Top Ten books about Travel
4. Juni 2013 § Ein Kommentar
Another Top Ten Tuesday, hosted by the broke and the bookish. This time the topic is travel – just any book that has something remotely to do with travel. I have an especially long list for you, so let’s get right to it.
1. Jules Verne – how could one think of travel novels without thinking of Jules Verne. Pick just any of his books and you’ll see it has something to do with travel. 20.000 Leagues Under The Sea, Around the World in 80 Days, All around the Moon, Eight hundred Leagues on the Amazon, the Journey to the Centre of the Earth – gosh I remember when I was in my early teens I devoured all those books.
2. Ilf and Petrov: Twelve Chairs. The story of Ippolit Matveyevich Vorobyaninov and Ostap Bender trying to find twelve chairs in which an old widow hid all of her jewellery. This of course takes them on a journey throughout all of Russia – whilst making fun of every single Russian institution of that time (you know, around 1920ish). So much fun.
3. Alexej Tolstoy: Aelita. No not the Peace and War-guy; that’s a different Tolstoy. This Tolstoy wrote a novel about travelling to Mars. Never liked the book. Turns out the people living there are some descendants of the habitants of Atlantis. I was also very disappointed with the „scientific“ equipment of the two travellers to Mars. I mean – come on – they are going to Mars and they don’t even take a camera with them?!
4. Ilija Trojanow: The collector of Worlds. About an Indian servant, telling the tale of his former master; an English officer being deployed in some rural area of India and falling in love with an Indian girl. A very well deserved bestseller!
5. Richard Mason: The World of Suzie Wong. An Englishman (apparently those are all very well travelled) goes to Hong Kong to pursue a career as an artist and falls in love with a Chinese bargirl (aka prostitute). A very beautiful love story.
6. Virigina Woolf: To the Lighthouse. Mrs Ramsey promises her family to take them to the Lighthouse, their summer residence, the next day. Unfortunately the trip has to be put off until ten years later – with a lot of family members and friends missing, who were lost to war or disease. The emphasis of the novel doesn’t so much lie on the actual travel than on the concept of time.
7. Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events. The three Baudelaire orphans travel from one acquaintance of their deceased parents to another whilst trying to solve the mystery of their fathers and mothers death. Thirteen volumes of fun!
8. Vladimir Vertlib: Abschiebung (deportation) Because of the discriminations against Jews, the protagonist is fleeing with his family from Russia to one country after another. The novel, for the most part, is taking place in America, where his father is trying hard to get a Green Card for his family and himself. Since the novel is called „Deportation“ it’s easy to guess that they fail. Unfortunately this novel wasn’t translated into English yet. Available in German and Czech only.
9. Pascal Mercier: Night train to Lisbon. A Greek and Latin teacher is quitting his job to travel to Lisbon inspired by a novel written by an unknown Portuguese author. There he tries to learn everything of this very talented and much too early deceased writer. It’s been some time since I’ve read the book, but I remember it being so very interesting. I was totally captivated by it.
10. Emanuel Schikaneder: The Magic Flute. Yes, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozarts opera. Mozart composed the music, Schikaneder wrote the libretto. It’s about a young prince travelling to a strange and fantastic country (by accident) and “saving” the daughter of the Queen of the Night (who is by the way my most favourite character in the whole piece).
Dang, I need to read more works of female writers. How come there is not one female author on this list?! It’s also a shame I haven’t found anything about time travel on my shelf. How is that even possible?