An Ongoing List of Books For Travel According To The Destination
We all use travelling as an opportunity to catch up on reading we have missed out on in the everyday life. But rather than consuming what’s on your bedside table, take travel as an opportunity to read something relevant to the destination you are going. I have tried doing this wherever I have gone and have found that it offered extra flavour of the local kind during the mundane moments you will experience between the exciting.
The Open Veins of Latin America – Eduardo Galeano
Of all the books on the list, despite your political leaning, if you are to go to Latin America then this book will enrich your experience. Written by a far left/communist Uruguayan journalist in 1971 – this book recounts the series of exploitations individual nations within latin america experienced from the 15th century until its publication. While this is a historical account, it does not read like one. The book flows with ease with help from Galeano’s flair and passion. He connects one exploit into another and does not confuse the reader with distracting over-information.
A word of warning ! — This book is written from a clearly biased left wing perspective and if you are not of similar political leaning please do not let that stop you from trying this book. When I started reading it I was as conservative as I ever have been, and Galeano’s cosy love for Fidel and hate of America did not deter from the read at all.
Motorcycle Diaries – Che Guevara
This is a terribly easy read and not an over embellishment of Che – the prophesied political figure – rather it is a love story of South America and one mans motorcycle journey throughout it. Set in the 1950’s it is full of magnificent context and offers some brilliant anecdotes to modern day Western tourist destinations.
Again – this is a read that has clear political bias. But it is Latin America, if you can’t cop leftism or leftists than wisen up and look around you. Peoples differences are a source of discussion, not a source of dislike.
Murder in Amsterdam – Ian Buruma
This book offers primarily a modern political and social insight into Amsterdam – an insight of the right. But in addition gives mention to many famous streets and locations within the city, making it an exciting read whilst you are in the city. The book is short and easy to digest.
A Homage to Catalonia – George Orwell
A fascinating, first hand account of the Spanish Civil war from the 1930’s written by the famous Englishman, George Orwell. Reading this before you get into Barcelona won’t offer much for when you are out at the club, but if you engage a Catalan in conversation having ingested this book will enrich your conversation.
The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
This should be on the list for every nation – for while it is specific to Spain and North Africa – this book is travel inspiration for all. This is probably the easiest book I have ever read, it is short, with low information, and punch you in the face messages. Required reading for those about the travel.
Down And Out In Paris And London – George Orwell
This book trails George as he recounts living homeless or on the verge in two of the worlds greatest cities in the 1930’s. The book is fantastic at offering a flavour for respectively Paris and London. Once you have read this book you cannot view the homeless of either of these great cities the same – even today in 2019.
United States of America
On The Road – Jack Kerouac
I personally did not really enjoy this book, however I found myself more excited – for the road trip of America I was about to embark – after I read this book.