The most recommended travel books

Who picked these books? Meet our 788 experts.

788 authors created a book list connected to travel, and here are their favorite travel books.
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The Canoe Boys

By Alastair Dunnett,

Book cover of The Canoe Boys: The First Epic Scottish Sea Journey by Kayak

Stuart Fisher Author Of Canals of Britain: A Comprehensive Guide

From the list on our canals, rivers, and coast.

Who am I?

I was fortunate enough to take up white water kayaks as a student in Scotland, eventually becoming a member of the British wild water racing team. The portable nature of these craft makes it easy to move from one stretch of water to another. I subsequently became the editor of Canoeist (by accident) and have travelled all the major British canals, the larger lochs, the entire mainland coast, and many other waters, producing guides that have been found useful for those on the water, on foot, on bikes or in armchairs.

Stuart's book list on our canals, rivers, and coast

Why did Stuart love this book?

Faced with publishing debts after their boys' adventure magazine failed, two young men, the author, and James Adams, undertook a kayak expedition in the mid-1930s up the Scottish west coast from the Clyde to Mull, raising funds by selling reports to the press.

They learned much of the remote and deprived Highland economy, which stood the author in good stead later, editing the Daily Record and The Scotsman.

A long trip, including helping to take in the harvest in the autumn, it involved canvas kayaks, kilts, and buying provisions from farms, much more onerous than kit for present-day expeditions.

Originally published as Quest by Canoe, this version includes significant extra material, including press cuttings.

By Alastair Dunnett,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

After being left with no work, Alastair Dunnett and James Adam decided to repay their debts by canoeing from the Clyde to the Hebrides. This text is a collection of the dispatches from their journey they sold to a newspaper in order to make money.

Among the Russians

By Colin Thubron,

Book cover of Among the Russians

Steven Faulkner Author Of Bitterroot: Echoes of Beauty & Loss

From the list on travel that enrich landscape with history.

Who am I?

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

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.


By Diane Hoh,

Book cover of Titanic: The Long Night: A Novel

Carla Louise Robinson Author Of The Light In The Darkness Book One

From the list on the Titanic.

Who am I?

I’m a bibliophile who loves dogs and prefers the country to the city. I’m the kid who yelled at my kindergarten teacher because she hadn’t taught me to read by the end of the year. That same tenacity followed me when, at seven years old, I learned that James Cameron was making a movie based on the Titanic. With righteous fury, I yelled at my befuddled parents, before asking why they had not told me about this ship. I pleaded with my parents to take me to see the movie for my upcoming eighth birthday, and they relented, with my mum buying my first fictional Titanic novel. That’s how my Titanic obsession began.

Carla's book list on the Titanic

Why did Carla love this book?

The Titanic novel my mum bought me for my eighth birthday, it was this one, which is why it can’t not be included (though mine is tattered and the back cover long lost. I can’t yet bring myself to buy a new one). Titanic: The Long Night is like a hot cup of chocolate on a cold winter’s night. It’s sinking into a bath and thinking, This is exactly what I need. It tells two stories: That of first-class passenger, Elizabeth Farr, who falls in love with handsome first-class passenger and artist, Max Whittaker, and third-class passenger Kathleen Hanrahan, who is travelling from Ireland to America to pursue her dreams. Kathleen falls for the youngest Keller brother, “Paddy” (I cannot tell you how many years I yearned for my very own “Paddy”, that was how much I loved his character). 

There’s something so joyful about this novel. It’s full of…

By Diane Hoh,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Everyone thought that the Titanic was unsinkable. Among the passengers are beautiful Elizabeth Farr and dashing Max Whitaker in first class, whilst in steerage are Brian and Patrick Kelleher and pretty red-haired Kathleen Mahoney.

Lady Long Rider

By Bernice Ende,

Book cover of Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback

Candace Wade Author Of Horse Sluts: The Saga of Two Women on the Trail of Their Yeehaw

From the list on horse journeys not to be missed.

Who am I?

