100 books like The Lost Continent

By Bill Bryson,

Here are 100 books that The Lost Continent fans have personally recommended if you like The Lost Continent. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Travels with Charley in Search of America

Eyal Halfon Author Of They Were Here Before Us: Stories from Our First Million Years

From my list on traveling the world from your armchair.

Why am I passionate about this?

Long before I became a filmmaker and many years before I knew what pre-history meant, I was a restless traveler. I was an adventurer and a hiker, fascinated by maps and mountain peaks and constantly searching for the best place for a coffee break. In my list, I have tried to combine my passion for traveling with what is really important in life: people, friends, and travel companions.

Eyal's book list on traveling the world from your armchair

Eyal Halfon Why did Eyal love this book?

I wish I could be there, in the back seat of Steinbeck’s pickup truck…with a 10-year-old French poodle named Charlie.

Steinbeck's travelogue is a farewell to the America he knew and an observation of a country that is changing before his eyes. What a joy it could have been to join this great writer (and the poodle) if only for a part of his 10,000-mile road trip across the USA at the beginning of the 60s.

By John Steinbeck,

Why should I read it?

13 authors picked Travels with Charley in Search of America as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

An intimate journey across America, as told by one of its most beloved writers

To hear the speech of the real America, to smell the grass and the trees, to see the colors and the light-these were John Steinbeck's goals as he set out, at the age of fifty-eight, to rediscover the country he had been writing about for so many years.

With Charley, his French poodle, Steinbeck drives the interstates and the country roads, dines with truckers, encounters bears at Yellowstone and old friends in San Francisco. Along the way he reflects on the American character, racial hostility, the…


Book cover of Blue Highways

Kayla Anderson Author Of Moon Northern California Road Trip: Drives along the Coast, Redwoods, and Mountains with the Best Stops along the Way

From my list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair.

Why am I passionate about this?

I was born and raised in Northern California, right on the banks of the Sacramento River. While I didn’t realize it growing up, it was an epicenter for outdoor adventures. Along with skiing, snowboarding, hiking, wakeboarding, and camping, I always read a lot. My dad was worried that I would have no sense of direction because I was always in the back of our van or RV reading a book. That led to writing…and I had my first article published in a wakeboarding magazine when I was 15 years old. Traveling always took a backburner to reading, but now it’s front and center of my writing. 

Kayla's book list on embarking on epic adventures from your armchair

Kayla Anderson Why did Kayla love this book?

This is classic literature in the realm of American travel.

I had no idea that “blue highways” existed, and even though Heat-Moon went cross-country back in the 1970s in his van equipped with his igloo cooler and makeshift bed (not like the $100k fancy campers you find today), the type of people you meet and experiences you have in this amazing country are still relevant today.

In Blue Highways Revisited, I was shocked to read how long it took for this book to get published and the stacks of printed-out drafts he had of it (I think it was like four feet high). If there are any travel writing classes taught as part of a creative writing program, then Blue Highways better be on the list. 

By William Least Heat-Moon,

Why should I read it?

9 authors picked Blue Highways as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Hailed as a masterpiece of American travel writing, Blue Highways is an unforgettable journey along our nation's backroads.
William Least Heat-Moon set out with little more than the need to put home behind him and a sense of curiosity about "those little towns that get on the map -- if they get on at all -- only because some cartographer has a blank space to fill: Remote, Oregon; Simplicity, Virginia; New Freedom, Pennsylvania; New Hope, Tennessee; Why, Arizona; Whynot, Mississippi."
His adventures, his discoveries, and his recollections of the extraordinary people he encountered along the way amount to a revelation…


Book cover of Eat Pray Love

Jessica Hepburn Author Of Save Me from the Waves: An adventure from sea to summit

From my list on females adventure and change their life.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am an author and adventure activist who believes passionately in the power of big and small adventures to change your life for the better when you’ve been through dark and difficult times. I have written three books, all of which I describe as ‘alternative adventure stories’ because they don’t look like the usual ‘Boy’s Own’ tales of danger and derring-do (although they do include some of that, too!). I’m drawn to the words of wonderful women warriors who give me strength in times of sadness. These books have inspired me to live big and bravely in what is often a challenging but (mainly) wonderful world.

