100 books like A Land of Two Halves

By Joe Bennett,

Here are 100 books that A Land of Two Halves fans have personally recommended if you like A Land of Two Halves. Shepherd is a community of 11,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Llama Drama

Susie Kelly Author Of The Valley of Heaven and Hell: Cycling in the Shadow of Marie Antoinette

From my list on travel adventures on two wheels.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a writer, living in southwest France since 1995, and previously in Kenya for 20 years. Travel has always been my passion. I’ve written about hiking across France in Best Foot Forward, touring the perimeter by camping car in Travels with Tinkerbelle, cycling through the Marne Valley in The Valley of Heaven and Hell, and a Kenyan safari in Safari Ants, Baggy Pants and ElephantsRecently, due to COVID and with an elderly dog that suffers from separation anxiety, I couldn't leave for any length of time; I satisfy my wanderlust by reading other people’s adventures. My taste is for tales that include plenty of humour, and I’ve selected five which I have particularly enjoyed.

Susie's book list on travel adventures on two wheels

Susie Kelly Why did Susie love this book?

A vivid, amusing account of the author and her friend cycling and sleeping in the wild from Bolivia to Argentina. It is a story of determination and endurance as they push themselves to the extreme, always taking the hardest, highest route. Exhaustion, frustration, and sickness put their friendship to the test. 

As somebody who is the polar opposite, always seeking the easiest way, I was fascinated by this couple’s approach to adventure, and awed by their achievements.  

By Anna McNuff,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Llama Drama as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

**WINNER of the 2020 Amazon Kindle Storyteller Literary Award**

"Llama Drama is simply hilarious. If anyone wants something witty and moving at the same time. Also, something empowering, then this is the one for them. I literally inhaled it." -  Claudia Winkleman, TV Presenter and Author

What Amazon readers are saying about Llama Drama:

★★★★★ “Loved every minute of it!”

★★★★★ “An antidote for the madness of 2020”

★★★★★ “Truly inspiring”

★★★★★ “A brilliant book for anyone interested in travel, conquering their fears, cycling, adventure, South America”

★★★★★ “I couldn't put it down!”

★★★★★ “Buy the damn thing. It’s awesome!”…


Book cover of Notes from a Small Island

Karen Gershowitz Author Of Wanderlust: Extraordinary People, Quirky Places, and Curious Cuisine

From my list on making you want to travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been traveling since age seventeen when I boarded a plane and headed to Europe on my own. Over the next three years I lived in London, took weekend jaunts across the continent, and became completely bitten by the travel bug. Since then, I’ve traveled to more than 95 countries. I’ve lost and gained friends and lovers and made a radical career change so that I could afford my travel addiction. Like my readers, I am an ordinary person. Through travel I’ve learned courage and risk-taking and succeeded at things I didn’t know I could do. My goal in writing is to inspire others to take off and explore the world.

Karen's book list on making you want to travel

Karen Gershowitz Why did Karen love this book?

Shortly after it was first published, I picked this book up in the bookstore at Heathrow on my way home from a business trip. I spent the entire flight glued to it and laughing out loud.

This was Bryson’s first travel book and one that changed my perception of what travel writing could be. It is perceptive, irreverent, and focuses on the small, often quirky, details that make travel so interesting. I am now a huge fan of all of Bryson’s books, but this was the one that got me hooked.

By Bill Bryson,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked Notes from a Small Island as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1995, before leaving his much-loved home in North Yorkshire to move back to the States for a few years with his family, Bill Bryson insisted on taking one last trip around Britain, a sort of valedictory tour of the green and kindly island that had so long been his home. His aim was to take stock of the nation's public face and private parts (as it were), and to analyse what precisely it was he loved so much about a country that had produced Marmite; a military hero whose dying wish was to be kissed by a fellow named…


Book cover of A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland

R.A. Dalkey Author Of The Road to Innamincka

From my list on crazy travel adventure you get to live vicariously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a stubborn ox who won’t ever accept that something can’t be done. Tell me I can’t be a Formula 1 reporter for a particular magazine on the other side of the world, and I’ll embark on a journalism degree. Tell me I can’t be a professional golfer, and I’ll quit my job to get practicing. Tell me I can’t camp here, and up goes my hammock. Tell me to grow up and stop fantasising about driving road trains in Australia, and you’re basically insisting I get a truck licence. I like that being this way creates unique stories and that I have a little talent for writing them down.

R.A.'s book list on crazy travel adventure you get to live vicariously

R.A. Dalkey Why did R.A. love this book?

