traveler. Some hair-raising stories.
Title: Gone Viking: A Travel Saga
Author: Bill Arnott, traveler, researcher, writer
Where you’ll go: All over the world, over the course of a decade.
What you’ll find: Beautiful writing, fascinating stories, informative, wry humor. Plus Vikings!
Title: Signs of Life: A Doctor’s Journey to the Ends of the Earth
Author: Stephen Fabes, an emergency-room doctor turned travel writer
Where you’ll go: Around the world, by bicycle.
What you’ll find: A view of healthcare and healing practices around the globe. Fast-paced, entertaining.
Title: The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places
Author: William Atkins, travel writer
Where you’ll go: Eight deserts on five continents
What you’ll find: Rich descriptions of fascinating places and unusual landscapes. Worlds about as different from Vancouver Island as you can get.
Title: Becoming Coastal: 25 Years of Exploration and Discovery of the British Columbia Coast by Paddle, Oar and Sail
Author: Alex Zimmerman, a Vancouver Island author
Where you’ll go: Our corner of the world
What you’ll find: Beautiful descriptions of landscapes that you know well. The author’s discovery of his new environment and his own capabilities.