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Books for Any Destination

At this time of year, the travel section at Politics & Prose seems to be a favorite destination of its own. Whether planning to venture far or near, travelers peruse our shelves for guide books, maps, portable dictionaries in foreign languages, and a wide array of titles dedicated to travel literature (think of Peter Mayle’s Year in Provence or Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild).

Frequently, we’re also asked to recommend books set in foreign places where travelers are going. But this summer, we’ve chosen to keep our own focus on the United States and have assembled a collection of books set in American locations. Under the heading “Reading Across America,” the titles we’ve selected are displayed in P&P’s front window and on a table on the main floor.

Bound for Nevada? Take a look at Claire Vaye Watkins’ edgy short story collection, Battleborn. Karen Russell’s Swamplandia! is the literary fiction pick recommended for Florida travelers, while readers searching for a story set in Rhode Island should turn to Jhumpa Lahiri’s best-selling novel, The Lowland. Given the popularity of Alaska during these dog days of summer, and the allure of the state’s vast wilderness, our staff suggests Blue Bear, a captivating story of author Lynn Schooler’s life and work in the Alaskan wild and his long quest to find an elusive glacier bear.

The Deep South, of course, is known for producing some of America’s best fiction, so the list of possible choices from that region is rich and long. We settled on William Faulkner’s As I Lay Dying for Mississippi and John Berendt’s Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil for Georgia. And even some states not associated with many authors, like North Dakota, are represented. That explains our selection of Sex, Drugs, and Cocoa Puffs by Chuck Klosterman, whose writings about pop culture often draw on his years growing up and working in the Roughrider State.

For all the titles included in our “Reading Across America” display, just click here. Better yet, come visit the store and browse our choices in person. They’ll be featured until the end of July.

Safe travels, whether you’re going by car, boat, plane—or simply by book.

--Brad and Lissa

 

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