Roads Traveled With Linda L. Osmundson
Can you read in a car? On a plane? Do you read paper books or e-readers? No matter what method you use, good reading materials add to any travel experience. Be aware, however, that e-readers must be turned off during takeoff and landing. Therefore, I prefer to take disposable paperbacks that I leave on the plane, in the hotel, on the ship, or pass to a friend after I’ve finished them.
Since most of our travel is driving, my husband packs a briefcase with all the Wall Street Journals, Forbes magazines,
and stock advisor newsletters he’s had no time to read at home. Some people rent books on CDs. I’m afraid either of those might put me to sleep.
No matter what trip we plan, I research the destinations beforehand. Fodor’s or AAA travel agency guides offer a wealth of information that includes a little history. Libraries often stock travel guides, or they can be purchased online or at places like Sam’s and Costco. Before cruising the British Isles, I researched historical novels about several ports of call. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society filled in my World War II education gaps about German occupation of strategic Guernsey Island.
I asked Facebook friends to suggest good reading material. Here are some of their recommendations; not necessarily new books but good ones.
If you plan a trip to the country’s national parks, Helen Colella put out a workbook to engage the whole family and increase their enjoyment of the visit – “Explore and Discover National Parks: Follow the Signs.” Of course, my two “How the West was Drawn” books keep children entertained in answering questions about the art of Charles Russell and Frederic Remington.
My very mature 15-year old granddaughters suggested “Fault in the Stars,” by John Green about a young girl with terminal cancer who meets a young, handsome cancer survivor, and Maggie Stiefvater’s “The Scorpio Races,” which involves two late-teens in a race for survival. Some children’s books are good reading for adults while some adult books interest teens. One girl just read Grisham’s “The Firm,” and also suggested Yann Martel’s “The Life of Pi,” of movie fame.
Other recommended books included: political, books for women or men, religious, and old standbys. “The Bridges of Madison County,” according to amazon.com, is a legendary love story and the bestselling hard cover of all times. Amy Tan books explore mother/daughter relationships. Her most well known is “The Joy Luck Club.” “The Shack” by Wm. Paul Young takes the reader on a life-changing journey through the eyes of a man whose daughter is missing and probably murdered. “The Harbinger” by Jonathan Cahn answers the question “does ancient history hold the secret of America’s future?” Along those same lines, Lutzer’s “When a Nation Forgets God: 7 Lessons We Must Learn from Nazi Germany,” explores the theory of “bread over freedom” and the fact that believers must stand firm to keep our government from taking us down the same path as Nazi Germany.
On a lighter note, “The Art of Racing in the Rain” uplifts our spirits through a funny heart-wrenching story of love, family, hope, and loyalty. Clara and Mr. Tiffany illustrates the struggle for artistic recognition of the woman who designed most of the Tiffany lamps. Clara must decide if happiness comes from her artistic or personal side. Another non-fiction book looks into the problems faced by the designer of the Eiffel Tower and the exhibition, which brought it to light. Want to learn more about WWII? Read “Unbroken.” It delves into the capture, incarceration in a Japanese prisoner of war camp, and survival of an American Olympic runner.
Whether you read to escape, learn, or be entertained, reading fills the downtime gaps in travels. On your next trip, consider these suggestions by my Facebook friends.