How could I not love a book written by a fellow ‘Brexit refugee’? Around the same time Ben Aitken moved to Poland in the wake of the momentous 2016 UK referendum, I fled to Austria. Although we had different motives and his time in Poznan was a temporary adventure, I had to know how it went! And I wasn’t disappointed. There’s dry humour, plenty of self-deprecation, and lots of interesting trivia, which I like. Best of all, it’s a unique premise: “Britain has just reacted to ‘Poles taking our low-paying jobs’. So let me be the first Brit to try going to Poland as a manual labourer, and see how that pans out.” To learn the answers, and have your thoughts provoked whilst being thoroughly entertained, I recommend joining Aitken in the chip shop!

By Ben Aitken,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Chip Shop in Poznan as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A TIMES BESTSELLER

'One of the funniest books of the year' - Paul Ross, talkRADIO

WARNING: CONTAINS AN UNLIKELY IMMIGRANT, AN UNSUNG COUNTRY, A BUMPY ROMANCE, SEVERAL SHATTERED PRECONCEPTIONS, TRACES OF INSIGHT, A DOZEN NUNS AND A REFERENDUM.

Not many Brits move to Poland to work in a fish and chip shop.

Fewer still come back wanting to be a Member of the European Parliament.

In 2016 Ben Aitken moved to Poland while he still could. It wasn't love that took him but curiosity: he wanted to know what the Poles in the UK had left behind. He flew to…


Book cover of Don’t Go There

R.A. Dalkey Author Of The Road to Innamincka

From my list on crazy travel adventure you get to live vicariously.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a stubborn ox who won’t ever accept that something can’t be done. Tell me I can’t be a Formula 1 reporter for a particular magazine on the other side of the world, and I’ll embark on a journalism degree. Tell me I can’t be a professional golfer, and I’ll quit my job to get practicing. Tell me I can’t camp here, and up goes my hammock. Tell me to grow up and stop fantasising about driving road trains in Australia, and you’re basically insisting I get a truck licence. I like that being this way creates unique stories and that I have a little talent for writing them down.

R.A.'s book list on crazy travel adventure you get to live vicariously

R.A. Dalkey Why did R.A. love this book?

A humorous travel book that visits a bunch of places I’ve been to, including Pyongyang, Jerusalem, and…Thetford! Yes, please! If you’ve lived a life like Fletcher’s or mine, you’ve got no need for fiction because you know that people putting themselves out there in the real world delivers story-fuel beyond compare. The ‘quest’ here is to ‘lose himself and find everyone else in the world’s strangest places.’ Okay, it’s a little ethereal and refers to some of his relationship woes—but those words give you a perfect insight into the novel way in which the author sees the planet around him. Oh, and having also landed up basing myself in a Germanic country, I can relate to his experience of having a Teutonic girlfriend too!

By Adam Fletcher,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Don’t Go There as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

How much would you risk to change your life?

Would you go where everyone else is trying to leave? Bestselling author Adam Fletcher did…

In this unusual, hilarious travel memoir, he visits ten of the strangest places on earth. There's something he wants to know. Something no-one is telling him.

To find the answer he’ll enter a blizzard in China armed with only a pack of biscuits; ponder the apocalypse in Chernobyl; be chased by the Croatian police on his way to Liberland (the world’s newest country); stalk the Sheriff of Transnistria (its most corrupt); and come face-to-face with two…


Book cover of Vegan Travel Handbook 1

Wendy Werneth Author Of Veggie Planet: Uncover the Vegan Treasures Hiding in Your Favorite World Cuisines

From my list on vegan travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve been living a semi-nomadic lifestyle and traveling the globe for all my adult life, and travel has truly shaped who I am. In 2014, when I learned about the many advantages of a vegan lifestyle for my health, the planet, and the animals, I felt compelled to make the change. There was one thing holding me back, though, which was the fear that being vegan would ruin travel. Fortunately, I gave it a trial run anyway during a three-week trip to Greece and discovered that being vegan actually made traveling even more fun! Ever since, I’ve been sharing my global vegan discoveries on my website, the Nomadic Vegan.

Wendy's book list on vegan travel

Wendy Werneth Why did Wendy love this book?

Since there are not that many vegan travel books on the market (yet), this title sneaks onto this list, but with a caveat. This book is a collaboration by multiple authors, and some parts are definitely better than others.

The general travel information was clearly written by a vegan and is right on point. However, some of the destination-specific sections seem to be lifted from Lonely Planet’s other titles and weren’t written from a vegan perspective.

While the information about vegan food options in various countries is accurate, a vegan lifestyle is not just about food. Rather, it’s about avoiding causing harm to animals as far as possible through the choices we make in all aspects of our daily life.

Some of the activities mentioned in the Vegan Travel Handbook do not fit within this worldview, which may be off-putting for vegan readers. Nevertheless, for new vegans or vegan-curious travelers…

By Lonely Planet Food,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vegan Travel Handbook 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Whether you've been vegan for years or are travelling as one for the first time, The Vegan Travel Handbook will help you discover, plan and book a huge range of vegan-friendly adventures around the globe.

