Favorite Travel Books
5 Books | by Melissa Lin
The Year of Living Danishly
When she was suddenly given the opportunity of a new life in rural Jutland, journalist and archetypal Londoner Helen Russell discovered a startling statistic: the happiest place on earth isn’t Disneyland, but Denmark, a land often thought of by foreigners as consisting entirely of long dark winters, cured herring, Lego and pastries. What is the secret to their success? Are happy Danes born, or made? Helen decides there is only one way to find out: she will give herself a year, trying to uncover the formula for Danish happiness. From childcare, education, food and interior design to SAD, taxes, sexism and an unfortunate predilection for burning witches, The Year of Living Danishly is a funny, poignant record of a journey that shows us where the Danes get it right, where they get it wrong, and how we might just benefit from living a little more Danishly ourselves.
A Beginner's Guide to Paradise
"From the author of a lot of emails and several Facebook posts, a laugh-out-loud, true story of how a quarter-life crisis led to adventure, freedom, and love on a tiny island in the Pacific. In his mid-twenties, Alex Sheshunoff had his own internet start-up and had made national news. But he was also burned-out. So he bought a one-way ticket to the island of Yap, giving up everything he was supposed to want in search of all the things he never knew he needed. Along the way, he answered some important questions and some less essential ones too, such as: 1. How much, per pound, should you expect to pay a priest to fly you to the outer islands of Yap? 2. If you could have just one movie on a remote Pacific island, what would it definitely not be? 3. How do you blend fruity drinks without a blender? 4. Is a free one-hour class from Home Depot on 'flower box construction' sufficient training to build a house? While in the Pacific, Alex learned a lot. About making big choices and big changes. About the parts of Paradise that don't make it into the brochures. About the locals and expats he encountered, offended, and befriended. And, most of all, about focusing on what you actually care about. Now Alex shares his incredible story in a book that will surprise you, make you laugh, take you to such unforgettable islands as Angaur and Pig, and perhaps inspire you to find your own little place in the sun"--
‘Leaving the blinding sand for the cool shade of the trees, I walked carefully through the undergrowth to where Dave, using two twigs as chopsticks, was picking up a freshly severed human finger...’ John’s trip to India starts badly when his girlfriend returns home and he finds himself looking at the sharp end of a knife in a train station cubicle. But his life is saved by an enigmatic traveller called Rick, who persuades John to question his mundane plans for the future, risking it all for much, much more. Fast forward to the Thai island of Koh Pha-Ngan; John, Rick and their new friend Dave pose as millionaire aristocrats in a hedonistic Eden of beautiful girls, free drugs and wild beach parties. Running out of money and pursued by the Thai Mafia, they embark on adrenalin-fuelled journeys to Singapore, Indonesia, Australia and Hong Kong, facing danger at every turn. Filled with wild adventures in exotic locations, this is not travel writing for the faint-hearted: this is an amazing true story of the hunt for excess at any cost.
Eat Pray Eat
World-weary, distracted and more often than not the worse for wine, Michael Booth really needed to make some major changes to his life. Instead, he embarks on an over-ambitious, self-indulgent attempt to write the definitive book on Indian food, taking his wife and two young children in tow. They criss-cross India, from mist-shrouded Delhi to Mumbai andthe slums of Dharavi, meeting the locals and samplying different cuisines along the way. However, his plan is derailed as he spirals deeper into his metaphysical middle-aged malaise, finally unravelling amid the sweltering heat of the Keralan backwaters. Fortunately, his wife takes control and enrolls her disintegrating husband in a hardcore yoga boot camp, enlisting a wise meditation guru who helps him chart a path towards enlightenment. But will Booth's cynicism and untrammelled appetites prove his undoing? Can he regain his balance, conquer his anxieties and face up to life as a husband and father?
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck
New York Times Bestseller In this generation-defining self-help guide, a superstar blogger cuts through the crap to show us how to stop trying to be "positive" all the time so that we can truly become better, happier people. For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. "F**k positivity," Mark Manson says. "Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it." In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected American society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—"not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault." Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.