Thousand Mile Journeys Start with Many Steps

Maybe it’s fitting that our collection of travel guidebooks are so far from the entrance.  If you hope to explore the world, then navigating the stacks is a fair place to start.  All you have to do to get there is head north from the Welcome Desk, pass everything else in the building, and just as exhaustion starts to set in, you know you’ve made it (a blood pressure machine is conveniently located nearby).  

And the destination - Dewey 910s, Geography and Travel - is worth the journey.  We have over a thousand travel books that span the globe, including guides from top publishers like Frommer’s, Fodor’s, Lonely Planet, and the OG in independent travel himself, Rick Steves. The collection is consistently updated with new releases, keeping the recommendations fresh with all the best amenities: open roads, operational businesses, and existing countries.

To help inspire that next adventure, below is a list of well-reviewed new releases focused on travel. While not technically guidebooks, these titles will surely set your mind to wander (in the good way).

See You in the Piazza: New Places to Discover in Italy by Frances Mayes

“Mayes (Under the Tuscan Sun) gives a sparkling and irresistible view of Italy… Readers will want to take their time, savoring this poetic travelogue like a smooth wine.” Publishers Weekly

“A charming homage to upscale travel through Italy.” Kirkus Reviews

North: Finding My Way While Running the Appalachian Trail by Scott Jurek 

"North chronicles the highs and lows of an epic journey, both inward and outward." New York Post

“Jurek's exciting narrative presents the pain and joys of ultra-running at the end of a long and successful running career.” Publishers Weekly

The Sun Is a Compass: A 4,000-Mile Journey Into the Alaskan Wilds by Caroline Van Hemert

“This inspirational memoir is riveting.  Reading it will incite wanderlust” Library Journal

“One follows this engrossing adventure feeling as eager as the travelers to see what's around the next bend in the river, on the next island, across the next coastal passage, or over the next mountain pass.” Kirkus Reviews

An Arabian Journey: One Man’s Quest Through the Heart of the Middle East  by Levison Wood

“Possessed of an intrepid spirit, sense of humor, and willingness to engage with strangers, Wood recounts vignettes that humanize those he meets… adventure-hungry readers will enjoy the ride.” Publishers Weekly

“Even more than the places he visited, the people he met demonstrated the rich history and troubled present facing the region, creating a kaleidoscopic view into this storied land.” Booklist

Wayfinding: The Science and Mystery of How Humans Navigate the World by M.R. O’Connor

“Throughout her own travels, O'Connor talked to just the right people in just the right places, and her narrative is a marvel of storytelling on its own merits, erudite but lightly worn.There are many reasons why people should make efforts to improve their geographical literacy, and O'Connor hits on many in this excellent book.” Kirkus Reviews

“Investigative reporter O'Connor goes back in time and around the globe to explore how humans have learned to navigate…  For readers curious about nature, science, the human brain, and how we navigate our world.” Library Journal

The Landscapes of Anne of Green Gables: The Enchanting Island That Inspired L.M. Montgomery by Catherine Reid 

“This is not just a book filled with beautiful photos; it's a satisfyingly rich and layered combination of the visual and intellectual.” Library Journal

*Starred Review* “Reid's love letter to Anne of Green Gables, Montgomery, and Prince Edward Island is sure to delight.” Booklist

The Salt Path: A Memoir  by Raynor Winn

“Debut author Winn narrates a moving memoir of identities lost and found along England's wind-swept South West Coast Path.” Kirkus Reviews

“With nothing to lose, [Winn and her husband] set off on a 630-mile hike tracing the coast of southwest England.

...Winn quickly dispels romantic notions about the trip, describing pelting rains; cold, sleepless nights; and stomach-grinding hunger when they run out of food (or money). A beautifully written and deeply satisfying read.” Booklist

Gumbo Life: Tales from the Roux Bayou by Ken Wells

“Fans of regional American cooking, history, and storytelling will enjoy this literary ramble in the Louisiana Gumbo belt.” Library Journal

“Wells clearly knows his stuff, and his enthusiasm for the region and cuisine is palpable…”Publishers Weekly

A Year in Paris: Season by Season in the City of Light by John Baxter 

“This joyful exploration of a much-beloved city will make readers wonder if there is ever really a bad time to visit Paris.” Publishers Weekly

“Part history, part memoir, part travelog, this book has something for everyone. Of special interest to those who hope to visit Paris.” Library Journal

Horizon by Barry Lopez 

“A globe-trotting nature writer meditates on the fraught interactions between people and ecosystems in this sprawling environmentalist travelogue… his curiosity so infectious that readers will be captivated.” Publishers Weekly

*Starred Review* “Sharply attuned to the wonders and decimation of the living world, the endless assaults against indigenous people, and the daunting challenges of a changing climate, Lopez tells revelatory tales, poses tough questions, and shares wisdom, all while looking to the horizon…” Booklist

Off the Rails: A Train Trip Through Life  by Beppe Severgnini

“Italian journalist Severgnini (Ciao, America!) recounts numerous train adventures in his funny and perceptive memoir… This is a not-to-be-missed book for railroad fans or travelers of any mode.” Publishers Weekly

“Wry observations and gentle humor abound in addition to elegiac writing on trains and train travel.” Booklist

—Ransom Jabara is a Collection Development Librarian at Lawrence Public Library.