Enjoy stories of dashing and daring travelers and their exploits with this list of notable travel narratives.
The titles are loosely organized by categories: Extreme Travel, Family Travels, Famous Travel Writers, Humorous Travelogues, Seafaring Adventures & Water Travel, Travel Redux, Unusual Travel Agendas, and Women on the Road. For help locating the travel book you want, Ask Readers Services!
The Future of Ice: A Journey Into Cold, Gretel Ehrlich 818.54 EHR
Will winter cease to exist? Nature writer Ehrlich explores extreme cold through her experiences in Montana, Chile and the Arctic.
The Lunatic Express: Discovering the World—Via Its Most Dangerous Buses, Boats, Trains, and Planes, Carl Hoffman 910.4 HOF
If you have to travel, this book may make you feel better about rapid transit.
The Longest Ride: My Ten-Year 500,000 Mile Motorcycle Journey, Emilio Scotto 910.4 SCO
Come along for the ride of a lifetime as Scotto tours the world on his 1100 Honda Gold Wing motorcycle.
Long Way Down: An Epic Journey by Motorcycle From Scotland to South Africa, Ewan McGregor 910.41 MCG
McGregor chronicles his trip on the open (and dusty, sandy, gravelly, and pot-holed) road from Scotland to South Africa.
Tales From the Torrid Zone: Travels in the Deep Tropics, Alexander Frater 910.913 FRA
Celebrated travel writer Frater travels through all of the eighty-eight countries in this languorous, steamy swath of the world.
Adventures in Yellowstone: Early Travelers Tell Their Tales, compiled by M. Mark Miller 917.8752 ADV
Collected letters, diaries, and journals of travelers who traveled to Yellowstone from 1839-1904.
Some of the Dead Are Still Breathing: Living in the Future, Charles Bowden 979 BOW
Bowden writes “…with molten urgency, confessional magnetism, and piercing detail,” Booklist
Passion on the Vine: A Memoir of Food, Wine, and Family in the Heart of Italy, Sergio Esposito 641.013 ESP
Italian wine merchant Esposito tells colorful tales of family life, luscious food, and travels into the heart of Italy.
How to Eat a Small Country: A Family’s Pursuit of Happiness, One Meal at a Time, Amy Finley 641.5944 FIN
Winning the reality-TV The Next Food Network Star leads to surprising complications. Here Finley chronicles her family’s nine-month exploration of France and French cooking.
Traveling With Pomegranates: A Mother-Daughter Story,
Sue Monk Kidd and Ann Kidd Taylor 818.6 KID
Kidd and her daughter travel together and contemplate their changing roles as women in this dual memoir.
Far From Home: Father-Daughter Travel Adventures, edited by Wendy Knight 910.4 FAR
Twenty male writers share father/daughter stories of “discovery, reconciliation, and adversity” experienced during their world travels.
How to Fit a Car Seat on a Camel: And Other Misadventures Traveling With Kids, edited by Sarah Franklin 910.4 HOW
“Have you ever struggled to dislodge a nostril-bound Cheerio while navigating the interstate at 70 miles an hour?” Stories from 36 mothers about “harrowing and heartwarming” travels with children.
The Road to Somewhere: Travels With a Young Boy Through an Old World, James Dodson 914 DOD
Dodson and his 10-year-old son spend eight weeks traveling the globe. Well, that was their goal . . .
The Italian Summer: Golf, Food, and Family at Lake Como, Roland Merullo 914.5231 MER
The title says it all. The goal for Merullo is to slow down and play golf. This travel/memoir “. . . recalls Calvin Trillin in its casual tone, and good humor . . .”
Wrong About Japan: A Father’s Journey With His Son, Peter Carey 915.2 CAR
Carey’s 12-year-old son Charley loves manga and anime, prompting a father/son a trip to Tokyo.
The Father of All Things: A Marine, His Son, and the Legacy of Vietnam, Tom Bissell 959.7043 BIS
Bissell and his ex-Marine father travel to Vietnam, exploring the impact of the Vietnam War and its aftershocks in American life.
The Condé Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places, edited by Klara Glowczewska 910.202 CON
The travel essays here first appeared in Condé Nast magazine and are by prominent writers who mainly gained their eminence in other genres.
A Trance After Breakfast: And Other Passages, Alan Cheuse 910.4 CHE
These lyrical essays by NPR commentator Cheuse first appeared in such publications as Gourmet.
The Third Tower Up From the Road, Kevin Dolgin 910.4 DOL
Funny, irreverent, and insightful essays include "The Best Falafel in the World—Beirut,” “The Nesting Habits of Roman Cars” and more.
The Explorer’s Eye: First-Hand Accounts of Adventure and Exploration, edited by Fergus Fleming & Annabel Merullo 910 EXP
Accounts of famous explorers brought together in one volume by historian Fleming.
