My Favorite Travel Book: The Historian

The Historian

My absolutely favorite book about travel is called The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova.  It is a tale of three intersecting timelines of a family working together to track down and eliminate Dracula. The story spans several different generations and also several different countries during these different time periods.  I am probably going to botch the summary of this book so here is what it says on the back of the book:


“Late one night, exploring her father’s library, a young woman finds an ancient book and a cache of yellowing letters.  The letters are all addressed to “My dear and unfortunate successor”, and they plunge her into a world she never dreamed of – a labyrinth where the secrets of her father’s past and her mother’s mysterious fate connect to an inconceivable evil hidden in the depths of history.

The letters provide links to one of the darkest powers that humanity has ever know – and to a centuries-long quest to find the source of that darkness and wipe it out.  It is a quest for the truth about Vlad the Impaler, the medieval ruler whose barbarous reign formed the basis of the legend of Dracula.  Generations of historians have risked their reputations, their sanity and even their lives to learn the truth about Vlad the Impaler and Dracula.  Now one young woman must decide whether to take up this quest herself – to follow her father in a hunt that nearly brought him to ruin years ago, when he was a young vibrant scholar and her mother was still alive.”

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

This book has inspired me to go to many different locations and we honestly have traveled to Romania and Istanbul because of this book.  I have read The Historian several times and I also have it on audiobook.  I am obsessed!  I love the blending of the different timelines with different cities and the adventure and history in this book.  Everytime I read it I want to go off on an adventure, to hunt down mysteries of the past, especially if Dracula is involved.  This book totally feeds into my nerdy history side as well as the adventurous side.  The Historian gets me: a little nerdy, partly wanting to spend time in the library but also wanting to explore the world.  It is everything I am looking for a travel book.  It may not be your typical travel memoir but it does inspire me to travel and really what else are you looking for in a travel book?


2 thoughts on “My Favorite Travel Book: The Historian

  1. Oh yes, I remember that book. Not only a really fascinating story, but indeed a colourful tale of quite a number of picturesque destinations. I agree, in particular the Istanbul part really seems to be written just to infect the ready – any ready – with wanderlust! 😉 That neversleeping melting pot of culture, history and religion definitely is high up on the list of my most favourite travel destinations. Ah, I think you made me read that book again. 😉



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