Mink Machine

Travel book reviews

Apart from moleskins and iPods, a good book is an essential companion for long journeys. And what book could be better than one about traveling? I’ve read a fair bit of travel books in my days. Guides such as Lonely Planet provide great facts for a traveler while you’re on the road and have saved me on numerous occasions, but they are rarely inspiring. In fact, boring would be a more suitable description. So put down your overly expensive Lonely Planet brick bible and browse the shelves containing personal travel stories.

The best kind of travel literature is where the writer travels both internal and external, describing the travel experience while analyzing the situation and gaining a bit of insight along the way. I seldom need to know the exact number of steps in Notre Dame or the height of the Empire State Building, but a nice story about the buildings is always welcome. That’s why I tend to read a lot of travel stories in addition to the usual guides.

My favorite authors each have a unique voice. Bruce Chatwin is often dry, detached and philosophical, but still childishly curious about the world. Reading about Bill Bryson’s adventures in the outback gives me visions of a jolly Santa Claus roaming western Australia. And so on.

Reading in London Reading Chatwin by the Thames in London.

Sometimes my friends ask me for advice on travel literature. That’s why I will start to write a few lines about some of my personal favorites. If book reviews ain’t your cup of tea, feel free to skip these upcoming entries.

4 comments

  • avatar
    Pär
    13 Oct, 2009

    One of my favorite books about travelling is
    Ryszard Kapuścińskis “Imperium”. It’s about Russia in the 20th century and I still remember some of the scenes very vividly…

  • avatar
    16 Oct, 2009

    It’s one of my favorites as well, and will most definitely show up here in the near future.

  • avatar
    Tess
    15 Dec, 2009

    As I guess you know, one of my favorites is Brian Thacker.. (the author of the Rule no.5 book you borrowed from me). I have three of his other books as well, in case you would like to borrow them btw.
    http://www.brianthacker.tv/blog/home/
    I’m looking forward to some more travel book reviews! :-)

  • avatar
    16 Dec, 2009

    @Tess: It’s a great one, got it right here:
    https://minkmachine.reine.se/2009/10/rule-no-5-no-sex-on-the-bus/

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