The me of me is a “late in life rider” and freelance writer—with an edge. I learned to ride horses in my ‘40s when we left the wonders of California for sweet tea, okra, and equine “yard art” of Tennessee. Horses and writing mixed to create Horse Sluts. My political bent led me to craft an exposé on the brutal “training” of Big Lick TN Walking Horses. I still ride and explore the more humorous sides of aging and riding. A stickler for "writing worth reading,” I eschew self-conscious, wandering-lost writing. The books I recommended are well crafted.

Candace's book list on horse journeys not to be missed

Why did Candace love this book?

Bernice tells us a story. Her clean, quiet narrative rides us with her. Bernice was soft spoken, unpretentious, and steadily courageous. A long-time, long distance, trail boss told me he was humbled after sitting on an Adventure Riding panel with Bernice.

Bernice lived and wrote the partnership she had with her horses. Her book is a last gift to those of us who dream of horse adventure.

By Bernice Ende,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Lady Long Rider as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In her incredible memoir, Lady Long Rider: Alone Across America on Horseback we are introduced to Bernice Ende, a solitary figure with the daunting goal of traveling from Trego, Montana to New Mexico in a single ride. At the age of 50, Bernice turned south into the unknown and began her first voyage on the way to becoming a world-class long rider. Since that fateful decision she hasn't looked back. Accompanied by her horses and an exceptional dog named Claire, Ende has logged more than 29,000 miles in the saddle, crisscrossing North America and beyond.

The White Tiger

By Aravind Adiga,

Book cover of The White Tiger

Bhavik Sarkhedi Author Of The Unproposed Guy

From Bhavik's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Wanderlust Film Aficionado Bibliophile Solo Traveler Movie Buff

Bhavik's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Bhavik love this book?

I started reading The White Tiger Adiga and quickly got into the story. I think the book does a great job showing the big differences in India's society, which can be hard to see but also really interesting.

I am sure the way it talks about going after your dreams even when things are tough is something a lot of people can relate to. I guess for me, it was like taking a trip through a different part of the world and seeing what people do to move up in life, which made me think a lot.

By Aravind Adiga,

Why should I read it?

6 authors picked The White Tiger as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?


Balram Halwai is the White Tiger - the smartest boy in his village. His family is too poor for him to afford for him to finish school and he has to work in a teashop, breaking coals and wiping tables. But Balram gets his break when a rich man hires him as a chauffeur, and takes him to live in Delhi. The city is a revelation. As he drives his master to shopping malls and call centres, Balram becomes increasingly aware of immense wealth and opportunity all around him, while knowing that he…

Aphrodite's Breath

By Susan Johnson,

Book cover of Aphrodite's Breath

Patti Miller Author Of True Friends

From Patti's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Thinker Traveler Walker Reader

Patti's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Patti love this book?

I loved Aphrodite’s Breath, a memoir because it honestly and intelligently explores the relationship between a mother and an adult daughter. Susan, the author, goes to live on a Greek island for a year with her elderly mother.

She faces the difficult questions of creativity and mortality as she negotiates an underground power struggle with her mother. It is poetic, insightful, and a pleasure to read.

By Susan Johnson,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

'Heartbreaking, funny and deeply moving...This is writing to savour.' Books + Publishing

'Aphrodite's Breath is one of those sublime books that both pleases and pursues you with its imagery and thoughts, long after you've put the book down.' Jane Messer, The Conversation.

'An awe-inspiring ability to explore emotional truths.' Daily Advertiser

'With fine control, Johnson allows us to travel close to her emotional skin...Aphrodite's Breath is their shared gift to us, in all its shades of luminous and deep dark blue.' Susan Wyndham, Guardian

In life, as in myth, women are the ones who are supposed to stay home like…

A Night to Remember

By Walter Lord,

Book cover of A Night to Remember

Kathleen McGurl Author Of The Lost Sister

From the list on the ships Titanic and Carpathia.

Who am I?

I’m a historical and dual timeline novelist, and I sometimes think I love the research phase more than the writing phase. For each novel I start with a vague idea, then buy or borrow books to read around the subject in the hope that a story will gradually emerge. I was lucky with The Lost Sister in that a chance remark of my brother’s sparked an idea, and he had a large collection of Titanic books which he let me borrow.

