Friday, May 25, 2012

Traveling in Place

Lately I've been suffering from a severe case of wanderlust.

I just. want. to travel.

And I'm not picky.  It's everything I can do to not jump in the car and drive an hour or so and see where it takes me.  I'm ripe for adventure but can't go anywhere so I've been trying to accomplish it in small ways:  going to a grocery store I've never been to, taking a new way home...I don't really care what.

I'm not sure why it's such a strong feeling right now.  But here's the reality.  Jack has exams this week, he starts his first full-time job as a lifeguard for the Summer...and he needs me to drive him there.  Not to mention that there's not money in our budget for travel right now.

So...I've been looking for other creative ways of "getting away" without going anywhere.  That's when I discovered this post by Conde Nast Traveler...

The 69 Greatest Fiction Travel Books of All Time...hmm....


What's a Fiction Travel Book?  Here's how it's defined in the post:

It's a book in which a place is as important a character as the protagonist; it's a book so informed by the writer's culture that it's impossible to read it without uncovering the life of the author behind it; it's a book that has shaped the way we see a certain place; it's a book whose events and characters could be set nowhere else.

OK.  I think I could use this as a way of traveling without going anywhere.

Plus, I love to read and I read a lot.  Well actually, I don't "read" a lot, I listen a lot....to audiobooks... while I'm working and stitching and folding laundry, etc.

And, since I'm making so many decisions in my daily life, I don't really want to have to work too hard in selecting books.  That's why I love loooong, complex series.  I read one, love it...and immediately begin reading the next book.  Then when it's all over, I'm sad for a while until I find the next "series" to sink my teeth into...Over a month ago, I finished the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan and I've been floundering to find a new book path to follow.

Until today!

I can cure my wanderlust and my need for a book selection in one fell swoop!

I'm going to work my way through this list of traveling fiction starting with Cousin Bette by Honore de Balzac.  I've never read any of Balzac's work so I'm looking forward to immersing myself into early 19th century France.  Evidently, he is considered the founder of realism and European literature and influenced the works of  authors like Dickens, Flaubert, Dostoyevsky, and Henry James.

A few years back, I participated in an online reading challenge, the 1% Well-Read Challenge where you read one book every month off the 1,001 Books to Read Before You Die list.  I read some great books that year (you can check out the reviews I wrote here.)....one of them was Breakfast at Tiffany's and we all know what happened as a result of my reading that book.  Plus, I read books by foreign authors and period literature that I'm not sure I would have found on my own.

I think this new reading plan coupled with this book I re-discovered on my own book shelf...Weekends Away Without Leaving Home...

Just might get me somewhere.

Anyone want to join me?  I'd love to have traveling companions...

23 comments:

Cathi said...

I know exactly how you feel. My hubby & I love to pack up the Suburban with maps, food, overnite bags, etc. & take off & see where we end up. Going to Albuquerque in 3 weeks to visit our oldest grandson & his girlfriend so that should do us for awhile!

Gerry Krueger said...

Well while you are stitching your 5 CQJP projects you might want to consider travel documentries on DVDs from the library or Netflix. Since we can't get television I am catching up on all the old BBCs that way....
But we are traveling about 75 miles to Sandpoint Idaho next week to share a breakfast by the Pend Orielle river and play bridge.. Fits our budget... Hugs Ger

flyingbeader said...

What a great idea! I too can't go any place this Summer because of the dogs being ill & husband just isn't well enough to do the big trips. But that doesn't mean I don't want to go. One day trip to Michigan on my vacation does not count for my wanderlust too, but this is a wonderful way to get some of that feeling out of my system. I went to that blog post & was amazed that I've actually read some of those books. Kangaroo by DH Lawrence is great, but then I feel anything by Lawrence is great. But what a fun way to get reunited with some of my favorite books. Don't think I would have started with Balzac to being with but he's interesting in a stuffy way. I have Nostromo in my library & have tried to tackle it, but maybe now I'll get the urge to complete it.
Let's be travel book buddies! LOL!

Anonymous said...

