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Check It Out: Traveling is your window to the world

January 08, 2011|By Jana Colver

Whether you're an armchair traveler, or you have the opportunity to visit other places beyond your immediate environment, travel gives us the opportunity to expand our minds and recognize the various ways that others are living and experiencing the world.

Mark Twain encapsulated this point when he said, "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the Earth all one's lifetime."

Here are some inspirational and adventurous travel books available at the Newport Beach Public Library to whet your appetite for travel:

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In "First Comes Love, Then Comes Malaria: How a Peace Corps Poster Boy Won My Heart and a Third World Adventure Changed My Life," Eve Brown-Waite shares her off-beat adventurous experience working as a Peace Corps representative in Ecuador. Her experience is enlivened with the fact she has fallen in love with her Peace Corps recruiter and traumatic memories of her past are triggered during her stay in Ecuador.

Hugh Pope, formerly the Wall Street Journal's Middle East correspondent, relays his observations, anecdotes and arguments about foreign policymaking in his book, "Dining with Al-Qaeda: Three Decades Exploring the Many Worlds of the Middle East." He covers the spectrum of social values, culture and politics that affect the Middle East's stance on warfare. Pope also walks the reader through the complex differences between Lebanon, Syria, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Israel.

In "The Black Nile: One Man's Amazing Journey Through Peace and War on the World's Longest River," Dan Morrison, a freelance journalist, provides a compelling travelogue of his 3,600-mile road-and-river journey down the length of the Nile River that starts at Lake Victoria in Uganda. He discusses the political climate of the areas in Sudan, describing a country torn between Muslims and Christians, desert and jungle, oil wealth and poverty, and Arab and African people.

K2, a mountain located in Pakistan, which is also known as the "Savage Mountain" because of the difficulty of climbing it, has the highest fatality rate among those who try to summit it. In "No Way Down: Life and Death on K2," journalist Graham Bowley re-creates the story of how a multinational group of climbers became trapped by a falling glacier at the top of K2 in August 2008.

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