Many avid travellers will tell you; nothing compliments a long journey better than some soothing music or a quick board game; combine both, and the pleasure of globetrotting is multiplied tenfold. But if you’re caught in a dilemma over where to go next and need a little inspiration for the same, nothing work better than a good book. Books were, are and will continue to be the finest source of infotainment on the planet and for travellers, reading a book while on a trip or off it brings a serious dose of wanderlust. So create some space in your bag pack for this list of five “must-read” books.
- A Tale of Two Cities
Author: Charles Dickens
Considered as Dicken’s finest piece of work (200 million copies sold), A Tale of Two Citiesis a good read for travellers who enjoy historical fiction.
Set against the backdrop of the French Revolution, the story describes the hardships faced by the French peasantry over their unlawful treatment by the nobles and the unflattering similarities it had with life in London during the same period. Centring around three characters; Lucie Manette, an ideal pre-Victoria lady, Sydney Carton, a lowly English barrister and Charles Darnay, a French nobleman, the story tells of the love triangle between the three and the various obstacles they are forced to overcome during the gruelling period.
Powerfully written with deep characterization, the book is big enough to keep you occupied during long journeys. The setting of the novel makes any traveller want to visit the perfectly preserved history of London and France. So famous is the book that it was adapted into some films, TV shows, Radio programs, Stage dramas, a musical stage performance and an Opera.
Quote from the book
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way—in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail
Author: Cheryl Strayed
Travelling is much more than a journey from point A to point B, as perfectly described in this memoir.
Cheryl’s life was undergoing a downward spiral; her mother had passed away from lung cancer, her stepfather and siblings remained distant and her subsequent addiction to heroin ruined her marriage. One fateful day, she decides to take a 1,100-mile hike across the 2,659 miles long Pacific Crest Trail, a popular hiking spot. Having no prior hiking experience, Cheryl recounts her incredible journey of self-discovery, while enduring grief and personal challenges. The hike begins at the Mojave Desert, follows along through California and Oregon and ends at the Bridge of the Gods into Washington.
A book to that plays with your emotions with every turn of the page; Wild makes you want to rethink your life goals while on the road. The book served as inspiration for the Oscar-nominated filmWild, starring Reese Witherspoon.
Quote from the book
“I knew that if I allowed fear to overtake me, my journey was doomed. Fear, to a great extent, is born of a story we tell ourselves, and so I chose to tell myself a different story from the one women are told. I decided I was safe. I was strong. I was brave. Nothing could vanquish me.”
- Eat Pray Love
Author: Elizabeth Gilbert
One of the fascinating memoirs ever written, Eat Pray Love is sure to keep you entertained and excited for more globetrotting adventures. The book remained for an astounding 187 weeks on the New York Times Best Seller list.
Elizabeth Gilbert has it all; a great job, a wonderful married life and a pleasant home. She feels empty and unsure of what she wants in life. Newly divorced, Elizabeth sets out on a soul-searching, year-long journey across the world, where she gets inspired by delicious food (Italy), gets connected to her spiritual self (India) and discovers true love (Indonesia).
If you ever need a reason to get packing and get moving, not caring about the journey or the destination this book should give you that reason. You can also catch the movie, starring Julia Roberts.
Quote from the book
“You need to learn how to select your thoughts just the same way you select your clothes every day. This is a power you can cultivate. If you want to control things in your life so bad, work on the mind. That’s the only thing you should be trying to control.”
- Around the World in 80 Days
Author: Jules Verne
We’ve all seen the hilarious movie starring Jackie Chan, but little is known about the famous book that inspired the film. Funnier and better detailed, Around the World in 80 Days is simply a must-read.
Rich yet anti-social Englishman Phileas Fogg gets into an argument with members of his Reform Club after discovering a newly installed rail route in India makes it possible for anyone to travel around the world in 80 days. He is forced to accept a wager of 20,000 Pounds to complete such a journey and departs with his Valet, Jean Passepartout. The book recounts his comical misadventures along the journey during a time when the industrial revolution was just kicking off.
After reading this book, you’ll be relieved to be born in an age where travelling is easier and faster! Never the less it gives you a healthy dose of the 19th-century culture across the globe.
Quote from the book
“Phileas Fogg, having shut the door of his house at half-past eleven, and having put his right foot before his left five hundred and seventy-five times, and his left foot before his right five hundred and seventy-six times, reached the Reform Club.”
- The Travel Book- A Journey through Every Country in the World
Author: The Lonely Planet
Saving the best for last, The Travel Book is a picturesque novel written by Lonely Planet, the largest travel guide book publisher in the world.
The book covers all 218 countries, providing a deep insight of each country’s culture with gorgeous imagery and detailed text. With over 1300 images, key facts, mapped content, expert advice and more, every traveller can make their most out of this book on or off a journey.
Sit back, relax and dive into this book. Simply walking your fingers across can feel like a real journey.
Quote from the book
A picture is worth a thousand words, here’s one from the book:
Inspired by these books to set out for a new adventure? Look out for great deals on the best destinations to make every word in the book transform into a dance of reality.
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