Contact! A Book of Encounters, Jan Morris 910.4 MOR
Beloved travel writer Morris “paints a vibrant, funny, and moving picture of humanity.”
Nomad’s Hotel: Travels in Time and Space, Cees Nooteboom 910.4 NOO
Noted Dutch novelist and travel writer Nooteboom travels off the conventional path, and writes with humanity and gentle humor.
What in the World! Wild, Weird, and Wonderful Adventures of a Wanderer, Michael Smith 910.4 SMI
Budget traveler Smith travels the globe with a small backpack and lots of curiosity. Stunning photographs.
Smile When You’re Lying: Confessions of a Rogue Travel Writer, Chuck Thompson 910.4 THO
A frank, behind-the-scenes view of travel that magazines won’t print.
By the Seat of My Pants: Humorous Tales of Travel and Misadventure, edited by Don George 910.4 BY
Not everything goes as planned for travel writers. Here are some of their funniest misadventures.
An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington, Karl Pilkington 910.4 PIL
Will a trip to see the Seven Wonders instill wonder in this jaded non-traveler?
The Risks of Sunbathing Topless: And Other Funny Stories From the Road, edited by Kate Chynoweth 910.4 RIS
Hilarious, travel/disaster essays by women.
The Thong Also Rises: Further Misadventures From Funny Women on the Road! edited by Jennifer L. Leo 910.4 THO
Notable women writers and comediennes write of their “Ms-adventures” on the road.
The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Places in the World, Eric Weiner 910.4 WEI
Where do the most contented people in the world live? Find out in NPR’S Eric Weiner’s travel/memoir.
More Sand in My Bra: Funny Women Write From the Road, Again, edited by Julia Weiler and Jennifer L. Leo 910.4082 MOR
Humorous stories from women writers and journalists about their travels in Peru, Mexico, San Francisco, and Indonesia.
The Ridiculous Race: 26,000 Miles, 2 Guys, 1 Globe, No Airplanes, Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran 910.41 HEL
Hit-TV comedy writers vie to see who can travel around the world the fastest--without airplanes.
Seafaring Adventures & Water Travel
Seven-Tenths: Love, Piracy, and Science at Sea, David Fisichella 551.46 FIS
An engineer, a blind oceanographer, and an unlikely love story at sea.
Sailing by Starlight: In Search of Treasure Island: A Conjecture, Alex Capus 910.45 CAP
Did Robert Louis Stevenson settle in Samoa hoping to find a real treasure island? Capus takes us on an exploratory journey to find out.
Seaworthy: Adrift With William Willis in the Golden Age of Rafting, T.R. Pearson 910.45 PEA
Story of a real-life Ancient Mariner, 60-year-old eccentric Willis, who sailed in a raft from Peru to American Samoa in 114 days.
Voyage of the Manteño: The Education of a Modern-Day Expeditioner, John Haslett 910.9164 HAS
Haslett's two most important characters are the sea and the raft, and they come alive on every page. Booklist
Black Wave: A Family’s Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them, John Silverwood and Jean Silverwood 910.91649 SIL
A suburban California family chucks it all to sail around the world, only to face shipwreck.
Mystery of the Nile: The Epic Story of the First Descent of the World’s Deadliest River, Richard Bangs 916.2 BAN
In 2004, explorer Pasquale Scaturro made the first-ever complete descent of the Nile, facing bandits, malaria, rapids, crocodiles and hippos.
Berserk: My Voyage to Antarctica in a Twenty-Seven-Foot Sailboat, David Mercy 919.89 MER
Mercy was looking for a way to get to the only continent he had not traveled… and he found one!
The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey, Candice Millard 981.13 MIL
After losing his third-party run for the 1912 presidential election, Roosevelt embarked on an Amazon adventure rivaling that of Indiana Jones.
Travel Redux, or Traveling In the Footsteps of the Famous
The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America Its Name, Toby Lester 912 LES
The story of the Waldseemuller world map of 1507, which was the first to show the New World and call it "America.”
Travels With a Tangerine: From Morocco to Turkey in the Footsteps of Islam’s Greatest Traveler, Tim Mackintosh-Smith 915.6 MAC
When he left home in the year 1325, the great Arab traveler Ibn Battutah was headed for Mecca but went on to travel the known world. Mackintosh-Smith retraces his route.
Shadow of the Silk Road, Colin Thubron 915.8 THU
Tracing the ancient Silk Road, which stretched from China to the Mediterranean, veteran travel writer Thubron travels third class and comes face-to-face with local inhabitants.
The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon, David Grann 918.11 GRA
In 1925, explorer Percy Fawcett and his party disappeared while searching for an ancient Amazonian civilization. Grann sets off to the Amazon in search of Fawcett’s party.
