5 Things I like ALMOST as much as traveling:
- Thinking about traveling
- Talking about traveling
- Watching TV show about people traveling
- Reading blogs and books about people traveling
Obviously! Welcome to the Wanderlust Book Club! I have the event scheduled on Meetup and via Facebook, so if you live in the Los Angeles area you should join us!
To kick start things, I’ve selected 3 books that we will be voting on to read for our first meeting on January 15th @ 7 pm.
There was a lot of thought put into the selection for the first meeting. First, I didn’t want to select the most obvious books, Eat, Pray, Love, or Wild. I was looking for something that folks hadn’t read yet. If you’re a reader, you’ve likely read both of these already. Second; guide books, collections of shorts stories, and some biographical books do not make good choices for a book club. Without characters and a plot, the discussion can wither away before it gets started.
Take a look at the 3 books we are voting on for the January meeting.
The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia
by Paul Theroux
First published more than thirty years ago, Paul Theroux’s strange, unique, and hugely entertaining railway odyssey has become a modern classic of travel literature. Here Theroux recounts his early adventures on an unusual grand continental tour. Asia’s fabled trains — the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Frontier Mail, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Mandalay Express, the Trans-Siberian Express — are the stars of a journey that takes him on a loop eastbound from London’s Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian. Brimming with Theroux’s signature humor and wry observations, this engrossing chronicle is essential reading for both the ardent adventurer and the armchair traveler.
“An amazing story, really. Its hard to imagine a train trip of this length and duration, but Mr. Theroux really was able to put me right there in the railway car. His descriptions of the fellow travelers he encountered, and the landscapes he passed through were detailed and colorful.”
“Another of Theroux’s wonderful classic travel narratives about train travel through exotic and rapidly changing parts of the world. Those who have not been to these destinations will want to go after reading this work. Those who have been there will want to see it again via train travel. All will come away with new eyes and ears to savor the experience.”
The Year of Living Danishly
By Helen Russell
When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries.
“Upbeat and informative, and is reminiscent of ‘Bridget Jones’ Diary’…it flows seamlessly, and is like listening to your best friend on the phone while getting ready for a girls’ night out.”
“Russell’s memoir of her year in Denmark satisfies both avid memoir-readers and avid learners. She pairs investigative journalism and a nuanced look at the society in which she finds herself with the minutiae of everyday life in a foreign land.”
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small Town America
by Bill Bryson
The Lost Continent: Travels in Small-Town America is a book by travel writer Bill Bryson, chronicling his 13,978 mile trip around the United States in the autumn of 1987 and spring 1988. It was Bryson’s first travel book.
He begins his journey, made almost entirely by car, in his childhood hometown of Des Moines, Iowa, heading from there towards the Mississippi River, often reminiscing about his childhood in Iowa. The journey was made after his father’s death, and so is in part a collection of memories of his father in Des Moines while he was growing up.
“This book is absolutely hilarious from cover to cover. Bryson takes the reader through small town America, but along the way, he takes so many unexpected and delightful side journeys, through his memories as a kid growing up in Iowa, his dry observations of small-town American life, or his little rants on customer service, restaurant workers, hotels, and fine attractions.”
“Bryson manages to find the unusual wherever he travels and this book shows what he found on a road trip around the US. Even the normally mundane aspects of life are lifted by the mind of this incredibly funny, insightful, and caring man..”
Place your vote on Meetup or Facebook.