Books on Tap Travelogue Book List

Books on Tap Travelogue Book List

Check out these great reads for ideas on what to read for the next Books on Tap B.Y.O.B (Bring Your Own Book) discussion. 

In November we will be discussing travelogues and celebrating travel writing.


Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

Hunter S. Thompson
Adult Nonfiction -070.92 Thompson

First published in Rolling Stone magazine in 1971, Fear andLoathing in Las Vegas is Hunter S. Thompson's savagely comic account of what happened to this country in the 1960s. It is told through the writer's account of an assignment he undertook with his attorney to visit LasVegas and "check it out." The book stands as the final word on the highs and lows of that decade, one of the defining works of our time, and a stylistic and journalistic tour de force. As Christopher Lehmann-Haupt wrote in The New York Times, it has "a kind of mad, corrosive prose poetry that picks up where Norman Mailer's An American Dream left off and explores what Tom Wolfe left out." This Modern Library edition features Ralph Steadman's original drawings andthree companion pieces selected by Dr. Thompson: "Jacket Copy for Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas," "Strange Rumblings in Aztlan," and "The Kentucky Derby Is Decadent and Depraved."


A Field Guide to Getting Lost

Rebecca Solnit
Adult Nonfiction - 917.9 So

Written as a series of autobiographical essays, A Field Guide to Getting Lostdraws on emblematic moments and relationships in Rebecca Solnit's life to explore issues of uncertainty, trust, loss, memory, desire, and place. Solnit is interested in the stories we use to navigate our way through the world, and the places we traverse, from wilderness to cities, in finding ourselves, or losing ourselves. While deeply personal, her own stories link up to larger stories, from captivity narratives of early Americans to the use of the color blue in Renaissance painting, not to mention encounters with tortoises, monks, punk rockers, mountains, deserts, and the movie Vertigo. The result is a distinctive, stimulating voyage of discovery.


The Geography of Bliss

Eric Weiner
Adult Nonfiction - 910.4 Wei

Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, this book takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness." The book uses a mixture of travel, psychology, science and humor to investigate not what happiness is, but where it is. Are people in Switzerland happier because it is the most democratic country in the world? Do citizens of Singapore benefit psychologically by having their options limited by thegovernment? Is the King of Bhutan a visionary for his initiative to calculate Gross National Happiness? Why is Asheville, North Carolina, so darn happy? NPR correspondent Weiner answers those questions and many others, offering travelers of all moods some interesting new ideas for sunnier destinations and dispositions.


Ghost Train to the Eastern Star

Paul Theroux
Adult Nonfiction - 915.04 The

Theroux’s odyssey takes him from eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. Theroux is firsthand witness to it all, traveling as the locals do—by stifling train, rattletrap bus, illicit taxi, and mud-caked foot—encountering adventures only he could have: from the literary (sparring with the incisive Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk) to the dissolute (surviving a week-long bender on the Trans-Siberian Railroad). And wherever he goes, his omnivorous curiosity and unerring eye for detail never fail to inspire, enlighten, inform, and entertain.


Graduates in Wonderland

Jessica Pan
Adult Nonfiction - 302.34 Pan

"Two best friends document their post-college lives in a hilarious, relatable, and powerfully honest epistolary memoir. Fast friends since they met at Brown University during their freshman year, Jessica Pan and Rachel Kapelke-Dale vowed to keep in touch after their senior year through in-depth-and brutally honest-weekly e-mails. After graduation, Jess packs up everything she owns and moves to Beijing on a whim, while Rachel heads to New York to work for an art gallery and to figure out her love life. Each spends the next few years tumbling through adulthood and reinventing themselves in various countries, including France, China, and Australia. Through their messages from around the world, they swap tales of teaching classes of military men, running a magazine, and flirting in foreign languages, along with the hard stuff: from harrowing accidents to breakups and breakdowns. Reminiscent of Sloan Crosley's essays and Lena Dunham's Girls, Graduates in Wonderland is an intimate, no-holds-barred portrait of two young women as they embark upon adulthood. "-- Provided by publisher.


