40 books like Four Corners

By Kira Salak,

Here are 40 books that Four Corners fans have personally recommended if you like Four Corners. 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 Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle

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?

I think of myself as an adventurous traveler, but Dervla Murphy travels in a way that I would never even consider.

So, it’s a pleasure to sit in a comfortable chair and read about places I’ll never visit and people who I’d love to meet, but never will. Murphy writes so vividly I feel as though I am right beside her as she fends off wolves, struggles to drag a bicycle uphill through mountain snow, and shares tea with nomads.

This was her first book and every book that follows is equally compelling.

By Dervla Murphy,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Full Tilt as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Braving hunger, heat exhaustion, unbearable terrain and cultures largely untouched by civilization, Dervla Murphy chronicles her determined trip through nine countries, through snow and ice in the mountains and miles of barren land in the scorching desert. Full Tilt is a highly individual account by a celebrated travel writer based on the daily diary Murphy kept while riding through Yugoslavia, Persia, Afghanistan, over the Himalayas to Pakistan and into India. Murphy's charm and gracious sensitivity as a writer and a traveler reveals not only civilizations of exotic people and places but the wonder of a woman alone on an extraordinary…


Book cover of Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail

Jim Landwehr Author Of Dirty Shirt: A Boundary Waters Memoir

From my list on the trials and joys of outdoor adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have been a lover of all things outdoors since I was a boy. After my father was killed at a young age, my brothers and I took his love for outdoor adventure and made it our own. Fully aware of all that can go wrong, my brothers and I went into our ventures with a keen sense of humor. Camping, fishing, and kayaking all come with their own challenges and requisite hilarious moments. It is these moments of adversity, and personal risk, that are sometimes lightened by a good dose of laughter and levity.

Jim's book list on the trials and joys of outdoor adventure

Jim Landwehr Why did Jim love this book?

Much like A Walk in the Woods, Wild takes an ordinary person and puts them in an extremely challenging environment only to show they were unprepared for the rigors of the great outdoors.

Strayed has a similar goal to Bryson, but chooses the Pacific Crest Trail. The hike is an attempt at self-discovery as well as to challenge herself after experiencing various addictions and the loss of her mother. Strayed’s motives are not unlike those of my brothers and I as we ventured into the BWCAW while navigating our young lives as twenty-somethings.

By Cheryl Strayed,

Why should I read it?

27 authors picked Wild as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A powerful, blazingly honest memoir: the story of an eleven-hundred-mile solo hike that broke down a young woman reeling from catastrophe—and built her back up again.

At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail from the…


Book cover of Tracks: A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

Marianne C. Bohr Author Of The Twenty: One Woman's Trek Across Corsica on the GR20 Trail

From my list on by women about outdoor adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I married my high school sweetheart and travel partner, and followed my own advice to do graduate work, and started my career working for the French National Railroad in New York City, mapping itineraries for travelers to Europe. Travel means the world to me and if I don’t have a trip on the horizon, I feel aimless and untethered. I worked in book publishing for 30 years and dropped out of the corporate rat race to take a gap year abroad. I wrote about our “Senior year abroad” in my first book Gap Year Girl. I returned to the US to teach middle school French and organize student trips to France. 

Marianne's book list on by women about outdoor adventure

Marianne C. Bohr Why did Marianne love this book?

I read Tracks when I was in a travel book club 35 years ago and the author’s adventure has stuck with me.

It’s the story of a young woman who crosses the Australian desert from Alice Springs to Hamelin Pool on Australia’s western coast. She undertakes the journey with her dog, and four camels and as happens on such quests, Davidson encounters myriad setbacks: extreme heat, no water, wild animals, and poisonous snakes.

The author does a great job of describing the beauty and harshness of the infinite desert and her surprise at the generosity of those she met. As a young woman, Tracks inspired me to undertake my own adventures and I continue them today in my sixties. Hiking across England with my dog is on the calendar for next year.

