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Can you guys recommend a good travel book?

Travel Forums General Talk Can you guys recommend a good travel book?


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1. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 2y

I haven't read a good travel book, or any travel book, in ages! Has anyone got some good recommendations?

My go-to writers have always been Paul Theroux or Dervla Mulcahy, but I kinda feel like reading something different for a change to get the synapses firing again :)

What's everyone reading?


[ Edit: Edited on 03-Mar-2014, at 17:19 by samsara_ ]

2. Posted by hasbeen (Travel Guru 783 posts) 2y

The cats table by Michael Ondaatje

A gentle story of a voyage by a young boy from Sri Lanka to England.

Not sure it is really a travel book but it does involve travel & I found it to be very enjoyable. Especially as I was on a cruise that touched Sri Lanka when I read it & the reason I chose to read it.


3. Posted by Borisborough (Moderator 546 posts) 2y

Fiction or non-fiction?

As a (former?) Brit, I love the Michael Palin books Around the World, Pole to Pole and the others that accompany his series but they can be a bit big to carry in a backpack. The Bill Bryson set Notes from a Small Island, Notes from a Big Country and Down Under are entertaining if you're in the UK, Oz or the USA on your travels.

If you're in somewhere around Afghanistan or that way, The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns are terrific books.

Tim Moore's a funny bloke; he wrote French Revolutions about cycling the Tour de France route (at a more leisurely pace), Frost on My Moustache (there's a joke there somewhere) about cycling around Iceland and others too.

You can look up these authors on Wikipedia (the font of all knowledge )and get lots more ideas.

Enjoy your reading!

[ Edit: Edited on 03-Mar-2014, at 18:28 by Borisborough ]

4. Posted by KellieBarnes (Travel Guru 813 posts) 2y

If you're after epic-trip-reading, I thoroughly enjoyed From Here To There, the story of radio presenter Jon Faine's overland trip from Melbourne to London with his son.

I've yet to read Torre DeRoche's (also a Melburnian) Love With A Chance Of Drowning memoir but it sounds interesting.

5. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3742 posts) 2y

Magic Bus by Rory Maclean
Shantaram by Grgory David Roberts is a great read, but it's a large book - perfect for a kindle!
Canoeing the congo by Phil Harwood - a fascinating account of one man's solo mission to canoe down the Congo.

I'll add more if I think of any.

6. Posted by bex76 (Moderator 3742 posts) 2y

Also, Tim Butcher has written a couple of good ones: Blood River (another one about the Congo) and Chasing the Devil, about travelling in sub-Saharan Africa.

4 letter countries by David Jenkins is a fun read.

7. Posted by Utrecht (Moderator 5597 posts) 2y

Next to Paul Theroux, my favorite is Bill Bryson. He has written a few great ones about travelling in the USA, Australia and the UK. It's both entertaining (you will laugh!) as well as nicely written with information about the country. Walk in the Woods and The Lost Continent - travels in Small Town America are great.

Michael Palin has some classics (Pole to Pole, Around the World in 80 days) which definately are nice too.
And Ted Simon's Jupiter Travels are also great. He has written a few more books, but his first one is the best.

8. Posted by mischellelois (First Time Poster 1 posts) 2y

The lost continent

9. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 2y

Fantastic, thanks everyone! Lots of great suggestions. I'm looking forward to getting stuck into some of those :)

10. Posted by wizzmor1977 (Respected Member 214 posts) 2y

Have you read Dark star safari, it is a Paul Theroux book about going Cairo to Cape Town under your own steam. To be honest im not much of a reader, but because this is a journey im interested in undertaking, i decided to read his account, i was surprised at how much i enjoyed the book.