In books I have traveled, not only to other worlds, but into my own. I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to, and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself. – Anna Quindlen
Okay so this isn’t travel in the time-space sense, but really, it’s practically the same.
Reading is an awesome way to get to know a place. I’ve been doing it since I was little. I checked out every book from the Corvallis Public Library that had Hawai’i in it. Then, when we went on my first non-mainland flight and second flight ever, (directly following 9/11, another story for another time,) I already knew about tarot and heiaus and breadfruit and plumerias and pidgin. The book came to life as I saw them, smelled them in person.
Similarly, I read all sorts of historical fiction set in Italy before my girlfriends from college and I went there for spring break. Venice was so much richer than a sinking tourist trap as I imagined a colorful tapestry of masquerades, mischief, artisans, class warfare, and prison capers all centered on St. Mark’s Square.
So here are my top 5 trips to take via the pages of these wonderful books from my 2016 reading list:
- The Little Paris Bookshop (travel to the French countryside, by riverboat)
- The Red Tent (travel to Mesopotamia, Canaan, Egypt, womankind)
- The Night Circus (immerse yourself in the most secret carnival menagerie imaginable)
- Along the Infinite Sea (travel to Cote de Azur, Paris, Germany, Florida)
- Everything I Never Told You (mostly a trip inside the mind of teenagers and parents)
And a bonus from early 2017:
- The History of Love (travel to New York, Poland, Chile)
Part of the great wonder of reading is that it has the ability to make human beings feel more connected to one another, which is a great good… – Anna Quindlen
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime. – Mark Twain
I need to reboot my reading list for 2017. What books would you recommend?