That ubiquitous Seattle librarian Nancy Pearl recently appeared on National Public Radio’s Morning Edition to talk about a subgenre of non-fiction that has always fascinated me: travel narratives. Perhaps I’m a bit more interested than most, since I have spent entirely too much time shoveling Midwestern snow; but for whatever reason, I found Pearl’s travel narrative suggestions fascinating. They included:
• Dead Reckoning: Great Adventure Writing from the Golden Age of Exploration, 1800-1900, an anthology that includes essays by the likes of George Kennan, John Muir, and Isabella Bird;
• Mary Henrietta Kingsley’s memoir, Travels in West Africa, in which this blue-blooded Victorian woman travels to the Congo and climbs Mount Cameroon. Pearl is quick to point out that Kinglsey, like many travel writers of her era, included in her book political and social commentary unique to their time, which doesn’t always translate well for 21st-century readers;
• And The 8:55 to Baghdad: From London to Iraq on the Trail of Agatha Christie and the Orient Express, by Andrew Eames, which combines modern-day rail travel with the journey Christie took in 1928, which formed the basis for her best-known mystery.
Listen to more about Pearl’s recommendations here.