Some of Our Favourite Books on Travel
Updated: Jan 4, 2021
The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
"This is the one that set the table and changed everything- led me on my path of exploration. Theroux blazed a new trail for travel writers and continues to this day to set the bar very high."
The Drifters by James A. Michener
"The other book that set me off on my global adventures- Michener captured the times but probably rather dated at this point."
Golden Earth: Travels in Burma by Norman Lewis
"This may be the greatest travel book ever written- the penmanship is truly inspiring- a powerful wordsmith- wish I had one quarter of Norman Lewis' skillsets."
Tales from Margaritaville by Jimmy Buffett
Became a big fan of Jimmy Buffett while travelling through the tropics- his lyrics ring true- this book was a gas from start to finish.
"One of my all-time favourites- take this on your next extended vacation- the master American author is at his sharpest here- often overlooked by critics as his body of work is so vast. Pause to consider this Sam Clemens observation regarding India: "Here all life is valued except human life."
Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell
"George Orwell's lesser known masterpiece follows his travails as a young man hard on his luck- this is a vivid eye-popping account of life in these two major capitals unrecognizable by today's travellers."
"Pico Iyer's short stories in the 1980s moved and inspired me to greater heights- it was obvious that Iyer plied his craft in a manner that made me realize how many rivers were left to cross."
The Teachings of Don Juan: A Yaqui Way of Knowledge by Carlos Castaneda "I read this in Mexico in the 1970s- those were different days- I met the Yaquis and lived to tell the tale!"
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby
"Two clowns head into one of the most remote mountain regions in the world with virtually no climbing experience and attempt to scale an unconquered peak- Newby earliest and best work."
Tristes Tropiques by Claude Levi-Strauss
"I read this in French back in the day- it was tough sledding- but what a remarkable tome- his thoughts regarding the impact of tourism- back in the 1930s- continue to resonate...."
Blue Highways: A Journey into America by William Least Heat-Moon
"William Least Heat-Moon's book seemed to be on everyone's "must-read" list on the old dusty Asian trail- back in the 1980s"
Another Roadside Attraction by Tom Robbins
"Fact or fiction? What a long strange trip it's been!"
Magic Bus: On the Hippie Trail From Istanbul to India by Rory MacLean
"MacLean embarks a nostalgic journey along the old hippie trail- and lives to write the tale."
American Vertigo: Traveling America in the Footsteps of Tocqueville by Bernard Henri Levy
"Keep a dictionary handy as Levy follows Toqueville across America- this is one deep book from cover to cover"
"In the late sixties and early seventies, euro and N. American freaks travelled along the hippie trail from Istanbul to Goa. This is a delicious account of those heady days"
The Tao of Travel: Enlightenments from Lives on the Road by Paul Theroux
"A travel reader- Paul Theroux selects his list if the best in travel literature- a must read..."
Wrong About Japan by Peter Carey
"A father and son's quest for the a better understanding of Japanese anime."
"Tony Horwitz sends his "dispatches from the unfinished Civil War"- travelling throughout the South and playing war games as a Civil War re-enactor- reviting journey."
A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines by Anthony Bourdain
"Tony Bourdain's writing career took off with Kitchen Confidential. A Cook's Tour cements his reputation as a great writer."
Ghost Train to the Eastern Star: On the Tracks of the Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux
Ok- three books by Theroux- but in my opinion he is the best travel writer on the planet- bar none.