24 books in 12 months. That’s my Goodreads reading challenge for 2016. I failed to reach that number last year but this year I’m positive I’ll surpass it. I’m determined to stop buying books and actually read them.
Although I do read a variety of books, travel is one of my favourite genres, which I’m sure isn’t that surprising. I’m still getting through last year’s releases but 2016 already has some interesting books out and I’ll be updating this list as the year progresses.
Best Travel Books in 2017
Lingo: A Language Spotter’s Guide to Europe by Gaston Dorren
Exploring Europe through its languages and dialects.
The Only Street in Paris: Life on the Rue des Martyrs by Elaine Sciolino
“Sciolino reveals the charms and idiosyncrasies of this street and its longtime residents; the Tunisian greengrocer, the husband-and-wife cheesemongers, the showman who’s been running a transvestite cabaret for more than half a century, the owner of a 100-year-old bookstore… ”
The Geography of Genius by Eric Weiner
A journey around the world showing the connection between creativity and ingenuity to a certain time and place.
The Other Paris by Luc Sante
The side of Paris tourists and expats usually don’t see. “… the city of the poor, the outcast, the criminal, the eccentric, the wilfully nonconforming.”
Ultimate Travel: Our List of the 500 Best Places to See by Lonely Planet
A little coffee table fodder which would make a nice gift.
Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2016 by Lonely Planet
Another collection from Lonely Planet which might inspire you to get out and travel in 2016.
Best Travel Books of All Time
To be honest I have no idea of the best travel books of all time, I haven’t read anywhere near enough to make that claim but I do suggest checking out these travel books which are either my favourites or well known, highly recommended books from past years.
Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
I had no interest in Mt Everest before reading Into Thin Air but this book tells such a compelling story of the 1996 tragedy I became obsessed with it. What happened on top of that mountain that year was mind-blowing.
Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
I didn’t expect to like this as hiking is not my thing but the story is so much more that that. This solo hike was a life changing journey and even though I couldn’t relate to everything it hooked me in.
The Longest Way Home by Andrew McCarthy
I loved every minute of this until the last chapter when it became more about his family but I’m willing to let that self-indulgence slide. Again this is more about the final outcome than the journey but I loved reading about his adventures around the world.
The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner
A journey around the world to discover what makes people happy (or not) in their respective cultures.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
The story of an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel the world and sets off on an adventure from Spain to Morocco and then Egypt.
Venice by Jan Morris
An immersive experience of Venetian life, analysing its people, architecture, history, bridges, canals and so much more of this mystical city.
Tracks by Robyn Davidson
“… driven by a love of Australia’s landscape, an empathy for its indigenous people, and a willingness to cast away the trappings of her former identity. Tracks is the compelling, candid story of her odyssey of discovery and transformation.”
A Walk in The Woods by Bill Bryson
Hiking the Appalachian Trail. “Facing savage weather, merciless insects, unreliable maps and a fickle companion whose profoundest wish was to go to a motel and watch The X-Files, Bryson gamely struggled through the wilderness to achieve a lifetime’s ambition – not to die outdoors.”
The Beach by Alex Garland
A 20-something backpacker leaves in search of adventure and a secret island in Thailand, a utopia unspoilt by tourists.
Paris Was Ours by Penelope Rowlands
A collection of memoirs from Paris, a city which often seduces and changes long-term visitors forever.
Down Under: Travels in a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
Observations of life in Australia from the city to the bush and all the deadly creatures spotted along the way.
The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto Che Guevara
23 year old Che Guevara’s seven month road trip around South America before he became a revolutionary leader.
Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
The true story of Chris Mccandleuss, a guy who gave up all his possessions to head into the Alaskan wilderness and live a life off the grid. He only lasted 4 months.