Friday, June 28, 2013

Five top books on unusual journeys

Christopher Clark is a professor of modern European history and a fellow of St. Catharine's College at the University of Cambridge, UK.  His latest book is The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914.

For the Wall Street Journal, Clark named five top books about unusual journeys, including:
The Little Prince
by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1943)

In this book, a childhood favorite that I have since read countless times, an ethereal boy from a distant asteroid and a pilot forced to land in the Sahara engage in conversation. As a child, I was gripped by the sense that there was more to this strange tale than I could actually understand. A cosmonautical boy with no visible means of transport, a vain and needy rose, a fox who wants to be tamed, a lamplighter who can never rest because the sun rises and sets every few minutes on his tiny planet—this was a long way from the cozy world of "The House at Pooh Corner." I still remember the jolt of recognition when I first understood the true meaning of the scene where the deadly yellow desert snake, entwining herself around the boy's ankle, promises to take him back to where he came from. I told my mother: "I felt happy and sad at the same time." "That's called being moved," she replied.
Read about the other books on Clark's list.

The Little Prince is among the best literary quotes ever tattooed, Simon Callow's six best books, Sita Brahmachari's top 10 books that take you travelling, Maria Popova's seven essential books on optimism, and Dalia Sofer's most important books.

--Marshal Zeringue