I love reading as much history and culture as I possibly can before visiting a new country. I am listing books I have read in preparing to travel, but only the ones I really liked or found particularly useful. My list includes funny travel memoirs; non-fictional accounts of war, loss and tragedy; and fiction that provides depth and personal context to history.
Click on any of the links below to take you to my favorite travel prep books. When applicable, I will note the sites a book inspired me to visit. I only recently started keeping a record of my reading, so this list will grow over time.