I am a travel geek. I love travelling, discovering new places and simply, learning about new cultures. Being a full-time student would not allow me to travel often in long distance, hence, reading books and viewing landscape through the author’s lens is always a bliss for me.
I am picky as a reader so 7 books that I am going to introduce to you are carefully selected. And I hope you all so find it fascinating to walk from places to places with only a flipping page.
1) Banh Mi Thom Ca Phe Dang by Ngo Thi Giang Uyen:
This book is a memoir from a Vietnamese abroad student in London who optimized her college time to travel all around Europe. We can feel the romantic spirit of Europe through her vivid description about food. You will find it intriguing as the signature dish of each European country and the art of tasting it are introduced naturally with a resident perspective. The most unique and maybe, the most authentic thing about this book is that she recalls her nostalgia for Vietnamese food after tasting all kinds of best dishes in Europe. I found myself in her shoes when reading this book because I was also hunger for my hometown and my mom’s dish after a long time away from home with western food as daily meals.
2) Banh Beo Phieu Luu Ky by Ploy:
This book is written by my favorite writer of all time who inspired my writing as well as my critical thinking. She is now working and living in Vietnam after 2 years working in Thailand as a Digital Marketing manager for a renowned car’s brand. Having been to 16 cities in the world, her vivid memory and her unique feeling for each city make this book stand out. Every piece of story in her book is a condense of authentic experiences and curiosity of a young, passionate and ambitious girl. Like Ngo Thi Giang Uyen, she tight the end of the book with Sapa which is a famous attraction in Vietnam.
3) Sidewalking by David L. Ulin:
“Sidewalking is a profound and poetic books. It is a meditation not only on the strange and marvelous nature of Los Angeles but also on the nature of history, memory, and community itself. This is nonfiction writing at its very best” — Susan Orlean, author of New York Time bestseller “The Orchid Thief”
If you live in California like me, you may want to stay away from the heavy traffic of Los Angeles. However, this book comes in and brings a new perspective about LA that LA has more to discover than traffic, poor neighborhoods or Hollywood of stars.
4) The Silent Traveller in San Francisco by Chiang Yee:
“A personal approach that is rich in memories, poetry, an artist’s response to beauty and a scholar’s interest in the march of history.” — New York Herald Tribune
The most unique thing I like about this book is that not only are Mr. Yee’s descriptions of places graphic, but his watercolor illustrations are gentle and capture each city that he profiles. For the western reader, Yee Chiang, a scholar, an intrepid traveler, a Chinese wandering western lands, comes up with the most surprising perspectives and connections.
This is definitely a lovely knock off axis for those who take for granted America’s most fascinating city.
5) America’s National Parks by Paul Schullery:
America may be appeal to foreigners mainly for its prosperous economy of cities full of skyscrapers. This book proves the reverse.
America’s National Parks captures all that is great about all fifty-six parks in the national park system. It also gives interesting, easy-to-understand background on the geological and ecological forces that continue to make each national park so worthy of protection. Nature lovers will be captivated by gorgeous photos of landforms, flora, and fauna. Visitors to any of these national parks will forever treasure this book as a memento of past visits and an inspiration for future ones. Unlike any other book published on national parks, America’s National Parks is a must-have for anyone who relishes America’s natural wonders and wants to learn more about the powerful forces that created them.
6) Beloved Oxford by Duong Thuy:
Oxford is renowned for desirable destination for all students around the world. However Duong Thuy puts it in a different way. She made Oxford a milestone in Kim’s life (an imaginary character in the book). A place to start a beautiful love story but it is not easy for Kim and Fernando to come together. Through the story, we feel the lightness, fleeting, but also passionate love of youth. A harmonious love of both regions of the world, two beauties of two continents and two cultures.
Beyond a love story, the rosy array of the work, we also understand the life of abroad college students. They do not have a pink life as we think. It is a separate life in terms of language barrier, skin color, culture, etc. to the ordinary eating etiquette is also a hazard for abroad students, not to mention knowledge. Is not simple to break the cultural bond, to integrate into Western life.
Beloved Oxford is a cultural picture, full of colors of other people from different ethnics and cultures. In return, Duong Thuy brings us a light breeze, full of flavor of her college experiences at Oxford.
7) Xach Balo Len Va Di by Huyen Chip:
Different with Duong Thuy and Giang Uyen who were originally an international student, then went to wor and business trips; they already had enough conditions to go places. Their writing style is a little gentle, peaceful, focused on the scene and people, while “Xach Balo Len Va Di” looks more turbulent. Huyen Chip started the journey with only a few hundred dollars, to every region, she managed to allocate economically for the next trip. Her experiences should therefore be more adventurous.
Reading this book, Huyen Chip will hold your hand to step into the world, learn to overcome yourself, make difference and be unique!