February 2020 Book Recommendations

Updated: Jun 2

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One person's must-have travel item is not another person's must-have travel item. Must have items can vary from person to person. When I first started traveling I not only had must have packed items but must-have buy per destination. Whenever I traveled, I had to get a mug and a book. At first, it was great! I loved sipping from a mug from a place that held special memories. Or cracking open a book that had inscribed on the book flap where and when I got the book.

Well, this lead to less space so mug had to be let go as a must purchase item and replaced with a shirt or clothing items of some kind. The book? Well after a few books I bought since I had to buy a book turned out not being so great, I stopped that tradition too.


What I want to try sharing monthly is book recommendations since I love reading, but I haven’t been doing much of it lately. Here are some books I’ve enjoyed that caused me to either travel somewhere or enjoyed on a trip.


I hope you enjoy these books and they encourage you to travel!


Devil in the White City by Erik Larson

This book caused me to book a flight for the weekend to see Chicago. That might come off as an extremely bold statement, but it did. However, it was a few years for it to happen since I was 16 when I first read it. I was introduced to it in my American Studies class, junior year of high school. It was maybe the second book that I completed as necessary reading for school. Now, what is this book about? It is based in the early 19th century and talks about the constructions of the World’s Fair in Chicago. While the construction is happening, a serial killer uses that distraction to kill hundreds of women flocking to Chicago at the time.


If you enjoy historical novels, read this! Even if you’re not crazy into historical books, Erick Larson’s style of writing is not for typical style. This could be the perfect introduction for those who want to learn more history but haven’t found the right book.


2. Boys in a Boat by Daniel James Brown

Another history book! I know, I know! But this is another one that will encourage you to travel. I listened to Edward Herman's version on Audible and it was hard to hit the pause button. My sister started reading it when we went out to Washington and she couldn’t put it down! Boys in the Boat focus on a rowing team coming out of Washington State and the period leading up to World War II. The impact of the time period is reflected in these boys' lives and the decisions they had to make to stay in school and eventually to work to be on the rowing team and Olympic team.


There is a lot of adversity these men had to grow through. It is an inspirational novel that shows if you have a goal, and a will, you will put all you have to achieve it. Hard work and a strong work ethic doesn’t just come to you.

3. Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery

Growing up I loved watching Anne of Green Gables. It is filmed in Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. Both are major destination spots for me. If reading is not your favorite, Rachel McAdams does an amazing version on Audible that is a must listen!


Anne is a girl that is adopted by a brother and sister Matthew and Marilla Cuthbert. They thought they were getting a boy to help them on the farm, but instead, they get a freckled, red-haired, girl who cannot stop talking. They eventually win over the heart of each other and it’s a heartfelt story of friendship, family, and how stubbornness can be getting in the way of the greatest joy. How many times has your own stubbornness robbed you of something? I have surely been then and I always regret it and eventually have to apologize. This beautiful story is great for book clubs, sharing with a friend, or reading with a daughter.


4. Alone on the Wall by Alex Honnold



Right before going to Yosemite I get really into climbing, both bouldering and top-roping. I love both. Bouldering, my broken ankle doesn’t want to return and have a repeat experience so we’ll stick to top-roping. Anywho! Alone on the Wall is written by Alex Honnold. If you don’t know who he is, check out Free Solo. Yes, that guy!

If you’re a climber or just curious about the spot, I recommend checking out his book. He speaks about how he started climbing and how he got into free soloing. It helped give me an understanding of a sport I enjoy and hear someone share the climbing world in a way I don’t experience. I don’t foresee myself living in a van to climb the world. Not my cup of tea which some will say then I’m not a real climber, so be it! But if you enjoy learning about different communities, this is a good book to learn about the climbing community. It also sheds more light behind the man who free soloed El Cap.


5. 1776 by David McCullough

Have you read my blog spot on Why Explore Piermont and Tappan, New York? If not, go check it out. I know I have 3 books that are historical genre on this list, however, they each fulfill different styles, audiences, and periods. Now 1776 is about George Washington and his men coming up the Hudson River through New Jersey and strategizing to defeat the British soldiers.

If you enjoy learning about the Revolutionary War, this is a must-read. If you don’t remember learning about the Revolutionary War in school, it’ll be a refresher for you.


Let me know your book recommendations in the comments below!


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Copyright  © 2020 by Rebecca Noelle