Getting ready for your trip is half the fun. I do it by reading books set in my destination. Here are more travel books to get you excited about travelling.
Kings of the Yukon: A River Journey in Search of the Chinook - Adam Weymouth
A stunning new voice in nature writing makes an epic journey along the Yukon River to give us the stories of its people and its protagonist--the king salmon, or the Chinook--and the deepening threat to a singular way of life, in a lyrical, evocative and captivating narrative.
Every summer, millions of salmon migrate the distance of the Yukon to their spawning ground, where they go to breed and then die. The Chinook has long since formed the lifeblood of the economy and cultures along the Yukon--there are few communities that have been so reliant on a single source. Now, as the region contends with the effects of a globalized economy, climate change, fishing quotas and the general drift towards urban life, the health and numbers of the Chinook are in question, as is the fate of the communities that depend on them. Travelling in a canoe along the entire Yukon River, a three-month journey through untrammeled wilderness, Adam Weymouth traces the profound interconnectedness of the people and the Chinook through searing portraits of the individuals he encounters. He offers a powerful, nuanced glimpse into the erosion of indigenous culture, and into our ever-complicated relationship with the natural world. Weaving in the history of the salmon run and their mysterious life cycle, Kings of the Yukon is extraordinary adventure and nature writing and social history at its most compelling.
Adventure Coordinators review: a wonderful journey along one of North America's wildest rivers. The encounters with locals are sometimes heart-warming, occasionally heart-wrenching, but always wonderfully told. 8 out of 10.
Journey Into Cyprus - Colin Thubron
This is an account of a 600-mile trek on foot around Cyprus in the last year of the island`s peace. The author intertwines myth, history and personal anecdote with descriptions of characters, places, architecture and landscape and traces the island's survival through centuries of invasion.
Adventure Coordinators review: Colin Thubron is one of my favourite travel authors and this book put Cyprus firmly on my wishlist. Thubron is a wordsmith and through his poetic descriptions evoked the atmosphere of a place. Take this description of his entering the ruins of Bellapaix Monastery:
"For a moment we were walking in a banked fragrance of flowers where the abbey overhung the hillside, and looking down a hundred feet on swallows crying faintly in the blue. Then all scent and colour had sobered to a cloister where grass and trees echoed old stone. In the centre of the courtyard four cypresses rose with a pencilled melancholy, and the mountain, close beyond, seemed to be pouring into its silence."
The book is full of such wonderful passages. 9 out of 10
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning - Laurie Lee
Abandoning the Cotswolds village that raised him, the young Laurie Lee walks to London. There he makes a living labouring and playing the violin. But, deciding to travel further afield and knowing only the Spanish phrase for 'Will you please give me a glass of water?', he heads for Spain. With just a blanket to sleep under and his trusty violin, he spends a year crossing Spain, from Vigo in the north to the southern coast. Only the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War puts an end to his extraordinary peregrinations.
Adventure Coordinators review - as interesting insight into Spain pre-WW2; it makes you realize how much has changed in the past 80 years. But the truly interesting part of the story is in the final chapters, as the Civil War engulfs a country ready to be torn apart by its ruling elite. 7 out of 10
Honeymoon with My Brother: A Memoir - Franz Wisner
This is the true story of Franz Wisner, a man who thought he had it all- a high profile career and the fiancée of his dreams- when suddenly, his life turned upside down. Just days before they were to be married, his fiancée called off the wedding. Luckily, his large support network of family and friends wouldn't let him succumb to his misery. They decided Franz should have a wedding and a honeymoon anyway- there just wouldn't be a bride at the ceremony, and Franz' travel companion would be his brother, Kurt.
During the "honeymoon," Franz reconnected with his brother and began to look at his life with newfound perspective. The brothers decided to leave their old lives behind them. They quit their jobs, sold all their possessions, and traveled around the world, visiting fifty-three countries for the next two years. In Honeymoon With My Brother, Franz recounts this remarkable journey, during which he turned his heartbreak into an opportunity to learn about himself, the world, and the brother he hardly knew.
