It’s almost summer, which means improved weather and escaping the office to hit the road or the air. Here are four unique travel books to get you in the mood, with quotes from our reviews:

Figures in a Landscape by Paul Theroux: One of the masters of travel literature returns in this collection, which “intersperses feature-length articles, essays, and celebrity portraits with miscellaneous shorter pieces on writing, love, and life, including one unforgettable character sketch of his enigmatic father….Theroux manages an easygoing, self-effacing presence in his essays…and he locates his often witless or mystified self squarely within the frame of each encounter.”

Tip of the Iceberg by Mark Adams: “Adventure writer and journalist Adams (Meet Me in Atlantis) returns to the successful narrative strategy he employed in his previous books, melding history and travel writing in a winning combination….Here, he follows in the footsteps of Edward H. Harriman’s 1899 expedition to northern Alaska….Adams populates his story with hilarious tales and revealing encounters with guides, scientists, and a couple frisky brown bears.”

A Naturalist at Large by Bernd Heinrich: “A collection of essays on plants and animal biology and behavior by a scientist who is also a prolific, prizewinning author….The author is no casual observer of the world around him. When something catches his eye, he studies it intensely, counting, measuring, and dissecting….Heinrich’s personal touch and breadth of knowledge make this a satisfying outing for armchair naturalists.” 

Lament from Epirus by Christopher King: “The author was vacationing in Istanbul when he noticed a dusty collection of records on a shop shelf. Buying a few, he carefully transported the fragile discs home and, with great anticipation, played them….The music came from Epirus, a remote  region in northwestern Greece that had ‘steadfastly resisted assimilation’ for thousands of years….A fascinating journey led by a passionate guide.” Eric Liebetrau is the nonfiction and managing editor.