Travel book reviews transport readers farther and save time

If you read One for the Road on a regular basis, you’ll note that it’s pretty obvious how much I enjoy reading and writing about travel literature, guidebooks and memoirs. One of the reasons I love tracking travel books so much is that you never quite know where an interesting book about a journey is going to appear. That’s why I regularly scan children’s books, academic press catalogs, translated works, self-published titles and subjects where you might not ordinarily expect to find a travel-themed book. Because stories about journeys are everywhere…

And so are excellent columns that review and discover more of these books! A new one appeared on the scene yesterday, penned by a man known well for his own travel writing. Don George is the new Trip Lit columnist at National Geographic Traveler. His inaugural piece includes an impressive list of novels set in Alaska, South Africa, India, Korea, Italy, China and Ireland, as well as a fun collection of moveable feast memoirs. (I look forward to seeing what he serves up next.) Today I also read the latest issue of Perceptive Traveler, and was reminded that they always include a smart roundup of book reviews in each issue: This month Susan Griffith reviews three books, including Dervla Murphy’s latest, Silverland. But what I most enjoyed was Susan’s refreshingly honest review of A Gap Year or Two. Evidently, it can sometimes be much more fun to read a review of a book than the book itself.

(I borrowed the above photo from National Geographic Traveler’s Ultimate Travel Library — another awesome resource for travel literature recommendations.)