Farther Away by Jonathan Franzen
– I’d never read any of Franzen’s fiction, but based on this collection of nonfiction essays, there’s no doubt his voice is descriptive as it is powerful – comparable to voices like Eggers and Wallace. My favorite essay, so far, has to be the book’s namesake, “Farther Away.” It was published originally in The New Yorker, and takes place in Masafuera Island, next to Robinson Crusoe.
On The Trail of Genghis Khan by Tim Cope
– This book covers Tim Cope’s insane 10,000+ mile journey from Mongolia to Hungary by horse and foot. His writing style is unique, and it makes for a great armchair read. It’s super inspiring – it makes me want to take a trip of this caliber sometime soon. Don’t we all?
One More Thing by B.J. Novak
– Novak’s collection of short stories is crisp and easy to read – but not at the expense of sharp prose and well-crafted humor. Some stories are two pages and some are two paragraphs. He can really make the most out of his words, both in style and delivery.
The Best American Travel Writing (2007) – Various Authors, Editor: Susan Orlean
– I’ve read most of the essays in this series, and like most of them in past editions, they’re probably the best barometer for travel journalism today. But what surprised me about this edition was not that its essays were particularly bad, but that it’s introduction essay by Orlean was the best written piece in the entire book. She talks about a kind of wisdom you have in traveling, a desire to escape and what you can learn from being “detached.” Lots of lessons to learn from this small piece. One of my favorites.