Must-Read Books: Shamanth Rao on Travelogues

Shamanth Rao is a traveler and travel writer. He spends most weekends driving, biking or on trains. He particularly loves exploring India’s west coast. He can claim to have actually traveled the length and breadth of India – having traveled across India by the Himsagar Express as well as from New Delhi to Dibrugarh(the Easternmost point on the Indian Railway).

The voracious reader and the ace quizzer that he is, Shamanth could have given us his top picks in anything from Sports to Banned books; Travelogues seemed to be the right topic for us to pick his brains on. So here you have Shamanth’s picks in Travelogues :

Motorcycle DiariesThe Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara: Getting a sense of Che’s sheer ambition on this trip (to motorbike across South America) is reason enough to read this book. The unbridled joy Che takes in traveling, and the freedom of his unplanned itineraries give this journey a refreshing spontaneity that easily overcomes the sometimes inelegant writing.

The Global Soul: Jet Lag, Shopping Malls, & the Search for Home by Pico Iyer : Pico Iyer writes about not-for-pleasure travel. He meditates on the transnational lifestyle and coalescing cultures. He examines what it is to live a jet-setting life, never quite belonging to any one place, and ruminates about what it means to call a place home. While this isn’t a book about places-to-see, it’s a very thought-provoking read about why we travel and what it means to belong to a place.

Following Fish

The Emerald Route by RK Narayan : RKN brings to his descriptions the same unruffled, straightforward style that make his fiction so lovable, as he tours Karnataka and writes about places in the state.

Following Fish by Samanth Subramanian : Intriguing and engaging in its choice of theme – traveling around India to follow how fish(and fish-eating) shape culture, this is a book that is comprehensive and original, yet witty and fun.

On The Road by Kerouac : A freewheeling, almost impulsive ride across America, inspirational in its embrace of near-unbridledfreedom and hedonism.

Where on earth am I? – Confusions of a Traveling man by Jug Suraiya : This is a series of short essays by Jug Suraiya about his favourite places. Warm, witty, funny, the brief essays are endearing snapshots of the places.

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