By Robyn Davidson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A revised, reissued fortieth anniversary edition of this prize-winning, bestselling account of one woman's solo journey across 1,700 miles of Australian Outback 'I experienced that sinking feeling you get when you know you have conned yourself into doing something difficult and there's no going back.' So begins Robyn Davidson's perilous journey across 1,700 miles of hostile Australian desert to the sea with only four camels and a dog for company. Enduring sweltering heat, fending off poisonous snakes and lecherous men, chasing her camels when they get skittish and nursing them when they are injured, Davidson emerges as an extraordinarily courageous…


Book cover of A Pearl in the Storm: How I Found My Heart in the Middle of the Ocean

C L Stambush Author Of Untethered: A Woman’s Search for Self on the Edge of India

From my list on solo travel memoirs.

Why am I passionate about this?

I have a passion for proving women can go anywhere, do anything, be anyone they want! I’ve lived in, worked in, and explored more than 20 countries, traveling by foot, train, truck, bus, boat, camel, donkey cart, and motorcycle. I’m an award-winning creative nonfiction writer and a former National Motorcycle Instructor. My writing has appeared in the Chicago Tribune, Cosmopolitan, Far Eastern Economic Review, Travelers’ Tales, and more. I'm a Hedgebrook Writers’ Colony alumna and hold a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Indiana University and a master’s degree in creative nonfiction writing from Sarah Lawrence College. Untethered: A Woman’s Search for Self on the Edge of India—A Travel Memoir is my first book.

C L's book list on solo travel memoirs

C L Stambush Why did C L love this book?

Talk about a woman taking on a challenge to prove she can do it! Tori Murden McClure sails across the Atlantic Ocean in a 23-foot wooden rowboat. This is an immersive read, in which I felt what she felt as she powers the boat by human strength. Despite no real human interaction once she is on the water, McClure brings her experiences to life (she has to start over after going 3,000 miles) by narrating the journey in such detail that I was there with her. I personally find the open ocean terrifying and was grateful to have the “experience” without having to actually experience it. 

By Tori Murden McClure,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Pearl in the Storm as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

When mapmakers of the distant past came to the end of the known world, they would inscribe 'Here There Be Sea Monsters.' When Tori McClure attempted to row solo across the Atlantic Ocean in a 23-foot plywood boat with no motor or sail, she had no comprehension of the size of the monsters she would find. In deep solitude and perilous conditions, McClure was a loner determined to prove what one person with a mission can do. When she is finally brought to her knees by the worst hurricane season in the history of the North Atlantic, she must signal…


Book cover of Throwim Way Leg: Tree-Kangaroos, Possums, and Penis Gourds

Charlie Walker Author Of Through Sand & Snow: a man, a bicycle, and a 43,000-mile journey to adulthood via the ends of the Earth

From my list on solo adventure.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started solo travelling as soon as I left school, and since then I’ve spent many years doing so. I came of age while cycling, kayaking, hiking and skiing across distant lands. The bittersweetness of being alone on the road has become a source of constant fascination for me. The on-again-off-again loneliness creates a state of mind where you’re that much more willing to throw yourself in at the deep end, to meet strangers, and to look, listen and learn. At its very best, solo travel writing seamlessly encompasses two journeys: the physical journey in a foreign land, and the psychological journey within the author.

Charlie's book list on solo adventure

Charlie Walker Why did Charlie love this book?

Throwim Way Leg is an otherworldly account of a country I’ve come to know well in recent years. Biologist Tim Flannery travelled far and wide in this land of mountains and jungle throughout the 80s, when ancient and unsavoury practices were still widespread, or at least existed in very recent memory. The book is a hilarious, non-judgemental, and open-minded account of New Guinean tribal life. Everything from cannibalism to courtship is related alongside a fascinating look at the mammalian life inhabiting some of the world’s deepest recesses of jungle.

By Tim Flannery,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Throwim Way Leg as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Flannery travels to the unexplored regions of New Guinea in search of species that science has yet to discover or classify. He finds many -- from a community of giant cave bats that were supposedly extinct to the elusive black-and-white tree-kangaroo -- and along the way has a wealth of unforgettable adventures. Flannery scales cliffs, descends into caverns, and cheats death, both from disease and at the hands of the local cannibals, who wish to take revenge on his "clan" of wildlife scientists. He eventually befriends the tribespeople, who become companions in his quest and whose contributions to his research…


Book cover of Under the Mountain Wall: A Chronicle of Two Seasons in Stone Age New Guinea

Jonathan Meiburg Author Of A Most Remarkable Creature: The Hidden Life and Epic Journey of the World's Smartest Birds of Prey

From my list on taking you to another world.

