Since all our summer vacation plans have gone out of the window, I bring to you short stories, novellas, and pithy memoirs that will take you to far-flung places. Check them out now:
Wind, Sand and Stars by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Written in French, Wind, Sand and Stars is a memoir by the French aristocrat aviator-writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. The book is a winner of several literary awards. It deals with themes such as friendship, death, heroism, and solidarity among colleagues, and illustrates the author’s opinions of what makes life worth living.
Silk by Alessandro Baricco
Silk is a 1996 novel by the Italian writer Alessandro Baricco. It was translated into English in 1997 by Guido Waldman. The novel’s protagonist is a French merchant who in 1861 follows the silk road across Central Asia. There’s something magnificently alluring about the way Baricco compresses time and space.
Consolations of the Forest by Sylvain Tesson
The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga is a 2011 book by the French writer Sylvain Tesson. In the book Sylvain Tesson explains how he found a radical solution to his need for freedom, one as ancient as the experiences of the hermits of old Russia: he decided to lock himself alone in a cabin in the middle taiga, on the shores of Baikal, for six months.
Cherry by Sara Wheeler
Apsley Cherry-Garrard (1886-1959) was one of the youngest members of Captain Scott’s final expedition to the Antarctic. Cherry, despite his short sight, undertook an epic journey in the Antarctic winter to collect the eggs of the Emperor penguin.
A Registry of My Passage Upon the Earth by Daniel Mason
Daniel Mason’s book is a collection of nine tales of human endurance. From the Nile’s depths to the highest reaches of the atmosphere, from volcano-racked islands to an asylum on the outskirts of Rio de Janeiro, these are tales of ecstasy and epiphany.
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning is a memoir by Laurie Lee, a British poet. Laurie Lee describes a long walk around Spain in the 1930s, when Europe was wide open, “a place of casual frontiers, few questions and almost no travelers”.