Kathleen's book list on the ships Titanic and Carpathia

Why did Kathleen love this book?

This book is generally considered the definitive account of the events of 14th-15th April, 1912, covering what happened on both Titanic and Carpathia.

It was first published in 1955 when of course many of the survivors would still have been alive. It’s short, and written in a wonderful, easy-to-read style, and has never been out of print. Rightly so – it’s practically required reading for any novelist or filmmaker taking on the topic of Titanic.

And for anyone fascinated by the story of Titanic, there is no better book.

By Walter Lord,

Why should I read it?

3 authors picked A Night to Remember as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'There is no danger that Titanic will sink. The boat is unsinkable and nothing but inconvenience will be suffered by the passengers.' - Phillip Franklin, White Star Line Vice-President

On April 15th, 1912, Titanic, the world's largest passenger ship, sank after colliding with an iceberg, claiming more than 1,500 lives. Walter Lord's classic bestselling history of the voyage, the wreck and the aftermath is a tour de force of detailed investigation and the upstairs/downstairs divide. A Night to Remember provides a vivid, gripping and deeply personal account of the 'unsinkable' Titanic's descent.


Weird Indiana

By Mark Marimen, James A. Willis, Troy Taylor

Book cover of Weird Indiana: Your Travel Guide to Indiana's Local Legends and Best Kept Secrets

Bill Lindsay Author Of Curse of a Devil

From the list on variety of quest for knowledge.

Who am I?

Ghost stories were always a part of my childhood. I believe most people wonder about what comes ‘after’. I have tried to keep up with the latest information regarding the unusual. I was a paranormal searcher and spent much time in the woods and forests. I have seen a few unusual, unexplained things. Curiosity and the thirst for knowledge still burn inside me. I suppose the mundane and redundant characteristics of my job gave me a desire to keep my mind searching for answers to difficult questions.  

Bill's book list on variety of quest for knowledge

Why did Bill love this book?

As if Illinois wasn’t weird enough. This book continues with local lore, legends, and unexplained from across the stream with Vincennes as my way point. It is apparent how much effort was put into researching these stories. Not only paranormal and cryptids are featured but, history and unique locations of interest are exhumed. The photography and graphics are top notch and lure the reader further into the book. Weird Illinois and Indiana are both works of art and full of stories to interest the most skeptical reader. 

By Mark Marimen, James A. Willis, Troy Taylor

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

Enjoy a relaxing picnic in Shades of Death Park. Witness those eerie glowing spots known as Moody's Light. Slap another layer of color onto the world's biggest ball of paint, and yes, that really is a pink-spectacled elephant drinking a martini on the side of the road! From a town called Santa Claus to Indiana's most upright citizen--buried that way for almost 200 years--Weird Indiana proves that the Crossroads of America is also the Crossroads of the Weird!

On Trails

By Robert Moor,

Book cover of On Trails: An Exploration

Sean Prentiss Author Of Crosscut: Poems

From the list on trail building and traildogs.

Who am I?

In 1997, I was hired by the Northwest Youth Corps as a trail crew leader. That season, and across five more seasons, I built trails across the Pacific Northwest and Desert Southwest, including in many national parks. Since then, I have been in love with backpacking trails (including hiking the Long Trail and Colorado Trail), building trails, and writing about trails (Crosscut: Poems). I now live in Vermont with my wife and daughter. We have a trail we built that weaves through our woods.

Sean's book list on trail building and traildogs

Why did Sean love this book?

On Trails: An Exploration is a completely different style of book. Rather than exploring trails through the lens of trail building, Moor, an Appalachian Trail thru-hiker, examines trails from a variety of angles. In a book that spans from the beginning of animal life to today’s digital age, Moor examines the world’s oldest trail, learns how to build trails, and even thinks about roads and the internet. 

