I am addicted to books. And if you are reading this now, then most likely you are too. Below you will find four of the travel books I have read this month including; some of the most inspiring photos of Latin America paired with delicious recipes, ideas on how to travel carry on only, inspirational humanitarian studies, and more words to make you drool.
Got a book you think I should read? Let me know in the comments.
Salt & Silver: Travel, Surf, Cook (Latin America)
Authors: Johannes Riffelmacher and Thomas Kosikowski
I have a major complaint about this book. I started reading it before bed and it was full of so many delicious recipes and photos of food that now I’m starving.
This is a travel book like nothing I have seen before. It’s like some weird mashup of photography coffee table book, travel memoir, cook book and surf guide? Somehow it all works, and it works really well.
The book itself is beautiful. A large hardcover book full of pretty travel pictures. It tells the story of Thomas and Johannes (Cozy and Jo) as they travel through 8 different countries in Latin America. The boys have a few main passions which have combined to create this unique book, those being; food, surfing, graffiti art, surfing and tattoos.
Full disclosure: I am totally not into surfing. I tried it once, but ended up underneath my surfboard rather than on top of it. I think knowing how to swim and not hating the ocean are pre-requisites that should be met before jumping on a surf board. Lesson learned. So that being said – I skipped over the sections of the book about surfing. But the guides looked good enough to my novice eye- full of good descriptions, photos and even GPS coordinates to the best surf spots.
I have to admit, despite loving travel stories, after seeing the first recipe and accompanying full page photo (pulled beef with rice and black beans), I was tempted to skip reading all together and just drool over the food. But you would be a fool to do that. Some of the stories here are some of the most epic travel stories I have ever read. Examples include being chased by a mob of Mexicans (and later some dirty cops after a bribe), visiting a family living on a rooftop in Cuba and learning how to make soup, and surfing with sea lions.
The book normally retails for $29.99 but there are often deals on Amazon – Salt & Silver: Travel, Surf, Cook
The Carry on Travel Book
Author: Erin McNeaney
This is the ultimate guide to packing light. So says the apt tag line on the cover of this eBook. Erin is half of the couple from Never Ending Voyage. Erin and her partner Simon have travelled around the world for six years now with nothing more than their carry on luggage. Now that’s commitment. As much as I love packing light myself, I’ve gotta give it to them, that’s an achievement.
But while travelling for years with only carry on luggage may seem like an epic achievement to me, to Erin and Simon it’s their normal. And they want to show you how you can make it your normal too.
These days, it’s not just budget airlines which charge an arm and a leg to check luggage. Even national airlines are following suit. Checking a suitcase every time to board a flight can easily add up and take a nasty chunk out of your travel budget. But it’s not just a financial incentive to travel light, as Erin points out, travelling with just a carry on allows you to be more mobile and ultimately, gives you more freedom.
This book is a very practical guide on how to pack lighter, and eventually to travel carry on only. There are lots of resources on different bags, packing systems, clothing reviews, and of course, packing lists.
There are even lots of inspirational stories from other carry on only travellers too (including an interview with yours truly about travelling carry on only with a toddler).
Nine Million Lives
Author: Medicines Sans Frontieres
This isn’t your typical travel book. But I think most people who love travel have a certain open mindedness and worldliness about them which makes them interested in social issues facing those in less developed countries.
I think most travellers have heard of Medicines Sans Frontieres before (or Doctors without Borders). This e-book features a collection of stories, from humanitarian workers from around the world who use their medical knowledge to help some of the most vulnerable people around the world.
The majority of the stories in here are uplifting ones; saving babies with malaria, counselling children traumatized by natural disasters, assisting the casualties of war and conflict. But despite the positivity of the stories, it is easy to see just how much suffering there is in the world, and how much need there is for organizations like MSF.
The e-book is a free gift for subscribing to MSF’s email newsletter, but I strongly encourage you to consider a donation if you are as moved by the stories as I was.
Lisbon in 100 Bites
Author: Zara Quiroga
This book from my favourite Portuguese travel blogger is all about food. But unlike the first book in this review, it’s not a cook book. It’s also not a restaurant guide. This book is instead a guide to all the typical foods of Portugal (and in particular Lisbon). This book will get your stomach growling, and will ensure that you are not just blindly pointing at menus and not knowing what you are going to get. It also ensures you wont miss out on some amazing culinary experiences just because you don’t know what the item is on the menu.
The book is broken down into sections; Pestiscos (tapas), Main meals (further broken down into; soups, from the sea, and from the land), and desserts (my favourite section).
To be honest, I never really knew much about Portuguese food culture until reading this book, and now that I am more knowledgeable I have to admit that Portugal has moved up on my travel wish list.
Planning a trip to Portugal or just love learning about food? Get the e-book for $7.99 here.