travel

May 22, 2019

What do you think of when you imagine Scotland? Do you picture the rolling, verdant fields of the Highlands? Maybe you think of the craggy, stony mountains or the foggy moors filled with sheep. How about 6,000 miles of windswept coastline? Scotland sounds like a dream but what should I really expect? The perfect way to discover a place is through reading!

There are so many resources at the library to help prepare for my trip. It’s always nice to feel like you know a place before you get there. I need to have great theme music wherever I go. There are so many amazing CDs in the library

Sep 17, 2017

I’ve probably packed for hundreds of trips - long and short, near and far - and I feel like I’ve done a pretty decent job, but after reading this short book by girl on the go, Hitha Palepu, I’ve learned or been reminded of a few tips that I hope will make packing and traveling on my next trip a bit easier and slightly more organized, like:

  • If you travel a lot and don’t like waiting in line, for a small fee you can join TSA precheck and Global Entry and beat the crowds.
  • Don’t use the water in the plane bathroom to brush your teeth, as the containers that hold the water aren’t cleaned

Kansas Murals

By Lora Jost
5
Rated by Joyce M
Jul 29, 2017

If the John Steuart Curry image of a crazed John Brown at the state capital and those gigantic Van Gogh sunflowers are the only murals that come to mind, you will be delightfully surprised by this artful trip through Kansas. This is a treasure trove, a mini tour of the state via its murals: painted and mosaic, new and old.

History and whimsy are depicted on downtown streets, in museums and on everything from old silos to the side of a Dollar General store. Kansas Murals has photos and details of 90 works throughout the state. More are in a list at the book’s end. 

No matter where you are

Driving Miss Norma

By Tim Bauerschmidt and Ramie Liddle
5
Rated by Sarah A.
Jun 14, 2017

I first heard about the “Driving Miss Norma” Facebook page a few months ago and was excited to see that a book was in the works. At first glance, I thought the book might be too sentimental for my tastes, but I ended up loving it and its message, and I would really recommend it to anyone.

At 90 years old, Norma Bauerschmidt lost her husband of 67 years and within days received a diagnosis of stage 4 uterine cancer. Faced with a future of surgery, chemo and radiation, she decides instead to “hit the road” in an RV with her son and daughter-in-law and try to enjoy the time she has left. In

A Fine Romance

By Susan Branch
5
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 19, 2016

I couldn’t have read A Fine Romance at a more perfect time. It was the perfect book to read while cooped up in a hospital room waiting for a loved one to heal. I sailed right along with Susan Branch and her husband, Joe, as they journeyed to England via ship and explored the country for two months. This book is not only Susan’s diary during their vacation in England, it is also a very informational and exhilarating guide to both well-known and hidden places in England, many of which belong to the National Trust. Above all else, this book is a journey of the senses, using a mixture of her

When the Moon is Low

By Nadia Hashimi
2
Rated by Katie S.
Sep 27, 2015

Imagine that food is scarce, money is even scarcer, education is not an option for women and freedom of anything - speech, religion, choice - no longer exists. This is Afghanistan in the 1990s, the world in which Fereiba now lives and she is desperately seeking a way out. She grew up in a better time where she was able to go to school, teach and live a respectable but free life. She recounts her childhood and growing up in a middle-class family while remembering her first love and how heartbroken she was when he married her sister. But now she is married herself to a wonderful man who supports

The Little Paris Bookshop

By Nina George
3
Rated by Katie S.
Sep 24, 2015

Facing hard moments is not easy for anyone, especially Jean Perdu, the self-proclaimed literary apothecary who prescribes books to people based on their emotional state. He has essentially shut himself off, emotionally and physically, from the world since he was left by his lover over twenty years ago. Now fate has led him back to that very moment of heartbreak when he is forced to open a door, again emotionally and physically, and give away some of his last few possessions to a friend in need. Amongst those items is a letter his lover wrote to him on that fateful day. After reading it, he is

Wide-Open World

By John Marshall
5
Rated by Robin D.
Sep 15, 2015

Do you ever dream of working with monkeys in the Costa Rican rainforest?  How about teaching English in Thailand, or helping orphans in India?  Well John Marshall did and in a radical move to connect better with their teenage son and daughter, he and his wife quit their jobs and took a six month voluntourism break from life.  Wide Open World is the story of how six months moving around the globe volunteering changed all of their lives forever. 