By Robert Moor,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

New York Times Bestseller • Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award • Winner of the Saroyan International Prize for Writing • Winner of the Pacific Northwest Book Award • “The best outdoors book of the year.” —Sierra Club

From a talent who’s been compared to Annie Dillard, Edward Abbey, David Quammen, and Jared Diamond, On Trails is a wondrous exploration of how trails help us understand the world—from invisible ant trails to hiking paths that span continents, from interstate highways to the Internet.

While thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Robert Moor began to wonder about the paths that lie beneath…

Dear Exile

By Hilary Liftin, Kate Montgomery,

Book cover of Dear Exile: The True Story Of Two Friends Separated (For A Year) By An Ocean

Christine Herbert Author Of The Color of the Elephant

From the list on serving in the Peace Corps.

Who am I?

I am a returned U.S. Peace Corps volunteer who served as a community health worker and educator in Zambia from 2004-2006. My highly-anticipated debut memoir, The Color of the Elephant: Memoir of a Muzungu, a Zola Award finalist, releases January 2022. As an avid reader of adventurous, fish-out-of-water tales, I’ve read dozens of memoirs by fellow Peace Corps volunteers who’ve served all around the world from the 1960s to the present day. These are my top picks based on literary merit, engaging storytelling, and pure heart.

Christine's book list on serving in the Peace Corps

Why did Christine love this book?

This story is told in a series of letters exchanged between two former college roommates, one who marries and joins the Peace Corps in Kenya with her husband, the other striking out on her own in New York City. Each writer has a magic in her writing style that is all her own, which would make either of their tales a standalone success, but the “secret sauce” of this book lies in the juxtaposition of their two very different lives. Each writer’s tales of triumph and woe—lifestyles that could not be more polar opposite—play off one another in the most hilarious and tender way. With acerbic wit and disarming candor, this offbeat correspondence is bound to delight even the most jaded Sex-in-the-City-ish Manhattanite’s heart.

By Hilary Liftin, Kate Montgomery,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A funny and moving story told through the letters of two women nurturing a friendship as they are separated by distance, experience, and time.

Close friends and former college roommates, Hilary Liftin and Kate Montgomery promised to write when Kate's Peace Corps assignment took her to Africa.  Over the course of a single year, they exchanged an offbeat and moving series of letters from rural Kenya to New York City and back again.

Kate, an idealistic teacher, meets unexpected realities ranging from poisonous snakes and vengeful cows to more serious hazards: a lack of money for education; a student body…

My Invented Country

By Isabel Allende,

Book cover of My Invented Country: A Nostalgic Journey Through Chile

Patrick Bixby Author Of License to Travel: A Cultural History of the Passport

From the list on memoirs about lives on the move.

Who am I?

I’ve been putting my passport to good use for the last thirty years or so. Few things make me happier than showing up in an unfamiliar place – whether a village in Ecuador, a town in Ireland, or a city in Ghana – and trying to become familiar with the people, the customs, the food, all of it. But I suppose what I love most is a good story. During those three decades, I’ve also become a Professor of English at Arizona State University, where my research has increasingly focused on how artists and ideas move across geographical and cultural boundaries. In my latest book, License to Travel, these various interests come together. 

Patrick's book list on memoirs about lives on the move

Why did Patrick love this book?

Allende loves her Chilean homeland with a longing, a tenderness, an exasperation derived from the country’s turbulent history and her long experience of exile and emigration in Venezuela and the United States.

This book made me fall in love all over again with the country, which I first visited a quarter century ago – and it will make you fall in love with it too, whether or not you’ve ever visited Chile.

With a novelist’s imaginative flare, Allende travels through time and across borders, searching her memory to tell the story of her lonely childhood, her remarkable family, the tumults that forced her abroad (including the death of her father’s cousin, President Salvador Allende), and a long life lived at a distance from the place she still calls home, regardless of decades of displacement.

By Isabel Allende,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

"A stunningly intimate memoir. . . . Allende is that rare writer whose understanding of story matches her mastery of language."-Entertainment Weekly

The revered New York Times bestselling author of House of the Spirits and A Long Petal of the Sea ponders the elements that led to her becoming a writer, including the homeland she lost and the one she found, and the family spirits, both living and dead, who haunt her life and work.