Get essential advice and expert tips on everything from where to go when and the best vegan restaurants, accommodation and cities, to how to stay healthy on the road and order food with confidence. We also reveal unmissable vegan tours, festivals and food trucks.

From cooking classes in India to wildlife watching tours in New Zealand, Lonely Planet shows you how to explore the world…


Book cover of Kiwis Might Fly: A New Zealand Adventure

Patrick Forsyth Author Of Smile Because It Happened: Antidotes to Melancholy in Thailand, the Land of Smiles

From my list on feeding your lust for travel.

Why am I passionate about this?

I worked for many years in business consultancy before branching into other genres, including fiction. Through working regularly in Singapore I was able to travel around the region, finding I loved that part of the world. I came to regard Thailand as the jewel of Southeast Asia. I continue to visit and aim for my light-hearted travel writing to encourage others to enjoy the area and be ambitious in their travel plans. I regard my book as an invitation to share my love of a unique place and was delighted when one reviewer described my writing of it as “Brysonish.”

Patrick's book list on feeding your lust for travel

Patrick Forsyth Why did Patrick love this book?

This writer wrote a series of delightful travel books, but I have found nothing new from her recently, sadly. This book starts wonderfully; the author passes her test to ride a full-size motorbike, which she can barely hold upright and decides (as you do) to test out her newly acquired skills by riding throughout New Zealand.

There is a good description here about a great country and humour too–all enhanced by the struggle to make progress with this, for her, a new form of transport.

By Polly Evans,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Kiwis Might Fly as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

Polly Evans was a woman with a mission. Before the traditional New Zealand male hung up his sheep shears for good, Polly wanted to see this vanishing species with her own eyes. Venturing into the land of giant kauri trees and smaller kiwi birds, she explores the country once inhabited by fierce Maori who carved their enemies’ bones into cutlery, bushwhacking pioneers, and gold miners who lit their pipes with banknotes—and comes face-to-face with their surprisingly tame descendants. So what had become of the mighty Kiwi warrior?

As Polly tears through the countryside at seventy-five miles…


Book cover of The Last Train to Zona Verde: My Ultimate African Safari

John Ahern Author Of On the Road . . . with Kids: One Family's Life-Changing Gap Year

From my list on inspirational life-changing memoirs.

Why am I passionate about this?

John was born in Brisbane, Australia, and grew up roaming the beaches and playing backyard sports with his mates. His career spanned from mowing lawns and packing groceries, to being the Global Head of Acquisitions for a public listed travel company. In between bouts of work, he has travelled through over 80 countries, and been shot at, tear-gassed, robbed at gunpoint, and locked up in an African jail. He has stowed away in a Columbian cargo plane and been a passenger in two train derailments. John now lives with his family in the comparative safety of the Currumbin Valley on Australia’s Gold Coast. He considers it their base camp.

John's book list on inspirational life-changing memoirs

John Ahern Why did John love this book?

How could I leave out the doyen of modern-day autobiographical travel writing? Paul Theroux’s list of books describing his overland adventures and the history and culture of places he rides through, is impressive. He is funny, cantankerous, offensive, likable, and informative. I chose his last book Zona because he travels the same path I myself once took. It also differs from his earlier tomes in one distinct way; Paul undertook the hard overland journey from Cape Town to Angola at age 71, when most of us expect to be tucked up in bed with a warm toddy and a cat purring at our feet. His perspective from an older man commentates on and compares the Africa he once knew to now. At times, it’s a depressing tale, exposing stories of hunger and starvation, genocide, nature clogging with plastic, and vast examples of greed, climate change, wilderness destruction, and species extinction.…

By Paul Theroux,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Last Train to Zona Verde as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Following the success of the acclaimed Ghost Train to the Eastern Star and The Great Railway Bazaar, The Last Train to Zona Verde is an ode to the last African journey of the world's most celebrated travel writer, Paul Theroux.

'Happy again, back in the kingdom of light,' writes Paul Theroux as he sets out on a new journey though the continent he knows and loves best.

Having travelled down the right-hand side of Africa in Dark Star Safari, he sets out this time from Cape Town, heading northwards in a new direction, up the left-hand side, through South Africa…


Book cover of Among the Russians

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From my list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Why am I passionate about this?

After reading travel books that voyaged beyond mere tourism into the life of the land, its people, and its histories, I found myself longing to launch my own journeys. I took a thousand-mile canoe trip with my son following the 1673 route of the French explorers Marquette and Joliet; I crossed the Rockies with two sons by foot, mountain bike, and canoe following Lewis and Clark and their Nez Perce guides; I took to sea kayak and pontoon boat with a son and daughter, 400 miles along the Gulf Coast in pursuit of the 1528 Spanish Narvaez Expedition. Writing of these journeys gave me the chance to live twice.

