Top 5 Travel Books for 2014
- Lonely Planet's Chicago City Guide
Competing with New York in the cool stakes, Chicao is one of the must-see cites in America. Don't believe me? Take a flick through the 2014 edition of this city guide from Lonely Planet and you'll soon change your mind. Inside you'll find insider intel' on each neighbourhood (including The Loop, Uptown and beyond), the famed architectural tour, day trip guides to what's nearby and more. With more than 40 city, transport and nightlife hot spot maps, this book gives you everything you need to know the Windy City, inside out, in a flash.
Lonely Planet's Chicago City Guide is published by Lonely Planet (paperback: £13.99). It is also available from amazon.com and all good book shops.
- Poop, Booze, and Bikinis by Ed Robinson
The first book from this epic author (Leap of Faith / Quit Your Job and Live on a Boat) was a best seller for all the right reasons, showing readers how to live the bye-bye-establishment dream like a pro. As a follow up, Poop, Booze and Bikinis does not disappoint. Written from a nautical perspective, this read encapsulates the lighter side of a boating life. Covering everything from idiots with rental equipment to folk deemed zombies that can't swim, it's pretty much a laugh a minute read.
Poop, Booze, and Bikinis by Ed Robinson is available internationally on Kindle for $3.99, via Amazon.com's Whispernet.
- How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler by Christopher Elliot
If anyone knows how to be smart on the road, in the air and on the water, it's USA Today columnist Christopher Elliott. Published in partnership with National Geographic, Mr Elliot put on paper the most clever methods of travel, based on more than 20-years of experience. It's somewhat American-centric but there's some pretty useful information on international airlines, all sorts of accommodation, the review websites worthy of your time and visa obstacles. Rather than a simple how to guide, our author throws in real-life case studies, to help you put it into practice, in person.
How to Be the World's Smartest Traveler by Christopher Elliot is published by National Geographic (paperback: £15.99). It is also available from amazon.com and all good book shops.
- Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West by Peter Hessler
If you think you'd enjoy a New Yorker's perspective on a trip to China, be sure to give Peter Hessler's Strange Stones a read. This collection of essays from the acclaimed NYC correspondent kicks off in a Chinese restaurant with the question: Do you want a big rat or a small rat? Things get even better from her on in with snap shot tales from more than ten-years of travel across this huge country. The insights and interviews are funny, and informative - especially the one-on-one with China's basketball superstar - Yao Ming. Giving you access to unique social observations and neighbourhood dynamics, this book is a must read for anyone planning a trip to China.
Strange Stones: Dispatches from East and West by Peter Hessler is published by Harper Perennial (paperback: £9.99). It is also available from amazon.com and all good book shops.
- The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest by Nick Thorpe
The Danube is a lifeline a to most of the countries in central Europe, so it makes perfect sense that a travel book spanning the attractions it connects, would be a hot pick for the top five. From east to west, these pages allow you to enjoy Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria and Germany. Offering an up-to-date account of Europe in the 21st Century, highlights of this read include a paprika museum in Hungary, a look back at the Ottomans siege of Vienna and the return of the Turkish to Central Europe, not as aggressors but as an immigrant workforce.
The Danube: A Journey Upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest by Nick Thorpe is published by Yale Perennial (paperback: £20). It is also available from amazon.com and all good book shops.
- Robert Savage