Zheng He: Tracing the Epic Voyages of China’s Greatest Explorer, Michael Yamashita 951.026 YAM
Before the legendary voyages of Christopher Columbus, 15th century Chinese explorer Admiral Zheng He is reported to have reached the Americas.
Searching for Tamsen Donner, Gabrielle Burton 978.02092 BUR
With her family, Burton explores the Donner party trek from Illinois to California through the life of Tamsen Donner.
Marco Polo: From Venice to Xanadu, Laurence Bergreen B POLO
Bergreen retraces the Venetian merchant's route across Mongolia and China and attempts to discover how much of Polo's account is real and how much imaginary.
Unusual Travel Agendas
Double-Take: A Memoir, Kevin Michael Connolly 362.43 CON
Photographer, champion skier and skateboarder Connolly was born without legs, but it didn’t stop him from journeying around the world.
After the Dance: A Walk Through Carnival in Jacmel, Haiti, Edwidge Danticat 394.25 DAN
Haitian-American author Danticat returns to Haiti to experience Carnival in her home town.
The Scent Trail: How One Woman’s Quest for the Perfect Perfume Took Her Around the World, Celia Lyttelton 668.54 LYT
“Scented sentences permeate the pages as she takes the reader along on her ‘olfactory odyssey’ across far-flung, labyrinthine landscapes . . .” Publishers Weekly
No Reservations: Around the World on an Empty Stomach, Anthony Bourdain 910.4 BOU
The best and worst eating places on the globe from the always-entertaining Bourdain.
It’s a Dog’s World: True Stories of Travel With Man’s Best Friend, edited by Christine Hunsicker 910.4 ITS
Stories by dog lovers who couldn’t leave their beloved pooches behind.
A Moveable Feast: Life-Changing Food Adventures Around the World, edited by Don George 910.4 MOV
George takes us around the globe for food encounters with thirty-eight chefs, journalists, and writers.
100 Journeys for the Spirit: Sacred, Inspiring, Mysterious, Enlightening, Michael Ondaatje and others 910.4 ONE
A coffee table book combining essays and superb photographs of some of earth’s most sacred places.
Naked in Dangerous Places: The Chronicles of a Hungry, Scared, Lost, Homesick, but Otherwise Perfectly Happy Traveler, Cash Peters 910.4 PET
The host of the Travel Channel’s Stranded tells about some of the places he’s been left to fend for himself.
The Bizarre Truth: How I Walked Out the Door Mouth First—And Came Back Shaking My Head, Andrew Zimmern 910.4 ZIM
Zimmern, who has eaten everything from cow vein stew in Bolivia to giant flying ants in Uganda, feels that eating with locals is a way to discover what is most authentic -- the bizarre truth -- about a culture.
The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer: Close Encounters With Strangers, Eric Hansen 910.41 HAN
“Readers will finish this book before they know it and will find themselves wishing for more of Hansen's world, full of hidden treasures revealed through vivid prose.” Booklist
I’m Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago, Hape Kerkeling 914.611 KER
German writer Kerkeling tells of his 500-mile pilgrimage to the Spanish shrine of St. James in this inspiring story of a spiritual journey.
Travels in Siberia, Ian Frazier 957 FRA
In this dazzling Russian travelogue, Frazier tells of his travels in Siberia over two decades. “Highly recommended for history buffs, armchair travelers, and lovers of a good essay.” Library Journal
Take Me With You: A Memoir, Carlos Frías 972.91064 FRI
Cuban-American author Frías journeys to Cuba to discover his family.
Women on the Road
Wanderlust and Lipstick: The Essential Guide for Women Traveling Solo, Beth Whitman 910.202 WHI
Women traveling alone will find encouragement and insight in this book, in its 2nd edition.
Wanderlust: A Love Affair With Five Continents, Elisabeth Eaves 910.4 EAV
Eaves chases the exotic, both in culture and in romance, in this story of self-discovery.
The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure, Rachel Friedman 910.4 FRI
“Freidman's debut memoir navigates the joy and fear of travel and self-discovery.” Booklist
Female Nomad & Friends: Tales of Breaking Free and Breaking Bread Around the World, Rita Golden Gelman 910.4 GEL
Gelman’s second book about her time as a nomad includes essays by other women travelers, along with 33 ethnic recipes.
My Kind of Place: Travel Stories From a Woman Who’s Been Everywhere, Susan Orlean 910.4 ORL
New Yorker writer Orlean tells of her travels with wit and sophistication.
The Lost Girls: Three Friends, Four Continents, One Unconventional Detour Around the World, Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner 910.41 BAG
Three young women leave their jobs and romantic pressures behind to travel the world.