Monday, January 17, 2011

Monday Escapes: Book Edition

I can't stop thinking about this article that featured some of the must-visit travel destinations for 2011.  It claims that Stockholm, Sweden now tops the list of most visited European cities.  I was surprised not that Stockholm had garnered this title, but the reason behind the rising visitors:

I loved the series (see here), but the violent chase scenes through the impossible to pronounce streets, government conspiracies aimed at innocents, and the prevalence of gruesome scenes at the hands of ghastly individuals, shouldn't exactly make people say hmmmm that sounds lovely, for our next vacation: Stockholm it is.

Although for me, and many others it appears, the book did just that.

                                   Image via Pinterest from Forever is Today
Here are some more books on my list of great reads that take you through a haunting journey through a location that should at first glance discourage a potential vacation, but entices you all the same.

Follow two recent college graduates on an often harrowing adventure through Communist China (based on the author's real experience), with a surprising twist.  

Image via Pinterest
This riveting tale that takes place during Franco's era in Spain, does not paint the picture of the vibrant Barcelona we all know today.  Equal parts mystery and romance, you can imagine reading this book while sipping espresso at a cafe in Barcelona's Gothic Quarter.

I imagined La Sagrada Familia's Gothic architecture looking dark and ominous as I read the novel.

Image via Travelmoon

The setting of this Pulitzer Prize winning book of short stories from one of my favorite writers often takes place in the United States rather than India.  But the cultural and familial pull to India is a constant theme and leaves you wanting to get a glimpse in to the country that has seeped into the characters' psyches.  

Both challenging and addicting, India, is a country I often long to re-visit and is also the country that I have the hardest time articulating to others who don't share my yen for traveling why that is so.

Image via Travelmoon
There is also the award winning movie Slumdog Millionare helming this trend (which is based on the book by the same name).  Marie Claire's recent article (January 2011) noted that in Mumbai, the 
slum-facing hotel rooms are the MOST requested.  This also goes for the Four Seasons Hotel, where people seem to prefer the slum view rooms to those facing the sea.  I guess travel inspiration comes in the most unexpected of ways.

Happy reading!


  1. I am ready to start a new book! What's on the list?

  2. I am still trying to muddle through the Fountainhead. I loved Atlas Shrugged, and I know I will eventually get into it, but I'm not there yet! What about you? You always have some great picks?!

  3. Shadow of the Wind is one of my favorite books! I'm so glad you included it on your list.

  4. Love this! You should add the obvious "Eat Pray Love" and "Memoirs of the Geisha" too :)

  5. Don't worry I have more up my sleeve :) Eat, Pray, Love doesn't really fit since it was actually really just a love-fest of the places she traveled to-except for possibly India...