Since we're past the Fourth of July and the summer season has officially started, what are your plans for the summer? Vacations, trips? Trips that involve reading? Reading plans? If you're going somewhere, do you do any reading to prepare? Do you read local literature as part of your trip? Have you thought about using the LT Local feature to help plan your book-buying?
I don't have many exotic plans for the summer actually. We'll be attending a wedding in Berlin over Labor Day. Then, in September, my father and stepmother are coming over to Europe and we'll be driving to France together. He has bought the DK Eyewitness Travel books to France and Paris, as well as a Streetwise Paris map. So we've been looking through those in our planning. I do like reading local literature, or books set in the country or place I'm visiting, in preparation for my trips. Here are a few of my favorites:
Before I went to Burma, I read The Glass Palace: A Novel by Amitav Ghosh. It is a historical novel set partly in Burma and it gave a good feel for the history, culture and environment of the area. Plus it is a really great story. I also picked up Twilight Over Burma: My Life as a Shan Princess by Inge Sargent.
In preparation for my trip to the Republic of Georgia (a gorgeous country by the way), I read Journalist Wendell Stevenson's Stories I Stole, a collection of her impressions of the country. I so liked her description of the bizzare Stalin museum in his hometown of Gori, that I had to stop by for a visit myself.
A couple of weeks before I travelled to Iceland, I chanced upon Zane Radcliffe's thriller The Killer's Guide to Iceland. The atmosphere is very authentic. The twisty plot and interesting characters elevate what could have been a more run-of-the-mill cross between a travelogue and mystery novel.