Travel season is upon us! But for those who don’t know where they want to go yet, or aren’t planning any physical travel, here are a few of our favorite books for getting lost in language rather than streets!
Pond by Claire-Louise Bennett is a beautiful, quiet, interior story of a woman living alone in a small cottage in Ireland. Both her observations and the rich language of this book will draw you in and cause you to lose all sense of time.
Too Much and Not in the Mood by Durga Chew-Bose is sort of the nonfictional counterpart to Pond. Gorgeous sentences, observations, and incredibly insightful thoughts on identity make for an engrossing read.
Anything by Eliot Weinberger. Notoriously unclassifiable, reading Weinberger essays is like getting lost in a familiar city. Sometimes fictional, sometimes historical, sometimes mythological, somewhere between poetry and essay, Weinberger crystallizes an entire world into brilliant, condensed pages!
Voyage Around My Room by Xavier de Maistre is a memoir written after the author was confined to house arrest following a duel. His sassy tone transforms his home imprisonment into a really delightful, fresh look at the things we can take for granted everyday: “Was it as a punishment that I was exiled to my chamber, to that delightful country in which abound all the riches and enjoyments of the world? As well might they consign a mouse to a granary!”
Alain de Botton’s Art of Travel is both a philosophical treatise on why we travel, and a humorous meditation on the gap between our expectations and the sometimes disappointing realities of actually leaving home. By the end of it, you’ll feel slightly relieved that you didn’t waste your tax returns on a holiday that might have left you still a restless seeker.
How to Be an Explorer of the World by Keri Smith is a workbook that you could use on your trip to Amsterdam, or bust out at home in Brooklyn. Each page is a prompt to go find something, draw something you see, make a list, etc., perfect as an exercise in being present no matter where you are.