In addition to their extremely useful travel guides, books for kids, and coffee table-style books, Lonely Planet also puts out some fun and useful books for armchair travelers, people who like to prepare for traveling, and those who just like to be experts in everything, or at least have enough passing knowledge to converse on a wide variety of topics.
I’ll admit, I’m a sucker for travel books. But I don’t really enjoy the boring ones that cover the same thing everyone else has covered. Lonely Planet has been around since the 1970s and has been sharing the joy of world travel with us ever since. Some of their latest offerings include books which I will certainly make room for on my bulging bookcases.
Instant Expert is my new favorite book. Not a travel book per se, it invests at least two pages each to a slew of topics that can make you sound more educated. The book is divided into five sections including: Practical traveller, Health, Outdoors, Arts and culture, Food and drink, and Fun stuff. It even includes a spread in the back which teaches you to say, “Goodbye!” in many languages.
Written with a heavy dose of humor, the author quickly teaches you to be a flight attendant, an arthroscopic surgeon, a caber tosser, a book binder, a Japanese tea master, and a cat. Even if you have no inclination to be anything but what you are, this book is an entertaining and interesting read. You will learn something new, and be able to insert helpful tidbits of information into conversation at your next cocktail party or game night. “Did you know cheese rolling is a sport where runners race a giant wheel of cheese down a very steep hill? No? Well, it’s big in England.”
Instant Expert costs about $14.99 and is worth every penny. Enjoy yourself and learn a lot by perusing this fun, useful reference book.
Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips is a diminutive pocket guide dispensing advice on all aspects of travel. Divided up into preparation, logistics, pitfalls, and fun, the book highlights 50 of the most important tips to know in regard to travel. The back of the book also has some handy mini-guides which discuss climate, tipping, electrical outlets, and first aid.
A great book to toss in your carry on, Lonely Planet’s Best Ever Travel Tips costs about $9.99 and is worth bringing on any vacation or travel adventure.
An Innocent Abroad: Life-Changing Trips From 35 Great Writers takes us along on journeys all over the world with writers such as Dave Eggers, Jane Smiley, John Berendt, and Alexander McCall Smith. Some of the book’s authors may not be known to you, but their work likely is. Still, that doesn’t matter. Their travel stories can be our travel stories as we tag along to experience cabbage soup in Yugoslavia, traveling as a woman in Yemen, a special trip for a 45th birthday, and not getting a tattoo in Paris.
All the stories are short enough to read in one sitting. Perfect for a bathroom reader or for any armchair traveler, An Innocent Abroad costs about $11.99 and will charge (or recharge) your wanderlust.
Note: I received copies of these books for review purposes.