Why am I passionate about this?

If you’re curious about the world, you can find secret doors that open onto sudden vistas. For me, exploring the lives and origins of the caracaras unveiled an astonishing story about life on Earth—and though the books in my list are mostly nonfiction, they all explore real worlds as absorbing as any fantasy. 

Jonathan's book list on taking you to another world

Jonathan Meiburg Why did Jonathan love this book?

Matthiessen is best known for The Snow Leopard, but I think this book, written fifteen years earlier, exceeds it. As part of an anthropological expedition to the highlands of New Guinea, he was among the first westerners to describe the lives of the indigenous Papuan farmers who lived there—and he dares to imagine them from the inside, with his trademark understated lyricism. It's an extraordinary book, full of beauty and drama, and though it isn’t a journey to the distant past, it often feels like it: this was a place where neighboring villages fought ritualized wars against one another every week or so. The last line alone is worth the price of admission. 

By Peter Matthiessen,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Under the Mountain Wall as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A remarkable firsthand view of a lost culture in all its simplicity and violence by renowned writer Peter Matthiessen (1927 to 2014), author of the National Book Award–winning The Snow Leopard and the novel In Paradise.
 
In the Baliem Valley in central New Guinea live the Kurelu, a Stone Age tribe that survived into the twentieth century. Peter Matthiessen visited the Kurelu with the Harvard-Peabody Expedition in 1961 and wrote Under the Mountain Wall as an account not of the expedition, but of the great warrior Weaklekek, the swineherd Tukum, U-mue and his family, and the boy Weake, killed in…


Book cover of The Tin Can Crucible: A firsthand account of modern-day sorcery violence

Kyoko Mori Author Of The Dream of Water: A Memoir

From my list on travel memoirs for those who love to wander.

Why am I passionate about this?

Although two of my nonfiction books—The Dream of Water and Polite Lies—are about traveling from the American Midwest to my native country of Japan, I'm not a traveler by temperament. I long to stay put in one place. Chimney swifts cover the distance between North America and the Amazon basin every fall and spring. I love to stand in the driveway of my brownstone to watch them. That was the last thing Katherine Russell Rich and I did together in what turned out to be the last autumn of her life before the cancer she’d been fighting came back. Her book, Dreaming in Hindi, along with the four other books I’m recommending, expresses an indomitable spirit of adventure. 

Kyoko's book list on travel memoirs for those who love to wander

Kyoko Mori Why did Kyoko love this book?

Christopher Davenport, who later became a Foreign Service Officer with the U. S. Department of State and served in various countries including Vietnam, Guatemala, Tajikistan, and Georgia, was a Peace Corps volunteer in 1994. In Papua New Guinea’s Eastern Highlands, he was placed with a local family in a village of subsistence farmers. Except when attending classes in town (a hike and a long car ride away) with other Peace Corps volunteers scattered through the area, he worked, attended village gatherings, ate, and slept with his host family who treated him like an adopted son. The Tin Can Crucible—the title refers to the ingenuity of the local people—tells an honest, unsettling, and thoughtful story about what happened when the rhythm of this peaceful life was shattered by an accusation of witchcraft and examines the moral and ethical ambiguities and complexities of the role of philanthropy and the well-meant intentions…

By Christopher Davenport,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Tin Can Crucible as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In 1994, a Peace Corps Volunteer named Christopher Davenport travels to Papua New Guinea's Eastern Highlands region to live with a group of subsistence farmers.


He settles into village life, begins learning the language and develops a strong sense of connection with his inherited family.


One day, following the death of a venerated elder, the people of the village kidnap, torture, and ultimately kill a local woman accused of practising sorcery.


Devastated, Christopher tries desperately to reconcile this unspeakable act with the welcoming and caring community he has come to love. He is left with one universal question: How can…


Book cover of A Few Months in New Guinea

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

Stone, writing in the 1880s, describes the unexplored mystery, foreboding tropical weather, and long-ignored people of New Guinea. Since its “discovery” by European explorers, the New Guinea climate was known to be inhospitable to westerners. This book began to inform me of the world into which my father was sent as an Army Air Corps pilot. Even as late as 1944 he flew with emergency survival maps with vast swathes of the country completely blank, marked “Unexplored.” 