In this wondrous and intimate book, Isabel Allende explores the role of memory and nostalgia in shaping her life, her books, and that most intimate…

An Eye on the Hebrides

By Mairi Hedderwick (illustrator),

Book cover of An Eye on the Hebrides: An Illustrated Journey

Claire R. McDougall Author Of Veil of Time

From the list on to lose yourself in the dream that is Scotland.

Who am I?

There is a saying that you can take the girl out of Scotland but not Scotland out of the girl. I am that girl. Born and raised in Scotland, I earned an MA from Edinburgh University and a M.Litt from Oxford. I met my husband during the summer at  Dartmouth College and the rest, as they say, is history. Or, at least it would be, except for the hankering back to Scotland that never leaves. My novel set in Scotland was published by Simon & Schuster.

Claire's book list on to lose yourself in the dream that is Scotland

Why did Claire love this book?

Hedderwick’s whimsical watercolors and text capture the heart of Scotland’s western isles and something essential about Scots, too. Over the course of a year, she travelled over the waters to and between these islands in her VW Camper, capturing with humor what makes these people tick – often just a brood of kittens nestled in a kitchen cupboard. I turn to this book when I am feeling nostalgic about Scotland. Hedderwick captures for me the undertones of Scottish life.

By Mairi Hedderwick (illustrator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked An Eye on the Hebrides as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Mairi Hedderwick embarks on a six-month-long journey to 40 islands from Arran to Lewis, recounting her pilgrimage around the archipelago of the Western Isles with which she has had a lifelong love affair.

Filled with wit and wisdom that is matched by her spell-binding illustrations, Mairi Hedderwick portrays the islands in all their diversity, with swift and perceptive cameos of everyday life drawn with humour and affection alongside gorgeous landscapes which capture the truly magical beauty of the Hebrides.


By Gene Savoy,

Book cover of Antisuyo: The Search for the Lost Cities of the Amazon

Vincent R. Lee Author Of Forgotten Vilcabamba: Final Stronghold of the Incas

From the list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas.

Who am I?

Vincent Lee is a professional architect and former Alpine climbing guide and instructor, US Marine Corps officer, Andean explorer, and author. Searching in the high Andes of Peru and the rain forests of the Upper Amazon for the remains of the long-lost final redoubt of the once-powerful Inca Empire not only appealed to his life-long interest in all of these disparate fields, but it called upon his many years of experience in each: wilderness trekking, mountain warfare, mapping and drawing the remains of the more than 500 ancient structures discovered.

Vincent's book list on discovery of the true Lost City of the Incas

Why did Vincent love this book?

Following up on Hiram Bingham's 1911 visit to an overgrown ruin in the forest at a place called Espíritu Pampa (The Plain of Ghosts) and dismissed by Bingham as unimportant, Savoy set out in 1964-5 to prove him wrong. Bingham had identified Machu Picchu as the lost Inca capital, Vilcabamba, but Savoy was sure there was more to be found at the Plain of Ghosts than Bingham knew. He was right, and in several adventurous expeditions found a large Inca city there that he thought better met the Spanish accounts of Vilcabamba.

By Gene Savoy,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

This inspiring and historic book: Antisuyo by Gene Savoy, is about the search for the lost cities of the Amazon. Antisuyo is the full account of the authors' daring expedition beyond one of the few remaining uncharted frontiers, and of his glorious discovery of the fabled cities of Viacabamba and Muyok Viejo--two of the most important archaeololgical sites found in recent years. He takes the reader through the forbidding mysteries of the wild territory in search for of clues to puzzles that have remained unsolved since the days of Pizarro: Aztahualpa: the legendary Manco Capac; the famed El Dorado, City…

The Women I Think about at Night

By Mia Kankimäki, Douglas Robinson (translator),

Book cover of The Women I Think about at Night: Traveling the Paths of My Heroes

Janna Graber Author Of A Pink Suitcase: 22 Tales of Women's Travel

From the list on travel for women.