In a Sunburned Country

Bill Bryson
919.4 Bry

Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out. His previous excursion along the Appalachian Trail resulted in the sublime national bestseller A Walk in the Woods. In A Sunburned Country is his report on what he found in an entirely different place: Australia, the country that doubles as a continent, and a place with the friendliest inhabitants, the hottest, driest weather, and the most peculiar and lethal wildlife to be found on the planet. The result is a deliciously funny, fact-filled, and adventurous performance by a writer who combines humor, wonder, and unflagging curiosity. Despite the fact that Australia harbors more things that can kill you in extremely nasty ways than anywhere else, including sharks, crocodiles, snakes, even riptides and deserts, Bill Bryson adores the place, and he takes his readers on a rollicking ride far beyond that beaten tourist path. Wherever he goes he finds Australians who are cheerful, extroverted, and unfailingly obliging, and these beaming products of land with clean, safe cities, cold beer, and constant sunshine fill the pages of this wonderful book. Australia is an immense and fortunate land, and it has found in Bill Bryson its perfect guide.


In the Country of Country

Nicholas Dawidoff
Adult Nonfiction - 781.642 Da

From the author of the bestselling The Catcher Was a Spy comes an exhilarating exploration of the performers, places, and experiences which form country music--a genre which is uniquely and authentically American.


Life on the Mississippi

Mark Twain
Adult Nonfiction - 817 Twa

"Life on the Mississippi" (1883) is a memoir by Mark Twain of his days as a steamboat pilot on the Mississippi River before the American Civil War, and also a travel book, recounting his trip along the Mississippi River from St. Louis to New Orleans many years after the War.



Che Guevara
Adult Nonfiction - 918 Gue

A memoir that traces the early travels of Marxist revolutionary Ernest "Che" Guevara, then a 23-year-old medical student, and his friend Alberto Granado, a 29-year-old biochemist. Leaving Buenos Aires, Argentina, in January 1952 on the back of a sputtering single cylinder 1939 Norton500cc dubbed La Poderosa ("The Mighty One"), they desired to explore the South America they only knew from books.


No Baggage

Clara Bensen
Adult Nonfiction - 921 Bensen Ben

"Newly recovered from a quarter-life meltdown, Clara Bensen decided to test her come back by signing up for an online dating account. She never expected to meet Jeff, a wildly energetic university professor with a reputation for bucking convention. They barely know each other’s last names when they agree to set out on a risky travel experiment spanning eight countries and three weeks. The catch? No hotel reservations, no plans, and best of all, no baggage."-- Amazon.com


The Oregon Trail : a new American journey

Rinker Buck
Adult Nonfiction - 978 Buc

Buck's epic account of traveling the length of the OregonTrail the old-fashioned way-- in a covered wagon with a team of mules, an audacious journey that hasn't been attempted in a century-- tells the rich history of the trail, the people who made the migration, and its significance to the country.


Out of Sheer Rage

Geoff Dyer
Adult Nonfiction - 823.912 Dy

Geoff Dyer was a talented young writer, full of energy and reverence for the craft, and determined to write a study of D. H. Lawrence. But he was also thinking about a novel, and about leaving Paris, and maybe moving in with his girlfriend in Rome, or perhaps traveling around for a while. Out of Sheer Rage is Dyer's account of his struggle to write the Lawrence book--a portrait of a man tormented, exhilarated, and exhausted. Dyer travels all over the world, grappling not only with his fascinating subject but with all the glorious distractions and needling anxieties that define the life of a writer.


Pyongyang: A Journey in North Korea

Guy Delisle
Graphic Novels - 915.193 Del

One of the few Westerners granted access to North Korea documents his observations of the secretive society in this graphic travelogue that depicts the cultural alienation, boredom, and desires of ordinary North Koreans.


The Road to Oxiana

Robert Byron
Adult Nonfiction - 915.6 Bry

In 1933, the delightfully eccentric travel writer Robert Byron set out on a journey through the Middle East via Beirut, Jerusalem, Baghdad and Teheran to Oxiana, near the border between Afghanistan and the Soviet Union. Throughout, he kept a thoroughly captivating record of his encounters, discoveries, and frequent misadventures.


