Going the Distance: Three Summer Reads
Whether going Around the World in Eighty Days or on a slightly less ambitious journey, the best travel novels go the distance by taking the reader on a tour spanning miles, countries, and even continents. The great pursuit toward a final goal drives the narrative, but, of course, the ultimate destination is only as important as how one gets there. The best of these stories not only take the reader across the world geographically but also teach about the rich cultures visited along the way. In that spirit, here are some books to check out that go the distance.
From two-time Booker Prize–winning Australian author Peter Carey, this fast-paced novel follows the attempt of three people to complete the 10,000-mile Redex Trial race. The story hurtles across 1950s Australia and carries the reader on a thrilling adventure through history and geography along with humor and action. Each twist and turn brings the novel closer to issues of cultural identity, which Carey handles with ease and nary a bump on the road.
Per J. Andersson
Trans. Anna Holmwood
The winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards’ Marco Polo Outstanding General Travel Themed Book of the Year for 2018, this love story follows Indian street artist PK—an “untouchable” according to the caste system—as he defies poverty and prejudice to reach Lotta, the tourist with whom he has fallen in love. His 7,000-mile cross-continental journey from New Delhi to Europe is one of struggle, perseverance, and joy. This true story warms the heart and inspires the reader through a deft delivery.
Soon to be a major motion picture starring Benedict Cumberbatch, this novel takes the reader on a journey centered on time more than space. High school teacher Tom Hazard is not in his early forties as he appears—he has actually been alive for centuries, experiencing the histories he now teaches. The Albatross Society, a secret group dedicated to protecting people like Tom, has only one rule about blending in: never fall in love. After meeting Camille, a French teacher who seems mutually interested in him, Tom must face the choice of staying lost in the past or joining the present.