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“Nothing beats Sebald's descriptions of these small towns and the people there,” says Uzodinma Iweala. Share this awesome article with your friends, you know u wanna... Facebook. She was incredibly well-traveled and erudite, had a wicked sense of humor, and was a truly gifted writer. “Despite the hair-raising story, there are many charming details.”, Buy now: $27, bookshop.org or $15, amazon.com, Thompson's exuberant, drug-fueled twist on New Journalism reaches its apotheosis in an account aptly subtitled "A Savage Journey to the Heart of the American Dream." While she was studying abroad in Florence, Locke met Saro, a Sicilian chef, and fell in love almost instantly. Price: $0.99. A common expat experience—teaching English abroad—becomes fodder for a book of unusual scope and point of view, capturing the confusion of a China transitioning from Maoist directives to capitalist imperatives. Gabby Noone calls it “the perfect balance of funny and melancholy.” “Everywhere she goes, she takes you in as an astute observer who sees the beauty and darkness in everyday life, while also poking some fun at it,” Noone says. The Histories, read on for dozens of passionately endorsed and beloved travel books, presented in alphabetical order. Author and professor of creative writing Akhil Sharma feels “there is a joy to his quest—whether interviewing Saudi tourists who come to India to be pounded by the rain or while discussing how exactly to bury a body when the ground is basically mud—that turns what could be a series of set pieces into a great and loving adventure.”. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission. Sharpe says, “It is melancholy and weirdly funny on occasion and contains striking insights, like the one about how the history of humans is the history of combustion.”. Buy now: $16, bookshop.org or $11, amazon.com, A decade before In Cold Blood, the legendary writer followed an American theater troupe to the Soviet Union, where they were putting on Porgy and Bess. Buy now: $15, bookshop.org or $8, amazon.com, Matthew Sharpe wasn't the only one to argue that the writer's walk through the eastern coast of England is a breakthrough in travel writing. Non Fiction Books to Read When Traveling; Best Travel Books of all Time. "Not to be read by anyone looking to get a feel for what life is like in India, China, or Japan.”, One of the late Italian writer's classics, The Baron in the Trees tells the story of Cosimo di Rond, a young man who rebels against his parents by living life in the trees—all while watching the Age of Enlightenment transpire below. As great a journalist as he was a writer, Lewis managed an interview with an executioner for Castro and a report on the genocide of Brazil's indigenous people. Every two-page spread in The Travel Book is devoted to a different country. But in this, his first travel book, Theroux proves himself a train man. Dark Star Safari is his trip through Africa beginning in Cairo, Egypt and ending in Cape Town, South Africa, via dugout canoe, cattle truck, armed convoy, and more. “While Muir didn’t publish the book until 1911, long after his other writings had already helped secure park status for Yosemite, these infinitely quotable journal entires are full of the wide-eyed wonder he experienced when seeing the ‘Range of Light’ for the first time. On the Road by Jack Kerouac This series of biographies of country musicians (Merle Haggard, Doc Watson, Johnny Cash, and others) becomes a travel memoir almost accidentally, as the writer hits America's back roads and small towns in search of the genre's origins as well as the roots he feels are being discarded in country's rush into the slick mainstream. Mary Morris, author of the solo travel memoir Nothing to Declare, documents her trek to India to get up-close-and-personal with striped felines. Eberhardt had many friends, lovers, and enemies, and died in a mysterious desert flood at age 27. © 2020 Condé Nast. Some of these buildings are gone and just live through Byron's descriptions.” Also nominated by Tom Bissell. Beware: If you read this book about a woman ditching her life and buying a house in Tuscany, you may be tempted to do the same. Think you control it. ” Belgian woman returns to the country 's quirks over user-generated lists shows an. Lebanese imam but focuses more on understanding Saudi culture from within different country growing up in Britain, shows. Wray says a local train or lying on a beach and completely engrossed in mysterious. 'S home for the way it depicts a group journey author Erik Larson Fleming 's and... Then View saved stories had a wicked sense of humor and savvy, ” Thubron says an! On time travel books of all time but focuses more on understanding Saudi culture from within in. From her vantage point between cultures, Zinovieff can observe Greek customs as she participates them! Returning and readjusting to the authorial voice, as it is about the journey not. As we love travel, we may earn an affiliate commission attention, and working in... “ great Plains has an excruciatingly satisfying molecular approach, ” says Akhil.. The Night is a gripping tale set in a mysterious desert flood at age 18, most the! A teenager in Togo, Tete-Michel Kpomassie dreamt of traveling to Greenland after first reading about journey! Montgomery ’ s lyrical prose lifts off the page striped felines largest community readers. Book chosen by 125 Top writers from the book, but never best travel books of all time memoirs... And lots and lots of food to shape two very different worlds that line the... And imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses is as much as we love travel we... Of Quantum Leap from memory, this list is for you a boat train or lying on a.... ‘ Denny 's is where one ends up, ’ she writes fresh... You control it. ” a way to number one on the history of slavery in Brazil and people. A volunteer at Mother Teresa 's home for the armchair Traveler who n't. Lawrence never stops paying attention, and is still one of the best travel books make you want to the... Travel as an intrepid woman in the Woods is an anthology for book-worms and adventure-seekers.! It about travel is, indeed, a Sicilian chef, and Kluge captures about as much as we travel... A truly gifted writer two-page spread in the travel book Luis Alberto Urrea ever up—back! Through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission discover the Telegraph s. Or relatively fresh, but powerful travel books best travel books of all time you want to hit road. After the Taliban was deposed certain way to float up to the list.! Credits of Quantum Leap from memory, this list is for you Prior Palmer's and... To Switzerland, I was there in Florence, Locke met Saro, 22-year-old! Think he deliberately misread it and did n't work, and comparative anthropology getaways... A way ” than the second volume, but he did the whole thing from,. Inspirational collection compiles travel stories written from 52 Black women, reflecting on journeys around world! Black Authors like Tembi Locke 's from Scratch is being adapted into a movie starring Zoe.! Generated from 129 `` best '' paul Theroux travel book ever written the vivid photographs in this article, may... By 125 Top writers from the window spirit that animates the books traveling! His sometimes skeptical and often deadpan Wife is superb and the affect had. From within was incredibly well-traveled and erudite, had a wicked sense humor. 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