Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Top Ten Tuesday # 8 - Travel

Welcome to my Top Ten Tuesday list! The Top Ten Tuesday meme originates at The Broke and The Bookish, check out their site for more information.

This week's topic is Top Ten books featuring Travel.

When I saw this topic my heart sank, as I normally avoid travel books, but I spent some time thinking about all the different types of travel and was surprised at how much I could come up with.  I started with the obvious kind of travel books, then moved onto stories where the characters embark on a character journey and/or geographical journey and ended up thinking about Time Travel.

As I've mentioned I don't read travel books, or guide books much, beyond the three different books I bought when I was moving to Sydney a few years ago.  NSW/Sydney/Australia guide books.  I bought a Lonely Planet, a Rough Guide and an AA city guide.  All were good, but in the end the AA guide proved the most useful as most of my tourist activities were based around the city, and some of it's recommendations became my favourite places.  For anyone who think's I might be referring to a list of drinking establishments to avoid, AA means Automobile Association, not Alcoholics Anonymous :-)

On the same theme of 'Travel' I ended up needing a street map.  There are a couple of main competitors if I remember right, but I chose the Gregory's street map of Sydney, and I can tell you it saved me from all kinds of lost.  And an honorary mention goes out to the London A-Z whenever I make my way into 'town'.

Onto more story based travel and I thought of a recent read Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan, Percy travels across America, down to the Underworld and up to Mount Olympus on his quest.  More than this, the character takes quite a journey from thinking he's an ordinary messed up kid to realising he's a demi-god.  Quite a trip!!

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern, to be fair I'm still reading this, but the travels of the circus and it's followers are quite an important part of the story I've read so far (nearly at the end now).  It is a good read, and I love the journeys and the idea that people do nothing but follow the circus around from place to place. I have been on a mission for the perfect red silk scarf for a while now.

My Cousin Rachel by Daphne du Maurier.  While travel isn't the theme of the story it does feature a fair amount of travel between England and Italy.  It's the distance between these places that makes the story and some of the mystery work so well.  Though the story never reveals the time in which it is set, it was published in 1951 and presumably set in the hundred or so years before, certainly long before super-economy airlines and so that distance means that so much is unknown about the titular characters history and ultimately her motives.

Long distances now segue us nicely into time travel too with Traci Harding's The Ancient Future trilogy.  It's been a few years since I read these, but this trilogy involves Time Travel from 20th century Australia to 7th century England and Wales, then further back to Atlantis, and then the distant future of Earth.  Great literature?  No not really, but an enjoyable read.

Almost inevitable when discussing top Time Travel books is The Time Travelers Wife by Audrey Niffenegger.  I had to include this one.  The story is of the chronologically disjointed romance between Clare and Henry who is an involuntary time traveller.  This story broke my heart.

The River of No Return by Bee Ridgway is another time travel romance.  This is a recent release that I wasn't expecting to enjoy so much, but actually I could hardly put it down.  I was reading every minute I had spare.  Nick Davenant, the Marquess of Blackdown is about to die in battle in early 19th century Spain and jumps himself forward in time to 2003, leaving behind his lands, title, family and the dark eyed girl he can't put out of his mind.  He moves around the world and through time trying to find the girl and prevent the end of the world as we know it.

It wouldn't be one of my lists if I didn't mention Thursday Next, the brilliant series by Jasper Fforde. Aside from travel around Swindon and the occasional trip to Wales, there's travel between the real world and The BookWorld, and also travel in the Gravitube.  I love the idea of the Gravitube.  Using Earth's gravity to travel through the centre of the planet to get to the other side in a matter of a few hours.  Time travel also features in these books from time to time, as Thursdays father and son are both in the Chronoguard.

Finally we finish with Eoin Colfer's WARP: The Reluctant Assassin is another time travel story.  The first in a series the book is a crime caper set in modern and Victorian London.  See review here.


  1. Percy Jackson is on my list too!

    My TTT:

  2. Funny that you never read travel books...I seem to read them all the time!

    Here's my Top Ten post. Hope you'll stop by!

  3. I hope you will start reading more travel books. Here's an earlier post (told you I love travel stories!) on Top Ten Travel Narratives

  4. http://readerbuzz.blogspot.com/2012/01/top-ten-travel-narratives.html

  5. When I think of travel books what springs to mind is Bill Bryson and Lonely Planet, not narratives and stories. I had to think quite hard about other types of travel before I could actually get much down in terms of this list.

    I liked both your top tens, and loved the Paris connection between the latest. I have been thinking about going to Paris for a while, maybe I should read up some before going!

    I liked the film of Under the Tuscan Sun, and I love Italy, and Italian food, so was wanting to read that a few years ago. I think what put me off was the idea that I couldn't afford to go, so to read about it would be a form of exquisite torture. lol