When I go to a new place one of the things I like to do as part of my preparation (and whilst I’m there and when I’ve returned) is to read books by local authors and books either set in or about the area.
Often the internet is my starting point when I’m looking for ideas of what to read. Googling ‘reading list for …’ or ‘books about …’ or ‘ … literature’ will often throw up some good suggestions. Searching on Amazon is good too.
I know I’m not the only person who likes to read in this way so I’m going to start a series of reading list posts based on various countries (or places within countries) that I’m interested in and have read a lot about.
My intention is to provide a kind of one-stop shop style resource by bringing together some really inclusive lists of reading material. I’m thinking fiction, travel writing, food, history, current affairs, autobiographies, architecture, music, art, ethnographies, politics, etc.
Pretty much everything except guide books. Why not guide books? Because they become outdated and irrelevant so quickly and most people have a good idea of which guide book they want anyway and are often loyal to a particular brand.
At the moment, I’m planning posts on
- the Outer Hebrides,
- the Peak District,
- the UAE,
- Oman, and
- Saudi Arabia.
Each post will take a while to research and write up so I’m thinking about one a month at the moment. That may change when I get going on them and see how long it takes me. They’ll also be posts that I return to and add to as I discover more books.
What do you think? Do you look for relevant books to read before you travel to a new place? Would this be a useful resource? Share your thoughts and book recommendations in the comments below.