Do you like to know the history of a place you visit? If you believe, as I do, that it is exciting to be able to imagine the long ago events that happened in the buildings you're walking by, or on the land beneath your feet as you wander, then you need A Traveller's History series, published by Interlink Publishing Group.
Books in this series cover nearly 30 countries or cities. Interlink has chosen authors who know the subject well. Perhaps just as important, the authors write fluid, interesting accounts that are fun to read.
I'm looking at A Traveller's History of Croatia (2010) by Benjamin Curtis to give you an example. While I know next to nothing about the ancient roots of Croatia, my real interest lies in sorting out the struggles of the 1990's, when Yugoslavia broke apart and a horrible war raged between Croatia and Serbia.
That is the nice thing about these Traveller's History books–you can adapt them to your own interests. You do not have to follow them from chapter one to the final chapter. This is history without an exam at the end. You can choose to dip into a particular time period that interests you, or you can just flip to the excellent index and look up references to a city, region, person or event–boning up on a locale as you travel.
You will appreciate all the supplemental material: maps, historic photos, a list of rulers by date, a chronology of major events (Croatia's timeline starts in the 7th Century B.C.), and a bibliography. Additionally, a gazetteer provides really helpful information for travelers, since it gives a thumbnail sketch of major cities and mentions the high points for sightseeing.
I have used books from this series in a several countries – Greece, Spain, Italy – and I will admit that at first glance they might seem a little overwhelming with all that information. But once I learned to use the book as a reference, dipping in where necessary, they served me well.
After I had read the section on the confusion of the recent war in Croatia – amazingly clear and concise – the author's writing drew me backwards through history until I had read almost all of the book. Croatia is not in my immediate travel plans, but Traveller's History added to my enjoyment as I read travel literature for review at A Traveler's Library. Last year a fantastic novel, The Tiger's Wife won award after award for its portrayal of the people and the confusion of war. This year I read a memoir of a family visit to Croatia, Running Away to Home.
Whether you are one of the many lucky travelers discovering the gorgeous coastlines and charming old cities of Croatia, or you're traveling in your mind only, you'll benefit from A Traveller's History of Croatia.
This post is written by Vera Marie Badertscher, who discusses books and movies that inspire travel at A Traveler's Library. The review includes a link to Amazon to make it easier for you to buy a copy of A Traveller's History of Croatia. You should know that although it costs you no more, as an affiliate of Amazon, A Traveler's Library will make a few cents on any purchase you make through that link. VMB Thanks you!