The Wanderer’s Book Club
An inspired and thoughtful collection of travel books, memoirs, and quarterlies to inspire your wanderlust.
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: Laura Coleman
I started reading the free preview of The Puma Years on an international flight and immediately ended up buying the book. The storyline is fascinating and Coleman does an amazing job telling her story.
As someone that has spent time in the jungles of South America, the descriptions in this book are spot-on and they remind me of the innocuous details from nights spent sleeping with tarantulas and monkeys, the heat and humidity, the incessant bugs, the simplicity of all of it. A great example of powerful storytelling.
While this could easily be a travel memoir, it is so much more. This is a book for animal lovers, adventure seekers, and travel enthusiasts. You won’t want to put it down.
“Flights interweaves reflections on travel with an in-depth exploration of the human body, broaching life, death, motion, and migration.”
A unique collection of short stories, whimsical snippets, and essay-like pieces. This book is a work of fiction but reads like a fragmented travel memoir mixed with intriguing anecdotes and clever stories.
I find myself rereading certain sections or jumping around the book and reading it out of order. The stellar writing will resonate with anyone that has traveled extensively, but it also makes you want to pick up a pen and write about your own experiences. An interesting read, unlike anything else.
A collection of travel tales from women who have uprooted their lives are moved to a foreign country. This is an easy read and something to thumb through when looking for a little bit of inspiration or a wanderlust-y distraction.
This is the heartbreaking and shocking memoir of Amanda Lindhout, a young woman who was kidnapped and held captive in Somalia for 15 months. Her passion for extreme travel and attempting to jumpstart a new career led her to the hostile and volatile lands of Somalia.
She tells of a unique and troubled childhood, inspiring tales from her first few years on the road, and the incredible perseverance required to survive horrendous situations of confinement and torture while isolated in a foreign land.
I could not put this book down. The first few chapters inspired me to daydream of my own adventures while the remainder of the book shook my travel bones. Her story is one of hope, horror, and unbelievable circumstance.
Non-fiction / Travel Memoir
“Just days after Raynor Winn learns that Moth, her husband of thirty-two years, is terminally ill, their house and farm are taken away, along with their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, through Devon and Cornwall.
Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea, and sky.”
A compelling and well-written book with immense detail, wonderful character development, and an enviable vocabulary. I found myself growing attached to the characters and, ultimately, so invested in their stories that I couldn’t close the book and finished it in only 2 days. Some sections were heart rending, others made me laugh out loud.
Eleanor Oliphant is a social misfit and a loner who falls for a stranger. In an attempt to win over her new love interest, she decides to reinvent herself and, in turn, starts to unravel the pains of her past. This novel is so much more than a love story or the troubled tales of a broken past. This would be a fantastic travel read, on a long flight or train ride, as it makes the hours slip away.
“The Saltwater Table transports readers to the mysterious, lush Cumberland Island, allowing us to recreate a taste of this vibrant world in our own kitchens.
Cumberland Island and the exceptional local ingredients to be found there are Otawka’s muse, inspiring her to celebrate the beloved food found along the Southeast coast. Offering a modern perspective on southern flavors, this beautifully photographed book shows us how to enjoy iconic southern meals, from an oyster roast, to a fish fry, to a Low Country boil. with a strong emphasis on vegetables and fresh ingredients.”
Beautiful, poetic writing and a gripping story. I don’t often read fiction, but I was pleasantly surprised with this novel. Two young girls running from their past, chase dreams and a man to New York. They are devoured by a heady life of wild parties, drug addiction and struggling to belong. The entire story toggles between time and place and is woven around the main character’s vivid fever-dreams, wild imagination, and immigrant-family struggles. The writing, as well as the story, bend the lines of reality and leaves you in lyrical limbo.
A unique and wildly interesting tale of a young woman, Nell Stevens, who wins a grant allowing her the time and resources to write a novel while in complete solitude in the Falkland Islands.
Stevens does an amazing job capturing the nuances of the places she visits and adds a level of humor to her stories. Her true travel tales parallel alongside the novel she set out to write. The reader is able to indulge in her real life stories of isolation while seeing the details emerge in a fictional story.
This delightful and easy read documents the whimsical and romantic lifestyle of a husband, wife, and their two dogs after a move from England to Southern France. Mayle describes their new life in seasons. The pages drip with simple, yet intriguing details describing the nuances of local markets, decadent ingredients for late night dinners, cafes, wine covered landscapes, peculiar neighbors, and the struggles of restoring an old stone farmhouse. Already a bestseller, I’m a little late to the club on this one. There is no denying this book will ignite a little fire to travel in Southern France, if only from your armchair.
“Until one stops to notice, an olive is only a lowly lump at the bottom of a martini. But not only does a history of olives traverse climates and cultures, it also reveals fascinating differences in processing, production, and personalities. Aficionados of the noble little fruit expect miracles from it as a matter of course. In 1986, Mort Rosenblum bought a small farm in Provence and acquired 150 neglected olive trees that were old when the Sun King ruled France. He brought them back to life and became obsessed with olives, their cultivation, and their role in international commerce.”
A gripping, heartrending, and eloquently told true story of love, loss, and travel. You could easily devour this memoir in a single sitting. Fowler has a way with words and describes foreign landscapes and difficult emotions with a relatable voice that will make you want to keep reading.