Jessica's book list on females adventure and change their life

Jessica Hepburn Why did Jessica love this book?

This is a book that changed my life. In fact, I probably want to be Elizabeth Gilbert. Witty, wise, and wonderful, it made me want to go to Italy to eat, to pilgrimage to India to pray, to fall in love in Bali, and to write about that journey.

I read it nearly twenty years ago and it still inspires me today.

By Elizabeth Gilbert,

Why should I read it?

8 authors picked Eat Pray Love as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

_________________ OVER 15 MILLION COPIES SOLD WORLDWIDE _________________ 'Eat, Pray, Love has been passed from woman to woman like the secret of life' - Sunday Times 'A defining work of memoir' - Sunday Telegraph 'Engaging, intelligent, and highly entertaining' - Time _________________ It's 3 a.m. and Elizabeth Gilbert is sobbing on the bathroom floor. She's in her thirties, she has a husband, a house, they're trying for a baby - and she doesn't want any of it. A bitter divorce and a turbulent love affair later, she emerges battered and bewildered and realises it is time to pursue her own…


Book cover of Me Talk Pretty One Day

Abraham Chang Author Of 888 Love and the Divine Burden of Numbers

From my list on incorporating pop culture in unexpected ways.

Why am I passionate about this?

As a publishing professional for over 20 years, I’ve worked in a variety of jobs and positions with some of the biggest pop culture creators and brands. Just before the pandemic, I finally took time to invest in myself as a writer and set out to combine my lifelong passions for film, TV, music, video games, and books–with my skills as an award-winning poet–to write my debut novel, from my “certain point of view” as a first-generation Asian American. The books on my list here are from some of the authors that I admire–who are also “one of us”: the bookworms, the pop culture geeks, the hopeless romantics. 

Abraham's book list on incorporating pop culture in unexpected ways

Abraham Chang Why did Abraham love this book?

No one else can make me laugh through all the cringe-y, absurd, awkward pain like David Sedaris. His pop culture touch points are a bit more esoteric than (and a generation or two above) mine–but his Billie Holiday impression is impressive and absolutely pristine. Unexpected and revelatory, his essays and memoirs brought me to tears of laughter but also of compassion and empathy.

I started with this book and quickly devoured more. By the time I was a full-fledged David Sedaris reader, I was already a huge fan of Amy Sedaris–his equally talented sister–a skilled actress and comedian. Amy, matching the same level of genius as her brother, has been a mainstay of TV and film. She also appears in her brother’s writing, and the duo often collaborate creatively–notably in the respective audiobooks. I love the Sedaris family (including all the other, less Hollywood types) and always enjoy reading about…

By David Sedaris,

Why should I read it?

4 authors picked Me Talk Pretty One Day as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

A new collection from David Sedaris is cause for jubilation. His recent move to Paris has inspired hilarious pieces, including Me Talk Pretty One Day, about his attempts to learn French. His family is another inspiration. You Cant Kill the Rooster is a portrait of his brother who talks incessant hip-hop slang to his bewildered father. And no one hones a finer fury in response to such modern annoyances as restaurant meals presented in ludicrous towers and cashiers with 6-inch fingernails. Compared by The New Yorker to Twain and Hawthorne, Sedaris has become one of our best-loved authors. Sedaris is…


Book cover of Real Queer America: LGBT Stories from Red States

Ryan Bernsten Author Of 50 States of Mind: A Journey to Rediscover American Democracy

From my list on nonfiction about the great American road trip.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Midwest-based speaker, writer, and theatre-maker. I received my Creative Writing Master's from the University of Oxford where I was given a grant to travel to all 50 states to research my first book, 50 States of Mind: A Journey to Rediscover American Democracy and started the companion podcast 50 States of Mind. I'm a contributor for The Infatuation and have been published in USA Today, The Fulcrum, and The Oxford Political Review. You may have seen me chatting with Helen Mirren as a Slytherin contestant on Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses. I’m currently the Senior Managing Editor at The Trevor Project, overseeing editorial strategy to end suicide among LGBTQ young people.

