Travel the World

Please visit the Illinois State Library's Talking Book and Braille Service website at:

http://www.ilbph.org

Travel the world with our latest reading list! Plan your next vacation with accessible travel tips from experts, explore exotic lands and cultures vicariously, or get lost in some bestselling adventure fiction! Anything is possible with our selected books, featuring historical journeys, humorous travelogues, and more!


Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time

Mark Adams

DB075354

Adventure and travel magazine editor retraces Yale professor Hiram Bingham III's 1911 discovery of the Incan ruins of Machu Picchu. Adams describes his own adventures in the Peruvian Andes with an Australian survivalist guide and local mule tenders and discusses his investigation of the controversies surrounding Bingham. 2011.

Bestseller, South America


Reservation Blues

Sherman Alexie

DB041962

Thomas Builds-the-Fire is an unlikely rock band leader: he is a little goofy looking and is kind and considerate. But he has the guitar of blues great Robert Johnson, and its music compels others to join the group Coyote Springs. The band's tale includes some wild stories about others in the Spokane tribe and is told with wry humor, mysticism, and warmth. 1995.

Humor, Fiction, Native American


In a Sunburned Country

Bill Bryson

DB050276

The author of A Walk in the Woods (DB 46519) now chronicles his exploration of Australia. This good-humored traveler relates his outback adventures with anecdotes about the history and local inhabitants. Describes the harsh terrain and hostile wildlife including crocodiles, poisonous snakes, and attacking seashells. 2000.

Bestseller, Humor, Australia, Download Only


In Patagonia

Bruce Chatwin

DB014867

Inspired by a piece of skin on display in his grandmother's living room that supposedly had been taken from a Brontosaurus found in Patagonia, Chatwin hiked through that part of South America that includes the Southern most regions of Argentina and Chile. Includes many tales of his encounters with local characters and other travelers and many anecdotes about the region. 1977.

South America, History, Adventure, Download Only

 

Sites Unseen: Traveling the World without Sight

Wendy David

DB073854

Based on her own experiences in Europe and North America, well-traveled blind psychologist provides tips and tools for taking trips without sighted assistance. Discusses where to go, how to get there, what to bring, what to do, and what questions to ask. 2010.

Disability, US, Europe


The Art of Travel

Alain De Botton

DB054829

Taking a philosophical approach, De Botton uses literary references and personal anecdotes to explore the why and how of travel. He describes his own travel experiences and discusses responses to particular places of Charles Baudelaire, Edward Hopper, Gustave Flaubert, Alexander von Humboldt, William Wordsworth, Edmund Burke, and John Ruskin. 2002.

Bestseller, Literature, Download Only


You Shall Know Our Velocity

Dave Eggers

DB056228

After losing his best friend in a car accident and then falling into money, Will Chmielewski attempts a weeklong flight around the world with his buddy Hand to give away $32,000. During their unusual journey from Chicago to Senegal, Will comes to terms with mortality. 2002.

Bestseller, Modern Fiction, Download Only


Great American Vacations for Travelers with Disabilities

Fodor’s Travel Publications

DB044697

This handbook for travelers with physical handicaps includes accessibility information in three categories--mobility, hearing, and vision--as well as names and addresses of specialized services and facilities. Destinations include major U.S. cities, numerous national parks, Pennsylvania Dutch country, and Walt Disney World. 2007.

US Travel, Disability, Download Only


The Beach

Alex Garland

DB045577

During his stay in a Bangkok flophouse, a young western adventurer comes upon a secret map showing the way to an uncharted coastal paradise. He and a French couple embark on a perilous trek to the idyllic beach, and once there, they join a commune inhabited by bizarre individuals. 1996.

Bestseller, Psychological Fiction, Southeast Asia


Tales of a Female Nomad Living at Large in the World

Rita Golden Gelman

BR015269

Children's author and self-proclaimed "modern-day nomad" recounts her travels since 1986 when, on the verge of divorce at age forty-eight, she abandoned her upscale California existence. Gelman's serendipitous lifestyle takes her around the world--from the Galápagos to Thailand and beyond--where she connects with locals, learns their customs, and shares their lives. 2001.

Travelogue, Braille Only


Better than Fiction: True Travel Tales from Great Fiction Writers

Don George

DB084195

Thirty-two essays on travel by authors of fiction, including Joyce Carol Oates, Isabel Allende, Peter Matthiessen, and Alexander McCall Smith. 2012. (In Process)

Short Stories, Non Fiction


Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia

Elizabeth Gilbert

DB061789, DB067985 Espanol

Successful young author, recently divorced, seeks distraction and solace during a year of travel. She describes finding culinary pleasure in civilized Italy, ascetic meditation on an ashram in India, and a love affair in Bali. 2005.

