Let’s Get Lost: Exploring the World

In my early twenties, during arid summers and dry, Southern California winters, I would drive the back country roads of my county with the windows rolled down and the music turned up (Think shoe gaze pop masters Ride, and queue the classic “Let’s Get Lost” if you can find a copy of Cosmic Carnaval). As I’ve aged, and left behind the need for a car, I find that I miss that aimless roaming that satisfied some need in me for the unknown, for adventure, for distance and divorce from all that connected me to a mundane life. We all need that sometimes.

For many people, summer is the time to indulge in this desire to get lost, to travel to exotic locales or to just take the long way home from work. It’s increasingly important to take the time to get away in today’s stressful world. Technology, while it has increased our quality of life in many ways, has also kept us trapped and connected to the major stressors we should take the time to avoid. But not everyone has the time or the money for a vacation. Luckily, books give us the opportunity to bust open our quotidian lives and experience the far corners of the world without the need to expend a lot of energy or money. Take a look at our suggestions for getting lost this summer, and get out of your head for a while!

 

Sarum, Edward Rutherford

Sarum, Edward Rutherford

Dive into the long, dark history of England in this epic tome. Follow the course of five families through the centuries as they discover and define one of the world’s most powerful nations.


Centennial, James Michener

Centennial, James Michener

Take a trip back to the Old West this summer by immersing yourself in the impeccably researched novel of the history of Colorado. Ride with the adventurers and natives who fought to survive in the naturalistic beauty of the early western frontier.


Farewell to the Sea, Reinaldo Arenas

Farewell to the Sea, Reinaldo Arenas

A classic of Cuban literature, Arena’s Farewell to the Sea explores the inner territory of a wife’s gradual loss of freedom and an artist’s mirroring loss of liberty in Castro’s Cuba.


The More I Owe You, Michael Sledge

The More I Owe You, Michael Sledge

What better than a trip to Rio on the eve of the Olympics! This novel follows the impulses of renowned American poet Elizabeth Bishop and the life she led with her partner and inspiration, Lota de Macedo Soares in their glass house in the Brazilian jungle.


A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

A Moveable Feast, Ernest Hemingway

Walk the streets of bohemian Paris with the likes of Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald. Meet Hemingway as a young man and discover the difficulties of a young marriage and an ex-patriot life in France between the world wars.


Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafon

Barcelona shimmers in its darkness in this intriguing story of back alleys and old bookstores, unsolved mysteries and untrustworthy femmes fatales.


1Q84, Haruki Murakami

1Q84, Haruki Murakami

Take off to Tokyo, a hectic city of high rises and high tension, in Murakami’s eerie exploration of a cult in what might be a different dimension altogether.


Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Anna Karenina, Leo Tolstoy

Board the train back to the frozen streets of old Moscow and St. Petersburg in Tolstoy’s undisputed classic of high society and tragic love.

 

 

Michael Barnett is a writer and editor with associative ties to Alibris as strong as heartstrings.

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