Here our picks for some fascinating reads whether you’re on a long flight, lounging poolside, or just need inspiration for your next trip.
Inspired Journeys: Travel Writers in Search of the Muse by Multiple Authors
The 17 memoirs are divided into two sections: “Chasing the Muse,” features accounts of pilgrimages to key places in the lives of beloved authors and artists: award-winning gay novelist Trebor Healey follows the footsteps (and tire treads) of Jack Kerouac; John Beckman seeks out haunts of the Marquis de Sade; and, as a change of pace, Kimberly Meyer explores the prairie world of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Part two, “Carrying the Bones,” focuses on trips necessitated by personal loss, including Jivin Misra’s account of transporting his father’s remains to the holy Hindu city of Varanasi.” These intimate stories, powerful combinations of adventure and agenda, will open each reader’s mind to potential pilgrimages of their own. (University of Wisconsin Press, $24.95. www.uwpress.wisc.edu)
Food Trails by Lonely Planet
Let’s go! And let’s eat! These are the two guiding principles behind Food Trails, a drool-inducing new compendium of directions for following paths of breadcrumbs all around the world. If you make eating a centerpiece of your travels, this book is a must. Its 52 cuisine-themed itineraries, in locales from Portugal to Peru, are each practically designed for two-to-three days of mouthwatering wanderings. (Lonely Planet, $24.99. shop.lonelyplanet.com/world/food-trails-1)
Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar by Tom Lutz
Is it possible to love a trip, voyage of discovery, or a plunge into the unknown, without a sense that we have become larger, better than we thought?” This provocative question is among the endless gems to discover in one of the most unique, joyful travel books to come along in years, Tom Lutz’s Drinking Mare’s Milk on the Roof of the World: Wandering the Globe from Azerbaijan to Zanzibar. Lutz, the proudly self-educated editor of the Los Angeles Review of Books, takes his notebook jottings from decades of worldwide flitting and flaneurism, polishes them into anecdotes that would play well across barstools then weaves them together with gentle philosophical musings on topics including his disinterest in planning itineraries, the value of traveling alone, the meaning of home. (OR Books, $20. www.orbooks.com).
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