A funny – and at times all too real – account of one couple’s adventures around the world. They are gifted with the opportunity to give back during their travels which adds a level of compassion and anxiety to the trip. Dinian does a great job of recounting her experiences, but at times the book feels a little rushed.
An introspective and well written memoir told from both mother and daughter as they travel together. This book focuses on heavy metaphors and Greek mythology. An interesting read.
A raunchy, funny, and entertaining travel memoir detailing wild romances and hook-ups around the world as told by a comedy TV writer. Kristen traverses the globe in search of true love and one-night stands.
This book will stir up a serious case of wanderlust or a wild craving for freedom. You’ll want to sell everything and wander through the wilderness with nothing but a backpack. This is the perfect read for anyone that has ever dreamt of running away or getting lost.
Aside from the fact that Heidi Swanson’s recipes are incredible, her travel stories and photographs are both beautiful and intriguing. You will appreciate the destinations as much as the meals. Swanson has created the perfect blend of delicious and wanderlust.
Forget about the movie, you have to read this book. I think everyone can relate to Cheryl Strayed’s story in some way. If you’ve ever wanted to solo travel, tackle an epic adventure, or simple run away, this book is sure to help fuel that fire.
If you’re a fan of Bourdain’s brutally honest writing style (and really, who isn’t?) than you’ll love this intriguing food focused travel memoir. Where does food come from? What does it mean to travel like a local? What’s the traditional way to eat a fattened pig in small town Portugal? You need to have a sense of adventure and a strong stomach to digest everything Bourdain throws at you in this unique book.
An interesting book that approaches everyday topics in a different way while igniting a sense of wanderlust. It’s a heavier read requiring you to sit the book down every few paragraphs to really digest what you’re reading. Solnit does an incredible job tackling abstract ideas and using clever anecdotes to discuss the seemingly mundane topic of getting lost.
An easy, fun, entertaining read. This book compiles true travel tales written by intrepid female travelers. Some stories and short and inspiring, others a bit longer and filled with adventure. At least one of the 42 included stories will stir up some serious wanderlust or at least make you want to start a travel journal of your own.
I’m not sure I can call My Year with Eleanor a travel book, but it offered a hefty dose of inspiration. Noelle Hancock decides to spend each day of the year before her birthday doing something that scares her. A funny and true story of the struggles that come with confronting fear.
If you’ve ever dreamt of sailing around the world, running away to paradise, or if you love adventure travel, this book is for you. This book winds its way from San Francisco to Australia stopping at beautiful remote islands. Get ready to start planning your own sea voyage.
[Instead of embarking on a life of living well, we instead tend to choose a life of boredom in work, punctuated by hi-octane ‘experiences’ that are to be ticked off from a list.]
This travel memoir is co-written by three friends that quit their NYC jobs to traveling the world for a year. Their stories are entertaining and the locations are inspiring. From volunteering in Kenya to yoga retreats in India, this book covers a lot of ground. The story can get a little verbose at times with each author recapping scenes, but overall this is an easy and fun read.
Part travel memoir, part love story, this entertaining memoir from Geraldine DeRuiter is difficult to put down. DeRuiter’s writing style is witty and laugh-out-loud funny. Reading her trials and triumphs from constant trips around the world will leave you craving an adventure of your own.
This book provides an honest and realistic look at the situations and experiences you encounter while traveling the world. From fleeting friendships to breathtaking beaches and minor disasters, you will be lured into the world of backpacking and inspired to book your next ticket.
A well-written memoir capturing the excitement and lessons that comes with a round-the-world trip taken on a whim. Read hilarious and heart warming stories that will make you rediscover your love of travel and inspire you to plan your very own adventure.
If you aren’t already a fan of MessyNessyChic, what have you been doing with your Mondays? This book highlights her witty and charming writing style as she guides you through the cobblestone streets of Paris. Trust me, you’ll want to book a flight!
Not quite a travel book, not quite a self help book, this is more of a guide to finding a quest that brings meaning and purpose to your life. A good read for long train rides when you want a little more than a mindless read. If you’re looking for a little direction or inspiration, this book could help.
A posthumously released collection of essays and short stories from a talented young writer. Marina Keegan graduated top of her class at Yale then tragically, five days after graduation died in a car accident. These stories and essays were compiled to showcase her best work. Some of the stories are self-reflecting, others inspirational, but all of them are worth the read.
Not particularly a travel book, but this humorous and free-spirited tale of a father and daughter’s adventures together will give you some wild ideas of your own. It’s an easy and fun read that transports you to a time when life was a little more delicate and free.
An interesting look at why we travel and how we travel. This unique travel book is part philosophical, part personal ramblings, and part humorous anecdotes. This book will make you examine all aspects of travel and appreciate your next trip a little bit more.
A slightly verbose travel bible written to explain the reasons why travel is important and how it affects our lives during and after a trip. This book also explores the differences between travel and tourism. A good read for those that want a better psychological understanding of why travel matters.
Travel magazines tend to lean one of two ways; saturated with useless advertisements or covering a hyper-specific area of travel that excludes most wanderers. Suitcase Magazine blends drool-worthy photography with well-written and easily digestible stories and guides. The Nostalgia Issue is a spectacular example of the Suitcase quality.
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