Whether you're reading by the pool or pretending your couch is a sandy beach, summer is a great time to get some leisure reading in.
Emily Calkins from the King County Library System has both non-fiction and fiction travel-themed recommendations for your next real or pretend vacation.
Charlie Wheelan and his family do what others dream of: they take a year off to travel the world. This is their story.
What would happen if you quit your life for a year? In a pre-COVID-19 world, the Wheelan family decided to find out; leaving behind work, school, and even the family dogs to travel the world on a modest budget. Equal parts "how-to" and "how-not-to" — and with an eye toward a world emerging from a pandemic — "We Came, We Saw, We Left" is the insightful and often hilarious account of one family's gap-year experiment.
Wheelan paints a picture of adventure and connectivity, juggling themes of local politics, global economics, and family dynamics while exploring answers to questions like how do you sneak out of a Peruvian town that has been barricaded by the local army? And, where can you get treatment for a flesh-eating bacteria your daughter picked up two continents ago? From Colombia to Cambodia, "We Came, We Saw, We Left" chronicles nine months across six continents with three teenagers. What could go wrong?
Like most recent college graduates, Jonah Winters is unsure of what's next. A young Black American raised in France and living in New York City, he tries on a couple of careers only to find that nothing feels right. And as Jonah struggles to envision his future, he feels pressured by his friends and family to put the struggles of his community before his search for self. But then a chance encounter with an ex-NBA player with his own regrets, inspires Jonah to take his life into his own hands. Deciding to leave the country entirely, he sets off for Brazil. And as he makes and breaks friendships on the way, reflects on his past relationships, and learns to rely on himself, Jonah slowly forms an understanding of self, community, and freedom that is rarely afforded to young Black men.
Based on the wildly popular Instagram account, Subpar Parks features both the greatest hits and brand-new content, all celebrating the incredible beauty and variety of America's national parks juxtaposed with the clueless and hilarious one-star reviews posted by visitors.
"Subpar Parks," both on the popular Instagram page and in this humorous, informative, and collectible book, combines two things that seem like they might not work together yet somehow harmonize perfectly — beautiful illustrations and informative, amusing text celebrating each national park paired with the one-star reviews disappointed tourists have left online. Millions of visitors each year enjoy Glacier National Park, but for one visitor, it was simply "Too cold for me!" Another saw the mind-boggling vistas of Bryce Canyon as "Too spiky!" Never mind the person who visited the thermal pools at Yellowstone National Park and left thinking, "Save yourself some money, boil some water at home."
Featuring more than 50 percent new material, the book will include more depth and insight into the most popular parks, such as Yosemite, Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon, and Acadia National Parks; anecdotes and tips from rangers; and much more about author Amber Share's personal love and connection to the outdoors. Equal parts humor and love for the national parks and the great outdoors, it's the perfect gift for anyone who loves to spend time outside as well as have a good read (and laugh) once they come indoors.
"A full-throttle, first-person account of the treasure hunt set in motion by Forest Fenn — an eccentric art dealer and, some would say, robber baron — in 2010 that lasted a full decade and became the stuff of contemporary legend. When Forest Fenn was told he was going to die, he hid a chest full of jewels and gold in the wilderness and published a poem that contained a series of clues about the treasure's secret location. But he didn't die, and he wouldn't reveal the location. The wild hunt went on for another ten years. Daniel Barbarisi first learned of Fenn's hunt in 2017 when a friend began decoding the poem and convinced Barbarisi to catalog his search. What began as a great story documenting the history of Fenn's treasure hunt — the rumors, characters, and pitfalls — quickly turned into a personal quest, as Barbarisi found himself on a sometimes reckless and possibly dead-end path, despite having a family at home. Over the course of the next three years, several searchers would die, endless controversies would erupt, and one anonymous unknown would find the ultimate prize. Rich with mystery, danger, and break-neck action, Barbarisi's account of the imagination and drive of desire, of obsession, and of a particularly unbridled adventure is pure gold on the page"
"When Poppy met Alex, there was no spark, no chemistry, and no reason to think they'd ever talk again. Alex is quiet, studious, and destined for a future in academia. Poppy is a wild child who only came to U of Chicago to escape small-town life. But after sharing a ride home for the summer, the two form a surprising friendship. After all, who better to confide in than someone you could never, ever date? Over the years, Alex and Poppy's lives take them in different directions, but every summer the two find their way back to each other for a magical week long vacation. Until one trip goes awry, and in the fallout, they lose touch. Now, two years later, Poppy's in a rut. Her dream job, her relationships, her life — none of it is making her happy. In fact, the last time she remembers feeling truly happy was on that final, ill-fated summer trip. The answer to all her problems is obvious: She needs one last vacation to win back her best friend. As a hilariously disastrous week unfolds and tensions rise, Poppy and Alex are forced to confront what drove them apart — and decide what they're willing to risk for the chance to be together."