Ryan's book list on nonfiction about the great American road trip

Ryan Bernsten Why did Ryan love this book?

With America's increasingly divisive political climate around LGBTQ issues, Real Queer America takes on renewed importance as Samantha Allen explores the resilient LGBTQ communities in red states.

Allen takes readers on a road trip through often-overlooked regions of the United States and challenges preconceived notions by showing LGBTQ communities thriving in places like Mississippi, Utah, and Indiana. I was inspired by Allen’s ability to curate personal storytelling alongside journalistic interviews with queer community leaders.

Allen strikes the perfect balance between travelogue and memoir – through her vulnerability in writing about her own coming out journey in America, she allows the reader to better understand what fueled the interest in red state queer communities and conveys the idea that the personal is always political.

By Samantha Allen,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Ten years ago, Samantha Allen was a suit-and-tie-wearing Mormon missionary. Now she's a senior Daily Beast reporter happily married to another woman. A lot in her life has changed, but what hasn't changed is her deep love of Red State America, and of queer people who stay in so-called "flyover country" rather than moving to the liberal coasts.

In Real Queer America, Allen takes us on a cross-country road-trip stretching all the way from Provo, Utah to the Rio Grande Valley to the Bible Belt to the Deep South. Her motto for the trip: "Something gay every day." Making pit…


Book cover of Our Towns: A 100,000-Mile Journey into the Heart of America

Ryan Bernsten Author Of 50 States of Mind: A Journey to Rediscover American Democracy

From my list on nonfiction about the great American road trip.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a Midwest-based speaker, writer, and theatre-maker. I received my Creative Writing Master's from the University of Oxford where I was given a grant to travel to all 50 states to research my first book, 50 States of Mind: A Journey to Rediscover American Democracy and started the companion podcast 50 States of Mind. I'm a contributor for The Infatuation and have been published in USA Today, The Fulcrum, and The Oxford Political Review. You may have seen me chatting with Helen Mirren as a Slytherin contestant on Harry Potter: Tournament of Houses. I’m currently the Senior Managing Editor at The Trevor Project, overseeing editorial strategy to end suicide among LGBTQ young people.

Ryan's book list on nonfiction about the great American road trip

Ryan Bernsten Why did Ryan love this book?

The most nonfiction-forward of the bunch, Our Towns presents a remarkable journey through small towns across America.
Atlantic columnists and husband and wife duo James and Deborah Fallows fly their airplane all over the United States to explore the stories of small communities experiencing a renaissance, highlighting the creativity and innovation of community leaders across America.

This insightful book offers a refreshing glimpse into the heartland; in an age of upsetting news stories, I love how this book gives us permission to be open to good news in our communities.

By James Fallows, Deborah Fallows,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • "James and Deborah Fallows have always moved to where history is being made.... They have an excellent sense of where world-shaping events are taking place at any moment" —The New York Times • The basis for the HBO documentary streaming on HBO Max

For five years, James and Deborah Fallows have travelled across America in a single-engine prop airplane. Visiting dozens of towns, the America they saw is acutely conscious of its problems—from economic dislocation to the opioid scourge—but it is also crafting solutions, with a practical-minded determination at dramatic odds with the bitter paralysis of national…


Book cover of What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding: A Memoir

Kristen Van Nest Author Of Where to Nest: A Global Search for Love, Cheap Wine and a Place to Belong

From my list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts.

Why am I passionate about this?

With my debut comedic travel memoir having come out in April, I read every humorous travel book I could get my hands on both as part of my education for inspiration on how to write my book and before I even knew I was going to write a book because I simply love reading these types of stories. From my own experience, travel has made me grow so much as a person, and all of these authors beautifully capture their own journeys and how travel helped them find their way.

Kristen's book list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts

Kristen Van Nest Why did Kristen love this book?

