“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine
Travel and reading go hand in hand. A good book can transport you to another place and time. It can inspire your next vacation. It can enrich a trip by providing valuable insight into a destination or culture.
Books also make excellent travel companions. Nothing makes a long flight go by more quickly than an enthralling read. And, of course, a leisurely afternoon spent lounging by the pool, cocktail in hand, is made even better when you’re immersed in a good book.
Our blog post, “12 Books To Inspire Wanderlust”, was so popular with readers that we’ve written a sequel – here are twelve more books to help inspire or enhance your next vacation.
Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
This 1996 work of non-fiction is an international bestseller and a popular title on high school reading lists. In the book, Krakauer retraces the tragic story of Christopher McCandless, a teenager who abandoned his plans for college in favor of hitchhiking and exploring the wilderness of Alaska.
Even if you’ve read Into The Wild before, the story will mean so much more once you’ve seen the rugged Alaskan wilderness for yourself. Pick it up before or during one of our 2019 cruises to Alaska.
Villa America by Liza Klaussmann
Set in the French Riviera in the 1920s, Villa America is a fictional work about the real-life inspirations for F. Scott Fitzgerald’s classic Tender Is The Night. The novel tells the tale of Sara and Gerald Murphy, American expats who famously hosted lavish parties at their home in the French Riviera for the likes of Hemingway, F. Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald, and Picasso.
The novel perfectly evokes the glamorous lifestyle of the French Riviera, making it a great choice for a luxury cruise through the region.
Eating Viet Nam: Dispatches from a Blue Plastic Table by Graham Holliday
British journalist Graham Holliday’s travelogue is a witty and charming account of eating authentic cuisine in Vietnam, a favorite destination of foodies. If you haven’t been to Vietnam and love food, this book will likely bump the country up a notch or two on your travel bucket list. If nothing else, Holliday’s tales will inspire you to seek out authentic and adventurous cuisine wherever you travel.
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil by John Berendt
This 1994 work of non-fiction once sat on the New York Times’ Best-Seller list for 216 weeks – the longest of any book to this day. Though Berendt tells a disconcerting saga of murder, no other book so perfectly evokes the atmosphere and mystery of Savannah, Georgia.
Though the book showcases many colorful characters, the main character is Savannah itself – a quirky and charming city steeped in history. Read this book on your way to Savannah during our 2019 voyage, or while sitting in one of the city’s many public squares, under the shade of a towering live oak laden with Spanish Moss.
Siracusa by Delia Ephron
Ephron’s 2016 novel takes place in Rome and the Sicilian town of Siracusa. Familiar scenes of sightseeing and al fresco dinners are contrasted by the complicated, unraveling relationships of two couples on vacation together. Siracusa’s dark humor and unexpected twists make it a perfect poolside read.
The Temple Of The Golden Pavilion by Yukio Mishima
This 1956 work of fiction was inspired by a real-life event. In 1950 a young monk burned the Kinkaku-ji Buddhist temple in Kyoto to the ground. The act of arson was shocking as tragic, as the temple had avoided destruction so many times during its centuries-long history. (The temple was rebuilt in 1955 and is one of Japan’s most visited and most iconic temples. Learn more about it by reading our blog post, "The Castles, Shrines, and Temples of Japan".) Mishima’s interpretation is narrated by the monk, who is obsessed with beauty yet suffers from a growing compulsion to destroy it. The novel was translated into English in 1956 and adapted into a film in 1958.
This celebrated novel is the perfect book to read before or during our upcoming country-intensive voyage to Japan.
The Year of Living Danishly: Uncovering Secrets of the World’s Happiest Country by Helen Russell
Have you heard of Hygge? Pronounced “hue-guh”, it’s known as the Danish art of living cozily – and it’s become quite the international trend. In 2016, Denmark was named the happiest country in the world by the United Nations’ World Happiness Report. In 2017, they fell to number two, just below nearby Norway.
What makes Danes so happy? British journalist Helen Russell explores the idea in her book, a humorous memoir about setting up a new life in the country. We bet it will inspire you to visit!
In A Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
You can’t go wrong reading any of Bill Bryson’s books – they’re sure to inspire quite a few vacations. The prolific travel writer has authored books about hiking the Appalachian Trail, touring Britain, and backpacking across Europe. In A Sunburned Country brings his unique brand of humor to Australia. You’ll love his musings on the friendly people, the terrifying animals, and the lively cities he encounters during his trip. Bryson’s books should come with warnings, since they’ll all make you want to book a trip as soon as possible. Luckily, we offer plenty of upcoming voyages to Australia.
Tender At The Bone: Growing Up At The Table by Ruth Reichl
Foodies may have heard of Ruth Reichl from her reign as New York Times restaurant critic, her stint as editor-in-chief for Gourmet magazine, or her gig as host of PBS’s Gourmet’s Adventures With Ruth. She’s also an accomplished writer, having published a trio of popular memoirs, a novel, and several cookbooks.
Tender At The Bone is the first of Reichl’s memoirs and details her unconventional upbringing, lifelong passion for good food, and experiences working in Berkeley during the organic food revolution of the 1970s. It’s a great book for those interested in the emergence of Californian cuisine – and the perfect memoir to read during our 2019 California wine voyage.
A Room With A View by E. M. Forster
This novel, published in 1908, was also adapted into a popular film in 1985. The first part of the novel is set in Florence, where a young British woman is staying during her tour of Italy. The second part of the novel is mostly set in England.
A Room With A View is a classic for many reasons. Its message of pursuing one’s desires despite societal norms is still relevant today, and the influences of Jane Austen in Forster’s work mean the book will likely appeal to fans of Pride and Prejudice. And a love story set in Florence has a timelessness that simply makes it the perfect book to read in the Birthplace of the Renaissance.
The Old Man And The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
What’s the perfect book to read on the way to Cuba? It has to be Hemingway, anything by Hemingway. After all, the esteemed author’s love for Cuba ran deep. The Old Man and the Sea is a short novel that tells the story of Santiago, an aging Cuban fisherman chasing the catch of a lifetime. Hemingway’s titular old man was likely based on his real-life fishing buddy (and former captain of Hemingway’s yacht, “El Pilar”), Gregorio Fuentes. The novel was certainly inspired by the time Hemingway spent living and fishing in Cuba. Hemingway will immerse you in a captivating time and place before you ever set foot in Cuba, enriching your experience once you step on shore.
A Long Way Home by Saroo Brierley
You may not have heard of the 2013 memoir A Long Way Home, but we bet you’ve heard of the movie based on it: 2016’s Oscar-nominated film Lion.
Author Saroo Brierley was born in India and separated from his family at age five. He was adopted and raised in Australia, and at age 30 went on a journey to discover his biological family in India. A Long Way Home is set in both Australia and India and tells the fascinating story of how Brierley used modern technology to piece together his past. It’s an enthralling read that will inspire you to travel to both Australia and India.
Have we missed your favorite wanderlust-inspiring book? Share it in the comments!
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