Anyway...lately I've been craving travel books and travel shows. I don't know whether it's the time of year or the fact that we haven't really been on a vacation in about four years, but I just want to live vicariously through others' travels right now. :)
I love the idea of travel memoirs more than just straight up guidebooks (because guidebooks don't do you a lot of good if you're not actually planning a trip). And by the way, when I say travel memoirs, I'm also including books written by someone about their time living in a place. Like Julia Child's My Life in France, which is about her and her husband living in France for years, not merely passing through. (I love that book, by the way.) Basically, I include anything written by someone living in a place where they weren't born and raised.
These are some of the travel books I want to read...
How the Heather Looks, by Joan Bodger. This book sounds perfect for me. Back in the 50s or 60s, a family went on a trip to England to find places that inspired classic children's literature, like the Winnie the Pooh books or The Wind in the Willows. It sounds so sweet and right up my alley, as someone who has a particular love for English children's literature. :)
A Fine Romance: Falling in Love with the English Countryside, by Susan Branch. A print-up of this woman's travel journal that she created during a two-month trip to England. There are photographs and watercolors and it sounds really charming.
Londoners, by Craig Taylor. This isn't necessarily a travel book. It's just a book featuring the stories of a variety of different people who live in London.
Names for the Sea: Strangers in Iceland, by Sarah Moss. Ever since watching The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, I've become a bit obsessed with Iceland. So I want to read this one, which is about a woman who moves from England to Iceland. And speaking of books set there, I really, really want to read Burial Rites. It's a fictionalized account of the true story of a young woman who was accused of murdering two men back in 1829. It sounds a bit more morbid of a book than I would typically choose. But supposedly it's so atmospheric that it makes you feel like you're there in Iceland, and I've heard nothing but good things about it. I'm hoping to read it this year.
Bill Bryson is pretty well known for writing humorous travel books. He's also well known for being super sarcastic and negative at times. So far I've only read one of his books, the one he wrote about his experiences on the Appalachian Trail: A Walk in the Woods. Honestly, the profanity and disdain for Christianity is what turned me off from that one more so than the sarcasm. But I'm still hopeful about the rest of his books. I bought the five that I want to read from Thriftbooks for really cheap so at least if I end up not liking them, I didn't waste a lot of money. :) I want to read: Notes from a Small Island (about England), Neither Here nor There (about other European countries), The Lost Continent (about small town America), I'm a Stranger Here Myself (about returning to America after living in England for decades), and In a Sunburned Country (about Australia).
A Moveable Feast, by Ernest Hemingway. I have a love-hate relationship with Hemingway. I need to read more of his books...so far I loved one (The Old Man and the Sea) and hated the other (To Have or Have Not, though the movie with Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall is good). Anyway, I'm a bit fascinated with his personal life, depressing as it is, so I'd like to read his thoughts on Paris in the 20s.
C'est La Folie and Je T'aime A La Folie, by Michael Wright. These are memoirs of a man who left London to live in rural France. They're supposed to be really charming and funny.
Paris, My Sweet, by Amy Thomas. Paris and desserts. Yes...that's all you need to know, right? :)
Paris In Love, by Eloisa James. Another memoir about a woman who moves with her family to Paris.
Writing about all of these has made me even more excited to read them! :) I own eight of these, so where to begin?
By the way, I haven't read lots of travel-ish books yet, so I can't exactly give many recommendations. My Life in France, by Julia Child, is really good. A bit slow towards the end, but I'm completely fascinated with Julia Child...it seems like she was such a lovely person. That's still one of my favorite memoirs (if you're interested: my review). A Year in Provence was pretty enjoyable. I loved The Wilder Life, which is a sort of bookish/travel memoir about the Little House on the Prairie series (review here). But, as I've mentioned, I didn't really like Bill Bryson's A Walk in the Woods, though I did enjoy learning more about the Appalachian Trail.
Do you have any recommendations for travel books?