Top Ten Tuesday – Travel
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This is my first time contributing! Today’s topic is Books that Feature Travel. In no particular order, here are my Top Ten Travel-Related Books:
1) American Gods:
Shadow’s journey across the U.S. is also a spiritual journey, and Neil Gaiman is a genius, and I really have to reread this book so I can remember exactly why I loved it so much. I remember the outline, and the engrossing feeling of “yes, this is right, this is how things really are, even when they look so different!”, but I should reread for specifics.
2) The Book of Blood and Shadow:
I just finished this one recently, so I remember exactly what I loved about this: history, several mysteries that keep you guessing, ambivalent/well-developed characters, and Prague! Prague is a beautiful city, and I wish I could stay there.
3) Beauty Queens:
This book about beauty queen contestants who crash-land on a desert island is one of the funniest things I have ever read. Libba Bray is one of the most talented authors working in YA today, and you should read all her books.
4) The Chronicles of Narnia:
Traveling to a fantasy world counts, right? There is probably no set of books more important to my childhood than my read-to-tatters Narnia set (with the possible exception of Anne, but she doesn’t fit on this list). Voyage of the Dawn Treader was my favorite, too–and it’s the most travel-ish of them all.
5) The Arrival:
The parameters never stated that they had to be books with words, right? This book…somehow, with two-tone drawings, Tan manages to clearly and completely articulate the emigrant/immigrant/expatriate experience. The complete and utter foreignness of everything, the adjustment period, the joy of seeing family/friends from home, the moment when things just start making sense again…it’s all here. The ending can bring a tear to my eye every time, and I’m not an easy cry.
6) The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making:
There is nothing about this book that is not delightful. I was a supporter of this book almost from the very start, when it was an online project (before the days of Kickstarter). The charm and danger of Fairyland, the innocence and bravery of September, the hard-won ending…I just love it (and I really need to read book 2, now that I own it, and before book 3 comes out)!
7) The Kushiel Books (Phaedre’s Trilogy):
I don’t mention the later books, because I haven’t read them yet, but Carey’s biggest strength with these books is worldbuilding. She took a point in human history (the crucifixion of Christ) and changed part of it, then imagined what else would change as a result: 500 years later… Possibly in order to show off this meticulous planning, she has her heroine travel from France (her birthplace) to Scandinavia, England, Italy, the Balkans, Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Africa. Possibly some others I’m forgetting. In each of those places, Phaedra learns something about the locals, makes friends, learns some language and culture. It’s like a world tour in a slightly parallel universe.
8) Red China Blues:
What? A nonfiction book? Yes, this memoir has made it on, because of the humor and heart that Wong puts into her story of the journey from bright-eyed Canadian-Chinese Communist college student to disillusioned laborer in the Cultural Revolution. I really can’t recommend it enough for anyone who is interested in what life was really like for the average citizen during that crazy decade.
9) The Fire and Thorns Trilogy:
Elisa is such a wonderful, relatable heroine, and everything she does is motivated by her desire to help her people. So when she travels, it’s with a purpose, on a quest. And they are exciting, classic high-fantasy style quests. I can’t wait for the third volume of this series!
10) The Thursday Next Series:
Because who hasn’t wanted to travel inside their favorite book?