Not your typical travel book—July 26, 2013
When what you want is an up-to-date travel guide with great “wish you were here” images, maps and floor plans, restaurant and lodging recommendations as well as historical tidbits, go straight for one of the library’s continually updated series such as Eyewitness Travel Guides and Fodor’s.
But be on the lookout as you browse the travel section for the occasional gem, the odd tome which is not a part of any series, a standalone title. For instance, thumbing through “Midwest Marvels: Roadside Attractions Across Iowa, Minnesota, the Dakotas, and Wisconsin” just may encourage you to seek out Iowa’s Hobo Museum, South Dakota’s International Vinegar Museum and Minnesota’s Jolly Green Giant.
Enjoy “Portrait of Yellowstone: Land of Geysers and Grizzlies” by photographer and Hastings native David William Peterson. Also see “An Exploration of the Tetons,” featuring text from an 1873 ascent of Mount Hayden along with photography by Peterson.
Close to home, “The Traveler’s Guide to the Pony Express Trail” by Joe Bensen contains explicit directions and commentary so you can retrace the original route from Missouri through Nebraska and on to California if you wish.
Now that you’ve explored travel destinations in the North American continent (yes, armchair travel does count), “500 Places to See Before They Disappear,” published by Frommer’s, leads you forth on a worldwide quest for cultural, historic and natural treasures. So does “Make the Most of Your Time on Earth: the Rough Guide to the World.” Good luck choosing which one of a thousand unique experiences covering seven continents and 200 countries you’d undertake.
You might ask “Fine, but how do I get there?” (Here’s where armchair travel is actually recommended.) Just consult “The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World via its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes” by Carl Hoffman, a Wall Street Journal Best Book of 2011.
One of my favorites is “Lost on Planet China: The Strange and True Story of One Man’s Attempt to Understand the World’s Most Mystifying Nation” by Maarten Troost.
“How the States Got Their Shapes” by Mark Stein asks and then answers questions like these about Colorado : “Why does Colorado have such boring borders?” and “How come the northeast corner of Colorado takes a bite out of Nebraska, when Nebraska had been created first?”
Branch out beyond the travel section for some great finds like “Creepy Crawls: A Horror Fiend’s Travel Guide” by Leon Marcelo, “Made for Travel: 50 Easy-Sew Gifts and Accessories for Everyday Trips and Special Journeys” by Mary Mulari and lastly, “Behave Yourself! The Essential Guide to International Etiquette” by Michael Powell. Have a great trip!