10 Top Travel & Cruise Books
Another installation from our Couch Cruising series…
With days to fill, getting lost in a travel-related book is easy especially with so many great genres and authors to choose from that you’ll likely be left daydreaming about future trips to faraway places. Here we’ve rounded up our top picks intended to inspire wanderlust as you read from the comfort of your own couch.
Travel writer Francis Mayes’s 1996 memoir about her endeavor to restore an abandoned villa in Tuscany, the joy of living in Italy and the Tuscan countryside. The book along with its recipes appeared on the New York Times’ bestseller list for more than two years. USA TODAY describes it as a “beautifully written memoir about taking chances, living in Italy, loving a house and, always, the pleasures of food.”
This 2006 best selling memoir follows author Elizabeth Gilbert, a 30-something successful married New Yorker who experiences an early midlife crisis and makes a radical change, deciding to abandon her comfortable affluent life to spend a year in Italy, India and Indonesia with each word in the title experienced in each country correspondingly. “I wanted to thoroughly explore one aspect of myself set against the backdrop of each country, in a place that has traditionally done that one thing very well,” Gilbert told the Guardian newspaper, in what amounts to a voyage to self-discovery.
This insider’s account of life aboard a cruise ship is written by an employee of Carnival Cruise Lines and details everything from the daily lives, including the sex lives, of the crew, to the behind the scenes operations and antics that go into keeping a cruise ship operational while at sea. Brian David Bruns’s 2008 fly on the wall account gives the reader a glimpse into the behind the scenes lives and lifestyles of the crew which most passengers probably never even imagined.
Humor writer Dave Barry concocts a cast of characters on board the ‘Extravaganza of the Seas’, a gambling and money-laundering ship that only sails a few miles off the coast of Florida. It’s loaded with pulp fiction derived from seedy onboard plots and characters including a CIA agent posing as a cocktail waitress as well as other shadies all while the vessel is heading into a tropical storm. Perfect for those who enjoy Barry’s satirical writing about craziness in his home state of Florida.
Anthony Doerr’s New York Times bestseller is about a blind girl and her family in occupied France who leave Paris for the town of Saint-Malo along the Brittany coast. Doerr describes the town in such rich detail that the reader will be left with a desire to travel there.
Paulo Coelho’s international bestseller is about a Spanish shepherd boy from Andalucia who leaves home to travel to the Pyramids in search of an unknown treasure. The mystical journey and the people he meets along the way will inspire you to follow your dreams.
Lo Blacklock is a travel writer dispatched to spend a week on a cruise ship and witnesses a woman being thrown overboard. Ruth Ware’s suspenseful read begins as a delightful journey but soon turns into a terrifying nightmare. Full of surprising twists that will keep you riveted.
This work tells the story of the late Anthony Bourdain’s trek from apprentice cook to celebrity gourmand and the stories and people he experiences along his globe-trotting way, complete with his unique take on the restaurant business and encounters with some of the world’s most high profile chefs. A follow up to his bestselling ‘Kitchen Confidential’.
Chronicling the life-long dream of Peter Mayle who along with his wife moves into a 200-year-old stone farmhouse in the remote Luberon region of southern France with his two large dogs and navigates a new life in the Rhone Valley.
10. The Beach
Set in Thailand, The Beach is Alex Garland’s story of a young backpacker's search for a legendary, idyllic and isolated beach untouched by tourism and it’s small, international community of backpackers.
What book has inspired you to travel?
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