Adventure Coordinators review: a travel memoir which is more about life than it is about travelling. Funny, touching, outrageous and insightful, a riveting read. 8 out of 10
Lonely Planet's Where to Go When
Lonely Planet's Where to go When, the ultimate trip planner for every month of the year, is a beautifully illustrated book that is both practical and inspiring. For every month of the year it presents 30 recommendations of destinations that are at their best during each month, whether due to their climate, or value or because there’s a lot going on.
The suggestions feature every flavour of travel experience from culture-rich city breaks and tropical beach holidays to adventurous road trips and wildlife-watching expeditions. Every corner of the planet is covered so you’ll find out when the best time to see mountain gorillas is or to go shopping in Paris.
Adventure Coordinators review: a very informative book with popular as well as lesser known destinations. 8 out of 10
DK Eyewitness Guides: Unforgettable Journeys: Slow down and See the World
This breathtaking travel book celebrates taking the scenic route. Explore 200 inspirational journeys across the globe with this stunning visual guide.
There is no better way to see the world than to move through it, taking your time. These once-in-a-lifetime journeys will stay with you forever.
Get inspired by whatever mode of transport you love most - on foot, by bike, by car, on the water, or by rail! In our fast-paced, modern world, Unforgettable Journeys will allow you to take a back seat and enjoy the ebb and flow of travel thoughtfully.
Enjoy an epic bike ride along the ancient Silk Road, a cruise around Antarctica, or a train journey in Zambia. This travel guide is organized by types of transportation. Whether you're an avid hiker, cyclist, or driver, or love to be on the water or on rails, we've got you covered.
This stunning, hardcover book is packed with gorgeous full-color photos and fascinating overviews of each carefully chosen destination, making it the perfect gift for dreamers and travelers alike.
Adventure Coordinators review: despite some geographical errors I loved this book as it opened my eyes to some new destinations. 8.5 out of 10
Borders, bandits and baby wipes - Bassam Tarazi
Bassam Tarazi scaled Mt. Kilimanjaro, trekked to Everest, navigated New Zealand’s Grand Traverse, and hiked in Patagonia—but it wasn’t enough.
Inspired and challenged by his quests of “getting there,” Bassam Tarazi and two friends signed on for the infamous Mongol Rally, a nearly 10,000-mile road trip from London to Mongolia through terrain that would make a mountain goat’s knees buckle, in a vehicle that was little more than a go-kart.
Borders, Bandits, and Baby Wipes is Tarazi’s incredible tale of what comes with life on the go and off the map. It’s a dive into cultures and cop cars, big thoughts and meltdowns, and what it means to be human while covered in a constant sheen of awe and grime.
Borders, Bandits, and Baby Wipes is a story about the kind of adventures we all said we’d have one day but never do. It’s about a world beyond our expectations, and our place in it.
Adventure Coordinators review: I must admit seeing the title of this book didn't inspire me. But as I was reading it I realized it was full of little nuggets. Tarazi's grandfather told him to live an interesting life because "no one wants to listen to a 75-year old with no stories to tell". So Tarazi tells us go out (...) and do something your seventy-five-year-old self will thank you for. Because when we're old and gray, we'll smile fondly about the stories we have to tell, and those around us will smile because we're the ones telling them.
And it made me realize I too have some stories to tell. 8 out of 10.
The Lost Heart of Asia - Colin Thubron
A land of enormous proportions, countless secrets, and incredible history, Central Asia--the heart of the great Mongol empire of Tamerlane, site of the legendary Silk Route and scene of Stalin's cruelest deportations--is a remote and fascinating region. Since the collapse of the Soviet Union and the emergence of newly independent republics, Central Asia--containing the magical cities of Bukhara and Samarkand, and terrain as diverse as the Kazakh steppes, the Karakum desert, and the Pamir mountains--has been in a constant state of transition. The Lost Heart of Asia takes readers into the very heart of this little visited, yet increasingly important region, delivering a rare and moving portrayal of a world in the midst of change.
Adventure Coordinators review: another enjoyable read from one of my favourite travel writers. 8 out of 10