Bill Bryson is my personal standard as far as travel literature. He's appealing in his teddy bear look and sharp in his wit. His ability to describe things in detail makes me feel as if I'm right next to him, bellying up to the same bar. "A Walk in the Woods" is, thus far, my favorite of his titles. It's filled with sudden zingers so hilarious that I have to spit out my coffee lest I strangle myself. I also enjoyed P.J. O'Rourke's "Holidays in Hell" because it described every vacation my family has ever taken. I could have written that one myself, though my title would probably be, "What is That SMELL?"
— Lisa Guidarini, Algonquin
"The Odyssey" by Homer. Our friend Ulysses knew how to travel, though it was an era with fewer crowds and more free time.
— Cynthia Gallaher, Chicago
"McCarthy's Bar," by Pete McCarthy. It's one of the funniest titles I have ever read. The author's motto is, "Never pass a bar with your name on it." Enough said.
— Amy Reeter, Downers Grove
I loved the children's book, "Bronte & Frank go to Moscow." It included great suggestions for families who are traveling here for the first time. It's written in a way that both parents and small children can learn from and enjoy!
— Julie Schoerke, Kenilworth
"Iberia" by James Michener. It's a personal journey told using beautiful prose, and it includes vast amounts of information and history. It reads like an epic novel.
— David Young, Vancouver, British Columbia
"The Narrative Life of Frederick Douglass," written by Douglass is a harrowing account of what he experienced as a slave. Every time I read this book (I read it least once a year since I teach this novel to my American Literature High School class) I am in awe of the amount of suffering and pain that was caused all because of "white society" and their narrow minded view of the world. I believe everyone should read this book as a reminder of the evilness and hatred that can occur when we as a society let it.
— Kristen Paul, Lake Villa
My favorite travel book is called "Rose's Betrayal and Survival", obviously not a typical travel book. Yet, it takes me to the wild, untamed Oklahoma Territory where the means of travelwas horseback, horse and buggy and coal-driven trains. Pioneers faced the slowest of travel times which makes me appreciate what's available to me today.
— Melonie Collmann
The best answer is anything written by Paul Theroux. However, since you asked, my favorite: "The Happy Isles of Oceania," 1992, Putnam. His travels focus on people he meets, warts and all. The islands he paddles his kayak too are incidental to a travelogue featuring complex social/political relationships, some involving himself. I have all his travel books in my personal library and would never give them up, including loaning them out!
— Ret. Capt. Kenneth Sample
"Lost on Planet China" by J. Maarten Troost is filled with vivid description, fascinating facts, and wonderful human interest stories — all told with Troost's delightful sense of humor. My son gave me this amazing book to read — a far cry from my lifetime of literary classics — and I got hooked and proceeded to also immensely enjoy the author's other travel books: "The Sex Lives of Cannibals" and "Getting Stoned with the Savages."
— Sharon Skaggs, Joliet
"The Great Railway Bazaar: By Rail Through Asia" stands as a timeless tribute to the exhilaration of new adventures offered through international train journeys. Paul Theroux, the author, displays the optimal traveler attribute--an eagerness to embrace and relish the moment. With frames as varied as negotiating space in a railroad car to chance encounters on station platforms, or meandering around exotic cities or rustic areas, Theroux's storytelling capacities captivate the reader.
— Virginia H. Jones, Chicago
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