Hitting the road this holiday season? Whether you’re visiting family or nurturing your wanderlust, spending time in a car, train or plane is inevitable. Use that time wisely, and take a preliminary mental journey with one of these books sure to spark the imagination and have you ready to take on whatever adventure awaits.
1. My Antonia by Willa Cather
If you’re traveling across the Midwest, this book is perfect literature to stick your nose into. The story centers around two fictional children, Jim Burden and Antonia Shimerda, who are among the first pioneers of Nebraska in the late 19th century. As the story progresses, so does their adventures and life together. Cather does an excellent job at describing the prairie and the Midwest during that time period so it’s easy to imagine the beauty of the land. The women characters in this book are strong, fiery and mysterious. Her descriptions are entrancing and will give you a new perspective on the tall grass lands of America while simultaneously falling in love with the immigrants who cultivated it.
2. The Martian Chronicles by Ray Bradbury
If you enjoyed Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, then you’re sure to enjoy this read. The Martian Chronicles is a getaway in itself with a collection of stories that are all woven together. Every story centers around the future colonization of Mars. Sometimes humorous, sometimes dark, the stories arise questions about humanity and science. The book is great if you are making plenty of stops. Each story is fairly short so you won’t be anxiously wondering what will happen next. It’s a great book to read when you are just trying to enjoy the ride and pick up whenever you’re looking to daydream about a different world entirely.
3. The House on Mango Street by Sandra Cisneros
Similarly to The Martian Chronicles, The House on Mango Street is a novel composed of vignettes. This is a wonderful read if you have a short plane ride and are looking for something informative and quick. Only 110 pages, the book is about Esperanza Cordero, a young Latina girl, and her life growing up in Chicago. The vignettes often contain rhymes making it lyrical to read. Guaranteed to respark your interest in poetry and prose, Cisneros is revolutionary.
4. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist follows a young Shepherd boy through his journey in Egypt. The Alchemist is guaranteed to warm your heart and to make you feel grateful for your own personal journey — both physical and spiritual. With a book filled with so many life lessons and inspiration, you’ll be glad you took that trip.
5. Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? by Jena Pincott
If you aren’t a fan of fiction books, I recommend this nonfiction book for you. Do Gentlemen Really Prefer Blondes? discusses the science behind love, sex and attraction. A great book for curious minds and an even better one for people-watchers. You’ll never view human flirtation the same again. This is an intriguing read to discuss with your partner as you travel to places full of other people caught up in the holiday spirit and just a little in love.
1. A Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket
If you have kids, they’ll love to listen to this and so will you! These three orphans’ adventures will have you laughing and on the edge of your seat. And you’ll get through it just in time for their motion picture series on Netflix.
2. Wild by Cheryl Strayed
A memoir about the author’s hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, Wild will have you happy to be outdoors, happy to be experiencing life and happy to be away. This book is a great self journey to listen to while you’re having your own.
3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom
A car ride listening to Tuesdays with Morrie is a life changing experience for everyone involved. Mitch Albom recounts his experiences with his dying professor Morrie and the life lessons he learned from him. There won’t be a set of dry eyes in the car, but you’ll be all the happier for it.
4. Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
So, you’re traveling? What better way to travel then to listen to someone who gave up everything to do just that! Elizabeth Gilbert talks about leaving her old life behind to find herself by taking a trip. May you find just as much wisdom and enlightenment on your own trip.
5. The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
I’m throwing this recommendation in there because it’s great to listen to if you have anxiety on planes or on trips in general. Tolle teaches you how to be present in the moment and tips on mediating. Listen and find your happy place.