What better combination can this world have, when a person’s greatest interests are both reading and travelling! We present to you the top 8 novels/travelogues that you must read in order to certify yourself as a perfect wanderlust bookworm!
1. The Alchemist – Paulo Coelho
The Alchemist is a novel by the famous Brazilian author Paulo Coelho. First published in 1988 and originally written in Portuguese, it has been translated into around 67 languages as of October 2009. The Alchemist follows a young Andalusian shepherd named Santiago in his journey to Egypt, after having a repetitive dream of discovering treasure over there.
The international bestseller has sold more than 65 million copies in 56 different languages. It is one of the best-selling books in history and setting the Guinness World Record for the most translated book by a living author. Santiago, around whom the whole plot revolves, who believes a recurring dream to be prophetic, decides to travel to a Romani fortune-teller in a nearby town to know its meaning. The woman interprets the dream as a prophecy telling the boy that there is a treasure in the pyramids in Egypt. The book’s main theme is about travelling to find one’s destiny. As per The New York Times, the book is “more self-help than literature.”
The quote that defines the core of the novel’s philosophy is:
“When you really want something to happen, the whole universe will conspire so that your wish comes true.”
2. Love with a chance of drowning – Torre DeRoche
The novel is based on a city girl, Torre DeRoche with a fear of deep water. She is not someone you would ordinarily find adrift in the middle of the stormy Pacific aboard a leaky sailboat – the total crew of two – struggling to keep an old boat, a new relationship and her floundering sanity afloat.
In the course of her journey, she meets Ivan. He is a handsome Argentinean man who dreams of exploring the world. Then, there is a hard decision ahead of Torre, either she could watch the man she’s in love with sail away forever or head off on the watery journey with him, which is threatening for her. She gives up her up to standard city life and joins her lover on a year-long voyage across the Pacific.
Set against a backdrop of the world’s most beautiful and remote destinations, Love with a Chance of Drowning is a sometimes hilarious, often moving and always breathtakingly brave memoir that proves there are some risks worth taking.
“If we keep waiting until we feel safe, we’ll never leave. We have to just go.”
3. On the road – Jack Kerouac
On the road would give you chills, induce a need to go out to the world, travel as much as you can and live life to the fullest. Jack Kerouac, sums up his philosophy as “everything belongs to me because I am poor”. Sal Paradise is a young and free writer, and Dean Moriarty, an overexcited youth roaming freely around America, and crossing and extending the man made limits of the American Dream. From urban jungles to rural areas, they explored everything!
“the only thing to do was go” was what led them across their beautiful journey.
“…the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue center light pop and everybody goes “Awww!”
4. Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel― Rolf Potts
“A crucial reference for any budget wanderer.”—Time
“Vagabonding easily remains in my top-10 list of life-changing books. Why? Because one incredible trip, especially a long-term trip, can change your life forever. And Vagabonding teaches you how to travel (and think), not just for one trip, but for the rest of your life.”—Tim Ferriss, from the foreword
“The book is a meditation on the joys of hitting the road. . . . It’s also a primer for those with a case of pent-up wanderlust seeking to live the dream.”—USA Today
“I couldn’t put this book down. It’s a whole different ethic of travel. . . . [Potts’s] practical advice might just convince you to enjoy that open-ended trip of a lifetime.”—Rick Steves
“Potts wants us to wander, to explore, to embrace the unknown, and, finally, to take our own damn time about it. I think this is the most sensible book of travel-related advice ever written.”—Tim Cahill, founding editor of Outside
“Work is when you confront the problems you might otherwise be tempted to run away from”
5. The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton
The Baltimore Sun
“A jewel of civility, wit and insight; de Botton has produced wondrous essays. An invitation to hyperbole . . . a volume to give one an expansive sense of wonder.”
“Illuminating. . .a lovely combination of enthusiasm, sensitivity, a care for the large and small, and the local and the foreign. . . reading de Botton’s book will help a person discover something fabulous in everyday.
The Wall Street Journal
“There is something Proustian in The Art of Travel, in the best sense, for Mr. de Botton is a kind of flaneur, strolling through his subject thoughtfully and offering nuanced truths based on his reading, experience and philosophical temperament.”