As someone who loves to travel, I really appreciated Marshall’s honesty about the difficulties of the family’s trip, as well as, the wonders they

Apr 29, 2015

Anglophiles listen up – this book is for you! Talented artist, writer, and blogger Susan Branch has put together a charming travel journal of her two month long trip to England. A Fine Romance is chock full of wonderful photos she and her husband took on their trip interspersed with the colorful drawings and lettering that have set apart her work and style as distinctly her own.

The trip starts off with a six day ocean voyage, onboard the Queen Mary 2, from New York to Southampton, England. This dream trip is divided into mainly three areas – the Southwest of England, the Lake District and

Jun 9, 2014

May was National Photo Month, so I picked up a few books light on words but chock-full of story.  Maddie on Things: A Super Serious Project About Dogs and Physics is like a pictorial version of a couple of my favorites, John Steinbeck’s Travels with Charley and William Least Heat Moon’s Blue Highways.  This is another take on touring the country to discover America.

Contrary to the subtitle, I didn’t learn much about dogs or physics, nor is it super serious.  Instead I got to witness Theron Humphrey’s heart-warming journey of discovery and growing fondness for Maddie, the rescue coonhound

Jun 28, 2013

Do Travel Writers Go to Hell describes the process of writing a travel book, including all the adventures and misfortunes that go along with the job. The author's story is sometimes saucy and has brazen confessions revealing that his adventures were less than “Lonely” Planet. The book gives an insight into the underpaid overworked world of travel writers, and exposes how the books travelers often regard as their "travel bibles" are often hastily researched and copied from other travel books. Kohnstamm is very good at describing people and places. I loved his writing style (similar to Paul

Jun 18, 2013

This pictorial book is full of warnings and tips for various scenarios a world traveler might encounter. It’s filled with great information graphics, just the right amount of text, and is divided into seven sections: Understanding the World, Outdoor Survival, Etiquette, Medical, Food and Drink, Personal Safety, and Other Fun Stuff.

It lists the longest river and tallest mountains, provides etiquette tips, advises what to do if you get lost hiking, explains why the sky is blue, tells how to make your hotel room burglar proof, how to follow the North Star, and how to eat a Fugu Fish, just to

Apr 7, 2011

It was said in our Missouri backyard by Mark Twain that Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. Rick Steves is knows to us from his PBS programs as the travel authority on Europe. His recent book Travel As a Political Act is taking a different look on sightseeing.   Steves presents himself in a new angle – as a social activist. Steves argues that one can't begin to understand the world without experiencing it.  He breaks the usual American taboos of discussing politics, money and religion under the premise that if one doesn’t share each other’s ideas, one doesn’t find out

Dec 6, 2010

This book had great potential, and many great moments, but doesn’t deliver in the end.  After a night out with her four single girlfriends, Julie decides to travel the globe interviewing single women for a book about dating in different cultures.  It’s a great premise, except that Julie gets air sick every time she flies and is too shy to talk to strangers on her own. Fortunately, one of her friends is able to fly across the world to each country she visits to hold her hand. And in every country she visits she immediately hooks up with a young swinger who invites her to parties every single

Jun 21, 2010

In 1986, when Mark Twain was 31, he took a voyage on a great steam ship to Hawaii, where he spent four months as a foreign correspondent. He wrote 25 newspaper dispatches on the colorful history of old Hawaii, then called the Sandwich Islands. With his trademark sense of humor and superb style, Twain describes his adventures and cultural observations of daily life on the islands, while attending legislative sessions, hula shows and a poi cooking and tasting. He recounts a volcano trip to Kiluea, and a several-day journey on horse around the island visiting valleys and moutains, a trip that

Jan 13, 2009

When Amanda, an up and coming yogini and Idiot guide writer, is sent to India by her publisher to study enlightenment and how to get it, it’s like a dream come true. But after chasing enlightenment from Ashram to Ashram, guru to guru, Amanda wonders if “enlightenment [is] just the booby prize, the thing you went after when what you really wanted didn’t work out.” Cushman paints a vivid picture of India, giving the story a rich sense of place. She juxtaposes Amanda’s search for enlightenment with the events of modern day American living making this an enjoyable, yet thoughtful novel. It’s a