I love how this book weaves in discovering who she is, a humorous element, and winding hilarious stories where you never know what's going to happen next. It also talks honestly about being frustrated as a woman and trying to date, the expectations put on us as women, and how these discourage us from taking our own path.

Now writing on Only Murders in the Building, Newman has a lovely, comedic voice.

Book cover of Open Mic Night in Moscow: And Other Stories from My Search for Black Markets, Soviet Architecture, and Emotionally Unavailable Russian Men

Kristen Van Nest Author Of Where to Nest: A Global Search for Love, Cheap Wine and a Place to Belong

From my list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts.

Why am I passionate about this?

With my debut comedic travel memoir having come out in April, I read every humorous travel book I could get my hands on both as part of my education for inspiration on how to write my book and before I even knew I was going to write a book because I simply love reading these types of stories. From my own experience, travel has made me grow so much as a person, and all of these authors beautifully capture their own journeys and how travel helped them find their way.

Kristen's book list on travel books that’ll make you laugh until your side hurts

Kristen Van Nest Why did Kristen love this book?

Coming from a standup comedy background, Murray captures her quest across Central Asia, inspired by her love of Russian men.

Through some scary moments, nearly getting kidnapped to more hilarious ones performing standup in front of a crowd that speaks a different language than her own, she is fun to travel with and always has a hilarious anecdote to share.

By Audrey Murray,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Open Mic Night in Moscow as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The raucous and surprisingly poignant story of a young, Russia-obsessed American writer and comedian who embarked on a solo tour of the former Soviet Republics, never imagining that it would involve kidnappers, garbage bags of money, and encounters with the weird and wonderful from Mongolia to Tajikistan.

Kazakhstan, Belarus, and Siberia are not the typical tourist destinations of a twenty-something, nor the places one usually goes to eat, pray, and/or love. But the mix of imperial Russian opulence and Soviet decay, and the allure of emotionally unavailable Russian men proved strangely irresistible to comedian Audrey Murray.

At age twenty-eight, while…


Book cover of Slow Boats to China

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 book and its sequel were an early read in my love affair with travel writing–I love the concept of slow travel by unconventional means, and I love all the descriptions along the way.

I first read this before I had ever traveled to China or, indeed, anywhere in the East, so it was one factor in developing an interest and love of the region. Though the journeying is slow it is written in a way that I regard as a real page-turner.

By Gavin Young,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Slow Boats to China as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Seven months and twenty-three agreeably ill-assorted vessels are what were required to transport Gavin Young, by slow boat, from Piraeus to Canton. His odyssey teemed with excitement, adventure and colour. Gavin Young's account memorably distils the people, places, smells, conversations, ships and history of the places he encountered in what is his most famous book.
The sequel, Slow Boats Home, is also reissued in Faber Finds.

'An unusual and fascinating book.' Hammond Innes, Guardian

'Storms, fleas, pirates, bad food and bureaucrats ... My Young suffered what he did to entertain us.'
Anthony Burgess, Observer


Book cover of Shadow of the Silk Road

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?

Again, a writer I love, more serious than the likes of Bill Bryson but no less readable.

This book records a journey from China along the historic Silk Road and across the world to the mountains of Central Asia, encompassing time in places such as Afghanistan, which was a difficult place then and one where circumstances deteriorated subsequently.

It is writing that makes you dwell on the history and want to follow every step—and every page.

By Colin Thubron,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Shadow of the Silk Road as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Colin Thurbon's beautiful prose unfolds along the Silk Road, unearthing a richly layered past on his most ambitious journey.

On buses, donkey carts, trains, jeeps and camels, Colin Thubron traces the drifts of the first great trade route out of the heart of China into the mountains of Central Asia, across northern Afghanistan and the plains of Iran into Kurdish Turkey. A magnificent account of an ancient world in modern ferment, Thubron covers over 7000 miles in eight months enduring a near-miss with a drunk-driver, incarceration in a Chinese cell, and undergoing root canal treatment without anaesthetic, along the way.…


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