The Seattle Times
“It would be difficult to name a writer as erudite and yet as reader friendly. . .With a wry, self-deprecating charm, he passes his enthusiasms along in such manner that you can’t help being delighted by them.”
“The pleasure we derive from journeys is perhaps dependent more on the mindset with which we travel than on the destination we travel to.”
6. A Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost, by Rachel Friedman
Rolf Potts, author of Vagabonding
“Friedman’s coming-of-age memoir captures the excitement (and bewilderment) of testing out life’s possibilities on the far side of the world. You’ll laugh and empathize as you get lost with her.”
Colleen Kinder, author of Delaying the Real World
“Curious, candid, energetic, and witty, Rachel Friedman is the ideal travel mate, and her sense of humor makes every page of this book a pleasure to read. A beautifully written and engrossing story, The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost reminds us how much a person can grow when she defies the expectations of her parents, her culture, and her youngest self. Rachel, like so many fresh college grads, doesn’t know what to do with her life. Just be warned: Rachel’s company is so delightful, you won’t want to come home.”
Rebecca Barry, author of Later, at the Bar
“Teeming with warmth, The Good Girl’s Guide to Getting Lost is a wonderful read for anyone who wants to travel, misses traveling, or has ever enter-tained thoughts of dropping everything to go explore new territory. With humor and honesty, Rachel Friedman beautifully captures the pitfalls and ex-hilaration of backpacking, ultimately reminding us that our world is an infinitely fascinating and (mostly) open-hearted place. Please read this funny, insightful, adventurer’s book.”
“What happens when we lose the things that anchor us? What if, instead of grasping at something to hold on to, we pull up our roots and walk away? Instead of trying to find the way back, we walk deeper and deeper into the woods, willing ourselves to get lost. In this place where nothing is recognizable. not the people or the language or the food, we are truly on our own. Eventually, we find ourselves unencumbered by the past or the future. Here is a fleeting glimpse of our truest self, our self in the present moment.”
7. The time travellers wife ―Audrey Niffenegger
“A time-travel love story par excellence…It will be a hard-hearted reader who is not moved to tears by the dangers Henry and Clare ultimately face, and by the author’s soaring celebration of the victory of love over time.”
The New Yorker
“Spirited…Niffenegger plays ingeniously in her temporal hall of mirrors.”
The Washington Post Book World
“Readers will recall in Love in the Time of Cholera a love that works despite all travails and impediments…Marquez, like Niffenegger here, means to tell us that for such exalted love there is no tragedy and never any constraints.”
People (Top Ten Books of the Year)
“As Clare and Henry take turns telling the story, revealing the depth of their bond despite everything a sci-fi premise becomes a powerfully original love story.”
“Don’t you think it’s better to be extremely happy for a short while, even if you lose it, than to be just okay for your whole life?”
8.The geography of Bliss- Eric Weiner
Author of Confederates in the Attic Tony Horwitz
“Think Don Quixote with a dark sense of humour and a taste for hashish and you begin to grasp Eric Weiner, the modern knight-errant of this mad, sad, wise, and witty quest across four continents. I won’t spoil the fun by telling if his mission succeeds, except to say that happiness is reading a book as entertaining as this.”
Author of Municipal Bondage and Big Kiss Henry Alford
“With one single book, Eric Weiner has flushed Bill Bryson down a proverbial toilet, and I say that lovingly. By turns hilarious and profound, this is the kind of book that could change your life. The relationship between place and contentment is an ineffable one, and Weiner cuts through the fog with a big, powerful light. The Geography of Bliss is no smiley-face emoticon, it’s a Winslow Homer.”
Po Bronson, author of “What Should I Do With My Life?”
“Laugh. Think. Repeat. Repeatedly. If someone told me this book was this good, I wouldn’t have believed them.”
“Part travelogue, part personal-discovery memoir and all sustained delight, this wise, witty ramble reads like Paul Theroux channeling David Sedaris on a particularly good day,Fresh and beguiling.”
“I’ve always believed that happiness is just around the corner. The trick is finding the right corner.”