I am preparing my last article about Strasbourg, where I am writing about the accommodation and the restaurants where I have been and where I had a very good experience. I am reading my notes, but before I thought to share something that I prepared before. I want to share with you some titles of the book that I have read about travels. Well, these books helped me a lot in my learning process, especially making a connection between life and travels.
The first one is “On the road” written by Jack Kerouac. The famous writer propose a novel about his trip around the USA, made together with his friend Neal Cassady. It was published in the ’50s, so everything goes around the Beat Generation, but also reading it now it has a lot of sense because the story is a travel around the big American spaces moving between the West and the East Coast, but also into the society to explore the values, the strengths and the weaknesses of the American community. There is the real essence of the journey.
Another great book that mixes the travel around a country and a trip into the society is “Notes from a Small Island” written by Bill Bryson. It describes a journey around Britain telling the main features of the modern community of the UK. There are nostalgia, humor and also a precise analysis regarding the inhabitants’ habits and way of life. It underlines how important is to catch the culture and be in touch with the population to know the country visited.
A few years ago I missed the chance to go to Barcelona and I have to visit it yet, the city is on my future destinations list, but meanwhile, I decided to read “Homage to Catalonia“. The author is George Orwell and it is a book that includes some history and it is focused on the role played by Orwell during the Spanish Civil War. There is a good description of the relations between Great Britain and Spain and as well of the local population. To know the history of a place helps to understand better the society and the country.
This choice is even more personal than the previous ones because I am fascinated by the Middle East and one of my dreams, that will become reality one day, is to travel on the Orient Express. Anyway my suggestion concern “The great railway bazaar: by train through Asia” by Paul Theroux. The journey around the Middle East and Asia, starting from Europe, it is a chance to meet different passengers with a various origin and with a big variety of jobs. There are the theatrical agent and the drug dealer. Reading it is like to be on board…
The last book that I want to mention in this article is about one of my favorite cities: Venice. I love so much the Italian town built on an island because of its architecture, its art and also its particular atmosphere. Maybe you know it, but if not you can read “Venice” written by Jan Morris. It is a complete journey into the city, exploring each aspect, including the local society. It can be an inspiration for your next tour.
Enjoy the reading!