Have you read the Outlander series? The books are hard to put down, she is working on book 8 now. All the books are huge - 700 pages plus - they would keep you busy for a while. Be sure to read them in order and imagine yourself in Scotland.
I'll try Cousin Bette.

Createology said...

Reading and traveling are wonderful pasttimes. I however am not nearly the reader you are. I will need to stick with my simple little pleasure novels such as The Night Circus which entranced me and my fantasy make believe world. Happy travels my dear...

Gwen said...

While I use reading to get away from life and picture myself as someone different, I can remember a time with no money and three little kids and an endless summer before us. We were living in the Seattle area at the time so took a map and circled a twenty mile radius and visited all the different lakes and the Puget Sound that summer. Packed picnic lunches and swimsuits and had a vacation day about once a week that summer. One of the best with my kids.

Elizabeth said...

I just finished a novel about the champagne region of France and the vintners that make the champagne. It was very good- light and fun but I learned alot-Sarah Kate Lynch wrote the book- called House of Daughters.We are not going anywhere this summer except the family obligatory trip to Cape Cod. How about we meet for a day of creating at Artistic artifacts. we could each bring our current project and work together and visit and pretend we were in Indonesia surrounded by all of those fabulous fabrics!!

Vicky aka Stichr said...

I have a treat for you over at my place...wander on over....

Glenda said...

I'd not heard of the Wheel of Time series before -- thanks for the link to its Wikipedia page; I've added the series to my "to read" list.

I second the recommendation of the Outlander series. One of these days I want to listen to the first book in the series on audio, so I can *hear* the proper pronunciations of the various Scottish names and words.

Anonymous said...

you've probably already read it, but I love the 'Year in Provence' series, and if you haven't read it, I bet you would really enjoy it, its about an englishman who buys a farmhome in the south of france and restores it, but its mostly about just learning to live in france, with a lot of emphasis on the food and countryside. One of my favorites for escapism.

Aussie Jo said...

Thanks for the link to the travel books, I would love to work my way through them. I have a friend who would love this list too. Have you read kerry Greenwood's series, 1920's travel with action thrown in? The tv series has just been on but I haven't seen any of the episodes, generally prefer the books.

Aussie Jo said...

Thanks for the link to the travel books, I would love to work my way through them. I have a friend who would love this list too. Have you read kerry Greenwood's series, 1920's travel with action thrown in? The tv series has just been on but I haven't seen any of the episodes, generally prefer the books.

Rachel said...

It sounds like a great plan. You might like to read some of Peter Mayle's books which are set in Provence - both fiction and non-fiction. They're also full of descriptions of gorgeous meals!

Mary Ann said...

I just finished The Wheel of Time series too except for the last book that I haven't got yet. Loved it!!

Robyn A said...

Hi Susan, I miss your beaded banner! However, your work is so brilliant, I am in awe. Have you read Marlene De Blasi? Her books set in Italy are great and she has now started writing novels. Highly recommended.

vicki said...

Susan-- you know my bags are always packed and ready to go!!

This sounds like a wonderful way to "travel" and I'm betting that somehow- someway-/ a beautiful beaded masterpiece will be an end result!!

Vicki

Ingrid Mida said...

Dear Susan,
Sign me up. I'm off to Milan next week, but am so tired that I almost wish I was staying home. I could use some reading that takes me away.....
Best wishes!

Wendy said...

I used to travel a lot when I was younger - the transiberian railway was my favourite trip. I've read loads of travel books so I popped over to the list to try and give you some recommendations, but I'd only read 3 of them!

Anonymous said...

I am IN! What a great list!

Anonymous said...

I am IN! What a great list!

Catherine said...

I'm trying to find time to keep up with my neighborhood bookclub, but I'll be looking for your reviews ~ so maybe I can make some suggestions for future books!

Anonymous said...

I have disconvered Jean Rhys thanks to you!!!!!!!!!!!!

Faith said...

Hmmm.... I got stuck in book 9 of Wheel of Time.... maybe I should try to finish them this summer. I have so many books waiting to be read, but I may join you on some, just to add to the variety. Cousin Bette is in my e-book collection and I've never read Balzac (unless it was some short passage in French class 45 years ago!).

Related Posts with Thumbnails