The Bookshelf: Some of My Favorites
1001 Historic Sites You Must See Before You Die
Richard Cavendish, ed.
The very best travel guide for history buffs, well written and beautifully illustrated.
Angry White Pajamas
A wonderful glimpse of life in contemporary Japan, by an Oxford-educated drifter who's drawn into the world of Japanese martial arts.
A British expatriate, the Mafia and truffles factor into this rollicking thriller set on the Cote D'Azur. I also recommend Mayle's Chasing Cezanne and Hotel Pastis.
Keath Fraser, ed.
Sometimes terrifying, sometimes humorous collection of writing on travel that turns out to be difficult to disastrous.
Black Rubber Dress
Sam Jones is a sexy female sleuth who makes Sam Spade look like a wimp.
Bury Me Standing: The Gypsies and Their Journey Isabel Fonseca
A beautifully-written exploration into the mysterious culture of the Gypsies.
The Club Dumas
A book detective travels across Europe in pursuit of a sinister killer in this stylish, intellectual thriller.
Complete Collected Essays
Pritchett is a huge literary talent, and you'll learn more by reading these 203 essays than you would from a World Lit course.
Danger!: True Stories of Trouble and Survival
Thrilling true tales by correspondents, tourists, divers, climbers and other world travelers.
The Destiny of Nathalie X and Other Stories
Eleven brilliant stories of globe-straddling desire by a master storyteller.
Superb history of the recent war between the Mafia and the Italian government.
The Feather Men
Sir Ranulph Fiennes
Riveting true story of an elite band of British ex-paramilitary operatives.
The History of Knowledge
Charles Van Doren
A concise compendium of everything we ever thought, discovered and created.
The Kama Sutra
Sir Richard Burton & F.F. Arbuthnot, trans.
There are numerous modern versions of this classic of eroticism, but they lack the mystique of the original translation.
An Incomplete Education
Judy Jones and William Wilson
Packed with information on history, art, philosophy, religion, literature and much more -- in short, everything you need to know. Best of all, its fun to read.
An Irreverent and Thoroughly Incomplete Social History of Almost Everything
A witty and informative compilation of what people through the centuries have had to say about such topics as music, education, literature and drink. One of my all-time favorites.
This epic, Pulitzer-Prize winning adventure is one of the best westerns ever written. Interestingly, it was born of a script McMurtry wrote for what would have been a 1972 western starring John Wayne and Jimmy Stewart.
Millenium: A History of the Last Thousand Years Felipe Fernandez-Armesto
Inform yourself with this, the best single-volume history of the millenium.
The Other Side of Everest
A writer joins a climbing team to scale the north face of Everest in the midst of a killer store. A thrill-a-minute true story.
The Pillars of Hercules
Theroux's grand tour of the Mediterranean is his best travelogue.
The Selected Poems of Federico Garcia Lorca
Sometimes haunting, always lyrical verse by one of the great poets. Don't quote Byron and Shelley to her, that's too old hat. Quote Lorca, and she'll be impressed.
Mesmerizing true story of Charles Sobhraj, the legendary, globetrotting criminal known as the Angel of Death.
Shadows in the Sun: Travels to Landscapes of Spirit and Desire
Writer/anthropoloist Davis (The Serpent and the Rainbow) delves into indigenous cultures around the globe.
Meet Nicholai Hel, mystic, linguist, Go master, expert lover -- and assassin. The ultimate thriller.
Sindh Revisited: A Journey in the Footsteps of Captain Sir. Richard Francis Burton
An excellent foray into exotic India.
The foremost expert on international crime informs us of the new, global, criminal consortium.
Tribes with Flags
More than just another travel book, as Glass delves deeply into the complex Middle East.
2201 Fascinating Facts
Read this book and we guarantee you'll always be able to rescue a faltering conversation with fascinating trivia.
The Vintage Menchken
Alistair Cooke, ed.
The best work of H.L. Mencken, whose caustic but charming wit made him, as Cooke says, "the one-man demolition crew of the genteel tradition."
The World's Most Dangerous Places
Robert Young Pelton
A must for the world adventurer, now in its fourth edition. Never leave home without it.
Witty and erudite commentary on subjects as diverse as fashion and politics.