A journey to remember

This month's Recommended Reads list is filled with opportunities to travel through nature and around the world from the comfort of home!

As we leave the winter doldrums behind and temperatures start to warm here in New England, thoughts of wanderlust start to creep into our minds as we look forward to better weather ahead. Travel can take so many forms: a long weekend at the shore, camping at one of our National Parks, crossing the pond to one of our European neighbors, or searching out some exotic and life changing experience. Traveling to new places is not only fun and a way to recharge our batteries, but also a way to expand our horizons, learn more about the world and the many types of people who inhabit it. And depending upon how you do it, a chance for self-discovery. But if you can’t get away or like to be an “armchair traveler” the following travel memoirs are the next best thing to being there.

Digital book (DB), braille (BR), large print (LT), and audio described videos (DVD) copies of these titles are available from the Perkins Library or the Worcester Talking Book Library. Please contact the library to order any of these books.

Prepared by Nancy Gahagan

Recording Studio Manager

Perkins Library

All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes

by Maya Angelou

DB 25432, BR 17159, Available as BARD Download

African American poet, actress, civil rights activist, and television producer-director recalls a 1960s pilgrimage to Ghana to connect with her ancestral roots. Describes her sadness and disillusionment at the lack of acceptance among native Ghanaians. Some strong language. 1986.

Download All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, DB 25432

Download Braille, All God’s Children Need Traveling Shoes, BR 17159

Around the World in 50 Years: My Adventure to Every Country on Earth

by Albert Podell

DB 81883, Available as BARD Download

Journalist describes his travels to every country on Earth, including seven that no longer exist, since he began in 1962 with a trip to Canada. Describes personal relationships with his family and girlfriends, co-leading the Trans World Record Expedition, and ways he entered countries closed to tourists. 2015.

Download Around the World in 50 Years, DB 81883

Blue Highways: A Journey into America

by William Least Heat Moon

DB 18700, Available as BARD Download

With humor and compassion, the author, who is part Indian, recounts his travels of some 12,000 miles along the backroads of America in his live-in van. Seeking out such obscure places as Dimebox, Texas; Nameless, Tennessee; and Lookingglass, Oregon, and in search of himself, he found an America that restored his beliefs. Some strong language. Bestseller. 1983.

Download Blue Highways, DB 18700

A Cook’s Tour: In Search of a Perfect Meal

by Anthony Bourdain

DB 54047, Available as BARD Download

Chef’s journey pairs food and travel for adventures—if not perfection—in eating. Bourdain eats duck in the Mekong Delta with Vietnamese war heroes, attends a pig slaughter in Portugal, and retraces childhood summers in France. Strong language. Bestseller. 2001.

Download A Cook’s Tour, DB 54047

Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff

by Rosemary Mahoney

DB 67048, Available as BARD Download

Rower and award-winning author, recounts her 120-mile solo journey along the Nile between the Egyptian cities of Aswan and Qena. Describes her search for a boat, her excitement in finding ancient ruins, and the obstacles she faced as she confronted searing heat and cultural differences. Strong language. 2007.

Download Down the Nile, DB 67048

Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia

by Elizabeth Gilbert

DB 61789, BR 21243, LT 20600, DVD 636, Available as BARD Download

A successful young author, recently divorced, seeks distraction and solace during a year of travel. She describes finding culinary pleasure in Italy, ascetic meditation at an ashram in India, and a love affair in Bali. 2006.

Download Eat, Pray, Love, DB 61789

Download Braille, Eat, Pray, Love, BR 21243

The Impossible First: From Fire to Ice – Crossing Antarctica Alone

by Colin O’Brady

DB 98789, Available as BARD Download

Man’s chronicle of crossing the Antarctic alone ten years after being horrifically injured in an accident. Discusses his mental and physical preparations for the trip, challenges he encountered, reflections on his past including relationships that shaped him, and what it took to achieve his goal. 2020.

Download The Impossible First, DB 98789

In a Sunburned Country

by Bill Bryson

DB 50276, Available as BARD Download

The author of A Walk in the Woods (DB 46519) now chronicles his exploration of Australia. This good-humored traveler relates his outback adventures with anecdotes about the history and local inhabitants. Describes the harsh terrain and hostile wildlife including crocodiles, poisonous snakes, and attacking seashells. Some strong language. Bestseller. 2000.

Download In a Sunburned Country, DB 50276

Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

by Dervla Murphy

DB 25033, Available as BARD Download

An Irishwoman recounts the rigors and joys of a four-thousand-mile bicycle trip she undertook in 1963 through nine countries. She describes episodes of hunger, heat exhaustion, unbearable terrain, remote cultures, and several incidents of personal danger, but through all she revels in the adventure of her journey, the grandeur of her surroundings, and the hospitality of the people she met. 1986.

Download Full Tilt, DB 25033

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road

by Kate Harris

DB 92700, Available as BARD Download

Memoir of a bicycle trip across the ancient Silk Road from Istanbul, Turkey, to the Greater Himalaya mountain range. Details experiences had on the trip and includes reflections on the personal revelations the author had while traveling. 2018.

Download Lands of Lost Borders, DB 92700

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari

by Paul Theroux

DB 76902, Available as BARD Download

Author of Dark Star Safari (DB 63045) and The Lower River (DB 75221) chronicles his final journey across the African continent in 2011. Shares his observations on being an older traveler, the state of modern African life, and traveling alone. 2013.