Who am I?

Travel teaches and molds us. It certainly changed my own life. At age 19, I picked up my backpack and schoolbooks and moved from America to Austria. That experience opened my eyes to the world, and I’ve never looked back. Today, I’m a travel journalist, author, and editor at Go World Travel Magazine. I’m always on the lookout for fascinating tales of travel, but I especially appreciate learning from other female adventurers. They continue to inspire me. I hope these books will inspire you, too.

Janna's book list on travel for women

Why did Janna love this book?

Mia Kankimäki’s thoughtful travel memoir explores female adventurers of the past, from Karen Blixen of Out of Africa to Yayoi Kusama, an artist who voluntarily lived in a psychiatric hospital for decades. Kankimäki confronts her own personal demons while considering the challenges these mighty women faced as they journeyed into places unknown.

The Women I Think About at Night is part travel essay, part history lesson, and an all-around enjoyable narrative about female adventures who defied cultural norms to build the lives they wanted.

By Mia Kankimäki, Douglas Robinson (translator),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Women I Think about at Night as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this "thought-provoking blend of history, biography, women's studies, and travelogue" (Library Journal) Mia Kankimaki recounts her enchanting travels in Japan, Kenya, and Italy while retracing the steps of ten remarkable female pioneers from history.

What can a forty-something childless woman do? Bored with her life and feeling stuck, Mia Kankimaki leaves her job, sells her apartment, and decides to travel the world, following the paths of the female explorers and artists from history who have long inspired her. She flies to Tanzania and then to Kenya to see where Karen Blixen-of Out of Africa fame-lived in the 1920s. In…

Book cover of The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. 1

Roger Crowley Author Of Empires of the Sea: The Final Battle for the Mediterranean, 1521-1580

From the list on the Mediterranean world.

Who am I?

The Mediterranean is in my family’s history. My dad was a naval officer who worked in the sea in peace and war and took us to Malta when I was nine. I was entranced by the island’s history, by an evocative sensory world of sunlight, brilliant seas, and antiquity. I’ve been travelling in this sea ever since, including a spell living in Turkey, and delved deep into its past, its empires, and its maritime activity. I’m the author of three books on the subject: Constantinople: the Last Great Siege, Empires of the Sea, and Venice: City of Fortune.

Roger's book list on the Mediterranean world

Why did Roger love this book?

This is a big read but quite simply a classic, one of the great works of historical scholarship. I’ve found it invaluable. Its two-volume coverage of what sounds like a highly specialist topic belies its depth, panoramic sweep, and sheer interest to anyone fascinated by Mediterranean history and its setting. Braudel links events and historical personages to geography, climate, economics, natural history, population sizes, you name it – a multi-factorial analysis of the middle sea resonant far beyond the period it claims to cover.

By Fernand Braudel,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Mediterranean and the Mediterranean World in the Age of Philip II, Vol. 1 as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The focus of Fernand Braudel's great work is the Mediterranean world in the second half of the sixteenth century, but Braudel ranges back in history to the world of Odysseus and forward to our time, moving out from the Mediterranean area to the New World and other destinations of Mediterranean traders. Braudel's scope embraces the natural world and material life, economics, demography, politics, and diplomacy.

Virginia Folk Legends

By Thomas E. Barden,

Book cover of Virginia Folk Legends

Pamela K. Kinney Author Of Haunted Virginia: Legends, Myths, and True Tales

From the list on paranormal to scare up myths and legends.

Who am I?

Long before I began writing my first fictional story and way before I researched for my first nonfiction paranormal book, I gave up ignoring the voices in my head and began writing horror, fantasy, and six nonfiction books on the paranormal in Virginia. Besides learning a new piece of history or legend I never knew before, the research for my nonfiction books and articles inspired me to incorporate it into my horror or fantasy fiction. I enjoy writing fiction, but I believe I learn as much as my readers when I write nonfiction. 

Pamela's book list on paranormal to scare up myths and legends

Why did Pamela love this book?

