Which books did you like the most during your travels?
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts is by far my favorite, and it is so practical and eloquently written! "The most sensible book of travel-realted advice ever written"-Tim Cahill
A. Bourdain said that he reads a novel that takes place in the destination he's traveling to. Sounds like an interesting idea.
I just love Chetan Bhagat and Ravinder Singh's Book always. My ever time favorite book, "I too Had a Love Story". Will hold it always in my travel. :)
Martha Gellhorn's Travels with Myself and Another is my favourite travel book of all time. She's bad ass. I read it before every trip. The God of Small Things, A Fine Balance and Cutting for Stone made me want to travel to India in the first place. But, while actually in India, on long train and bus journeys and during all the waiting around that marks travel in India, I devoured Sherlock Holmes, the Journey Home (Autobiography of an American Swami), Gone Girl, and my new favourite travel book, Tracks by Robyn Davidson.
Before leaving I try to find books by an author from that country, or region, e.g. I read Murakami whilst in Japan. Always gives a nice perspective on the country you're in.
The books I pick are normally of a naturalist ilk about the region I'm going to. One of my favorite authors is John McPhee "The Survival of Birch Bark Canoe" for Maine, "Basin and Range" (Utah, Idaho, Western Oregon and Western Washington), "Pine Barrens" (New Jersey), "Coming Into the Country" (Alaska).
For Alaska I also loved Dave Roberts, climbing books, "Mountain of My Fears" and "Mount McKinley: The Conquest of Denali" co-authored by Bradford Washburn.
Of course Ed Abbey for the American Southwest.
Graham Greene for the Dakotas, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska.
For Paris I loved David Sedaris "Me Talk Pretty"
Oh some people love Bill Bryson "In a Sunburnt Country" or "A Walk in The Woods" I think he is overly negative and really not funny. Yes even in comparison to SEdaris.
Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen...classic.
Whether you are seeking to explore physical or spiritual dimensions of the Earth, I guarantee the following books will enhance your journey:
> Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel, by Rolf Potts
> Travels, by Michael Crichton
> On the Road, by Jack Kerouac
> 501 Must-Visit Cities, by David Brown
> The Art of Travel, by Alain de Botton
> The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck
> The Seat of the Soul, by Gary Zukav
> Journey of Your Soul, by Shepherd Hoodwin
Two great poetry anthologies no matter where one is to go:
The Oxford Book of English Verse edited by Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch (Oxford University Press)
Other Men's Flowers: An Anthology of Verse by Lord Wavell (Pimlico)
And then novels or other books, set in, or written in, the destination of the place one's visiting.
One needs a number of books for the interminable journey by plane, train, boat, etc.
I read Ernest Hemingway's A Movable Feast, which is all about his time in Paris, while on the flight to Paris. I completely agree with the others who mentioned reading a book related to the place you are going. It adds a whole other dimension to your trip!
Any book that you can see at any given place. A bible, perhaps, is available in any hotel/hostel/dorm you are renting.
Ryszard Kapuscinski books, especially In the Shadow of the Sun....!
As a travel guide I've always been partial to Frommer's. As for literature I find you can't go wrong with Hemingway or Kerouac.
"Jack Kerouac" makes me feel free on the road.
I really enjoyed reading ''The Alchemist'' by Paulo Coelho!
For travelers like myself, probably the best part of any trip is stocking up on the books you plan to read as you move. I will intentionally book trains instead of planes so I can have a little more time to sit and read between actually having to go out and do things. And if you choose your books right, they can make your trip a richer experience: Paris is a new place after reading Les Miserables, and London is all the more fascinating after reading Dickens.
The best travel books, though, go broader than that. They don’t make you just want to go to a place, they make you want you to travel period. Here are some of them.
Don't Stop the Carnival by Herman Wouk. It's a fun read if you are traveling to the Caribbean