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The 7 Books To Read Before Travelling To North America

Here are the Books To Read Before Travelling To North America

Now’s the time to start thinking about your travel plans for 2020. And, whether you intend to backpack solo through Europe or fancy taking a trip to Asia in pursuit of tasty food and a life-changing spiritual experience, reading during your journey can help to enhance your trip.

CarRentals.com did a study regarding the quest for wanderlust and how literature plays a role in modern-day adventure. And, they found that while travel guides and even online publications like ours exist, when you’re on the ground, there are few better ways to immerse yourself in the local culture than by talking to locals about their national literature or diving straight into one of the country’s most famous books.

These are the seven books that you should read before travelling to North America. All of them are written from a native’s perspective and will help you understand the culture from their eyes. Get ready for a whole new wave of literary travel.

For more literary travel recommendations, check out the full list and map of World Travel Through Literature.

Books To Read Before Travelling To North America, How do these rankings work?

1. The Inconvenient Indian

Best to read before travelling to: USA or Canada

What it’s about: “A critical and personal meditation that the remarkable Thomas King has conducted over the past 50 years about what it means to be “Indian” in North America.”

Inconvenient Indian


2. The Labyrinth of Solitude

Best to read before travelling to: Mexico

What it’s about: “The Labyrinth of Solitude is a beautifully written and deeply felt discourse on Mexico’s quest for identity that gives us an unequalled look at the country hidden behind “the mask.”

Labyrinth of Solitude


3. Alone Against the North

Best to read before travelling to: Canada

What it’s about: “When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him, and made him a media sensation.”

Alone Against the North


4. Like Water for Chocolate

Best to read before travelling to: Mexico

What it’s about: “A story of love, war, food, and family traditions on a ranch close to the U.S. border during the Mexican Revolution. The book speaks to many people’s experience of the magic and the mundane intertwining effortlessly throughout the country.”

Like Water for Chocolate


5. La Llamarada

Best to read before travelling to: Puerto Rico

What it’s about: “This book by Enrique Laguerre, Puerto Rico’s only Nobel Prize nominee, was published in 1935 and details perhaps the worst part of the Great Depression. The story tells the history of the island’s sugar industry, class struggles, and that day-to-day lives of Puerto Ricans in the early 20th century.”

La Llamarada


6. On Mexican Time

Best to read before travelling to: Mexico or USA

What it’s about: “When Tony Cohan and his wife visited central Mexico in 1985, they fell under the spell of an irresistible place. Recounting his awakening to needs he didn’t know he had, Cohan tells how they returned to California, sold their house, and cast off for a new life in San Miguel de Allende.”

On Mexican Time


7. On the Road

Best to read before travelling to: USA

What it’s about: “Sal and Dean go on a series of journeys that takes them from New York to San Francisco, then south to Mexico. Hitching rides and boarding buses, they enter a world of hobos and drifters, small towns and wide horizons. Adrift from conventional society, they experience America in the raw: a place where living is hard, but ‘life is holy and every moment is precious.’”

On the Road

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