Download The Last Train to Zona Verde, DB 76902

Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park

by Conor Knighton

DB 99776 91754, BR 11395, LT 2393, Available as BARD Download

In the wake of a failed engagement, and for the one hundredth anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service, Knighton decided to travel to all fifty-nine national parks. Shares insights of his travels, and discusses the history and potential future of the parks. 2020.

Download Leave Only Footprints, DB 99776

The Longest Way Home: One Man’s Quest for the Courage to Settle Down

by Andrew McCarthy

DB 75519, BR 19622, Available as BARD Download

Actor and travel writer McCarthy, discusses the impact his travels have had on his psyche. Describes climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro; visiting Baltimore, Maryland; and boating on the Amazon. Details the ways the trips helped him grow up, learn about himself, and better relate to others. 2012.

Download The Longest Way Home, DB 75519

Download Braille, The Longest Way Home, BR 19622

Nothing to Declare: Memoirs of a Woman Traveling Alone

by Mary Morris

DB 28335, Available as BARD download

Growing weary of life in New York, Morris, a novelist and short story writer, sets out for San Miguel, high in the Mexican desert, where she intends to create a home base for a year. In the end, Morris finds and forfeits romance, and comes to an understanding of Mexico and of herself as she finds the courage to travel on alone. 1988.

Download Nothing to Declare, DB 28335

Paddling with Spirits: A Solo Kayak Journey

by Irene Skyriver

DBC 6979, Available as BARD Download

Irene Skyriver celebrated her fortieth birthday by making a solo kayak voyage from Alaska to Washington State’s Lopez Island. As she made her journey, she pictured what life was like for Native American and white ancestors. 2022.

Download Paddling with Spirits, DBC 6979

The Rings of Saturn

by Winifred Georg Sebald

DBC 1303, BR 12353, Available as BARD Download

A walking tour of England’s southeast coast frames a wide-ranging series of meditations on literature and stories from Britain’s imperial past. A stay in a Norwich hospital prompts the protagonist to search for naturalist Thomas Browne’s skull; a railroad bridge over the river Blyth recalls England’s silk trade with China. 1998.

Download The Rings of Saturn, DBC 1303

Download Braille, The Rings of Saturn, BR 12353

The Snow Leopard

by Peter Matthiessen

DB 14615, Available as BARD Download

Account of a journey that began in September, 1973, when the novelist-explorer set out with field biologist George Schaller to the Crystal Mountain across the Himalayas on the Tibetan plateau. Schaller wished to observe the rutting of the blue sheep, and Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, hoped to find the Lama of Shey. 1979.

Download The Snow Leopard, DB 14615

Tales of a Female Nomad: Living at Large in the World

by Rita Golden Gelman

BR 15269, Available as BARD download

Children’s author and self-proclaimed “modern-day nomad” recounts her travels since 1986 when, on the verge of divorce at age forty-eight, she abandoned her upscale California existence. Gelman’s serendipitous lifestyle takes her around the world—from the Galápagos to Thailand and beyond—where she connects with locals, learns their customs, and shares their lives. 2001.

Download Braille, Tales of a Female Nomad, BR 15269

Tracks Across Alaska: A Dog Sled Journey

by Alastair Scott

DB 33380, Available as BARD Download

“It seems that every winter we have an unusual musher…and this year we have Alistair Scott. He arrived in Manley from Scotland,” said an Alaskan newspaper about the author. Scott prepared to follow the eight-hundred-mile route of the Iditarod, the annual dog sled race, arriving in Alaska with no dogs, no sled, and no experience. He chronicles his adventure with hospitable characters and all-but-human dogs. 1990.

Download Tracks Across Alaska, DB 33380

Travels with Charley: In Search of America

by John Steinbeck

DB 16094, BR 9952, LT 2402, Available as BARD Download

Feeling that as an American writer he has lost touch with his country, the author sets out on a swing around the United States to see what it is really like. He travels in a trailer with “an old French gentleman poodle.” Here is the leisurely account of what he saw, whom he talked with, and his conclusions, hopeful and otherwise. 1962.

Download Travels with Charley, DB 16094

Download Braille, Travels with Charley, BR 9952

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

by Cheryl Strayed

DB 74646, Available as BARD Download

Author recounts the three-month, 1,100-mile solo hike she took on a whim in 1995, after years of devastating personal losses. Describes her encounters with rattlesnakes, locals, fellow hikers, and her own thoughts during her trek from Los Angeles to Washington State on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strong language. Bestseller. 2012.

Download Wild, DB 74646

Without Reservations: The Travels of an Independent Woman

by Alice Steinbach

DB 52105, Available as BARD Download

Travel memoir by a Pulitzer Prize-winning Baltimore journalist, who recalls feeling too narrowly defined by her roles as a newspaper columnist and mother of grown sons. In 1993, to rediscover herself, Steinbach spent a year living in Europe and sent herself postcards recording her impressions of the adventure. 2000.

Download Without Reservations, DB 52105

A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveler

by Frances Mayes

DB 61339, Available as BARD Download

Author of Under the Tuscan Sun (DB 44847) and her husband explore Spain, Portugal, southern Italy, Sicily, Morocco, Greece, Crete, Scotland, Turkey, and places in between. Discusses each country’s cultural, historical, and literary highlights and savors the local cuisine. Commercial audiobook. 2006.

Download A Year in the World, DB 61339

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