This book is a collection of legends and folklore gathered by field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA that languished for decades in the libraries of the University of Virginia. It took folklorist Thomas E. Barde to put them in a book endorsed by the American Folklore Society. It helped me discover the witch stories told in the past until the 40s in the western part of Virginia, as I researched for the witch chapter of my own book. I enjoyed these tales and believed other armchair folklorists would enjoy them, too. 

By Thomas E. Barden,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

What do devil dogs, witches, haunted houses, Daniel Boone, Railroad Bill, "Justice John" Crutchfield, and lost silver mines have in common? All are among the subjects included in the vast collection of legends gathered between 1937 and 1942 by the field workers of the Virginia Writers Project of the WPA. For decades following the end of the project, these stories lay untouched in the libraries of the University of Virginia. Now, folklorist Thomas E. Barden brings to light these delightful tales, most of which have never been in print. Virginia Folk Legends presents the first valid published collection of Virginia…

The Orwell Tour

By Oliver Lewis,

Book cover of The Orwell Tour: Travels through the Life and Work of George Orwell

Mike Hulme Author Of Climate Change Isn't Everything: Liberating Climate Politics from Alarmism

From Mike's 3 favorite reads in 2023.

Who am I?

Author Professor Dreamer Christian Lover of cats

Mike's 3 favorite reads in 2023

Why did Mike love this book?

Lewis uses the device of traveling to tell Orwell’s life story – a brilliant idea that brings the writer’s life to life in a completely fresh way. 

As someone who loves travel writing and loves Orwell’s writings, this book got me as close to walking with Orwell as I am ever likely to get. 

Lewis starts in his journey in the pretty obscure town of Motihari, northern India, where Orwell was born, and follows him to Eton College, Burma, Paris, Hampstead, Wigan, Catalonia, Marrakech, and Jura, among other places.

In the three days it took me to read this compelling book, I felt I was living Orwell’s life and understood his motivations and contradictions from the inside.

By Oliver Lewis,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

A travelogue exploring the life and work of George Orwell through the places he lived, worked and wrote

Following in the footsteps of his literary hero, researcher and historian Oliver Lewis set out to visit all the places to have inspired and been lived in by George Orwell.

Over three years he travelled from Wigan to Catalonia, Paris to Motihari, Marrakesh to Eton, and in each location explored both how Orwell experienced the place, and how the place now remembers him as a literary icon.

Beginning in Northern India, where Orwell was born in 1903, and ending in the Oxfordshire…

Humans of New York

By Brandon Stanton,

Book cover of Humans of New York

Terry Baker Mulligan Author Of These Boys Are Killing Me: Travels and Travails With Sons Who Take Risks

From the list on how those who differ from the norm are treated by society.

Who am I?

I read voraciously and have been fortunate to interact with people and situations such as those on my list. I also grew up in New York City, the melting pot displayed in Humans of New York. There I lived, jumped double-dutch, studied, and worked in a multicultural community. After moving to St Louis, I discovered it was a place that did not always embrace “others.” That inspired me to write my first book, Sugar Hill. Living in St Louis also strengthened my appreciation for diversity in race, religion, and to appreciate people whose sexual identity, or mental and physical ability might differ from mine. 

Terry's book list on how those who differ from the norm are treated by society

Why did Terry love this book?

I love photography books but, my hands-down favorite is Humans of New York. New York City is truly America’s melting pot, a gourmet stew of nationalities, personalities, fragile seniors, young billionaires, paupers, and everything in between. The city has much of what’s right with the world and its burst of humanity can all be seen in this book.

Unlike many photo books, this one has no excess verbiage. Stanton lets the pictures or their subjects tell the stories. There are hairstylists, hipsters, mommies, cute kids, teens with tattoos and purple hair, and a guy busking in the park with his viola while wearing a pink gorilla suit. The caption reads: “Damn liberal arts degree.” The author created this as a summer project and ended with 300 pages of delight. 

By Brandon Stanton,

Why should I read it?

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

What is this book about?

