10 books like Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies

By Mary T.S. Schaffer,

Here are 10 books that authors have personally recommended if you like Old Indian Trails of the Canadian Rockies. Shepherd is a community of 7,000+ authors sharing their favorite books with the world.

Shepherd is reader supported. When you buy through links on our website, we may earn an affiliate commission (learn more).

A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle,

Book cover of A Year in Provence

This is a charming fish-out-of-water adventure. The author has a witty understated style. I enjoyed the tribulations and chaos as he found his way around rural France. The locals in this book felt authentic, which I certainly appreciated. Renovations are hard in a country you know, but this author found humor and understanding, as he floundered around trying to get things done. There’s quite a bit about food, which was entertaining, and is what I would expect in a book set in France. (Personally, I think Italy far outperforms the French when it comes to great food. Give me fresh pasta.) 

A Year in Provence

By Peter Mayle,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked A Year in Provence as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A personal description of Provencal life as seen through the eyes of the author and his wife when they move into an old farmhouse at the foot of the Luberon mountains between Avignon and Aix. The bestselling work of non-fiction in paperback of 1991 in the UK.


In Patagonia

By Bruce Chatwin,

Book cover of In Patagonia

Chatwin is a storyteller and adventurer. He makes his way into Argentina, across the Pampas, and into the mountains at the tip of South America where he finds in a cave remnants of a giant ground sloth that had lived there thousands of years before. His writing takes you on the journey: listening to a pianist on a passenger ship playing on an out-of-tune piano, drinking with local shepherds, telling tales of old conflicts and revolutions. Like all good travel writers, he is precise: “I passed through a desert of black stones and came to Sarmiento. It was another dusty grid of metal buildings, lying on a strip of arable land between the fizzling turquoise Lake Musters and the slime-green Lake Colhue-Huapi.”

In Patagonia

By Bruce Chatwin,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'The book that redefined travel writing' Guardian

Bruce Chatwin sets off on a journey through South America in this wistful classic travel book

With its unique, roving structure and beautiful descriptions, In Patagonia offers an original take on the age-old adventure tale. Bruce Chatwin's journey to a remote country in search of a strange beast brings along with it a cast of fascinating characters. Their stories delay him on the road, but will have you tearing through to the book's end.

'It is hard to pin down what makes In Patagonia so unique, but, in the end, it is Chatwin's…


Along the Enchanted Way

By William Blacker,

Book cover of Along the Enchanted Way: A Story of Love and Life in Romania

A unique book. Read this and you'll find yourself in a disappearing world. Northern Romania eschewed the modern conveniences and less delicate touches of capitalism for most of the twentieth century. Blacker shares a life wholly dictated by the rhythms of nature. This is a world where the locals recognise someone visiting from another village at a distance, not by their face or their clothes, but by the horse they are riding.

Along the Enchanted Way

By William Blacker,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Chosen for the Duchess of Cornwall's online book club The Reading Room by HRH The Prince of Wales

When William Blacker first crossed the snow-bound passes of northern Romania, he stumbled upon an almost medieval world.

There, for many years he lived side by side with the country people, a life ruled by the slow cycle of the seasons, far away from the frantic rush of the modern world. In spring as the pear trees blossomed he ploughed with horses, in summer he scythed the hay meadows and in the freezing winters gathered wood by sleigh from the forest. From…


Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

By Alexander von Humboldt,

Book cover of Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

Humboldt is the Godfather of so many fascinating areas of natural history. His mind unravels mysteries for breakfast. The book is a great travel story in its own right, but this tale envelopes countless examples of groundbreaking discovery. 

Personally, I find his work inspiring because he excelled at revealing how nature and place reflect each other. The plants and animals we encounter change with latitude, altitude, and a dozen other variables. This is the science that allows us to start making maps from plants and animals. We are all indebted to Humboldt and I feel it strongly. 

Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent

By Alexander von Humboldt,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Personal Narrative of a Journey to the Equinoctial Regions of the New Continent as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

One of the greatest nineteenth-century scientist-explorers, Alexander von Humboldt traversed the tropical Spanish Americas between 1799 and 1804. By the time of his death in 1859, he had won international fame for his scientific discoveries, his observations of Native American peoples and his detailed descriptions of the flora and fauna of the 'new continent'. The first to draw and speculate on Aztec art, to observe reverse polarity in magnetism and to discover why America is called America, his writings profoundly influenced the course of Victorian culture, causing Darwin to reflect: 'He alone gives any notion of the feelings which are…


The Edge

By Dick Francis,

Book cover of The Edge

I love the way there is a mystery within a mystery. A group of actors is staging a play for the benefit of the passengers on a transcontinental train trip across Canada. The protagonist, who is undercover and posing as a waiter, befriends the lead actor and takes a page out of Hamlet, using the play to pressure the villain into making a mistake and incriminating himself. Accurate details about working as a waiter lend a sense of ‘David versus Goliath’ to the storyline.

The Edge

By Dick Francis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

The Edge

To the Jockey Club, the racing world would be a better place without Julius Apollo Filmer. An expert in corruption with a devastating line in witness intimidation - and proving to be a slippery character to put behind bars.

Baffled, they call in undercover security agent Tor Kelsey to keep an unflinching eye on Filmer and his associates. A mission that takes him from the finest of English racecourses to the wild Canadian interior - on a luxury transcontinental train journey to end them all.

