New and classic travel books that will teleport you to a land far, far away
You’ve hit 35 books that every man should read in their lifetime, and you’ve made your way through the best new books of 2021. Now, turn your attention to some of the best travel tomes of today and around. yesteryear. We’ve put together a list of travel books to get that glorious globetrotting thrill from the comfort of your home (or if you’re lucky, from the porch, dock or a piece of beachfront nirvana at the beach. outside your vacation rental). We promise you will end each of these travel books feeling enlightened and enjoying the little blue dot we call home.
1. The odyssey by Homer, translated by Emily Wilson
This captivating translation of Homer’s epic poem from the 8th century BC. He encounters many challenges along the way: a cyclops; storms at sea, invoked by Poseidon; intense fights; you know, the usual delinquents. You will be immersed in a world of breathtaking cinematic drama and suspense unlike any other and perhaps more beautiful than any other.
2. Mileage Maniac: my genius, my madness and a touch of evil to accumulate 40 million loyalty miles by Steve Belkin
Posted in June 2021, Steve Belkin paints a fun (and sometimes grin-worthy) portrait of his efforts to rack up a gluttonous amount of air miles. You’ll be captivated by the weird, dark world as Belkin tells how he turned underemployed improv actors and disabled Thai masseuses into ‘mile-miles’. It doesn’t stop there: He manages to convert hair transplant consultations, Jaguar road tests, thousands of magazine subscriptions and ghost trips to Cameroon into air mileage points as well.
3. The Passenger: How a Travel Writer Learned to Love Cruises and Other Lies from a Sinking Ship by Chaney Kwak
Kwan is an emerging Korean-American writer to watch and his journey on the hapless Viking sky cruise ship in March 2019 (it was hit by a bomb cyclone off the coast of Norway) is a must read. Of course, there were 60 foot swells, gales of 87 miles per hour and a power outage as the ship floated straight towards the perilous coast of Hustadvika. But the real striking nuts and bolts here are Kwan’s evocative handwriting that switches from elegiac humor to thoughtful (especially when thinking about his own mortality). With interludes in the South China Sea, in Korea in the aftermath of World War II and in San Francisco in these times of pandemic, good luck in stopping this page turner. You’ll never get on a cruise ship again without remembering this action-packed story—if you get on a cruise ship again …
4. Deep south: four seasons on secondary roads by Paul Théroux
As any avid travel book reader knows, the best thing to hit the road yourself is sit in the backseat with Theroux, perhaps the most renowned travel writer of our time. Here you will venture on dusty back roads, local waterholes, and awe-inspiring attractions throughout the south. It’s a winding road trip that reads like an adult lullaby. Illuminate the strengths and weaknesses of the Bible Belt with its signature tongue-in-cheek observations.
5. All of God’s children need travel shoes by Maya Angelou
Angelou captures that deepest desire to truly know ourselves in this moving 1986 autobiography. It is peppered with lines that stop you in your tracks (“Home sickness lives in all of us. The safe place we can go as we are and not to be questioned. ”) as you follow Angelou on her move to Ghana, where she is part of the American expat group“ Revolutionist Returnees ”. While many have read Angelou’s best-known autobiography in 1969, I know why the caged bird is singing, this book gives you new insight into the African-American experience, as well as the Pan-African movement.
6. March: A Travel Guide for Veterans by Michael Embrich
Travel the world with US Navy veteran, writer and military researcher Michael Embrich on his debut in the summer of 2021. The book is part a travel guide, part a personal story. Along the way, you’ll visit private officer’s clubs in New York City, travel to Paris to visit veteran expats, and more. We especially like the resources it provides to help you plan an actual trip. The book highlights veteran-owned businesses in the United States and Europe and provides detailed historical anecdotes.
7. The Lost Continent: Travels in America’s Small Towns by Bill Bryson
This Bryson classic from 1989 is the kind of travelogue you want to come back to time and time again. This book causes big, warm laughs, so proceed with caution in public. You will get to know the endless beauty and tragedy of the great US ole of A, whether Bryson immerses you in the Big Apple or the vastness of California. If you can’t let go of this one, be sure to take Bryson’s memoir The life and times of the Thunderbolt Kid. He tells more about his upbringing in Des Moines, Iowa, and what made this beloved travel writer tick.
8. Girls Explorers: The Untold Story of Women Globetrotters Who Went, Stolen and Forged Their Way Around the World by Jayne Zanglein
Discover the first members of the International Society of Women Geographers. The group was formed in 1925 by – as PW skillfully sums it up – “explorers, artists, scientists and writers who shared a common love for travel and exploration at a time when women were told that their place was at home ”. Zanglein’s telling of their stories takes you from the mountains of Peru across the Atlantic Ocean.
9. 1000 perfect weekends by Allyson Johnson
Pre-order this hardcover wonder (released October 19, 2021) for a sofa getaway in over 40 countries. Whether you’re heading to adult space camp in Huntsville, Alabama, or hitting the runways in Stowe, Vermont, you’ll be sure to learn something new on these over 700 pages. You can even bookmark your next getaway and start planning too.
ten. Meet the Faith: The Forest Diaries of a Black Buddhist Nun by Faith Adiele
If the past year has caused you to consider giving up all your material possessions and becoming a Buddhist, A) we don’t blame you and B) you should probably read this book. Published in 2005, the memoir feels particularly relevant in these tumultuous times. You feel inspired by Adiele’s journey to shed her Harvard-raised ego and embrace life in a forest temple in Thailand. PS If you thought your 15 minute Simple Habit sessions were difficult, try 19 hours of meditation per day.
11. The Adventure Gap: Changing the Face of the Outdoors by James Mills
Get attached to the adventure, but also to a stimulating exploration of the racism inherent in the great American outdoors. In this 2014 non-fiction book, Mills documents the first all-African-American team of mountaineers in their attempt to climb Denali. The highest peak in North America, the mountain rises 20,310 feet above sea level. Along the way, Mills shares his criticism of excluding minority groups from outdoor spaces. It also focuses on what we can do to chart a better way forward for all.
12. 50 ways to travel the world by bike by Tristan Bogaard and Belén Castelló
If a coffee table book is what you crave, this awesome book of photographs literally takes you around the world. It offers cycling adventures in 23 countries by 75 individuals and groups. Unveiled in June 2021, it will make you want to wipe some pedal dreams off your bucket list. However, preferably not on a tandem bike, on a long solo ride, or with a cat, as the book shows.