Bestseller, Autobiography


Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven

Susan Jane Gilman

DB070193

Memoir of a 1986 backpack trip in China by two naive American college girls reveals the perils and pitfalls of travel. Recalls humorous and horrifying incidents of culture clash and the helpfulness of strangers when one girl experiences an emotional collapse six weeks into the trip. 2009.

China, Memoir


Paper Towns

John Green

During senior year, Margo, the girl next door, entices Quentin into a night of mischief--and she then disappears. Quentin and classmates Radar, Ben, and Lacey follow the clues Margo left while they worry about her state of mind. Edgar Award. 2008.

Bestseller, Young Adult Fiction, Award Winner, Commercial Audiobook


Diarios de Motocicleta: Notas de Viaje por America Latina (The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey)

Ernesto Che Guevara

DB060971

En 1952, Guevara, un estudiante de medicina de veintitrés años, hizo un viaje por los caminos de América Latina. En su diario describe las experiencias de un joven de la clase privilegiado argentino que disfruta de un viaje de ocio de casi un año. Pero a la vez, revela los pensamientos nacientes del futuro revolutionario en que iba a transformarse. 2004.

Bestseller, South America, History, Download Only

 

One Hundred One Accessible Vacations: Travel Ideas for Wheelers and Slow Walkers

Candy Harrington

DB067755

Author of Barrier-Free Travel (RC 61293) provides a guide to United States destinations for people with mobility problems. Details cities, national parks, historical attractions, and recreational opportunities under categories such as big city, the great outdoors, road trips, cruises, small towns, and family fun. Covers lodging. 2008.

US, Disability

 

Blue Highways: A Journey into America

William Least Heat-Moon

DB018700

With humor and compassion, the author, who is part Indian, recounts his travels of some 12,000 miles along the backroads of America in his live-in van. Seeking out such obscure places as Dimebox, Texas; Nameless, Tennessee; and Lookingglass, Oregon, and in search of himself, he found an America that restored his beliefs. 1983.

Bestseller, Autobiography, Download Only


Green Hills of Africa

Ernest Hemingway

DB049481

Account of an African big-game-hunting expedition in 1933 that included Hemingway and his wife, Pauline. Describes their adventures on the Serengeti Plain near Mount Kilimanjaro. 1935.

Adventure, Autobiography, Africa, Literature


On the Road

Jack Kerouac

DB031675, BR018352

A group of young people epitomize the beat generation as they roam the American continent in a wild, desperate search for identity and purpose. 1957.

Classic Literature, Bestseller


Into the Wild

John Krakauer

DB041823

This book, which grew from an article the author wrote for Outside magazine, discusses a fatal trek by a young man named Chris McCandless. After graduating from college in 1990, McCandless abandoned his car, gave away his money, and cut off contact with his family. Exactly 112 days after he wandered into the Alaskan wild, McCandless was found dead of starvation. The author looks to himself and other adventurers for an explanation. 1996.

Bestseller, Adventure, Alaska, Young Adult Interest, Download Only


Traveling Blind: Adventures in Vision with a Guide Dog by My Side

Susan Krieger

DB071184, BR018861

Stanford professor Krieger describes adapting to life with progressively limited vision caused by birdshot retinochoroidopathy. She writes of embarking upon local and long-distance trips and exploring the southwest desert with her guide dog Teela and her lover Hannah. 2010.

Autobiography, Disability, Animals


On the Noodle Road: From Beijing to Rome, with Love and Pasta

Jen Lin-Liu

DB077270

Chef makes a pilgrimage in 2010 from Beijing to Rome, tracing the evolution of food and culture along the ancient Silk Road. Focuses on the migration of noodles as a menu staple and explores other foods, including saffron and rhubarb. Includes recipes she learned from cooks along the route. 2013.

Asia, Food and Culture

 

The Snow Leopard

Peter Matthiessen

DB014615

Account of a journey that began in September, 1973, when the novelist-explorer set out with field biologist George Schaller to the Crystal Mountain across the Himalayas on the Tibetan plateau. Schaller wished to observe the rutting of the blue sheep, and Matthiessen, a student of Zen Buddhism, hoped to find the Lama of Shey. 1979.

Tibet, Memoir

 

The World: Travels 1950-2000

Jan Morris

DB058758

Collection of essays by noted Welsh journalist and travel writer Jan (formerly James) Morris recording her observations over a fifty-year career of "wandering and writing" in every inhabited continent. Describes witnessing landmark historical events, visiting most of the world's great cities, and sampling many different cultures. 2003.

History, Culture, Journalism, Download Only

 

A Taste for Travel: An Anthology

John Julius Norwich

DB026219

Potpourri of travel pieces for the armchair traveler. Gathered from the writings of such authors as Freya Stark, Robert Byron, Evelyn Waugh, and Paul Theroux, the selections are arranged according to various aspects and themes of travel. 1985.