On board, a troupe of actors are playing out a murder mystery for…


Switchbacks

By Sid Marty,

Book cover of Switchbacks: True Stories from the Canadian Rockies

Like Edward Abbey, Sid Marty is from the old guard and it’s one of his greatest strengths – he was one of the last park ranger cowboys, literally spending part of his career working for Parks Canada as a mounted, backcountry patrolman alone deep in the bush. That’s when he wasn’t climbing. Switchbacks is a paean to high places, a love song to the Canadian Rockies. In it, Marty notes that his faithful rucksack has been dragged up cliff faces with climbing rope, fallen down couloirs, banged around in helicopters, and washed down rivers. Just like he has. Just the kind of life I wanted.

Switchbacks

By Sid Marty,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

In Switchbacks, Sid Marty draws on his own memories and those of friends and former colleagues in relating a series of true mountain tales. Among his subjects are: the old guide who built a staircase up a cliff; the stranded snowshoer who was rescued between rounds of beer in a Banff tavern; the man who catered to hungry grizzlies; an opinionated packrat with a gift for larceny; and a horse named Candy whose heart was as big as a stove.

Along the way, Marty tries to answer the kind of questions that all of us must face some day. Do…


Red Nile

By Robert Twigger,

Book cover of Red Nile: The Biography of the World's Greatest River

Where I wrote The Black Nile as a white-knuckle current history of the Nile region, British polymath Robert Twigger took the long view to craft an absorbing portrait of the Nile, from Biblical times to the present. Twigger, whose adventures have taken him from the Canadian Rockies to Indonesian hill country to the karate dojo of the Tokyo riot police, has, with Red Nile, written a moving, cinematic masterpiece.

Red Nile

By Robert Twigger,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Red Nile as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A rip-roaring yet intimate biography of the mighty Nile by Robert Twigger, award-winning author of ANGRY WHITE PYJAMAS. 'A tour de force' FINANCIAL TIMES.

So much begins on the banks of the Nile: all religion, all life, all stories, the script we write in, the language we speak, the gods, the legends and the names of stars. This mighty river that flows through a quarter of all Africa has been history's most sustained creator.

In this dazzling, idiosyncratic journey from ancient times to the Arab Spring, award-winning author Robert Twigger weaves a Nile narrative like no other. As he navigates…


This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart

By Madhur Anand,

Book cover of This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart: A Memoir in Halves

This is one of the most innovative and intriguing memoirs I have read. Its structure is inspired by the visual image of the line that runs through the Punjab region, partitioning Pakistan from India. The book is separated into halves: one half relates the stories of the author’s parents, who were born on opposite sides of the line, and the other presents the author’s own experiences and observations as a second-generation immigrant. Nothing about the design of the book indicates which half should be read first—a hint that the reader will be invited to consider the resonances running in both directions across the generations.

The theme of fragmentation and division is, paradoxically, the glue that binds the various elements of the book together. The author explores the arbitrary lines, imposed by historical and cultural forces, that divide people from each other and that split their selves into parts. The portrait…

This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart

By Madhur Anand,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

WINNER OF THE 2020 GOVERNOR GENERAL'S LITERARY AWARD FOR NONFICTION

“Wondrously and elegantly written in language that astonishes and moves the reader…This is an important book: an emotional and intellectual tour de force.” —Jane Urquhart

An experimental memoir about Partition, immigration, and generational storytelling, This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart weaves together the poetry of memory with the science of embodied trauma, using the imagined voices of the past and the vital authority of the present.

We begin with a man off balance: one in one thousand, the only child in town whose polio leads to partial paralysis.…


American Indian Myths and Legends

By Richard Erdoes,

Book cover of American Indian Myths and Legends

There are more than 160 tales from eighty tribal groups in this book. They are various tales of creation and love, heroes and war, animals, tricksters, and the world’s end, many from contemporary Indigenous voices. Hopefully, these stories enable others who are not Native American but still want to read what many indigenous tribes taught to their children as a reason for the history of their peoples.

American Indian Myths and Legends

By Richard Erdoes,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked American Indian Myths and Legends as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

More than 160 tales from eighty tribal groups present a rich and lively panorama of the Native American mythic heritage. From across the continent comes tales of creation and love; heroes and war; animals, tricksters, and the end of the world. 

“This fine, valuable new gathering of ... tales is truly alive, mysterious, and wonderful—overflowing, that is, with wonder, mystery and life" (National Book Award Winner Peter Matthiessen). In addition to mining the best folkloric sources of the nineteenth century, the editors have also included a broad selection of contemporary Native American voices.
 


Copper Thunderbird

By Marie Clements,

Book cover of Copper Thunderbird

An amazing play about an amazing man, artist Norval Morrisseau. Surreal and yet very real, the play deals with three very important periods in this groundbreaking artist's life as he created a whole genre of Canadian art. The audience is given a window into the man's highs and lows, and how in the end, he became rose above it all and became a legend.

Copper Thunderbird

By Marie Clements,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Copper Thunderbird as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Copper Thunderbird is a play on canvases based on the life of Norval Morrisseau. Inside the power-lines which Morrisseau boldly defined in his art were the colours he experienced between his Ojibwa cosmology, his life on the street, and his spiritual and philosophical transformations to become the Father of Contemporary Native Art and a Grand Shaman. Appearing simultaneously in this multi-layered drama as a small boy, a young warrior and an old man, Morrisseau confronts his many selves over the Faustian destiny he encountered during his vision quest—a momentary terror that led to a life wracked by both triumph and…


5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in Canada, India, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas?

7,000+ authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about Canada, India, and the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Canada Explore 246 books about Canada
India Explore 333 books about India
The Indigenous Peoples Of The Americas Explore 52 books about the indigenous peoples of the Americas