Memorial Hall Library

Great Travel Fiction: Independent of Mileage and Means

Cutting Back: My apprenticeship in the Gardens of Kyoto

Independent of mileage and means, great travel writing toys with identity and belonging in a way that is provocative and transforming. Geography is imbued with agency and is bound to the characters’ worldview. The impulse to explore is at the heart of all stories that reject the most powerful forces in any culture. At the reference desk, if a patron asks us for travel books, we lead them to Rick Steves, Lonely Planet and Fodors, all very useful resources. Our library prides itself on keeping a sizable and up-to-date collection of travel guides, magazines and videos for leisure and business travelers. But, our readers look for the frontiers of redemption, passage, love and understanding often in places that are not from the pages of Conde Nast Traveler. Contemporary themes in travel writing include migration, family dynamics, class and faith. Check out some of our latest travel fiction and memoir favorites and subscribe to our Armchair Traveler Newsletter and other book suggestion lists delivered directly to you via email. 

Love that boy : what two presidents, eight road trips, and my son taught me about a parent's expectations 
by Ron Fournier
Offers a memoir that explores the parental expectations associated with modern parenting from the father of a mildly autistic boy, who learned to accept his son's condition as the two travelled to national monuments and met with former presidents
A hundred thousand worlds 
by Bob Proehl 
Six years after abandoning her sci-fi television series and co-star husband in the wake of a devastating tragedy, Valerie Torrey embarks on a road trip back home to introduce their son to his estranged father, making life-changing stops at comic-con conventions along the way.

May cause love : an unexpected journey of enlightenment after abortion 
by Kassi Underwood

Traces the author's struggles with her teen decision to have an abortion, describing her healing explorations of such activities as a Buddhist water baby birth, a Roman Catholic retreat for abortion, a Jewish "wild woman" celebration and more.
Imagine wanting only this 
by Kristen Radtke
"A gorgeous graphic memoir about loss, love, and confronting grief. When Kristen Radtke was in college, the sudden death of a beloved uncle and the sight of an abandoned mining town marked the beginning moments of a lifelong fascination with ruins and with people and places left behind. Over time, this fascination deepened until it triggered a journey around the world in search of ruined places. In this genre-smashing graphic, she leads us through deserted towns in the American Midwest, Italian villas, islands in the Philippines, New York City, and the delicate passageways of the human heart.
Cutting back : my apprenticeship in the gardens of Kyoto 
by Leslie Buck
A garden designer and aesthetic pruner who specializes in natural design in the San Francisco Bay area presents a story of personal growth in which she recounts her apprenticeship with the most prestigious gardening firm in Kyoto, Japan, where she was taught many valuable lessons in both gardening and life.
Mexico : stories 
by Joshua Barkan
A short story collection by the award-winning author of Before Hiroshima traces the experiences of everyday citizens, expats and travelers in Mexico whose lives are turned upside down by the violence and chaos of the drug cartels.
The widow Nash : a novel 
by Jamie Harrison
The quiet adulthood of a woman who spent her childhood traveling is disrupted by her eccentric father's abrupt death and an investigative journey through early 20th-century America, during which she reads her father's journals for clues to what happened to the proceeds of a lucrative sale. By the author of Blue Deer Thaw.
The man who never stopped sleeping : a novel 
by Aharon Apelfeld
Follows the story of Erwin, a young Holocaust survivor, who travels from a refugee camp to a kibbutz in Haifa to begin a new life while still desperately clinging to his memories of the past.