25 October 2017

Around the world in 5 books

Travels
Author
Francesca

5 books for 5 continents. Each book has a story to tell, an adventure to live and a trip that each of us should take at least once in our lives. From America to Asia, from Europa to Oceania passing through Africa: impossible not to get lost in these unforgettable pages that are not confined to mere descriptions, in fact, they transport us to new and exciting places.

 

Many times, when we set off on a trip, we choose to take a good book with us, many other times, it is the book itself, without ever getting up off the couch, that is able to take us by the hand to a thousand places. The words transport us to unknown lands, they tell us about them until we seem so close that, among the pages, we can almost see them, touch them. Pack your suitcase, today we are travelling to 5 continents.

Travelling tools

 

We’re off to Asia, let’s go to China with “A Fortune-Teller Told Me” by Tiziano Terzani.

The title of the book was inspired by a Chinese fortune-teller who told the author in 1976 that he would die if he travelled by air in 1993. The author took heed of this prophecy and spent 1993 travelling around Asia without leaving the ground. The book chronicles the year the author  rediscovered train and boat trips through Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, China, Singapore, the Islands of Malaysia, Cambodia, Vietnam, Mongolia and Russia. It is an occasion to discover the real Asia, the one of the common people. This work stands out for its striking vivid portraits and engages for the splendor and details of the landscapes.

Hot air balloons in Bagan, Myanmar

 

Now let’s go to Australia with In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson.

He has an interesting style and the art of being amusing to win over his readers. Bryson is one of the most entertaining travel writers even if his works cover various topics.

In this enthralling book, the main character visits Australia. He travels all around it, from the outback with its arid and desert landscapes to the coast with its incredible barrier reef.

Through his attentive and curious eyes, Bryson knows how to engage, describe and certainly make us want to jump on the next flight.

Uluru Kata Tjuta national park, Australia

 

Let’s change course now for the USA with White Noise by Don De Lillo.

Consumerism, pseudo-intellectualism, violence, family, intrigue, conspiracies and lies: a bitter portrait of 20th-century America that seems dramatically up to date. De Lillo’s satirical work is chock-full of meaning, a true post-modern masterpiece, which also won the National Book Award. In a few words, a plane ticket to come face to face with the United States.

Manhattan bridge seen from a brick buildings in Brooklyn street in perspective, New York, USA. Shot in the evening

 

Let’s explore Africa, in particular mysterious Ghana with The Beautiful Ones are not yet born by Ayi Kwei Armah.

The author searches for hope even in a tale of desperation, the story of the nameless protagonist, referred to only as The Man, who tries to merge the positivity of the independence of Ghana with the reality of 1960s Africa, through its leaders, corruption and greed. The beautiful ones are not yet born, as Ayi Kwei Armah asserts, or perhaps they are but in Ghana, as in other places, they have decided to stay in the margins, struggling to remain clean and not succumb to money and power.

Sun Rays Gariep

 

We conclude our trip to 5 continents with a stop in Europe. We’re going to Portugal, accompanied by The Book of Disquiet by Fernando Pessoa.

Certainly Pessoa’s finest work, an attentive and aware exploration of what it means to be a common person, yet also a book about the main character’s confessions, fragments, torments, a book that ends with being unresolved even in its form. A true “factless autobiography”, which narrates, evokes and celebrates Lisbon on every page.

Lisbon Tram and Cityscape

 

These are 5 of the most beautiful travel books ever written. Apart from the stories, apart from the characters, the places narrated distinctly emerge from the pages.

If you’re about to leave, find some room in your suitcase. And if you don’t have any trips planned, at least take some time to travel with your imagination.