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Top Travel Reads

openbookOne of the great advantages of travel is that there is time to get fully absorbed in a book: whilst on the move or waiting to be, because of a forced early night in a dangerous-after-dark city or while recovering from a big night as you stretch out on a sandy beach.  Books feel like friends and I have, when travelling, felt unable to discard them; spending my meagre budget on sending them home from many far-flung lands.  They now line my bookshelves, telling a story about me. 

Here are my favourite 12 memorable reads.


The Power of Now, by Eckhart Tolle.  This book, quite simply, has altered my view on life.  I have learnt that the mind can be a distraction from the wonder that is Now, if you let it loose to roam unchecked.  My aim is to live in the present moment.

3 Cups of Tea, by David Oliver Relin about Greg Mortenson.  One man's mission to promote peace, one school at a time.  An inspirational book that leaves you with the question, What could I give or do?

Papillion, by Henrí Charrière.  A griping account of a convicted felon's adventure of survival, escapes and the alternative life of a fugitive.

100 Years of Solitude, by Gabriel García Márques.  This Columbian storyteller unravels a multi-generational epic tale in the magical realist style typical of latin america.

On the Road, by Jack Kerouac.  Based on the author's road trips across America, in my twenties I connected with the recklessness of his travels.

The China Study, by T Colin Campbell PhD.  Reading this book, completely and effortlessly, made me change what I eat.  Although the subject of disease and diet may not sound enticing, I couldn't put it down. 

The Great Railway Bazaar, by Paul Theroux.  Written about his mighty journey by train across Asia.  Theroux wrote 'I sought trains; I found passengers.'  It's as much about the people he encounters as the journey itself, as travel always is.

For Whom the Bell Tolls, by Ernest Hemmingway.  The Spanish Civil war is the setting of this action novel which takes place over just a couple of days.  

pileofbooksA Million Little Pieces, by James Frey.  Although there has now been controversy over this book as it appears to be the author's exaggerated and altered view of events, it doesn't take away from the original writing style and enthralling story of a young man fighting addiction.

Miracle in the Andes, by Nando Parrado. A survivor from the Argentine Andes plane crash of 1972, Parrado tells of the torcherous lengths they went to to survive 72 days in the mountains, including resorting to cannibalism. 

Lady Chatterley's Lover, by D H Lawrence.  If wanting a beautiful story of love and passion, look no further.