Last Updated: 5/19/22 | May 19th, 2022
I’ve been picking up a lot of random books in bookstores lately. This can often be hit or miss. I can’t count the times I’ve picked up books only to go “Well, that was terrible.”
However, this current stretch has produced some wonderful books and, since it’s been a while since I’ve done a best-books round-up, I think it’s time again! I spend a lot of time on buses, trains, and planes and use that time to devour books so, without further ado, here are seven books worth your time:
1. All Over the Place, by Geraldine DeRuiter
Geraldine, aka The Everywhereist, is a hilarious writer. This book chronicles her travels, anxieties, and relationship with her husband Rand (who is as cool as the book makes him out to be). It really is all over the place – but in a good way. Though I found the book to be less about travel and more about her relationship, it more than lived up to all my expectations. I’m a huge fan of Geraldine’s writing, wit, snark, and humor and this book delivered all of that.
2. The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World, by Torre DeRoche
After meeting the lovely Masha at an event in NYC, Torre meets up with Masha in Europe, where they decide to walk the Via Francigena trail in Italy and then follow Gandhi’s walking route in India. Along the way, Torre encounters snakes, shamans, rude travelers, friendly strangers, and a universe seemingly trying to point her in the right direction. This book is just as fabulously well-written and engaging as her first.
3. Island of the Lost: Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World, by Joan Druett
Auckland Island, located 285 miles south of New Zealand, is a place with year-round freezing rain, wind, and little food (but apparently a lot of seals). Simply put, it’s not a place you want to get shipwrecked on. Yet in 1864, Captain Thomas Musgrave and his crew did just that — and a few months later, on the opposite side of the island, so did the crew of the Scottish ship Invercauld. It’s compelling, captivating, and an excellent reminder of the importance of keeping one’s composure.
4. Dispatches from Pluto, by Richard Grant
As a big fan of the state of Mississippi, I was really keen to read this book. In this book, English writer Richard Grant and his girlfriend move to rural Pluto, Mississippi, to live a better life, escape the big city, lower their cost of living, and try something new. They learn to hunt, garden, fend off wild animals, handle snakes, and befriend interesting characters along the way. Grant dives into the contradictions of this state — from race relations and class to education, food, family, and everything in between.
5. The Palace of the Snow Queen: Winter Travels in Lapland, by Barbara Sjoholm
Barbara Sjoholm set off one winter to explore this arctic region — then spent two more coming back and learning about it more. In the process, she unearths the region’s rich history and dives into the tension between tourism, mining, and land use. Her book dives deep into the Samis, local indigenous population and their struggle to maintain their culture in the modern era. As a lover of all things Scandinavian, it was really nice to read about an area and people not given the attention they deserve.
6. The Not-Quite States of America, by Doug Mack
The United States of America is more than just 50 states. There’s also the non-states of American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands. In this funny, detailed, fact-rich book, Doug Mack explores these territories largely forgotten by the rest of the country, which play a more important role in our country than we realize. I had the pleasure of listening to Doug talk about his book in NYC, and he’s a wealth of knowledge — just like his book!
7. The Caliph’s House: A Year in Casablanca, by Tahir Shah
Inspired by the Moroccan vacations of his childhood, Shah moves his family from England to Casablanca in hopes of breaking out from the monotony of life in London as well as exposing his children to a more carefree childhood. Shah is an engrossing writer and I was glued to every word. While dealing with corruption, the local bureaucracy, thieves, gangsters, and jinns causing havoc, Shah weaves a story that is beautifully written and endlessly enthralling.
Those are my current favorite reads. If you’d like to see some of the other books I’ve recommended (or are currently reading), check out this page I created on Amazon that lists them all! I read a lot so you can expect those links to be updated a lot. If you have any suggestions, send me a message. I’m always looking for new books to read.
Book Your Trip: Logistical Tips and Tricks
Book Your Flight
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Ready to Book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the best companies to use when you travel. I list all the ones I use when I travel. They are the best in class and you can’t go wrong using them on your trip.