Below is a list of my current most favourite travel related books both fiction and non- fiction...
The Man Who Cycled From India To Europe For Love- Per J Andersson
Pradyumna Kumar, aka PK, was born into a poor, untouchable family in a small village in eastern India. Throughout his childhood he kept a palm leaf bearing an astrologer's prophecy: 'You will marry a girl who is not from the village, not even from the country; she will be musical, own a jungle and be born under the sign of the ox'. Incredibly, it was a prophecy that would come true, but only after the most remarkable journey that would take PK, armed with only a handful of paintbrushes and a second-hand bicycle, from the jungles of eastern India to the forests of Sweden. Part reportage, part travel narrative and part memoir, The Amazing Story of the Man Who Cycled from India to Europe for Love is the extraordinary, life-affirming true story that has captured imaginations around the world.
The Silk Merchant's Daughter- Dinah Jefferies
A gripping, unforgettable tale of a woman torn between two worlds... 1952, French Indochina. Since her mother's death, eighteen-year-old half-French, half-Vietnamese Nicole has been living in the shadow of her beautiful older sister, Sylvie. When Sylvie is handed control of the family silk business, Nicole is given an abandoned silk shop in the Vietnamese quarter of Hanoi. But the area is teeming with militant rebels who want to end French rule, by any means possible. For the first time, Nicole is awakened to the corruption of colonial rule - and her own family's involvement shocks her to the core... Tran, a notorious Vietnamese insurgent, seems to offer the perfect escape from her troubles, while Mark, a charming American trader, is the man she's always dreamed of. But who can she trust in this world where no one is what they seem? The Silk Merchant's Daughter is a captivating tale of dark secrets, sisterly rivalry and love against the odds, enchantingly set in colonial era Vietnam.
The Tea Planter's Wife- Dinah Jefferies
Set in 1920s Ceylon, about a young Englishwoman who marries a charming tea plantation owner and widower, only to discover he's keeping terrible secrets about his past, including what happened to his first wife, that lead to devastating consequences
When Heaven And Earth Changed Places- Le Ly Hayslip
A 1989 memoir by Le Ly Hayslip about her childhood during the Vietnam War, her escape to the United States, and her return to visit Vietnam 16 years later
The Kite Runner- Khaled Hosseini
It tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan, his father's young Hazaraservant. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan's monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime.
I Am Malala- Malala Yousafzai
In 2009 Malala Yousafzai began writing a blog on BBC Urdu about life in the Swat Valley as the Taliban gained control, at times banning girls from attending school. When her identity was discovered, Malala began to appear in both Pakistani and international media, advocating the freedom to pursue education for all. In October 2011, gunmen boarded Malala's school bus and shot her in the face, a bullet passing through her head and into her shoulder. Remarkably, Malala survived the shooting.
At a very young age, Malala Yousafzai has become a worldwide symbol of courage and hope. Her shooting has sparked a wave of solidarity across Pakistan, not to mention globally, for the right to education, freedom from terror and female emancipation.
The Diary Of A Young Girl- Anne Frank
Is a book of the writings from the diary kept by Anne Frank while she was in hiding for two years with her family during the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands. The family was apprehended in 1944, and Anne Frank died of typhus in the Bergen-Belsen concentration camp.
First They Killed My Father- Loung Ung
Loung Ung is 5 years old when the Khmer Rouge assumes power over Cambodia in 1975. They soon begin a four-year reign of terror and genocide in which nearly 2 million Cambodians die. Forced from her family's home in Phnom Penh, Ung is trained as a child soldier while her six siblings are sent to labour camps.
The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Society- Mary Anne Shaffer and Annie Burrows
January 1946: London is emerging from the shadow of the Second World War, and writer Juliet Ashton is looking for her next book subject. Who could imagine that she would find it in a letter from a man she's never met, a native of the island of Guernsey, who has come across her name written inside a book by Charles Lamb…. As Juliet and her new correspondent exchange letters, Juliet is drawn into the world of this man and his friends—and what a wonderfully eccentric world it is. The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society—born as a spur-of-the-moment alibi when its members were discovered breaking curfew by the Germans occupying their island—boasts a charming, funny, deeply human cast of characters, from pig farmers to phrenologists, literature lovers all. Juliet begins a remarkable correspondence with the society's members, learning about their island, their taste in books, and the impact the recent German occupation has had on their lives. Captivated by their stories, she sets sail for Guernsey, and what she finds will change her forever.
A Thousand Splendid Suns- Khaled Hosseini
Mariam is an illegitimate child, and suffers from both the stigma surrounding her birth along with the abuse she faces throughout her marriage. Laila, born a generation later, is comparatively privileged during her youth until their lives intersect and she is also forced to accept a marriage proposal from Rasheed, Mariam's husband.
Eat Pray Love- Elizabeth Gilbert
The memoir chronicles the author's trip around the world after her divorce and what she discovered during her travels around Italy, India and Indonesia.
The Infinite Air- Fiona Kidman
This enthralling novel is based on the life of one of the world's greatest aviators, the glamorous and daring Jean Batten.
After breaking records and becoming an international icon in the 1930s, she suddenly slipped out of view, disappearing to the Caribbean with her mother and eventually dying in obscurity in Majorca, buried in a pauper's grave.
Up In The Air- Betty Riegel
After responding to an advert in the local newspaper she secured herself an interview for the Pan Am training programme, and at just 22-years-old was selected from thousands of eager young British women to begin a career that would change the course of her life. Betty said goodbye to everything she knew and boarded a plane to New York, a city full of noise, towering skyscrapers and promise. Betty mastered the art of being the perfect Pan Am stewardess; everything from faultless etiquette, geography and safety to seamless make-up application, how to charm influential passengers and preparing five-course Parisian cuisine at 37,000 feet. But no amount of training could have prepared her for the rollercoaster of life in the air.
And The Mountains Echoed- Khaled Hosseini
How we love, how we take care of one another, and how the choices we make resonate through generations. In this tale revolving around not just parents and children but brothers and sisters, cousins and caretakers, Hosseini explores the many ways in which families nurture, wound, betray, honor, and sacrifice for one another; and how often we are surprised by the actions of those closest to us, at the times that matter most. Following its characters and the ramifications of their lives and choices and loves around the globe—from Kabul to Paris to San Francisco to the Greek island of Tinos—the story expands gradually outward, becoming more emotionally complex and powerful with each turning page.The book's foundation is built on the relationship between ten-year-old Abdullah and his three-year-old sister Pari and their father's decision to sell her to a childless couple in Kabul, an event that ties the various narratives together.
A Walk In The Woods- Bill Bryson
Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail is a 1998 autobiographical book by travel writer Bill Bryson, describing his attempt to walk the Appalachian Trail with his friend "Stephen Katz".
The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho
This masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago's journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life's path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.
Next on my reading list are;
Before the Rains- Dinah Jefferies
The Seperation- Dinah Jefferies
What are your favourite travel related books?