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  • Writer's pictureThe Feeder

Book Your Place Now

Books transport us to places and times we might not otherwise visit. Books can help us understand a country or city before we visit or remember a place fondly when we return home. Our Feeder community suggests these great reads for mind travel. Happy Reading!

"For books about Singapore I still think Tanamera by Noel Barber is good. I also like A Different Sky by Meira Chand. For stories that evoke a particular place The Magus by John Fowler attracted me to Greece many years ago and Memoirs of a Geisha got me interested in Japan," says Jane, a Singapore heritage expert and owner of Jane’s Singapore Tours.

Kim, who loves audio books, is also dreaming of Japan and recently listened to Pico Iyer’s Autumn Light. “I've never been to Kyoto, and his descriptions were so vivid. I want to visit in the fall and see the leaves change.”

"My favorite travel book of all time is one that I read 20 years ago, so I'm not sure how well it holds up, but I loved A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby," shares Cynthia, a former news reporter who has lived in places as far flung as Tokyo, Bangkok, Singapore, and Portland.

The Feeder Books Contributor, Alison, has just read A Tale for the Time Being by Ruth Ozeki. "This great book goes back and forth between an unknown modern time in Japan and current time on a small island in Canada. Two lives are connected when Ruth finds a diary that has washed up on shore. A thoughtful book about life, survival and the quantum mechanics of all things." Alison also recommends The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian. "A couple goes on a bike trip in Vietnam and he disappears. Is there something more sinister associated with his trip? She investigates and uncovers a terrible plot. The story involves a pandemic, which is especially relevant today."

"Death on the Nile by Agatha Christie inspired a life-long fascination with Egypt for me," says Amy, a reader of anything about Ireland, lover of British mysteries, and The Feeder Cocktailing@Home Contributor.

"I like to read mystery novels about a place I'm going to travel to. Detectives, or whoever is investigating, have the authority to go anywhere in a society and talk to anybody. It can be an interesting window into a place. Before we went to Istanbul for my 50th birthday, I read Jason Godwin's The Janissary Tree, the first in his Investigator Yashim series, set in 1830s Instanbul. It gave me an interesting historical perspective on Istanbul's unique position in the East/West conversation," says Nikki, a Senior Lecturer at NTU and Faculty Advisor Emeritus for Perspectives Film Festival.

"The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux," says Aliza who probably spends more time travelling than she does at home. "I read it decades ago, but loved the section about the train in and out of Riobamba in Ecuador, including either riding outside/on top or in these old autoferros (bus chassis attached to railcar undercarriages). It inspired me to do the same trip!"

"Honestly, A Passage to India, by EM Forster, inspired me when I was younger. When my husband and I travelled before we had kids, we read a lot of James Michener books. They are long, so they're great when you’re on a budget and also perfect preparation before you visit a new country," shares frequent reader and traveller, Caitlin.

"I love Paul Theroux’s Ghost Train to the Eastern Star. It’s a follow-up to his pivotal book The Great Railway Bazaar. It is mandatory reading for travellers who love and frequently travel in Asia. I found the chapter in Myanmar to be particularly interesting as he says Yangon is the city that had least changed after the passage of 30 years," says Monica, a contributing editor at CNBC's Global Traveller.

As for me, Into Thin Air is still one of the best books I've ever read. John Krakauer's writing is amazing. I was obsessed with climbing Everest, or at least getting to base camp for years after reading this. The other travel book that stuck with me, Half a Yellow Sun, is a fascinating story about a split-second in history when the country of Biafra established and lost independence.

For other great reads check out The Feeder Book Nook.

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