November Picks From A Traveler's Library

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Dec 12, 2009 / 0 comments

November Picks From A Traveler's Library

New books and a couple of new movies that inspire travel filled posts at A Traveler's Library in November. I will briefly comment on them, plus a couple of old favorites that I wrote about, and hope that you'll visit the Library to see more information.

Decoding the Lost Symbol - Washington D.C.
What fun it was to interview Simon Cox who untangles the riddles in the best selling Lost Symbol.
Simon says that you should not use that book as a guide to Washington, D.C., however the tourism folks in D.C. have a whole program encouraging Lost Symbol tourism. We also loved that Simon said he writes books as an excuse to travel!

Surviving Paradise - The Marshal Islands
Peter Rudiak-Gould wrote this book about his experiences as a young man trying to teach islanders in what he thought would be a paradise. Naturally he learned a lot himself. Not least, he found out that the tropical isle of his dreams was not what he thought it was.

Mistress of the Sun - France
Sandra Gulland writes meticulously researched and beautifully composed historical novels.  This one takes us into the world of Louis IX and gives us a glimpse of royal life around Paris and Versailles when it was just being developed as a palace.

Disney's Christmas Carol - England
This movie, which opened near Thanksgiving, has drawn very mixed reviews, but there is no denying its visual beauty, and anything that introduces us to Dickens' England is okay with me.

Calligrapher's Daughter - Korea
You do not often pick up a novel set in Korea. That was just one of the things that made this novel a treat.  It is lengthy and densely written, but worth the journey. The book relates the life of a family from the time of Japanese occupation and shows how royalty slowly disappeared and the effect of World War II.

New Moon - Volterra, Italy
For Twilight fans, this movie shows the "real" Volterra.  The town of Volterra in Italy, with plenty of tourist attractions in its medieval architecture,has promoted tourism based on the Twilight books, although the director chose another town for the movie's background.

The Giant's House, A Romance - Wellfleet, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Guest post by Alexandra Grabbe who runs a B & B in Wellfleet, and hosted the author, Elizabeth McCracken. Alexandra says that this book reflects the real Wellfleet, particularly in the winter when the tourists have gone away. The proprietress purchases new books from independent bookstores for the rooms in B & B Chez Sven and the enjoyment of the visitors.

Waiting on a Train - The U.S.A
James McCracken travels every passenger line in the United States and gives us the lowdown on which routes have the best service and which are bummers. He writes lovely descriptions of the scenery and people as he goes, and intersperses history of railroads and Amtrak in the U.S. and his wishes for the future. (Many of which are met in President Obama's proposed rail system.)

• Old Favorites:
A Traveler's Library also featured a book called Jefferson's Travels about Thomas Jefferson in Europe; the wonderful book of travel in France, Travels With a Donkey by Robert Louis Stevenson;and a more recent, but not new book, Mayflower by Nathanial Philbrick which gives a new look at the Pilgrim fathers and mothers.


The GR 70-Stevenson Trail

The GR 70-Stevenson Trail


If you want to learn more, you can find any of these books by using the search bar at the top right of the page at A Traveler's Library. We'll see you next month! Happy Holidays.



Vera Marie Badertscher is the Traveler's Library Editor for Wandering Educators.


Photograph came from Flikr and is licensed under Creative Commons. Click on the photo to learn more about the photographer.