Reading List

If I need to relax after work, on a rainy Sunday afternoon, or can’t afford a travel excursion, I take to a book about traveling to escape to daydreaming about travel.

Please add your suggestions, I really need to get to the classics!


The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho. Set in Egypt, a young boy named Santiago sets out in search of a ‘treasure’.

The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective AgencyAlexander McCall Smith. Set in Botswana, a woman detective goes about solving mysteries in her town. (Series).

Eclipse – Richard North Patterson – Set in a mythical country in North Africa, a lawyer attempts to free a friend from being executed by a corrupt government.

River God – Wilbur Smith. A slave recounts his journeys throughout ancient Egypt as he looks after the loved ones in the royal house.


Girl with the Dragon Tattoo – Steig Larrson. These books take place in Sweden and follow an unusual and talented girl and a popular reporter as they attempt to solve several mysteries (series).

Jo Nesbo – Claimed to be the next Steig Larrson. Inspector Harry Hole, an alcoholic and unconventional detective races around Norway to capture murderers (series).


Italian Days – Barbara Grizzuti Harrison. Traveling around Italy, in the view of the author.

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown. Need explanation?

Angels and Demons – Dan Brown. Again?

Under the Tuscan Sun – Frances Mayes. An author picks up her life in San Francisco and moves with her husband to a small villa in Italy (not really anything like the movie).

Italy – Lonely Planet Guide. Got me through Italy amazingly.

South America

The Cloud Forest – Peter Matthiessen. A nautical journey to South America and to the wilderness beyond.


A Walk in the Woods – Bill Bryson. Amazing facts as the author attempts a hiking trip through the Appalachian Mountains

Hawaii – James Michener. A multi-generational journey through the creation and development of the islands in Hawaii.

Merle’s Door– Ted Kerasote. Hiking, and growing to love a dog taken in from the mid-US wilderness.


Around the World in 80 Dates – Jennifer Cox. A young author travels around the world attempting to find the best date.

The Lost Girls – Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett and Amanda Pressner. Three girls pick up their lives, leave their loved ones behind and spend a year traveling the world.

11 thoughts on “Reading List

  1. Pingback: Summer Daze « Wistfully Wandering

  2. Thanks for liking my post on Yellowstone. I too love “A Walk in the Woods “. For Africa, may I also recommend “Dark Star Safari” by Paul Theroux?

  3. I loved The Cloud Forest by Matthieson. In fact, I love nearly all his books. For South America, also read At Play In The Fields Of The Lord. For Nepal/Tibet, The Snow Leopard is a must-read. I haven’t been to Antarctica (yet!) but End Of The Earth: Voyage To Antarctica is a great read.

    Bill Bryson is amazing. Love most of his books. For a humorous look at Australia, check out In A Sunburned Country.

    And I’ll 2nd Arundhati’s vote for Dark Star Safari – I just read it this summer and it’s wonderful.
    Down The Nile: Alone In A Fisherman’s Skiff by Rosemary Mahoney. Not great writing, but what a wonderful story of a great trip.
    Thank you for not suggesting Heart of Darkness. Oh my that is a dense and terrible book. I don’t understand why it’s a “classic.”

    William Least-Heat Moon. Blue Highways. A mind-blowingly good account of a trip throughout the US. Too bad his follow-up writings couldn’t compare, but this is a masterpiece.
    Forrest Carter. The Education Of Little Tree. So beautiful, you’ll cry. I promise.

    South America….
    Gabriel Garcia Marquez. A must-read author. His classics are Love In The Time Of Cholera and 100 Years Of Solitude.
    Joe Simpson. Touching The Void. A harrowing and true tale of mountaineering insanity on Peru’s Siula Grande. Also an excellent movie. Joe Simpson’s writing is excellent and accessible even for non-climbers.

    Christopher Robbins. Apples Are From Kazakhstan. A wonderful history of a fascinating country. This book made me want to go there.

    So many more books that I just can’t think of right now… the list is limitless.

  4. I Wonder as I Wander by Langston Hughes — my favorite travelogue, and a moving snapshot of the changing life in the 1930s USA, Russia and Soviet Central Asia, China, Japan, Haiti, Cuba, and Spain (during its Civil War), recounted by a thoughtful, curious, and intelligent traveler. Well worth a read.

Leave a Reply to kevin meyers Cancel reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s