With the seasons changing, and this year keeping most of us home bound, it seems like the best antidote to the travel bug might be to hunker down with a book and get lost in the stories of others’ travels. To help you think about where to start when looking for a travel book, here is a short roundup put together by our very own expert (Rick Price) and some highlights from other lists we found to be particularly appealing. If you want just a summary of the “top” travel books we kept seeing in all the lists we browsed, here are 6 that caught our eye:
- Wild (Cheryl Strayed)
- Eat Pray Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
- Bill Bryson’s Walk In The Woods or In A Sunburned Country
- The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
- A Year In Provence (Peter Mayle)
- On The Road (Jack Kerouac)
Books About Epic Trips
From Rick: Classic bicycle travel books would be anything by Dervla Murphy, Joe Kurmansky’s “Metal Cowboy,” Barbara Savage’s “Miles from Nowhere” (really great writing), “Catfish and Mandala,” by Andrew Pham, and Josie Dew’s books.
From the web: The Guardian’s list of 10 Best Travel books includes more books about Epic Journeys than other lists we’ve found, including classics like Paul Theroux’s Dark Star Safari and lesser known books like The Crossway about a walk from Canterbury to Jerusalem.
Books About Road Trips
From Rick: Start with Kerouac but then go to some of the classics like “Travels with Charlie“ (John Steinbeck), “Blue Highways“ (William Least Heat Moon), and even Tom Wolfe’s “Electric Cool-Aid Acid Test” for a flashback to Ken Kesey’s America and the merry pranksters in the 1960s.
From the web: Oprah has a great list of 5 books that you probably haven’t heard of that would make anybody want to jump in the car and drive across the USA (or maybe Brazil!)
Books About Far Off Places
From Rick: The Places in Between, Rory Stewart’s walk across Afghanistan. Beth Jusino’s Walking to the End of the World: A Thousand Miles on the Camino De Santiago. And, of course, Stevenson’s Travels with a Donkey – that inspired Rick and Paola’s own trip with Benjamin the donkey across Greece.
From the web: We found Travel and Leisure’s list to have one of the better collections of books that may be less about the journey but more in depth looks at the history and culture of a place. I personally really enjoyed Circe.