The Best Books About Travel Adventures

By David Beaupre

The Books I Picked & Why

West with the Night: A Memoir

By Beryl Markham

West with the Night: A Memoir

Why this book?

From a precocious childhood on her father's farm in the wilds of East Africa to a self-sufficient young woman breaking wild horses, Beryl showed her grit. She found her true love when she learned to fly and eventually became the first woman to fly solo from east to west across the Atlantic. The book is beautifully written and is as inspiring as when first published in 1942. West with the Night will surely become one of your favorites.


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River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

By Peter Hessler

River Town: Two Years on the Yangtze

Why this book?

Hessler took up the cause and became a Peace Corps volunteer in China. Through his daily exposure to a very foreign culture, he was able to absorb and make sense of a country that few Westerners ever really get to know or understand. From beginning to end, River Town offers a glimpse into the inscrutable Chinese and their way of life. 


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On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey

By Paul Theroux

On the Plain of Snakes: A Mexican Journey

Why this book?

Another deeply insightful book from Paul Theroux, On the Plain of Snakes explores the cultural richness and sometimes dangerous aspects of Mexico. With a forward style and charisma, he comes face to face with narcos, police, corruption, migrants, and the sometimes frightening indigenous culture. His writings are not just all darkness and gloom. He goes to great lengths to describe the importance of family in a country with virtually no social network. He talks with the educated, the poverty-stricken, and even meets the leader of the Zapatistas.  After reading On the Plain of Snakes' you will develop a new appreciation for our Mexican neighbors, particularly concerning migration and the border control issues that have dominated the US for too many years. This is a long arduous trip which Theroux makes thoroughly enjoyable. 


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In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

By Hampton Sides

In the Kingdom of Ice: The Grand and Terrible Polar Voyage of the USS Jeannette

Why this book?

In the late 19th century, many experts believed that the Arctic polar region was warm and habitable. Explorers like the crew of the Jeannette were willing to risk their lives to be the first to reach this mistakenly tropical land at the top of the earth. As they ventured further north, the ship became trapped in the ice but every time you think the party is doomed, the story takes a surprising turn. Hampton Sides provides a well-written, well-researched true adventure thriller as the crew tries to survive a long, life-threatening journey across the broken ice of the Arctic and Siberia on their quest to return home.



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The Road

By Jack London

The Road

Why this book?

The Road is a fun, and at times fanciful, autobiographical collection of Jack London's experiences as a hobo riding the rails across America during the Depression of the 1890s. An entertaining, informative travel adventure from America's dean of adventure writers.


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