An instant Number One New York Times bestseller, Humans of New York began in the summer of 2010, when photographer Brandon Stanton set out on an ambitious project: to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in his attempt to capture ordinary New Yorkers in the most extraordinary of moments. The result of these efforts was "Humans of New York," a vibrant blog in which he featured his photos alongside quotes and anecdotes. The blog has steadily grown, now boasting nearly a…

The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago

By David M. Gitlitz, Linda Kay Davidson,

Book cover of The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago: The Complete Cultural Handbook

Beebe Bahrami Author Of The Way of the Wild Goose: Three Pilgrimages Following Geese, Stars, and Hunches on the Camino de Santiago

From the list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago.

Who am I?

I'm an award-winning writer, anthropologist, and trekker. Much of my writing is centered on France, Spain, and Portugal and the trails of the Camino de Santiago. My passion for the Camino and its rich legacy arose over three decades ago as a study abroad student in southern Spain when I first heard about the Camino and journeyed across Spain, France, and Portugal. I knew then that my life would forever be bound up with going deeper into the rich histories, cultures, and places of these many-layered geographies. I'm best known for my travel memoirs (Café Oc, Café Neandertal), guidebooks (Moon Camino de Santiago, The Spiritual Traveler Spain), and widely published travel essays. 

Beebe's book list on the culture and history of the Camino de Santiago

Why did Beebe love this book?

This is the definitive guide to the historical details of the Camino de Santiago, answering any question, however large or small—from the Roman stones on the path to the meaning of engravings, paintings, and stained glass windows—in the many churches and monuments along the way.

By David M. Gitlitz, Linda Kay Davidson,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Pilgrimage Road to Santiago as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Readers tour the most popular pilgrimage route in the world, covering the ground traversed by Medieval pilgrims as they trek accross the Pyranees from France to Spain headed for the tomb of the Apostle James. Original. 12,500 first printing.

Caesar's Vast Ghost

By Lawrence Durrell,

Book cover of Caesar's Vast Ghost: Aspects of Provence

Barbara Santich Author Of The Original Mediterranean Cuisine: Medieval Recipes for Today

From the list on gastronomic Provence.

Who am I?

Since first stepping off a train at Nice I've felt an affinity with southern France, but it was a chance encounter with the local shepherd who, speaking a version of the Provençal language, alerted me to the proud past of this region and its individual identity. (I've written about this time in my book Wild Asparagus, Wild Strawberries.) A serendipitous opportunity to study ancien Provençal led me down a meandering path to a PhD that eventually became The Original Mediterranean Cuisine, and on to a career researching and teaching culinary history. My next book looks at the roots of Provençal cuisine in the eighteenth century. 

Barbara's book list on gastronomic Provence

Why did Barbara love this book?

Provence has inspired hundreds of books, but Lawrence Durrell captures better than most what he calls its 'real nature'. His book is both personal response (he lived for many years at Sommières, north of Nimes) and historical reflection, particularly on the Roman legacy – a legacy that includes wine and olive oil, perennial staples of the Provençal table. Although Caesar occupied the whole of France, nowhere is the Roman imprint more omnipresent than in Provence; living near Carpentras, we daily dreamed of finding our fortune in an ancient Roman coin, shining through the dust of a lonely track. Durrell's language is poetic, his imagery evocative: the 'Socratic austerity' of a game of boules, the 'felicity and eloquence' of Provençal skies. As a companion to Provence, Durrell is my pick.

By Lawrence Durrell,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Caesar's Vast Ghost as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Lose yourself in this classic travelogue evoking the idyllic South of France by the king of travel writing and real-life family member of The Durrells in Corfu.

'Full of stories, landscapes, comedy, history, heresies, animals, food, drink, and songs of the Midi.' Patrick Leigh Fermor

'A richly characteristic bouillabaisse by our last great garlicky master of the vanishing Mediterranean, our old Prospero of the south.' Richard Holmes

Provence, Southern France. Celebrated writer and poet Lawrence Durrell made the Midi his home for more than thirty years: and in his final book, he shares his most evocative, dazzling memories of life…