Travel and Adventure Books
For us West Australians in particular, international and even interstate travel is a little way off becoming reality. Never fear, it will happen again, but what do we do on the meantime?
We can venture out onto roads less travelled exploring our own backyard and many of us are doing just that. Or we get our travel fix of sorts by settling into the armchair, wine in one hand and a good travel book in the other, then let words and imagination take us on an adventurous journey.
The literally world is full of excellent travel books and authors.
So we have created our Top 10 travel adventure books. The list which includes my choices as well as Janes are in no particular order.
Into Thin Air
By Jon Krakauer
Although not a mountain climber myself, I find reading about their exploits fascinating. As Jon Krakauer stood on the summit of Mount Everest back in 1996 and took in the top of the world view he had no idea of the mayhem that was about to strike. Without warning a storm slams into the mountain, killing five of his fellow climbers and leaving the survivors including himself with psychological scars that resulted in this great book.
A Walk in the Woods
By Bill Bryson
If you love hiking like I do, this book about Bill Bryson’s hike along the Appalachian Trail is a must read. It is a great mix of humour and facts written in that Bill Bryson style. I fell about laughing at Bill’s vivid descriptions of his walking buddy, Stephen Katz.
By Paulo Coelho
One of Jane’s favourites, this beautifully written book is about Paulo’s pilgrimage walk along the Santiago De Compostela in Northern Spain. It is both an inward out and outward journey of adventure, self discovery and of personal development. The authors other classic, The Alchemist, is worth reading in tandem.
My Family and other Animals
By Gerald Durrell.
This is my favourite childhood book and probably still is today.
Set in the 1930s on the Greek island of Corfu, it’s based on Gerald’s childhood memories.
It’s both a funny and beautifully descriptive account of the very eccentric Durrell family and Gerald’s total obsession with the local Corfu wildlife. Just like Gerald Durrell, I was also obsessed with wildlife as a kid, except I didn’t live in Corfu.
By Paula Constant
Some people go to extremes to find themselves and exorcise their demons, none more so than Paula Constant. After walking from London to Morocco, Paula finds herself on the western edge of the formidable Sahara Desert. This superbly written and honest book is about her adventures, traumas and realisations that came from walking 7000km through the Sahara. We personally know Paula, which makes this and her other books even more poignant.
Eat Pray Love
By Elizabeth Gilbert
This makes Jane’s list. This book was bagged for being a commercial success and I love it. It’s about a woman’s journey exploring Italy, India and Indonesia (Bali). I find it a evocative travel journal. And in addition, the book inspired many woman to travel to those countries.
By Rolf Potts
If you are thinking of living a travel lifestyle like us, but at an even more extreme level, I thoroughly recommend this book. The book is jammed packed with information and how to facts by an author that really has walked the talk.
Green Mountains and Cullenbenbong
By Bernard O’Reilly
As a child I was captivated by a true story set in the Green Mountains in the Hinterland just inland from the Gold Coast. The chapter about a plane crash that took place in the rainforest and the daring rescue by Bernard O’Reilly that followed is the stuff of legends.
About 10 years ago, my interest in this book was resurrected when we stayed at O’Reilly’s Rainforest Lodge, the main subject of the book.
Galen Rowell’s Vision: The Art of Adventure Photography
By Galen Rowell
The late Galen Rowell, was an action outdoor photographer, based in the Sierras of California. Galen Rowell’s Vision is jammed packed with outstanding wilderness images, but it’s his philosophy behind those images that really captures my imagination.
The Ways of the Bushwalker
By Melissa Harper
This book is a fascinating insight into the history of bushwalking in Australia, mostly around Sydney, South East Queensland, Melbourne and Tasmania. If you are really into bushwalking and history, this is good read in between hikes.
This list is just some we have read. We are very open to hearing your favourite travel and adventure books. What are your favourite adventure travel books and why?