Staff picks: Recommended summer reading

Staff picks: Recommended summer reading

Jun 8, 2017|Traveler Resources| by Holbrook Travel

Looking for books to feed your wanderlust? Reading inspires us to seek out new places and new adventures, lighting our fire to venture out there beyond the comfort and familiarity of our own homes. Some stories are full of bold and brazen tales of the unimaginable journeys by explorers and athletes out of our realm, while still other stories tell of the everyman in all of us and highlight the humor and simple beauty found in nature and travel that we often take for granted. Check out these favorites from some of our travel experts here at Holbrook!

Book sellers in Havana, Cuba

Photo by Kate Perez

Anna's pick: "Inés of My Soul" by Isabel Allende
Historical fiction, translated from Spanish. This story takes place during the Spanish conquest in South America, in a region that would one day be known as Chile. The protagonist is Inés Suárez, who is credited, along with Pedro de Valdivia, with founding Santiago de Chile. In spite of Allende’s poetic style of writing, she doesn't sugar-coat what must have been a very difficult experience—for the natives as well as the colonists— living in 16th century South America. 

Carla's pick: "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho
I recommend a classic, "The Alchemist." This novel by Brazilian author Paulo Coelho was first published in 1988. Originally written in Portuguese, it became an international bestseller translated into some 70 languages as of 2016. It is about a young boy full of dreams and a great journey looking for a better life. It is all just about how important it is to get out of your comfort zone. But the amazing thing is how the author is able to use so many metaphors in the story that you can easily translate to your real life.

Chris's picks: "Endurance: Shackleton's Incredible Voyage" by Alfred Lansing
Shackleton's Incredible Voyage is a must read for anyone thinking of traveling on a challenging adventure, as the story highlights the perseverance of man in his quest to make history and explore unknown lands. Antarctic travel is an experience unlike any other and this miraculous story is required reading for anyone drawn to undertaking a similar journey.

"Ecotourism and Sustainable Development: Who Owns Paradise?" by Dr. Martha Honey, PhD.
This is a valuable read on the perspective of our natural resources and the importance of conservation in today’s world and global warming. I found it an excellent primer on the topic, and also evolution. A unique and compelling look at the promises and concerns of ecotourism of interest to anyone looking to become a more environmentally sensitive traveler.

Laura's pick: "Enduring Patagonia" by Gregory Crouch
I was fascinated with the massive granite spires trekking in El Chaltén, Argentina. Those peaks in Los Glaciares National Park are some of the most difficult to climb in the world, but also some of the most beautiful to hike around! Our guide told us of the first ever winter ascent of the Cerro Torre’s west face by the American climber Gregory Crouch, and recommended his book. What an exciting read! Tense and yet poetic, he explains the attraction of climbing mountains in a thrilling way! He made several attempts and never gave up his dream to be the first one to accomplish this feat.

Lindsay's pick: "In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson
I love Bill Bryson’s writing style – sarcastic, self-deprecating, and informative. This book about his travels in Australia is one of my favorites and inspires me to want to visit someday. Sample line: "Australians...spend half of any conversation insisting that the country's dangers are vastly overrated and that there's nothing to worry about, and the other half telling you how six months ago their Uncle Bob was driving to Mudgee when a tiger snake slid out from under the dashboard and bit him on the groin, but that it's okay now because he's off the life support machine and they've discovered he can communicate with eye blinks."

Paloma's picks: "Honolulu" by Alan Brennert
I enjoy historical fiction, especially when it involves a strong female protagonist.  Honolulu is the story of Jin, a young woman who emigrates from Korea to Oahu, Hawaii in the early 20th century as a “picture bride.”  She has a vision of Hawaii as paradise where food is abundant and life is easy.  Upon her arrival, she quickly discovers that the reality is quite different; her husband turns out to be an alcoholic who works on a sugar cane plantation and has a gambling problem.  Jin refuses to spend her life miserable and afraid of her husband and so she flees to the city of Honolulu where she begins a life defined by her own rules. 

"Inferno" by Dan Brown
This book was a serious page turner!  I could not put it down.  It’s best categorized as a mystery/conspiracy/thriller novel that takes place in several difference major international cities(!)  It’s cerebral, the plot involves the protagonist looking for clues in history, culture, art and science but Brown includes enough chase scenes and action to balance it out.    

Sandy's pick: "Murder in Havana" by Margaret Truman
I like the author's crime novels and picked up my first one because it caught my eye. This book has a good story line, and it's fun to read about the places you’ve seen – or not!