50 Museums to Blow Your Mind

I like museums. I like having my mind blown. I am clearly part of the target audience for this book.

Other things I appreciate about this book: It's a manageable size, slightly larger than a postcard. It features a diverse range of museums, both major institutions and lesser-known, more eccentric collections. Its tone and faux Q-and-A format are breezy; the authors are like interesting friends who always have the best vacation stories. And like so many Lonely Planet books, it's eminently flip-through-able.

My favorite section is on quirky museums: those passion projects of eccentric individuals that produce, say, a Turkish collection of women's hair, or the Japanese museum of instant ramen. I'd love to see this section expanded, at the expense of the more standard museum picks. Yes, the British Museum and the Acropolis are amazing destinations, but they're also very widely known already. The Watermelon Museum? Less so.

Another suggestion for the next edition, due out in 2020, is greater geographical reach. For one thing, the book includes only one museum in Africa. By 2020, I hope, I'll have made it to all of the museums in this edition that I've bookmarked (or, more accurately, sticky note-d).

50 Museums to Blow Your Mind

by Ben Handicott and Kalya Ryan

Lonely Planet

2016, 128 pages, 7.0 x 0.5 x 4.7 inches, Paperback

$8 Buy on Amazon

See sample pages from this book at Wink.