Must Read Before You Travel

Must Read Before You Travel


In recent years I have enhanced my travel experience and built up the excitement and anticipation about the trip by researching and then reading books written about the city, state or country.  I also read books written about the artist before I experience a particular new exhibit at an art museum.  Reading about the place or the person beforehand, just brings the entire travel experience to a new level.  Sometimes I read the book again after I get back home and generally, I take away different thoughts than I had when I read it before the trip.  Here are a couple of book recommendations, based on my experiences.

Maine – visited in July 2013

The Peninsula, written by Louise Dickinson Rich in 1958

Saltwater Farm, written by Luthera Burton Dawson in 1993

Falcon Guide to Best Easy Day Hikes, Acadia National Park, 2011

Moon Coastal Maine by Hillary Nangel, 2010

Our Point of View – Fourteen Years at a Maine Lighthouse, Tomas Mark Szelog and Lee Ann Szelog, 2007

Monhegan – The Artists’ Island, By Jane and Will Curtis and Frank Lieberman, 1995

New Orleans – travel plans are for Thanksgiving 2013, visited twice before.

The Accidental City – Improvising New Orleans, Lawrence N. Powell, 2012 – reading this now!

New Orleans, The Official Visitor’s Guide for 2013, from the New Orleans Convention and Visitor’s Bureau

Frommer’s New Orleans, 2011 by Diana Schwam

A Streetcar Named Desire, Tennessee Williams, 1948

The Awakening, Kate Chopin, 1899

London – visiting December 28-January 4 for the first time.

Travel as a Political Act, Rick Steves, 2009

Hidden Europe and Europe Through the Back Door, Rick Steves, 2012

Top 10 London, DK Eyewitness Travel, 2012

The Complete Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 2012

The Casual Vacancy, JK Rowling, 2012

Abbey Cooks Entertain, Pamela Foster, 2012

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows, 2009

The Forgotten Garden, Kate Morton, 2008

Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand, Helen Simonson,

Innocents Abroad, Mark Twain,1869

Please let me know if you have travel book recommendations to add to the list.

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” Mark Twain from Innocents Abroad

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One thought on “Must Read Before You Travel

  1. I love this idea! I’m not as organized about it, but I do sometimes read a book set in the place I’m visiting. I hadn’t thought to be this strategic about it, but now you’ve got me thinking. On our last trip to England, I had picked up some British crime novels for the trip, and started on the one set in Cornwall, while we were staying there. There’s something almost magical about connecting with a place through literature the that’s set there. Side note, I loved Major Pettigrew and the Guernsey novel. Another like Major Pettigrew is Rachel Joyce’s The Unlikely Pilgramage of Harold Fry. Sweet story.

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