Tracks

Robyn Davidson
Adult Nonfiction - 919.4104 Dav

When Robyn Davidson first set out to make her journey across the deserts of Australia, alone but for her dog and four camels, she was called a lunatic, a would-be suicide, and a shameless publicity seeker. But this high-spirited, engrossing book reveals that she is something more: a genuine traveler driven by a love of Australia's landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity.


Travels with Myself and Another

Martha Gellhorn
Adult Nonfiction - 800.92 Gellhorn

Presents the memoirs of novelist, war correspondent, travel writer, and author Martha Gellhorn, as she recalls her life and adventures including her marriage to Ernest Hemingway and coverage of three major wars.


The Turk who loved apples : and other tales of losing my way around the world

Matt Gross
Adult Nonfiction - 910.4 Gro

While writing his celebrated Frugal Traveler column for the New York Times, Matt Gross began to feel hemmed in by its focus on what he thought of as “traveling on the cheap at all costs.” When his editor offered him the opportunity to do something less structured, the Getting Lost series was born, and Gross began a more immersive form of travel that allowed him to “lose his way all over the globe”—from developing-world megalopolises to venerable European capitals, from American sprawl to Asian archipelagos. And that's what the never-before-published material in The Turk Who Loved Apples is all about: breaking free of the constraints of modern travel and letting the place itself guide you. It's a variety of travel you'll love to experience vicariously through Matt Gross—and maybe even be inspired to try for yourself.


Voyage of the Beagle

Charles Darwin
Adult Nonfiction - 508.3 Dar

When HMS Beagle sailed out of Devonport on 27 December 1831, Charles Darwin was twenty-two and setting off on the voyage of a lifetime. His journal, shows a naturalist making patient observations concerning geology, natural history, people, places and events. Volcanoes in the Galapagos, the Gossamer spider of Patagonia and the Australasian coral reefs - all are to be found in these extraordinary writings. The insights made here were to set in motion the intellectual currents that led to the theory of evolution, and the most controversial book of the Victorian age: The Origin of Species. This volume reprints Charles Darwin's journal in a shortened form. In their introduction Janet Brown and Michael Neve provide a background to Darwin's thought and work, and this edition also includes notes, maps, appendices and an essay on scientific geology and the Bible by Robert FitzRoy, Darwin's friend and Captain of the Beagle. 


What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding

Kristin Newman
Adult Nonfiction - 910.4092 New

Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends' weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year. In addition to falling madly in love with the planet, Kristin fell for many attractive locals, men who could provide the emotional connection she wanted without costing her the freedom she desperately needed. 
Kristin introduces readers to the Israeli bartenders, Finnish poker players, sexy Bedouins, and Argentinean priests who helped her transform into "Kristin-Adjacent" on the road–a slower, softer, and, yes, sluttier version of herself at home. Equal parts laugh-out-loud storytelling, candid reflection, and wanderlust-inspiring travel tales, What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding is a compelling debut that will have readers rushing to renew their passports.


Wild

Cheryl Strayed
Adult Nonfiction - 800.92 Strayed Str

A powerful, blazingly honest, inspiring memoir: the story of a 1,100 mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe--and built her back up again.


Without Reservations

Alice Steinbach
Adult Nonfiction - 800.92 Steinbach

"In many ways, I was an independent woman," writes Pulitzer Prize–winning journalist Alice Steinbach. “For years I’d made my own choices, paid my own bills, shoveled my own snow.” But somehow she had become dependent in quite another way. “I had fallen into the habit of defining myself in terms of who I was to other people and what they expected of me.” But who was she away from the people and things that defined her? In this exquisite book, Steinbach searches for the answer to this question in some of the most beautiful and exciting places in the world: Paris, where she finds a soul mate; Oxford, where she takes a course on the English village; Milan, where she befriends a young woman about to be married. Beautifully illustrated with postcards from Steinbach’s journeys, this revealing and witty book transports you into a fascinating inner and outer journey, an unforgettable voyage of discovery.