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Holiday Book List for the Grounded Traveler

Just in time for holiday break, another team entry of The Goldluu's! This post is written by our newest team member, Mollie Grubman. She is a new college grad and adventurer! Enjoy her travel bug turned book critic (thanks to covid).

During normal times, you’d find me with my head in the clouds – literally! I am an avid frugal traveler. I’ve gone on many expeditions around the country and the world on a shoestring budget. However, now is obviously not the time for me to indulge in my travel hobby.

Despite the stay-at-home orders, I am still able to curb my wanderlust. Instead of buying an expensive plane ticket, I’ve been reading books. I’ve found myself on some of the most incredible adventures from the comfort of my own home. Today, I’d like to share three great books that gave me a taste of travel during the pandemic.

The Hobbit, or There and Back Again by J. R. R. Tolkien

Talk about an adventure! I loved reading this book – it artfully mixed elements of the coziness of home, the excitement of adventure, and the thrill of stepping outside of one’s comfort zone together into a fun story. I love the protagonist, Bilbo and all of the people he meets during his adventures. It’s worth a read – or even a reread! I even have the Yiddish translation of this one on my shelf.

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

I actually found this book in a box of old books from my grandma’s house. I’d never read it as a child, so I decided to take it for a spin. It’s a fun jaunt into a fantasy world full of action, adventure, and so many puns. I can envision myself reading this novel to my future children one day as an epic, multi-part bedtime story. Still, it’s a fun book to revisit even as an adult.

Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly by Anthony Bourdain

I devoured this book when I was living in Milan last year. It made me entirely homesick for the United States – New York, specifically. The sights, sounds, and tastes in Anthony Bourdain’s memoir enticed me and took me on an incredible ride through the restaurant industry. Although there are a few not-so-savory parts (don’t order fish on Mondays…), the book as a whole makes my mouth water!

This is only a selection of three, but there are many great books on there to take you on awe-inspiring adventures from the comfort of your own home. If you have suggestions, send them to me and I’ll add them to my own list!