The best travel memoirs that will both inform and amuse you

Mary-Lou Weisman Author Of Traveling While Married
By Mary-Lou Weisman

The Books I Picked & Why

The Innocents Abroad: Or the New Pilgrim's Progress

By Mark Twain

The Innocents Abroad: Or the New Pilgrim's Progress

Why this book?

The Innocents Abroad is the classic travel diary written by America’s most celebrated, tongue-in-cheeky humorist Mark Twain. For the five months that you are sailing with him and his select companions, you are privy to what he does and doesn’t like about his adventures on land -- Europe, Egypt, and the Holy Land -- as well as at sea. Twain’s laser focus on human foibles -- his own American-style arrogance and that of his fellow passengers -- is both hilarious and spot on. Written in 1869, his insights into human nature and travel still ring true.


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Neither Here Nor There:: Travels in Europe

By Bill Bryson

Neither Here Nor There:: Travels in Europe

Why this book?

I’m middle-aged and then some, and I’ve traveled to many places more than once. I was curious to compare my double experiences with Bryson’s. Would the Leaning Tower of Pisa be leaning even more? Would Paris disappoint on a second visit? I won’t tell, but bear in mind I hold a special place in my dark heart for snarky humor, which I find perversely amusing.


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Where Am I And Who's Winning?

By Andrew Baker

Where Am I And Who's Winning?

Why this book?

Pity or envy this sports journalist as he jet-lags around the world on an all-expenses-paid journey reporting on familiar Olympic events as well as competitive games he knows nothing about in countries he’s barely heard of – all on deadline. This is a hilarious whirlwind read for the armchair traveler. Although I’ve been a journalist and written several funny memoirs about travel, I have never had or even imagined such a unique travel experience. Probably neither have you. I loved the crazy pace, and the odd events and places. This book is a legal high.


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Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day: One Man, Eight Countries, One Vintage Travel Guide

By Doug Mack

Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day: One Man, Eight Countries, One Vintage Travel Guide

Why this book?

The author gets ahold of his mother’s copy of Frommer's 1967 Europe on Five Dollars a Day and uses it as his basis for a contemporary visit. Like his mother, I, too, did the tour in 1967. I was curious to see what had happened to Europe and to my view of it. Of course, most of the restaurants no longer exist, and $5 dollars a day was more like $50 dollars a day, but this travel memoir is full of funny, disastrous, and touching adventures. I admit to a fondness for funny disasters.


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Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida

By Catherine Ryan Howard

Mousetrapped: A Year and A Bit in Orlando, Florida

Why this book?

Don’t be put off by the title. This is a funny, perceptive, deep dive into the workings of Disneyland. I’ve been to Disneyland in Orlando, Florida, and wondered about the inner life of this well-run American cultural phenomenon. I was surprised by some of what I learned – think the Great Wizard of Oz behind the curtain -- and enjoy the voice of this intrepid and funny author.


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