A few days ago I asked, “What are your favourite literary travel books?” Thank you for your suggestions, added to mine below to compile a quintessential shelf of travel literature:
- Flaubert in Egypt: A Sensibility on Tour – Gustave Flaubert
- Rings of Saturn – W. G. Sebald
- Travels with Herodotus – Ryszard Kapuściński
- The Air-Conditioned Nightmare – Henry Miller
- Songlines – Bruce Chatwin
- The Motorcycle Diaries – Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara
- On the Road – Jack Kerouac
- In Patagonia – Bruce Chatwin
- Pictures from Italy – Charles Dickens
- Collected Travel Writings: The Continent and Great Britain and America – Henry James
- The Roads to Sata – Alan Booth
- The Way of the World – Nicolas Bouvier
- Into the Heart of Borneo – Redmond O’Hanlon
- A Time of Gifts – Patrick Leigh Fermor
- Hokkaido Highway Blues – Will Ferguson
- Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It – Geoff Dyer
- Falling off the Map: Some Lonely Places of the World – Pico Iyer
- Riding the Iron Rooster – Paul Theroux
- To Noto: Or London to Sicily in a Ford – Duncan Fallowell
- Angry White Pyjamas – Robert Twigger
- Arabian Sands – Wilfred Thesiger
- This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland – Gretel Ehrlich
I’ve added the new suggestions to my wish list and anticipate reading them with genuine pleasure.
>Hey that it a great list, but you may experience itchy feet and cabin fever if you read all of that travel literature! Travel literature always (inevitably)makes me want to travel. So for me it is a bitter sweet experience if you are reading it for pleasure and not with the anticipation of a planned trip.
>A similar question (or is it the same?): your favorite literary adventure book? I loved perusing your list! Kevin
>The Motorcycle Diaries are in twice. And you've got no Sebald! How about his Rings of Saturn . . . to replace one of the motorcycles
>oh and thank-you for including me. I'm considered unquantifiable by the literary establishment and hover expectantly in the clouds, hoping one day to descend . . .
>You are right, Fiona, I cannot take too much travel literature at once. I will eke that list out over a very extended period. It gives me itchy feet too.
>That is a perplexing question, Kevin. How would you define literary adventure books? This: "a genre of novels that has adventure, an exciting undertaking involving risk and physical danger, as its main theme"?
>Thanks for pointing out the duplication, Duncan. Rings of Saturn is outstanding, my favourite Sebald by a long way. I have never thought of it as a literary travel book, but my definitions are pliable.And you are quite welcome, most of my favourite writers are unquantifiable.