With the world opening up slowly, it seems that travel might be a possibility in the near future, especially if you’re fully vaccinated. Does this mean it’s time to really think about where to go, once we can?
Here is a list of books by authors who’ve written about different places and their experiences. You’re sure to get some inspiration. If you’re not planning to travel at all, these books will help you leave your daily routine to travel to someplace far, through the comfort and safety of your home.
Don’t Ask Any Old Bloke For Directions
After twenty years in the Indian Administrative Service, P.G. Tenzing throws off the staid life of a bureaucrat to roar across India on an Enfield Thunderbird, travelling light with his possessions strapped on the back of his bike. On the nine-month motorcycle journey without a pre-planned route or direction, he encounters acquaintances who appear to be from his karmic past: from the roadside barber to numerous waiters and mechanics― fleeting human interactions and connections that seem pre-ordained. Life on the road is full of pot holes in more ways than one, but Tenzing acquires a wheelie’s sixth sense.
Kathmandu is the greatest city of the Himalayas a unique survival of cultural practices that died out in India 1000 years ago. It is a carnival of sexual license and hypocrisy, a jewel of world art, a hotbed of communist revolution, a paradigm of failed democracy, a case study in bungled Western intervention and an environmental catastrophe.
Kathmandu follows the author’s story over a decade in the city and unravels the city’s history through successive reinventions of itself. Erudite, entertaining and accessible, this is the distinctive chronicle of a fascinating city.
Tales of the Open Road
Ruskin Bond’s travel writing is unlike what is found in most travelogues, because he will take you to the smaller, lesser-known corners of the country, acquaint you with the least-famous locals there, and describe the flora and fauna that others would have missed. And if the place is well known, Ruskin leaves the common tourist spots to find a small alley or shop where he finds colourful characters to engage in conversation. Tales of the Open Road is a collection of Ruskin Bond’s travel writing over fifty years.
The Other Side of the Divide
Pegged on journalist Sameer Arshad Khatlani’s visit to Pakistan, this book provides insights into the country beyond what we already know about it. These include details on the impact of India’s soft power, thanks to Bollywood, and the remnants of Pakistan’s multireligious past, and how it frittered away advantages of impressive growth in the first three decades of its existence by embracing religious conservatism.
Dare Eat That
From using sign language to haggle over ant eggs in Bangkok to being hungry enough to eat a horse in Luxembourg, from finding out the perfect eel to barbecue to discovering the best place to source emu eggs in India, Dare Eat That explores their journey to eat every species on earth, at least once!
In Invisible Cities Marco Polo conjures up cities of magical times for his host, the Chinese ruler Kublai Khan, but gradually it becomes clear that he is actually describing one city: Venice. As Gore Vidal wrote ‘Of all tasks, describing the contents of a book is the most difficult and in the case of a marvellous invention like Invisible Cities, perfectly irrelevant.’
A Moveable Feast
Hemingway’s classic memoir of Paris in the 1920s, published for the first time as he intended – from the Nobel Prize-winning author of A Farewell To Arms.
Published posthumously in 1964, A Moveable Feast remains one of Ernest Hemingway’s most beloved works. Since Hemingway’s personal papers were released in 1979, scholars have examined and debated the changes made to the text before publication. Now this new special restored edition presents the original manuscript as the author prepared it to be published.