Nancy Pearl is a self-professed unenthusiastic traveler, but as she notes in the introduction to her Book Lust to Go that makes her an expert in armchair traveling. Thank goodness, because the rest of us have a valuable and readable (ha!) resource to turn to whether we're packing our bags for a rugged trip to Timbuktu or grabbing a towel and heading to the beach for a virtual tour of Iceland.
Pearl's collections range from travel narratives to "biographies of explorers, memoirs, novels . . . and a smattering of history." Although not all the books are still in print, you should be able to find what you want at the library (or via inter-library loan) or on the Internet.
The book is arranged alphabetically from "A Is for Adventure" and "Afghanistan: Graveyard of Empires" to "Zambia" and "Zipping through Zimbabwe/Roaming Rhodesia." If you don't see what you want in the table of contents, you can choose countries from a map or find authors, locations, and book titles in the well-done index.
Pearl takes on whole countries, types of transportation, cities, islands, and states. For example, are you familiar with Lyme Regis, a seacoast city in England? You might say no, but if you've read The French Lieutenant's Woman, Persuasion, Remarkable Creatures, or The Way through the Woods (a mystery), then you're a Lyme Regis expert. In the Canada chapter, Pearl alerts Bill Bryson fans to Will Ferguson's Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw: Travels in Search of Canada. Not sure where to wander? Try Dorothy Gilman's Mrs. Pollifax mystery series. Each book takes place in a different country, and in the first adventure (The Unexpected Mrs. Pollifax) our hero visits Albania.
No matter your taste—mysteries, memoirs, history, traditional travel literature, or literary fiction—and no matter where in the world you want to go—the poles, Oceania, Africa, the United States, or Rome—you'll find plenty of titles to keep you entertained via a lifetime of reading.
For more about Nancy Pearl and the Book Lust series, you can visit her website, friend her on Facebook, or follow her on Twitter.
Give it to me quickly: Fantastic reading lists for virtual and literal world travelers written in an entertaining style and presented in an easy-to-use format.
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