If a book is well written, you disappear into the world of the story, right? At least, that’s part of the magic for me. I love being whisked away to unreal worlds, or to a real place magically re-imagined, or just a plain old real city. This week, top ten Tuesday is all about the books that Awaken the Travel Bug in Me. I don’t have ten books for this list, mostly because I got carried away by whole geographical locations, but I do have a very well-developed and impatient travel bug. Why do plane tickets have to cost so much!?
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Bryson is a humorous author, and he makes the most of it in his book about Australia. It’s a natural match and it makes me want to go there SO BAD. Bird-sized spiders notwithstanding. Can I just stay in the populated areas and avoid spiders? Is that a thing? If I did that, though, I’d miss out on the gorgeous scenery outside of Sydney. I guess I’ll risk arachnids for that view.
Discworld Series by Terry Pratchett
The Discworld is a world like no other. Most of it bears some resemblance to Earth, but in a more wild and wacky way. Pratchett spent so much time developing the city-state of Ankh-Morpork that it now qualifies as a real place to me, and it’s basically Victorian London, with trolls, dwarves, gnomes, vampires, and zombies.
I wish I could explain the complex political and social world Pratchett created. It’s so real that it makes me itch to travel there. But it would take a series of super long blog posts to accomplish. Instead, you should just read Terry Pratchett’s books so we can wish to travel there together. Here is an excellent post from my fellow Pratchett-fanatic Ekho, on how to get started.
Wild, Cheryl Strayed
This one is still on my TBR and I have no excuse for not reading it. I live less than an hour from part of the Pacific Crest Trail that Cheryl Strayed walked and then wrote about. I’ve hiked small sections of it myself. I need to pick this book up and start reading it, like yesterday. Nope, I still haven’t seen the movie, either. *hides face in acute shame*
Jane Austen (any of her novels)
Reading an Austen immediately makes me wish I could hop a plane bound for Bath, England. Or Pemberly. Or the lake district. They do Austen location tours don’t they? I could swear I’ve heard of such a thing. Sign me up!
Books about England in general
Let’s just be honest and say that any book, set anywhere in England, makes me want to be in England. It’s green (this is a factor to someone raised in the desert like me). It’s lovely. People have cool accents. They make good tea. The sausages are much more tasty than our hot dogs. There’s a TON of history. Probable ghosts. Castles, even. If you say you don’t think castles are neat, I will politely but aggressively disbelieve you. I loved it, and there are so many places on my list to see when I’m able to go back.
The Lord of the Rings, Tolkien
It probably wasn’t Tolkien’s original intent, but his books are forever linked to New Zealand for me now that the movies have been made. Sorry, Tolkien. I can’t help picturing the movie locations when I read the books and they make me want to brave the 15 hour flight just to see the touristy Hobbiton™. Good move there, New Zealand tourist board. I applaud your business sense. Please take all of my money.
The Game of Thrones series, George RR Martin
Another case of the movie/TV series linking a real location to a fictional place. In this case, Dubrovnik, Croatia. Now that I know they film a lot in Croatia I can’t wait to get there. The amount of historical buildings they have is insane and the country runs along the Adriatic coast. It’s a popular tourist destination for a reason, and I would very much like to tourist there please!
(All photos credit to Stocksnap.io except for the last one, which is from Unsplash.com)