Books for Cultural Diversity: May’s Picks

book clubMay is the perfect time to start thinking about summer travel. The weather is getting warmer and schools begin to let out for vacation. Whether or not your plans include a trip abroad, you can still travel to far-off places by picking up a book. We’ve pulled together a list of wanderlust-inspiring books for the travel lover.


The Best American Travel Writing 2016 by Bill Bryson Renowned authors including Michael Chabon and Dave Eggers answer the question “Why do you travel?” Whether they’re traversing the Arctic by dogsled, attending a surreal film festival in North Korea, or strolling the streets of a fast-changing Havana, their insights into the world and the human condition are illuminating and enthralling.

Wild by Nature by Sarah Marquis National Geographic Explorer Sarah Marquis takes you on her ten-thousand-mile solo hike across the remote Gobi desert between Siberia and Thailand, from which she was transported by boat to complete the trip beneath her favorite tree in Australia.

Atlas of Improbable Places by Travis Elborough and Alan Horsfield
From deserted cities and strange settlements to remote islands and underground labyrinths, this atlas features more than fifty unusual locations around the world—including San Juan in Parangaricutiro, a town entirely submerged by lava, and Leap Castle in Ireland, allegedly the most haunted house in the world.

The Timbuktu School for Nomads by Nicholas Jubber
Following in the footsteps of sixteenth-century traveler Leo Africanus, Nicholas Jubber embarked on a turbulent adventure to the forgotten places of North Africa and the legendary Timbuktu. In the cattle markets of the Atlas, across the Western Sahara, and up the Niger River, Nicholas joins the camps of the Tuareg, Fulani, Berbers, and other communities to learn about their crafts, their values, and their place in the world.

Far & Away by Andrew Solomon
Ranging across seven continents and twenty-five years, these are Andrew Solomon’s writings about places undergoing seismic shifts—political, cultural, and spiritual.
The Wonder Trail by Steve Hely
Steve Hely, writer for The Office and American Dad! and recipient of the Thurber Prize for American Humor, relates his journey through Central and South America. Part guide, part pop history, part comic memoir, Hely’s writing will make readers want to reach for a backpack and hiking boots.