Steven's book list on travel that enrich landscape with history

Steven Faulkner Why did Steven love this book?

Colin Thubron showed me real travel writing: a journey in words that leads the reader through detailed landscapes, personal encounters with local people, and a depth of understanding that can only come through the human history of these landscapes.

I took this trip with Thubron when Russia was still the Soviet Union. Thubron met dissidents living in Moscow, drank vodka with them late into the night, traveled north to the remnants of Soviet concentration camps, took the rails through that vast continent across the steppes, over the mountains, around huge lakes, all the way to the Pacific coast. The book is beautifully written and introduced me to a travel writer I have read many times since.

By Colin Thubron,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked Among the Russians as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Thubron learnt Russian and entered the then Soviet Union in an old Morris Marina in which he camped and drove for almost 10,000 miles between the Baltic and Caucasus. This book provides a revealing picture of the many races who inhabit the country and the human side behind state socialism.


Book cover of The Pharaoh's Shadow: Travels in Ancient and Modern Egypt

Chris Naunton Author Of Egyptologists' Notebooks: The Golden Age of Nile Exploration in Words, Pictures, Plans, and Letters

From my list on history, archaeology, people, and places.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’ve always been fascinated by history and the sense of place. That has led to a career in Egyptology, but I’ve come to realise that that fascination has been a part of my other interests whether it be Arsenal Football Club, rock music, or cycle touring. I’ve had the opportunity to travel a lot in recent years. My horizons have broadened, and I’ve come to appreciate the natural environment and man’s place in it more and more. None of the books on my list were chosen because of this – I read them because I thought I would enjoy them, but there’s a common theme linking them all – places, people, interactions.

Chris' book list on history, archaeology, people, and places

Chris Naunton Why did Chris love this book?

Egyptology is a strange subject in that, even though you wouldn’t know it from the name, it really only concerns one aspect of Egypt – its ancient past – and it’s quite possible to develop an expertise in the field without having any familiarity with Egypt of the present day. One might become an expert in reading the hieroglyphic script, or in distinguishing an Old Kingdom statue from one sculpted in the New Kingdom, all without ever even visiting Egypt itself. Although this is an unintended consequence, it does rather foster the false idea that ancient Egypt is entirely unconnected from modern Egypt. But while more than a thousand years have passed since anyone worshipped the ancient gods or wrote anything in the ancient script, the two are very much connected of course – the natural environment, the land, and the climate are essentially unchanged, the modern people are the…

By Anthony Sattin,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pharaoh's Shadow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In a ruined temple along the Nile, Anthony Sattin sees a woman praying to the gods of ancient Egypt to bless her with a child. Later that day, a policeman stops his taxi to ask to borrow a mobile phone to call his mother. The ancient rubs up against the modern just as dramatically as when Flaubert wrote, 'Egypt is a wonderful place for contrasts - splendid things gleam in the dust". Anthony Sattin has tracked down extraordinary examples of ancient survivals in the hurly-burly of modern Egypt.


Book cover of The Geography of Bliss: One Grump's Search for the Happiest Places in the World

Paul J. Zak Author Of Immersion: The Science of the Extraordinary and the Source of Happiness

From my list on happiness that will improve your life.

Why am I passionate about this?

In my view, there is no bigger quest than to understand how to live a long and fulfilled life. Most of my professional life has focused on running neuroscience experiments in my academic laboratory and developing technologies for companies I have started to understand and increase happiness. I have devoted 20 years to this quest and I continue to work to build a happier and healthier world. I am one of the most cited scientists in this area and also regularly communicate to the general public through TED talks, books, magazine articles, and public lectures.    

Paul's book list on happiness that will improve your life

Paul J. Zak Why did Paul love this book?

The USA is unique in that our Declaration of Independence identifies the happiness of citizens as a goal when organizing the country. The Geography of Bliss asks why all countries are not similarly organized. This book is a fun romp as the author visits different countries that have radically different happiness levels and seeks to find out why. A key finding from the book is that a rich cultural life increases happiness. This is consistent with my research that has shown its connections to, and experiences with, other people that account for most differences in happiness. This book made me think about what communities can do to foster social connections that drive up happiness levels. 

By Eric Weiner,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked The Geography of Bliss as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

What makes a nation happy? Is one country's sense of happiness the same as another's? In the last two decades, psychologists and economists have learned a lot about who's happy and who isn't. The Dutch are, the Romanians aren't, and Americans are somewhere in between...

After years of going to the world's least happy countries, Eric Weiner, a veteran foreign correspondent, decided to travel and evaluate each country's different sense of happiness and discover the nation that seemed happiest of all.

*He discovers the relationship between money and happiness in tiny and extremely wealthy Qatar (and it's not a good…


5 book lists we think you will like!

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