Featured favorites: Books on travel


“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson – Returning to the U.S. after 20 years, Bill Bryson decides to take a 2,100-mile walk with his old buddy, Steve Katz, along the Appalachian trail. With his keen eye and comic genius, Bryson shows us the majestic beauty of our natural world and the incredible silliness of human beings.

“The Hard Way Around: The Passages of Joshua Slocum” by Geoffrey Wolf – Slocum is best known for circumnavigating around the world on his small sloop, Spray. This book is both a biography and a grand adventure story. Wolf follows Slocum around the world and home again, where he becomes incredibly famous. Slocum’s life is filled with storms both on and off the sea.

“Above All Things” by Tanis Rideout – When George Mallory leaves to climb Mount Everest in 1924, he leaves behind his wife, Ruth, and their three young children. He had previously promised that he would stop traveling to far-off dangerous places and stay home with his family. Ruth, who is left in war-torn England, is left to contemplate why her husband is so driven and worry about his return. (fiction)

“Holidays in Heck” by P.J. O’Rourke – In this charming collection of essays, former foreign correspondent O’Rourke gives up gunfire and sleeping on the ground for more mundane travel writing, often with his family in tow. Both humorous and exotic, his vacations take him to such places as the Galapagos Islands and to the hills of Ohio. Great fun.

“The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments From Lives on the Road” by Paul Theroux – With 50 years of wandering the globe under his belt, Theroux celebrates with this collection of travel writing that includes his own work along with the likes of Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, and John McPhee. This book is part philosophical guide and part reminiscence. It includes both the comfortably familiar and the truly unexpected.