Best Road Tripping Books
Learn about 20th-century pioneers that paved the way for the Great American Road Trip. In Ford’s cars see how Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Harvey Firestone and John Burroughs traveled in the 1920s to explore the untamed portions of the U.S.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
This book is a classic and defined the counter-culture of the 1960s. If you find yourself at a crossroads, pick it up and read it. Based on his life, Kerouac drives back-and-forth between the opposing energies of the East Coast and the West Coast of the U.S. with a troupe of unforgettable characters.
Best Adventure Books for Women
Queen of the Mountaineers: The Trailblazing Life of Fanny Bullock Workman by Cathryn J. Prince
Learn about Fanny Bullock Workman, a Victorian woman who climbed the tallest peaks in healed boots and long culottes. She defied stereotypes while mapping the Himalayas.
Grab your bike shorts and saddle up your road bike with your best girlfriend as you cycle across South America. Or if that sounds like a bit too much, read this book instead.
Packed with quirky details along with life lessons abound, it’s an upbeat read without the uphill cycling.
Best Books for Foodies by Foodies
Kitchen Confidential Updated Edition: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain
New York experience is the gold standard for many creative fields, including the restaurant industry. Bourdain paints a vivid picture of the characters on-and-off the hot line. Listen to the audiobook version Bourdain narrates it in his typical gruff style.
The Making of a Chef: Mastering Heat at the Culinary Institute of America by Michael Ruhlman
For those considering a career in food, learn about the top culinary school in the U.S. It’s where Anthony Bourdain and Roy Choi and a host of others graduated. Cranking out great food and top culinarians in equal parts, it’s an interesting look into first steps for many.
Super Sushi Ramen Express: A Culinary Adventure Through Japan by Michael Booth
Here’s the book for sushi and ramen lovers. Booth landed in Japan to eat across the country and learn about a thousand years of Japanese food in the process. Get the history from soy sauce to noodles as Booth and his family travel from Hokkaido to Okinawa.
Best Books about National Parks
Dear Bob and Sue by Matt and Karen Smith
A pair of active retirees, Karen and Matt Smith, hit the road to see all the national parks. Each park gets a hilarious write-up to Bob and Sue, the friends they left back home.
A must for anyone gearing up to road trip across the U.S. They don’t hold back when describing popular tours and trails. And find tips for sneaking beer into lodges along with the best pizza joints near the parks in this humorous read.
Learn the history, the politics and the characters that built the legendary U.S. parks. An easy-to-read book packed with interesting facts and stories from the first 100 years of the National Park Service.
Dories, Ho! By Matt and Karen Smith
For fans of Matt and Karen Smith’s Dear Bob and Sue series, check out their account of another national park trip. This time the duo is paddling the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon on a multi-day white water rafting trip.
The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America by Douglas Brinkley
For serious student of the national parks, Brinkley offers over 800 pages of history. Learn about the complex president who shaped the National Parks—Theodore Roosevelt. It’s an engaging and thoughtful analysis from a history professor.
Best Travelogues by Twain
Roughing It by Mark Twain
Get a double scoop of western adventure as real-life Samuel Clemens (Twain’s legal name) follows his brother to the Nevada territory. As his brother works as the territory secretary in the 1860s, learn about day-to-day life of prospecting for silver and life out west from Twain.
Pack your steamer truck and join Mark Twain as he sets sail for a walk around southern Europe. With the help of guides, this American explores and immortalizes the details along the way in his irreverent style.
Samuel Clemens was a Mississippi riverboat pilot and the term Mark Twain is a measure of water depth. In this book, Twain details the life on the Mississippi River from the changing scenery to characters on-board.
Best Travelogues by Hemingway
A Moveable Feast: The Restored Edition by Ernest Hemingway
Take a walk through the 1920s Paris as Hemingway is coming into his own as a writer. Visit the bars and cafes where he worked and socialized with a who’s who of the Paris literary elite. It’s the life of a struggling writer in a cold Paris apartment with his first wife, Hadley.
Green Hills of Africa: The Hemingway Library Edition by Ernest Hemingway
Take an African safari with porters and canvas tents during the 1930s. Get the details from his guides Hemingway and his group hunts for big game. Not for the gentle reader, this story includes some gruesome details.
The Snows of Kilimanjaro and Other Stories by Ernest Hemingway
Set in the shadow of Africa’s Mount Kilimanjaro, Snows of Kilimanjaro, is the story of a man as he dies of gangrene. He and his wife bicker as what to do since they are stranded. It’s not a light and fluffy read though a must for Hemingway fans.
Best Books about France
A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle
Back in the 1980s Peter Mayle, an Englishman, moved to Provence for a new sunny life. This book sparked a generation to move to France.
He retells the ups-and-downs of getting stuff done with the French. This book was published in 1989 though the bureaucratic pitfalls seem eternal.
Paris: A Curious Traveler’s Guide by Eleanor Aldridge
Written for the younger, budget-conscious traveler, get tips on where to eat, where to shop and where to have a cocktail. Find the best smaller, less crowded museums along with where to savor a culinarian delight without sacraficing your travel budget.
My Good Life in France: In Pursuit of the Rural Dream by Janine Marsh
An Englishwoman is at a crossroads in her life and career until she heads to northern France to buy some cheap red wine. Against all logic, she buys a home, or barn, to renovate and transitions from one life to another in a heart-warming account.
The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World’s Most Glorious – and Perplexing – City by David Lebovitz
Imagine living in Paris and being a food writer. That’s what Lebovitz does in his book along with the descriptions of his tiny Paris kitchen and what he’s cooking.
Bonjour Kale: A Memoir of Paris, Love, and Recipes by Kristen Beddard
Who knew Kale was impossible to find in Paris? It is and Beddard wants to introduce Paris to it. Follow along newly married former New Yorker as she transforms into a Parisian.
Best Books about Great Britain
Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson
Explore Great Britain with a bearded travel writer as he heads out on public transportation. Meander from out-of-the way places with particular names as he describes the people and the pubs from north to south.
Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now–As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It, and Long for It by Craig Taylor
Experience London from Londoners. Taylor interviews people from all parts of life from the iconic cab drivers to the pilots that fly over London. Interesting in its depth of detail from the everyman’s every day, especially interesting as an audiobooks since the recording uses several voice actors.
Best Travelogues about Africa
Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
Karen Blixen owned a coffee plantation in British East Africa (modern Kenya). Learn about the people who lived with her on the farm as well as life in 1920s Africa.
Circling the Sun: A Novel by Paula McLain
Beryl Markham was a horse trainer then pioneer aviator and was the first woman to fly across the Atlantic from east-to-west. She also became entangled with Denys Finch Hatton and Karen Blixen in this captivating read.
King Solomon’s Mines by H. Rider Haggard
Head to an unexplored section of Africa in search of a missing person. Along the way, the party nearly dies of thirst and fights the warriors of the land, representing themselves as gods from the stars.
Best Travel Books for Kids
Girl Sailing Aboard the Western Star by RA Anderson
If your dream is sailing the Caribbean on a sailboat, Anderson did it when she was 12. While sailing through the Bahamas with her family, she also learned how to scuba dive and explore hidden coves on jet skies.
The power of poop will keep kids turning pages until the end. Learn about the animals and their scat in a series of poop books from different national parks.
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