Short Stories, Fiction and Non Fiction, Download Only


Around the World in Eighty Days

Michael Palin

DB035432

Palin suffers from a compulsive urge to travel and was fortunate enough to be selected by the BBC to retrace the eighty-day journey of Phileas Fogg through Italy, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, India, and the United States. In diary form, Palin describes his travels that began at the Reform Club in London on September 25, 1988, and ended there exactly eighty days later without a princess but with a lot of dirty laundry and a film for the BBC. 1989.

Travelogue, Download Only


A Sense of the World: How a Blind Man Became History's Greatest Traveler

Jason Roberts

DB062703

Biography of Englishman James Holman (1786-1857), who was blinded at twenty-five after serving in the Napoleonic wars and who then achieved fame as a world traveler. Quoting from Holman's memoirs, describes how he fought slavery in Africa, survived captivity in Siberia, charted the Australian outback, and published three books. 2006.

Biography, Adventure, History, Disability, Download Only


Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

Maria Semple

DB075351

Seattle. Eighth-grader Bee's request for a family trip to Antarctica is the last straw for her mother Bernadette, who has become so socially inept that she hired a virtual assistant in India to handle her life. Just before the trip, Bernadette vanishes. Heartbroken Bee investigates. 2012.

Bestseller, Fiction

 

South: A Memoir of the Endurance Voyage

Ernest Henry Shackleton

DB048292

Shackleton's 1914-1917 account of how his plans to lead the first trans-Antarctic expedition became a survival saga after his ship, Endurance, was blocked and finally crushed by pack-ice. Describes the courage of men facing extremely harsh conditions. Covers Shackleton's valiant 800-mile trip in an open boat to bring back rescuers.

Travelogue, Antarctica, Download Only


Travels with Charley: In Search of America

John Steinbeck

DB016094

Feeling that as an American writer he has lost touch with his country, the author sets out on a swing around the United States to see what it is really like. He travels in a trailer with 'an old French gentleman poodle.' Here is the leisurely account of what he saw, whom he talked with, and his conclusions, hopeful and otherwise. 1960.

Travelogue, Literature

 

Rick Steves' Easy Access Europe

Rick Steves

DB060017

Guide for travelers with limited mobility. Focusing on Amsterdam, Bruges, London, Paris, and the Rhine, provides general tips and accessibility ratings for major attractions, hotels, and restaurants. Includes "Roll or Stroll" tours of historic neighborhoods and advice from travelers with physical challenges. 2004.

Europe, Disability, Download Only


Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Cheryl Strayed

DB074646

Author recounts the three-month, 1,100-mile solo hike she took on a whim in 1995, after years of devastating personal losses. Describes her encounters with rattlesnakes, locals, fellow hikers, and her own thoughts during her trek from Los Angeles to Washington State on the Pacific Crest Trail. Strong language. 2012.

Bestseller, Autobiography

 

The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari

Paul Theroux

DB076902

Author of Dark Star Safari (DB 63045) and The Lower River (DB 75221) chronicles his final journey across the African continent in 2011. Shares his observations on being an older traveler, the state of modern African life, and traveling alone. 2013.

Travelogue, Africa

 

Shadow of the Silk Road

Colin Thubron

DB065278

Travel writer, author of In Siberia (RC 51481) and Behind the Wall (RC 34567), chronicles his journey along the ancient Silk Road from central China to the Mediterranean coast of Turkey. Describes his third-class passages, his encounters with the people of central Asia, and witnessing the war in Afghanistan. 2007.

Asia, History, War, Non Fiction


Innocents Abroad

Mark Twain

DB036186

A satirically humorous account of a voyage through the Mediterranean and travel in the bordering countries, and a classic study of the differences between Americans and Europeans. 1869.

Travelogue, Humor, Mediterranean


Assassination Vacation

Sarah Vowell

DB061591

Journalist visits sites associated with the first three assassinated American presidents: Abraham Lincoln, James Garfield, and William McKinley. Relates pieces of historical trivia, including the fact that Robert Todd Lincoln was present at all three shootings. 2005.

Humor, History, U.S. Presidents, Download Only


A Year of Sundays: Taking the Plunge (and Our Cat) to Explore Europe

Edward Webster

DB064156, BR015594

Recounts author's year-long 1997 European trip with his visually impaired, menopausal wife, Marguerite, and sixteen-year-old cat, Felicia. Describes putting careers on hold to realize their dream and embarking "on a quest for adventure," exploring eateries, tourist destinations, and romantic locales in France, Greece, Holland, Spain, Germany, Italy, and Austria. 2004.

Europe, Disability, Animals, Humor, Download Only

 

The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Eric Weiner

DB065862

National Public Radio foreign correspondent and self-proclaimed curmudgeon Weiner describes the places he visited during a yearlong hunt for the happiest people. Investigates conditions in the Netherlands, Switzerland, Bhutan, Qatar, Iceland, Moldova, Thailand, Great Britain, India, and the United States. 2008.

Bestseller, Humor