Wednesday, July 26, 2006

#3 On the Nightstand

So how are we preparing for this around-the-world adventure, you ask? By reading, of course. I'm married to a librarian, aren't I?
The stack of travel guides is high. The internet links are many.

To put me in an ocean-going frame of mind, I’m reading Blue Latitudes: Boldly Going Where Captain Cook Has Gone Before by Tony Horwitz. We won't be following Captain Cook's route, but to quote a friend “There’s nothing like reading about the lure of the open sea before experiencing it first-hand.” Cook’s last port will be our first, Hawaii. We hope to find the locals more hospitable.

Books on the nightstand:
Blue Latitudes by Tony Horwitz
The Burma Surgeon by Gordon S. Seagrave
Herman the Worm by George Sroda
Roadtrip Nation by Mike Marriner and Nathan Gebhard
The World is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman 
Got a good book to suggest for the 48 hours of train time between Indy and San Diego? Perhaps something that might help us better understand where we’re going? Post your comment below.

Yours in seeking suggestions despite the stack on the nightstand,


  1. "Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea"? And if you are more optimistic,
    "Around the World in 80 Days". I haven't read those myself, but I have enjoyed reading "The Seven Daughter's of Eve" and "Mapping Human History:Genes, Race, and Our Common Origins". You will probably have time for reading...good thing there's a library on board. :-)

  2. I would pick up a couple of books that look at these areas as they were in the past. A couple from Mark Twain, "Following the Equator: A Journey Around the World" and “Mark Twain’s Letters from Hawaii” for a lighter, humorous perspective.

    Emma Larkin's book, " Finding George Orwell in Burma" is a good summary of Myanmar (formerly Burma) and may inspire you to pick up the book that inspired it, George Orwell's "Burmese Days: A Novel".

  3. I know that only one of your stops is in Africa (Egypt, right?) but Bill Bryson is one of the most interesting Authors I've ever read and he's written his fair share of travel books. One of them is "Bill Bryson's African Diary" which is mostly about his experiences in Kenya. I haven't read this one yet but I loved other books by him including "A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail" and "I'm a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away". Anything by Bryson would be worth hauling across the country and onto a boat! ;-) Enjoy!

  4. I like toom67's idea of reading about the areas you'll be visiting as they were in the past. I think these two books sound cool, though I haven't read them myself. But for an historical perspective, they might be just the thing:

    -Marco Polo, `The Travels', translated by R. Latham, (Penguin, 1958). Summary on Alibris: Chronicling the 13th-century world from Venice, his birthplace, to the far reaches of Asia, Marco Polo tells of the foreign peoples he meets as he travels by foot, horse, and boat through places including Persia, Tibet, India, and, finally, China.

    -The Adventures of Ibn Battuta: A Muslim Traveller of the 14th Century, Ross E. Dunn (University of California Press, 1990).

    Battuta went from Morocco through the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. This book is not a translation, but a book about Battuta based on his writings. Pretty interesting stuff!

    But I don't think any book can ever top Herman the that's some great travel reading. Enjoy!