W is for the Whole, Wide World

[Photo: Jan Hummelshøj, Greenland]

– for Kerrie´s alphabet in crime meme

This week I have chosen the whole world as my subject. One of the brilliant aspects of reading fiction is that it is such a comfortable and inexpensive way of travelling all around the world.

A few books that have taken me to other places:

A fine experience of travelling not only in space, but also in time, is Rebecca Cantrell´s A Trace of Smoke, the first Hannah Vogel story, set in Berlin in the 1930s – in an environment which is very different from my own in several ways.

Last year I read Sarah Andrews´ In Cold Pursuit, set in Antarctica. The story is a rather ordinary thriller, but the sense of being in Antarctica, having to cope with the difficulties of the cold climate is well done.

A third example is James Thompson´s Snow Angels. A noir story which describes the dark, depressing and seemingly everlasting winter of Finland.

What is your favourite fictional journey?

About Dorte Hummelshøj Jakobsen

I am a Danish teacher. In my spare time I read, write and review crime fiction.
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14 Responses to W is for the Whole, Wide World

  1. I think the journey into other lands is the reason I love reading so much. I don’t like to travel much (especially on planes) so what I read in books makes me happy!

  2. Oh, and thanks for the reviews on the books, I will check them out.

  3. Margot Kinberg says:

    Dorte – You’re absolutely right. Reading about other places is, indeed, one of the joys of reading. I could name a lot of books and series that have done that for me. Two of them are Alexander McCall Smith’s No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and Åsa Larsson’s Rebecka Martinsson/Anna Maria Mella series.

  4. Clarissa: I also think it is much easier to stay at home, letting others show us the world out there.

    Margot: fine examples of authors who capture the world their books are set in.

  5. Petty Witter says:

    I recently enjoyed A Beautiful Place To Die which was set in 1950’s South Africa then of course there are all the other adventures I have set in other worlds.

  6. Maxine says:

    Great idea for the alphabet letter. (Maybe V could have been planet Venus, that would have taxed everyone!).

    I like the journey in Tenderness of Wolves by Stef Penny. Also, though I did not like the book quite so much, there is a good journey in Let the Northern Lights Erase Your Name by Vendela Vida (oh, there’s another V!) I may have misremembered the author’s name but both first and second names start with V.

  7. I think the books that stand out most for me in terms of taking me to places I’ve never visited (and probably never will) are books like Deon Meyer’s Thirteen Hours and historical fiction like Andrea Levy’s The Long Song. These days I prefer virtual travel!

  8. Kelly says:

    You are so right about reading being a great way to travel. Participating in the Global Challenge this year has opened my eyes to many places I’ll probably never visit.

    I think the best travelling I do from reading, though, it time travelling. I love being able to visit Tudor England, ancient Rome, etc.!

  9. Tracy: I also enjoyed the sense of place in A Beautiful Place to Die, but I thought the story was a bit slow.

    Maxine: thank you. And X could be for X-ams (fortunately I have survived them for this school year) 🙂
    I must check out Stef Penny.

    Margaret: that is great, because Thirteen Hours is on my TBR!

  10. Kelly: travelling in time is indeed great – and probably much easier to do it via a book than in reality 😉
    I just think 100-200 years is quite enough for me.

  11. kathy d. says:

    Virtual traveling is my sole method of traveling, but I love it. No long lines, no hassles getting passports and tickets, no major expenses, yet getting the excitement of meeting new people and getting to know various environments. A favorite country for my traveling is Italy, whether in Sicily in Andrea Camilleri’s books or in Venice in Donna Leon’s. Iceland is another place I like to visit in Yrsa Sigurdadottir’s books.
    I enjoyed the sense of place and weather in Stef Penney’s book but found the plot very slow, felt like I was plodding through the winter woods very slowly.
    And the sense of place in Elly Griffiths’ books set on England’s East Coast is excellent, and to me, another reason to read them in addition to Ruth Galloway.
    And in Adrian Hyland’s and other books, Australia is a great place to virtually visit.

  12. Yvette says:

    I love your choice for W, Dorte. Travelling by book is a great way to go. The main reason I am an Anglophile today, is my early reading of all of Agatha Christie’s books set in an idyllic (to me) England. 🙂

  13. Betteskov says:

    I love the photo from Greenland – it brings back many memories from sailing down the West coast last summer! I am not the greatest fan for fictional travelling, since my ability to visualize places I haven´t visited is rather limited. Besides, nothing can measure up to “Twenty Thousand leagues under the Sea”, a fictional journey I made again and again as a child… I do, however, love to read books about places I have already visited and often use book (biographies or fiction) to catch up on some details I missed during my “whirlwind turism”. Currently, I am reading about Mary Stuarts travels around Scotland, and I often return to the Aussie outback and remember all the red dust and the tiny little dots 🙂

  14. Kathy: I do travel in real life now and then, but though I love the stay, the journey always takes a lot of my strength so travelling in literature has its advantages 🙂
    Like you, I love Sigurdardottir and Griffiths, but I have yet to try Hyland who is on my TBR.

    Yvette: there are several reasons why I am Anglofile, but two of them are the language and the literature 🙂

    Jane: I must remember to make you happy once in a while by posting one of my brother´s pictures. I am not sure I am very good at reading out of my own comfort zone either, but when I do have an idea of the place, I love reading about it.

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