Over the weekend I picked up a copy of Roads Less Traveled by Catherine Watson at our local public library. If you would like to escape to the far ends of the earth without leaving the comforts of your air-conditioned home, this book is a must read.
The author is a seasoned travel reporter with a rich, colorful writing style. The book is actually a series of stories about the remote places she has visited all around the world. You don't need to read it in any particular order. Just pick a place you'd like to visit and jump in. Through the author's vivid descriptions, I've learned what it was like to see polar bears in the arctic, live among orangutans, and be treated with herbs by a spiritual healer in the market in Mexico City.
The book takes me to places I've never heard of and will likely never go, but it makes me want to take out the atlas and dream a little. Give it a read if you have a chance this summer.