It’s June tomorrow. Which means those long-awaited summer holidays are just weeks away. You’ve got your travel-sized toiletries, sandals, sun hat… but what about that perfect book for the beach? Here are this summer’s pick for summer reading (recommended by Twitter travellers).
Finally the summer feels like it has arrived which means that we’re all thinking about where and when we’re going on summer holidays. Don’t let your Lonely Planet be the only book you take on holiday this summer. These travelogues and other tales are sure to inspire your travels. If you’re travelling long-term, pass them on to another traveller or swap on the way.
Kite Strings of the Southern Cross – Laurie Gough
Critics describe this book as “sensual, poetic, multi-layered, with an abundance of romantic optimism,” what’s not to love about that? She recounts 18 months worth of travel which took her from the South Pacific, to Asia, across America, Morocco, New Zealand and to Tavenui in Fiji. She retells stories of her adventures with wit and humour, not holding anything back including her experiences drinking hallucinogenic kava around a campfire or sleeping rolled up in a rug in an African desert. If you’ve spend any significant amount of time of the road, you’ll likely find you have a lot in common with Gough and her experiences.
Tao of Travel – Paul Theroux
Sort of “Best of Theroux,” the Tao of Travel celebrates fifty years of travelling the globe, bringing together the best of Theroux’s writing in one volume. It’s part guide book for the philosophical traveller, part stories, part memories and reflections on those memories. His own stories are interspersed with excerpts from other travel writers like Vladimir Nabokov, Henry David Thoreau, Mark Twain, Charles Dickens and Earnest Hemingway. One critic says, “The Tao of Travel is a unique tribute to the pleasures and pains of travel in its golden age.”
Seven Pillars of Wisdom – T.E. Lawrence
This is the real Lawrence of Arabia’s account of his experiences as a British soldier while serving as a liaison office during the Arab Revolt from 1916 to 1918. It’s nothing but thrilling. It’s more than a history book about the revolt, Seven Pillars of Wisdom includes personal stories about the guerrilla raids and train bombings. His wit and poetic style, keep knack for details make this one of the best accounts of culture shock as a young Englishman living in pre-WWI Middle-East. If you’re feeling ambitious, pick up the unabridged version.
Where did you get this number? – Sloane Crosley
This is a book about getting things right. It consists of nine essays that follow Sloane as she tries to step out of her comfort zone… since her previous recipe for success actually wasn’t so successful. She take to international travel, recounting trips to Europe. In one of the essay, Le Paris! she writes, “This trip was our cultural vaccination. We’d see and do everything touristy we could so that one day we might come back as real adults and not have to go to a single museum or dead person’s mansion.” Apart from Europe, Sloane travels to Alaska where she is literally confronted with the age-old dilemma: man versus nature.
Thanks again to @WildJunket, @rkrystalli and @UTA_Travel for the reading recommendations. Be sure to follow them on Twitter!