Well Hello there!
I’m Vanessa and I’m just going to start off by saying “I LOVE BOOKS!” No, not like your grandma “loves” to knit like I’ll devour a book in a day (maybe even half a day)! SO when Makers asked me to write some a list of some of my books to read whilst travelling they had me at books! So I give you A Traveller’s guide to holiday reading. Enjoy!
We are well and truly moving into holiday season, and while you’re planning your next trip, why not plan the books to take with you, based on where you’re going? Whether you’re heading to an urban jungle or a literal jungle, here’s a list of some of the best books to read, by continent: Africa Cry, The Beloved Country by Alan Paton is a story of race, crime and tradition in South Africa. Ranging from remote village settings to the sprawling city of Johannesburg, you get a great feel for the completely different environments of this large African nation. Americanah by Chimimandah Ngozi Adichie (you might have heard her fabulous speech on feminism sampled in Beyonce’s ‘Flawless’) is a story of Nigerian expats returning to their homeland after underwhelming immigration experiences. It is a story about a relationship, about the ‘Africanness’ of the protagonists, but also, it is an ode to Nigeria. Asia Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie is a swirling, intricate story of a pair of twins born auspiciously at the exact moment of India’s independence. Their ensuing lives are intertwined with the story of India itself. Rushdie has an incredible gift of drawing you into the colour, noise and hustle and bustle of India. To immerse yourself in feudal Japan, you cannot go past the tome that is Shogun by James Clavell. Full of warring samurai and their strategising for ultimate power, this hefty book will keep you enthralled on a lengthy holiday! After something with a modern setting? Try the quirky The Wind-up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami. North America On the Road by Jack Kerouac is a must-read for anyone backpacking through the States. This classic is the tale of Kerouac’s own journey with his illustrious Beatnik friends across the United States and down to Mexico. You can only hope for a journey so full of adventure! Or then again, maybe you don’t want it to be so eventful! Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas is both a literal and metaphorical trip. Hunter S. Thompson speeds you through a drug-addled couple of days in Sin City. Warning, this book is highly addictive! South America The town of Macondo in One Hundred Years of Solitude might be fictional, but Gabriel García Márquez based it on his grandparents’ village. He did such a good job that many critics have suggested it is the template for every rural village in South America. I could go on and on about this book – so let me just say if I could recommend any book, it would be this one. A great work of historical fiction is Inés of my Soul by Isabel Allende. It is the story of a Spanish conquistadora and her travels from a stifling, conservative Spanish village, to the colonial founding of Chile and it’s capital Santiago. A great read.
Australia Past the Shallows by Favel Parret is a beautiful, heart-wrenching story set in the isolated and extreme beauty of southern Tasmania. The debut novel from this exciting author, her love of the Apple Isle continues in her next novel, When the Night Comes. Aussie literary treasure, Peter Carey, won his second Booker prize, for his work of historical fiction, True History of the Kelly Gang. Carey recreates the goings-on of the infamous Kelly Gang in this novel, and his reconstruction of rural Victoria is immersive.
Europe Without hesitation I can tell you White Teeth by Zadie Smith is the funniestbook I have ever read. It had me laughing out loud before LOL was a thing. Set in working-class London, this expansive story based on two families will have you cracking up by the end of the first page! Goodbye to Berlin, written in 1939, is set in pre-Nazi Germany in the age of decadence. Set in Berlin dance-halls, apartments and weekend trips out of town, it’s a luxe look at the past of the German capital before it was faced with some real horrors.
Of course, these are just a few picks of great travel reads – there are thousands more out there! What would you recommend?
Vanessa Cavasinni is editor of Scrapbooking Memories magazine. She is obsessed with reading. When her face is not buried in a book you can find her passionately discussing soccer or TV shows. You can engage her in any of these topics on Twitter
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