10 Most Worthwhile Travel Books!
Travel writing is probably what inspires many of us to explore certain parts of the world. You might visit a particular corner of Cornwall because you ‘read about it somewhere’ or yearn to visit New York because it’s featured in so many of your favourite novels. There is a hell of a lot of literature about travel out there, so here a few top reads to whet your tastebuds;
1) Jack Kerouac, On The Road
This novel may have been written under the influence of several questionable substances, but it paints an unparalleled and vivid picture of road tripping in America. Grape and orange skies at sunset, the hum of an engine and Kerouac’s fine articulation of the movement mentality;
‘Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road’
A classic which should be enjoyed by every wandering soul.
2) Bill Bryson, Notes from a Small Island
Bryson manages to inject his travel anecdotes about his trips around Britain with warm humour and simple passion. His love of cities such as Durham is tangible and infectious, while his fearlessness to dismiss others is rather entertaining!
3) Paul Theroux, The Great Railway Bazaar
Theroux’s first book is a bible for regular train travellers. Covering journeys through Europe, Asia and the Middle East, Paul captures the delights of perpetual motion.
4) Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas
In some ways this is an anti-travel novel; this hilarious narrative totally disintegrates the typical ‘American Dream’ and yet still perpetuates something addictive about Sin City.
5) David Mitchell, Cloud Atlas
Travel is taken to every possible realm by Mitchell; geographical, chronological and imaginative. The principles Mitchell promotes are those of an open-mind, perfect to get you into the mindset for encountering new cultures and questioning your beliefs using the mode of travel and exploration. From 1930s Belgium to post-apocalyptic Hawaii, Cloud Atlas is a great novel to take for the ride. rsz_cloud 6) Karen Blixen, Out of Africa Although the author’s views may reveal themselves to be a little dated at times, this tale is ultimately one of falling in love with Kenya. Read, fall, visit.
7) Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia
Myth, science, history, linguistics and anecdotes are fused into a firework of a travelogue by Chatwin. Some of it may not be factually sound, but it certainly sets the travelling trend of discussing all and musing anything via the means of discovery, from Shakespeare to Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.
8) Jasper Winn, Paddle; A long way around Ireland
Kayaking around Ireland, finding the weather decidedly rubbish, giving up on camping and having several knees up in Irish pubs. A golden read.
9) Anthony Sattin, The Pharaoah’s Shadow: Travels in Ancient and Modern Egypt
Cleverly, Sattin looks for traces of the ancient world in people, rather than in architecture. Is the modern mindset still, in some ways, Ancient Egyptian? A fascinating read.
10) Sarah Moss, Names from the Sea; Strangers in Iceland
This is a tale ideal for anyone thinking of making a more permanent move abroad, as Moss narrates a family upheaval and a love affair with a strange, and sometimes troubled, culture.