Top Ten Books for the Road

 

We’ve brought together ten of the most inspiring, exotic and downright beautifully penned travel books to whisk you around the globe without stepping foot in an airport. They can all be found available as eBooks from Sainsbury’s.

 

10 – Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck

Steinbeck is an expert of the genre, despite some of his best works sitting outside it, and this is his finest and most personal travel book. A French standard poodle, a road-trip and Steinbeck’s America, what more could you ask for?

 

9 – African Diary by Bill Bryson

The modern master of the travel genre, Bill Bryson, retells his adventures in Kenya and offers an interesting and curious insight into the ‘cradle of mankind’. As with much of Africa, the duality of the nation is depicted expertly by Bryson.

 

8 – The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

“The trains [in a country] contain the essential paraphernalia of the culture” says the author, and he shows us, vividly and with such bright splashes of colour as he journeys across Asia via the many railways and aboard the differing trains that the continent has to offer. Theroux’s most famous work and rightly so.

 

7 – The Rum Diary by Hunter S. Thompson

The manuscript for the Rum Diary was famously discovered among Thompson’s papers by Johnny Depp and although written in the early 1960’s remained unpublished until 1998. It documents the exploits of a fictional journalist, Paul Kemp as he moves to Puerto Rico to work for a major newspaper. It is a brilliant love story drenched in alcohol, lust, jealousy and treachery.

 

6 – Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson

The second of Bryson’s works to make the list and rightly so, Notes from a Small Island has been lauded as a brilliantly accurate description of the island nation that is Great Britain by the Brits themselves.

 

5 – The Way of the World by Nicolas Bouvier

A twenty-four-year-old Nicolas Bouvier and his friend Thierry Vernet set off in search of the Khyber Pass from their hometown of Geneva. With a small Fiat car and a little cash and a determination to reach their destination they embarked on a journey of self-realisation. Bouvier himself writes; “You think you are making a trip, but soon it is making—or unmaking—you.”

 

4 – Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson

The chronicles of a drug-fuelled, mentally-twisted, surreal trip to the desert city of Las Vegas, Nevada is one of the greatest novels of our time so had to make it onto this list. This strange and psychedelic journey first appeared in Rolling Stone magazine printed in two parts in 1971 and has become Thompson’s most famous work. If you’ve managed to avoid it up until now, read this book.

 

3 – The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

One of the best selling travel novels of all time, this is Twain’s humorous account of a group of American Travellers on what he calls his ‘Great Pleasure Excursion’ on board the Quaker City through Europe to the Holy Land.

 

2 – Europe: An Intimate Journey by Jan Morris

Jan Morris has been hailed as one of the greatest travel writers of our time and her profound exploration of this endlessly changing continent is majestic. A beautiful portrait of a continent fuelled by fifty years of exploration, a must read for any traveller.

 

1 – A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit

A philosophical look at travel and life through this investigation of what it means to be lost. Through nine essays she wanders through a cacophony of subjects; politics, art, history, loss, this is at once a memoir and a philosophical exercise.

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