WHEN I CAN’T AFFORD TO TRAVEL, I find myself casting about for cheaper ways to discover something new about myself and the world. The obvious choice is to buy a new book. But not all books serve as doorways into new worlds. Some are like comfort food. Some books are no better than looking at a friend’s vacation photos: sure, it’s new, but there’s nothing about them that changes the way you think.
There are travel books, and then there are books that have the same effect on you as travel. Here are four of the latter.