A lot of us are pretty screen-fatigued right now, and what better way to counter that than to curl up with a good book that stokes inspiration for travels that could be mere months away! Below we offer pairings of some great new books recently published alongside immersive virtual travel options; watch a video, click through expansive 360′ panoramic photos, take the Trans-Siberian railway at your laptop, then set it down and pick up a new book to go the rest of the way in your mind!
This gorgeous photo essay gets up close and personal with nomadic hunters in Mongolia. Not far away, Chinese writer Li Juan follows Kazakh herders across the Chinese Steppes in the newly translated Winter Pasture: One Woman’s Journey with China’s Kazakh Herders.
This virtual tour of Cambodia’s Angkor Wat incorporates photos, history, and digital reconstructions to make you feel like you’re in the center of this ancient city. Alongside that, Annalee Newitz’s new book Four Lost Cities: A Secret History of the Urban Age looks at pivotal ancient cities and what they meant for human history.
Want to see Russia but without that pesky Visa required for U.S. tourists? Check out this virtual tour of Russia with jaw-dropping aerial videos. Then swoop down to earth with George Saunder’s A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life, a funny and moving look at some of the greatest short stories in Russian literature, and what they can teach us about reading attentively, writing insightfully, and living fully. For a full-on novel, Yaniv Iczkovits’s The Slaughterman’s Daughter, the story of two sisters on a shtetl in 19th century Russia.
The many cultural institutions of Paris offer up virtual tours of their offerings, including the Louvre, the National Opera, and Sacre Coeur. Follow that with The Grande Odalisque, a graphic novel by Jerome Mulot, Florent Ruppert, and Bastien Vives, an art heist adventure featuring a theft from the Louvre!
This beautiful video shot at night takes you on an intimate tour through the art and streets of Marseile. A perfect accompaniment for
Three O’Clock in the Morning by Gianrico Carofiglio, translated from the Italian by Howard Curtis, about a father and a son spending two sleepless nights exploring Marseille.
Google has this incredible feature up now, the Hidden Worlds of the National Parks, that takes you on tours of the parks with park rangers to see things you’d never catch on your own! This might be a good one to check out while reading Leave Only Footprints: My Acadia-to-Zion Journey Through Every National Park by Conor Knighton, a memoir in which he visits literally every national park!
This gorgeous virtual tour takes you to breathtaking summits for unparalleled views of Machu Picchu. Once your mind is full of Peru, cross Latin America with Marie Arana’s new (in paperback, anyway) sweeping history, Silver, Sword, and Stone: Three Crucibles in the Latin American Story. And of course, if you haven’t read it, you must check out Turn Right at Machu Picchu!