Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Good Books for Traveling

by Sarah Mason, Sales Intern

As the holidays approach, we are all busy planning our highly anticipated trips to visit our friends and family. During those long rides in the car, plane, bus or train, we all look for something to entertain us to avoid just looking out the window as the buildings or clouds roll by. I'll be book shopping for a few flights I have and wondered what others have enjoyed. I asked a few of the Press's affiliates what kind of books they enjoyed reading during their many travels, and here's what they recommended:

I've been particularly impressed with the beautiful The Art of the Missouri Capitol: History in Canvas, Bronze, and Stone by Bob Priddy and Jeffrey Ball.  While this might not be a convenient book to throw in an overnight bag, it will inspire readers to travel to Jefferson City to visit one of Missouri's architecture and artistic treasures. Priddy and Ball do a wonderful job of telling the story of the building's completion and Lloyd Grotjan's photographs are stunning.
--Greg Olson, author of The Ioway in Missouri

I like some light reading while traveling. On a recent weekend trip, I read the Hunger Games trilogy, which was a fabulous quick and action-packed adventure. Well-written thrillers are also a favorite; I just finished The Stranger You Seek by Amanda Kyle Williams and am eagerly awaiting the next Dublin Murder Squad installment.
--Jennifer Gravley, publicity manager

I'd recommend Melissa Coleman's memoir, This Life Is In Your Hands; it's a raw and moving account of growing up the child of back-to-the-landers in Maine in the 1970s. Sad and startling and redemptive, it is the best sort of memoir to my way of thinking: a personal story that illuminates our collective history. 
--E.J. Levy
, author of Amazons: A Love Story

One of the books I always highly recommend to folks is River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt's Darkest Journey by Candice Millard. It's a true adventure story about a little-known part of Roosevelt's life. Both men's and women's  book clubs in our area have read it and the book gets accolades from all. Read it when you're traveling and I guarantee that no matter how many inconveniences you experience, they pale by comparison with Roosevelt's trip down the Amazon River.
--Bob Plumb, author of Your Brother in Arms: A Union Soldier's Odyssey

I have a pretty full plate of literary and non-literary activities, so my casual reading is catch-as-catch  can.  Fortunately (or unfortunately) my wife and I travel a good deal so I have some airplane-and-motel time to catch up.   The novels of Alan Furst about spies and expats in late 30's and early World War II Europe are always fascinating.  The author has researched time and place exhaustively and it shows to great effect.  Rebecca Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks is a marvel and a delight to read. Equally informative and well written is any book by Simon Winchester who outdoes himself in his latest effort, Atlantic.  Erik Larson's In The Garden of the Beasts is also well-worth a read.
--Lisle Rose, author of Explorer: The Life of Robert E. Byrd

Usually, around this time of year, I read Hilaire Belloc's essay, "A Remaining Christmas," a really wonderful essay with Belloc at the height of his power.  This year I am also tackling a new biography of Jacques Barzun and the new edition of Eliot's letters.
--Gerald Russello
, author of The Postmodern Imagination of Russell Kirk

The new edition of Eric Voegelin's Autobiographical Reflections should be on every American's bookshelf.
My addition would be Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen because I enjoy Elizabeth Bennet's strong character. 

No matter if you're in to sci-fi, current events, history, psychology, or a good romantic novel, there's nothing like picking up a great book that draws you in that you just can't put down. Happy reading! And happy traveling!

1 comment:

Margie said...

I usually choose a book that have the same place setting as the country that I will be traveling to. This enables me to relate more to the place and enjoy the whole experience. You have a good list of traveling books there!

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