Travel Themed Reads

Author Title Synopsis
Baggett, Jennifer Lost Girls: three friends, four continents, one unconventional detour around the world Friends Jennifer Baggett, Holly C. Corbett, and Amanda Pressner, each on the brink of a quarter-life crisis, make a pact to quit their high pressure New York City media jobs and leave behind their friends, boyfriends, and everything familiar to embark on a year-long backpacking adventure around the world.
Bryson, Bill A Walk in the Woods The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some of the most breathtaking terrain in America. If you’re going to take a hike, it’s probably the place to go. And Bill Bryson is the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces the reader to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy (or just foolhardy) folks he meets along the way – and a couple of bears.
Garland, Alex The Beach A rootless young Westerner believes he has stumbled upon paradise on a remote island off Thailand, a place known as "The Beach," until he discovers the deadly underside of the island's culture.
Gilbert, Elizabeth Eat, Pray, Love: one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India, and Indonesia Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. Setting out for a year to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.
Greene, Graham Our Man in Havana This novel follows the plight of Wormold, a former vacuum cleaner salesman, who becomes a slave to the expensive whims of his thirteen-year-old daughter, Milly, and takes on a job for MI6 as Secret Agent 5920015 to pay for them.
Hemingway, Ernest The Sun Also Rises The story of a group of Americans and English on a sojourn from Paris to Paloma that evokes in poignant detail life among the expatriates on Paris's Left Bank during the 1920s, and conveys in brutally realistic descriptions the power and danger of bullfighting in Spain.
Kerouac, Jack On the Road On the Road is a thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lover, and fellow travelers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac's alter-egos, On the Road is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest level of American thought and culture.
Krakauer, Jon Into the Wild In April 1992, Christopher Johnson McCandless, from a well-to-do family, hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mount McKinley. He had given $25,000 in savings to charity, abandoned his car and most of his possessions, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his body was found by a moose hunter. How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable and true story of Into the Wild.
Makkai, Rebecca The Borrower Lucy Hull is an accidental children's librarian who routinely gives her favorite patron, 10-year-old Ian, books that do not conform to the rigid rules his overbearing, fundamentalist mother has set for him. When Ian's parents force him to attend behavior-modification classes to “cure” his burgeoning homosexuality, Ian determines to run away - and Lucy decides to go with him.
Parks, Suzan-Lori Getting Mother's Body Learning that a company plans to dig up the area where her mother is buried, supposedly with a cache of jewels, Billy Beede, poor and pregnant, heads for Arizona to rescue her mother's body and search for the jewels that could bring her a new life.
Raban, Jonathan Coasting Jonathan Raban tells the story of how in 1982 he set out alone in a 30-foot ketch to sail round the British Isles. He had never before handled a boat at sea, but wanted to inspect the country where he lived as an independent navigator with a skeptical outsider's eye for his homeland. He sails into his own past, into Britain's troubled present, and into a sense of reflection.
Rachman, Tom Imperfectionists Preoccupied by personal challenges while running a struggling newspaper in Rome, an obituary writer confronts mortality, an eccentric publisher obsesses over his dog, and other staff members uncover the paper's founding by an impulsive millionaire.
Roy, Arundhati God of Small Things In 1969, in Kerala, India, Rahel and her twin brother, Estha, struggle to forge a childhood for themselves amid the destruction of their family life, as they discover that the entire world can be transformed in a single moment.
Shteyngart, Gary Absurdistan Meet Misha Vainberg, aka Snack Daddy, a 325-pound disaster of a human being, son of the 1,238th-richest man in Russia, proud holder of a degree in multicultural studies from Accidental College, USA. Poor Misha just wants to live in the South Bronx with his girlfriend, but after his gangster father murders an Oklahoma businessman in Russia, Misha is forced on the road.
Smiley, Jane All-True Travels and Adventures of Lidie Newton In Quincy, Illinois, twenty-year-old Lidie marries abolitionist Thomas Newton and goes with him to Kansas, but when Thomas is murdered, she disguises herself to get revenge.
Steinbeck, John Travels with Charley At age fifty-eight, John Steinbeck and his poodle, Charley, embarked on a journey across America. This chronicle of their trip meanders from small towns to growing cities to glorious wilderness oases.
Strayed, Cheryl Wild: from lost to found on the Pacific Crest Trail At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail - and she would do it alone.
Theroux, Paul Great Railway Bazaar Paul Theroux recounts his early adventures on an unusual grand continental tour. Asia's fabled trains - the Orient Express, the Khyber Pass Local, the Golden Arrow to Kuala Lumpur, the Mandalay Express, the Trans-Siberian Express - are the stars of a journey that takes him on a loop eastbound from London's Victoria Station to Tokyo Central, then back from Japan on the Trans-Siberian.
Tyler, Anne Accidental Tourist Macon Leary is a travel writer who hates both travel and anything out of the ordinary. He is grounded by loneliness and an unwillingness to compromise his creature comforts when he meets Muriel, a deliciously peculiar dog-obedience trainer who up-ends Macon’s insular world and thrusts him headlong into a remarkable engagement with life.
Urrea, Luis Alberto Into the Beautiful North A contemporary tale set in a small Mexican town.  After most of the men in her village have moved North for work, nineteen-year-old Natalia, inspired by the movie, The Magnificent Seven, recruits a small group of friends to journey to the U.S. to find seven men to move to her village and protect its residents from banditos.
Vanderbes, Jennifer Easter Island The centuries-old mysteries and haunting past of Easter Island become catalysts for the parallel quests of two young women, separated by sixty years of history - Elsa Pendleton, who travels to Easter Island with her anthropologist husband in 1913, and widowed American botanist Dr. Greer Faraday - as they confront discoveries about themselves and the people they love.