AARP Eye Center
With so many of us sheltering in place, our travels have come to a screeching halt. But from the confines of your living room, you can still lose yourself in wanderlust, through books that transport you to other destinations and open your eyes to other cultures. Here, eight especially savvy travelers — movers and shakers in the global travel industry — recommend their favorite reads that can take you on truly memorable armchair journeys.
Laura Davidson, president of LDPR, a New York–based public relations agency specializing in travel, and recently named one of the 50 Most Important Women in Travel by Wonderlust magazine
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The pick: In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson, 2000, nonfiction
In a nutshell: Bryson delivers a kind of annotated guidebook with this off-the-beaten-tourist-path trek through Australia. It's chock-full of observations, facts, stories, hilarious reflections and interactions with friendly Aussies happy to oblige him.
Why it's a fave: “This book takes a humorous look at the land Down Under, a place that doubles as a continent and a country. Fact-filled, full of dangerous creatures and colossal myth, the book promises to keep readers distracted from the woes of staying in.”
Peter Greenberg, travel editor of CBS News, host of the PBS programs The Travel Detective and The Royal Tour, and host of the CBS nationally syndicated weekly radio show Eye on Travel
The pick: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain, 1869, nonfiction
In a nutshell: Spiced with Twain's keen eye, quick wit and unflagging humor, this fun read details Twain's adventures on a peripatetic journey around the world. He ventures from Paris to Cairo, from the Azores to Odessa.
Why it's a fave: “This is a collection of Twain's letters to newspapers about his truly pioneering voyage — by steamship — to Europe and the Middle East. This is Twain at his humorous best, and great travel writing. His often-satirical observations about his world travels are cutting, deep and often witty.”
Karine Hagen, executive vice president of Viking Cruises
The pick: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, 2014, fiction