Friday Favorites: Book Lust To Go

Friday, November 12, 2010

Book Lust To Go: Recommended Reading for Travelers, Vagabonds and Dreamers
by Nancy Pearl

When I heard the Nancy Pearl was releasing a new Book Lust volume devoted to travel I was beyond thrilled. One of my favorite genres is travel memoirs; good ones, the kind that describe the locale and the author’s experience, not the kind that just whine about life. I love reading both fiction and nonfiction set in areas I’m about to travel to or reading about an exotic city and vicariously visiting it through the book.

I’m also attempting to read one fiction and nonfiction book set in each of our country’s 50 states and this book is a huge help towards that endeavor. I don’t want to read things that are loosely set in a state, I want books that make frequent reference to the area and are good representations of that particular state. Pearl’s suggestions are tailor-made for just that.

By this point I trust Pearl’s taste and so her specific comments about the books are great indicators of whether I should pick it up. For example, she’ll say about a title, “Fans of Gilead will probably enjoy it very much.” You can tell she’s a librarian at heart because she’s always trying to match readers with new authors or books she thinks they’ll enjoy. Reading her books feels like getting recommendations from a friend who knows your taste. If you haven’t already read her first two, Book Lust and More Book Lust, they’re absolutely wonderful.

Pearl also covers a lot of ground, literally, within the book. She has suggestions for everywhere, from Newfoundland to Cuba, Morocco to Australia. The variety of types of books is a huge plus too. There’s a bit of everything, nonfiction, biographies, memoirs, modern literary fiction, classics, etc. That’s exactly how I love to read, jumping between genres, time periods and countries to keep things fresh.

The books layout is a bit frustrating at times. Some sections are alphabetized, which means Martha’s Vineyard is next to Malaysia, while other cities and countries have whimsical categories, like Paris is under W for “We’ll Always Have Paris.” It makes it difficult to pick it up to reference a specific city or area.

Regardless of the organizational flow, this book is one that I will be referring to for decades to come. I’ve already highlighted all the books I’ve read and made a list of a dozen or so to add to my TBR immediately. Each time I plan a new trip, or whenever I need a literary journey, I’ll be pulling this off the shelf for another great recommendation from my favorite librarian.

*I received this review copy from the publisher.


Susan E. Harris-Gamard said...

This looks like a "must read" for me. I am always looking for travel books with literary references, and I always tend to match a book to my destination for leisure reading during the trip. I've found that if I don't, then that book feels odd, and I quickly drop it for something else.

Vaishnavi said...

Sounds like a lovely book! I am a great fan of travel memoirs. You should try Remembrance of things Paris. A collection of essays. It was an immensely satisfying read :)

Jenners said...

These sound like a series of books I must have!! (Even with the wacky indexing.)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Wingchair - I agree. Reading about a location before or during my trip there always enhancing my travel experience. I appreciate things in the book and the city more when I know a bit about them.

Vaishnavi - Thanks for the recommendation. I will absolutely add it to the TBR list.

Ana S. said...

That's too bad about the quirky (senseless? :P) indexing, but it still sounds like a useful book to have around. I've never read any of Pearl's books, but I keep meaning to.

(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I liked this one when I read it, but I do recall having some minor issue with it --several years ago, so what it was I no longer recall:)

Melissa (Avid Reader) said...

Diane - This book was actually published in Oct. 2010, so it's probably not the one you're thinking of. Maybe you can sitll give it a try!

Anonymous said...

I really should get my hands on one of Pearl's books, I keep hearing great things about them :)

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick said...

This looks like a definite one for me!!