It's been an exciting month for the Real Stories series of nonfiction reading guides!
Last week I told you about Melissa Brackney Stoeger's new guide to epicurean nonfiction, Food Lit. This week, I have the great pleasure of telling you about Robert Burgin's Going Places: A Reader's Guide to Travel Narratives.
Again, I know it's a bit hard for me to be unbiased about these books. But you should see this book. Robert has rounded up every travel book you have ever heard of, and a ton of new ones that you haven't. When I was reading through his manuscript before publication, I put a bunch of titles on my TBR list that intrigued me (this is how I found Paul Theroux's Kingdom by the Sea, which was a great read). In addition to providing thorough annotations and read-alike suggestions, Robert has also grouped these books by reading interest and genre--categories you won't ever find in libraries and bookstores but which are just right--like "Quests," "The Journey," and "The Expatriate Life," to name just a few.
He also noted all of the places the authors traveled to in their books*--and included those in his subject index. So when a library patron approaches you and wants something to read about Spain (that isn't a guide book), you now have a one-stop resource for accessing such a list of titles.
Do check it out. Between this book and Melissa's you will find all the great nonfiction you will ever need about travel and food, respectively.
*Robert's also started a blog about his travels and travel books--you can find him at Travel With a Book.