“I read; I travel; I become.” -Derek Walcott
The Great Railway Bazaar
by Paul Theroux
The Great Railway Bazaar chronicles the four-month journey of Paul Theroux across Europe and Asia, starting from London’s Victoria Station and ending at Tokyo Central—all done by train. This remarkable railway odyssey highlights not only the distinctiveness of each fabled train or passing station, but also the array of characters he meets along the way, from fellow passengers to railways officials to complete strangers thrust by chance into his path. Unlike most travelogues, the splendour of cities and buildings is largely left untold, giving this book a unique taste of train travel. As the English novelist Michael Frayn said, the journey, not the destination, is the goal.
Death on the Nile
by Agatha Christie
Agatha Christie, both the queen of crime and an avid traveller, set many of her novels in exotic places. In Death on the Nile, readers follow the celebrated detective HerculePoirot in a holiday trip to Egypt. From the once-famous Cataract Hotel in Aswan to the beautiful island of Elephantine and the majestic temples of Abu Simbel, Christie showcases the beauty and culture of the land of the Pharaohs in that subtle way for which she is renowned, culminating in a cruise up the Nile on a steamer where the murder takes place. The narrative brings us back to a time when time is slower and travel truly an exercise in leisure, making Death on the Nile the perfect travel book with a homicidal twist.
Under the Tuscan Sun
by Frances Meyes
Tuscany, with its stunning landscapes, provides a spectacular backdrop to Frances Mayes’ book, Under the Tuscan Sun. After acquiring an abandoned villa in the Tuscan countryside, Mayes begins the long process of restoring the house and land, showcasing the idyllic atmosphere of Italy through accounts of everyday life. She even sprinkles the book with dozens of seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden. What makes the book truly special, however, is how Mayes gently shows the joys of living a simple life in Italy each day, making this book a delightful celebration of what she calls “the voluptuousness of Italian life.”