Travel-inspired and travel-inspiring reading

Is a trip to somewhere new enhanced by reading about it before you go – or should you keep preconceptions to a minimum? Besides reading the guidebooks, I love to read novels set in the location I’m visiting – either while there or as part of my preparation.

Reading The White Tiger, The God of Small Things, and Shantaram helped me see India a little differently. (Bollywood movies did too – but that’s for another post!).

In Egypt one of my travel companions introduced me to the writing of Naguib Mahfouz and I devoured Respected Sir and Midaq Alley made cruising down the Nile even more special.

Perhaps my interest in travel was sparked very young by Rumer Godden’s Miss Happiness and Miss Flower – because for as long as I can remember, I’ve wanted to visit Japan. (My lifelong love of Hello Kitty might have something to do with that too.)

Hmm… what to read next?

Miss Happiness and Miss Flower-1

My much-loved 1978 edition of the book that may have kicked off my wanderlust.