Have you ever read a book that then made you decide to visit a destination? Do you read books about your destination of choice prior to going, or after you come back?
Here are eight books that will inspire you, prepare you for or let you reminisce about your travels.
Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail - Malika Oufkir
Born in 1953, Malika Oufkir was the eldest daughter of General Oufkir, the King of Morocco's closest aide. Adopted by the king at the age of five, Malika spent most of her youth surrounded by luxury and extraordinary privilege. Then, on August 16, 1972, her father was arrested and executed after an attempt to assassinate the king. Malika, her five younger brothers and sisters. and her mother were immediately imprisoned in a desert penal colony. After fifteen years, the last ten of which they spent locked up in solitary cells, the Oufkir children managed to escape. Recaptured after five days, Malika was finally able to leave Morocco and begin a new life in exile in 1996.
This is a heartrending account in the face of extreme deprivation and the courage with which one family faced its fate.
Adventure Coordinators review: If you are unaware of the political repression that went on during the reign of King Hassan II, this book will be an eyeopener. 7.5 out of 10.
Walking the Nile - Levison Wood
The Nile, one of the world's great rivers, has long been an object of fascination and obsession. From Alexander the Great and Nero, to Victorian adventurers, the river has enticed many into wild adventures. English writer, photographer, and explorer Levison Wood continues that tradition, and Walking the Nile is the captivating account of his remarkable and unparalleled Nile journey.
Wood aimed to become the first person to walk the entire length of the fabled river. Like his predecessors, Wood camped in the wild, foraged for food, and trudged through rainforest, swamp, savannah, and desert, enduring sandstorms and becoming a local celebrity in Uganda and getting caught in a civil war and detained by the secret police in South Sudan. As Wood walks on, Walking the Nile maps out African history and contemporary life. An inimitable tale of survival, resilience, and sheer willpower, Walking the Nile is an inspiring chronicle of an epic journey down this lifeline of civilization.
Adventure Coordinators review: A good read about a modern adventure journey, Wood gives some good insights into contemporary African life. 8 out of 10.
You Shall Know Our Velocity! - Dave Eggers
In You Shall Know Our Velocity!, his first novel, Eggers tells a story of loss and its aftermath. After their childhood friend Jack is killed in a highway accident, Will and Hand decide to fly around the world, giving away the windfall money Will has recently received. And while their travels take them from Chicago to Dakar, Morocco, Estonia, and Latvia, the real journey is an interior one, into Will’s tormented consciousness. He can give away his money—and the occasions for doing so range from the hilarious to the awkward to the poignant—but the voices in his mind are another matter. However much he wants to “throw his head to the world,” it remains firmly on his shoulders, filled with memories of childhood and of Jack, and with an overwhelming desire for vengeance — on the yahoos who beat him up and on the trucker who killed his friend.
In writing that is brilliant, unpredictable, and paced at breakneck speed, Eggers takes readers halfway around the globe and all the way into the inner world of his narrator’s unrelenting grief.
Adventure Coordinators review: We can't make up my mind about this book. At times we loved it, at times we thought it was just plain weird. It is original for sure. Let's give it a 7 out of 10.
Leaving before the rains come - Alexandra Fuller
Looking to rebuild after a painful divorce, Alexandra Fuller turns to her African past for clues to living a life fully and without fear.
A child of the Rhodesian wars and of two deeply complicated parents, Alexandra Fuller is no stranger to pain. But the disintegration of Fuller’s own marriage leaves her shattered. Looking to pick up the pieces of her life, she confronts tough questions about her past, about the American man she married, and about the family she left behind in Africa. Fuller soon realizes that what is missing from her life is something that was always there: the brash and uncompromising ways of her father, a man who regretted nothing and wanted less, even after fighting harder and losing more than most men could bear.
Leaving Before the Rains Come showcases Fuller at the peak of her abilities, threading panoramic vistas with her deepest revelations as a fully grown woman and mother. Fuller reveals how—after spending a lifetime fearfully waiting for someone to show up and save her—she discovered that, in the end, we all simply have to save ourselves.