By Octavius C. Stone,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked A Few Months in New Guinea as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Excerpt from A Few Months in New Guinea

With so many competitors in the field, it seems strange that, until the last few years, no one should have succeeded in journeying more than fifteen miles inland; and though this distance has now been much exceeded, a vast area still remains unexplored.

About the Publisher

Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com

This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged…


Book cover of War at the End of the World: Douglas MacArthur and the Forgotten Fight For New Guinea, 1942-1945

Robert N. Wiedenmann Author Of The Silken Thread: Five Insects and Their Impacts on Human History

From my list on the history we never learned.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am not a historian. I am a retired entomologist with a love for history. My first real experience with history was as a child, reading about Ernest Shackleton's Antarctic adventure on the Endurance—a story I must have re-read 50 times. I have come to recognize that much of the history I learned growing up was either incomplete or was just plain wrong. I am drawn to the arcane aspects of historical events, or that illustrate history from a different angle—which is shown in my list of books. The Silken Thread tells about the history that occurred because of, or was impacted by, just five insects.

Robert's book list on the history we never learned

Robert N. Wiedenmann Why did Robert love this book?

I thought I knew a thing or two about the history of World War II. Somehow, the battle for New Guinea escaped me, despite the role played by the American General, Douglas MacArthur. Significant as a turning point in the war and enabling MacArthur's return to the Philippines, the fight in New Guinea deserves mention in the same breath as the stepping-stone battles of the Pacific islands. The fighting was brutal and the conditions for both Japanese and Allied troops were horrid—trails ascending rugged mountains, supply-chain difficulties, diseases that diminished the abilities of troops to fight. I have been to New Guinea twice. Duffy captured the ruggedness of the land and his telling of the stories made me feel the place, the people, and their challenges.

By James P. Duffy,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked War at the End of the World as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A harrowing account of an epic, yet nearly forgotten, battle of World War II—General Douglas MacArthur's four-year assault on the Pacific War's most hostile battleground: the mountainous, jungle-cloaked island of New Guinea.

“A meaty, engrossing narrative history… This will likely stand as the definitive account of the New Guinea campaign.”—The Christian Science Monitor 

One American soldier called it “a green hell on earth.” Monsoon-soaked wilderness, debilitating heat, impassable mountains, torrential rivers, and disease-infested swamps—New Guinea was a battleground far more deadly than the most fanatical of enemy troops. Japanese forces numbering some 600,000 men began landing in January 1942, determined…


Book cover of Air Combat at 20 Feet: Selected Missions from a Strafer Pilot's Diary

John E. Happ Author Of The Navigation Case: Training, Flying and Fighting the 1942 to 1945 New Guinea War

From my list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea.

Why am I passionate about this?

I grew up just north of Chicago, took courses at the University of Madrid (La Complutense), and graduated from Marquette University.  I speak 5 languages and have written for such diverse reviews as The Journal of the American Revolution and Atlantic Coastal Kayaker. Nothing has possessed me like my father’s Navigation Case. Besides learning how this young college graduate helped pioneer the nascent aviation industry training in 11 different types of aircraft, I take pride in the astonishing role he played in American history. He was a combat pilot in the first-ever demonstration of air superiority over an enemy, leading to the greatest campaign victory in the history of the US Air Force. 

John's book list on why the Pacific War was waged & fought in New Guinea

John E. Happ Why did John love this book?

I consider Garrett Middlebrook to be the Wilfred Owens (poet) of WWII. He is a man with a conscience and a moral code who explains what it meant to be a combat pilot in New Guinea. He describes various life-threatening mission against a superior enemy. But on the other hand, struggles with the fact that he is killing other men, in other uniforms, who like himself are just doing their jobs. He chafes at orders to kill civilian contractors (conscripted Chinese) working for the Japanese in New Guinea. He recoils from celebrations after the battle of the Bismarck Sea because he felt no joy after witnessing the vivid destruction of enemy men and equipment. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Papua New Guinea, cannibalism, and the Pacific War in WW2?

11,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Papua New Guinea, cannibalism, and the Pacific War in WW2.

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