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29 Books To Read While Traveling

One of the best parts of traveling is enjoying a good book while on the beach. Here are 30 awesome books to read while traveling. 

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#1 The Salt Path by Raynor Winn

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Not only does this book tackle powerful issues such a loss and homelessness but it's also a really beautiful tale of the healing power of reconnecting with nature and wilderness; something which I think anyone who loves traveling will identify with.

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Contributor: Phoebe Conner from Yesihaveablog 

#2 A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier

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The beauty of travel is that is helps people connect to others who are very different from themselves. It helps us open our eyes to the different contexts of life and develops a level of compassion for our human beings. This book can open your eyes to the injustice and hardship of those born in war and corruption, but also strength, resilience and courage that can be found in even the worst conditions. 

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Contributor: Josée Perron from You Choose the Way

#3 The Motorcycle Diaries by Ernesto “Che” Guevara

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This book helps to not only better understand the personality and ideologies of Che Guevara, but also describes with detail and beauty his wild adventure traveling through South America. He talks of people that he met throughout the journey, the wildly varying landscape and moments that defined his travels and himself as a human being. 

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Contributor: Josée Perron from You Choose the Way

#4 Three Cups Of Tea by Greg Mortenson

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For many of us who travel the world, we are left with hope and desire to help those we meet along the way. This is an uplifting true story of a man who found a way to go back to the isolated mountain town he once knew and fulfill his promise to help.

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Contributor: Josée Perron from You Choose the Way

#5 The Sex Lives Of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost

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The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost is a well-written travelogue, packed with self-deprecating humor and witty commentary. It offers a style similar to Bryson at his finest, and that causes the pages to fly by.

The story gives a unique perspective of island life on a Pacific atoll far removed from the news, fashions, and influences the rest of the globalized world gets inundated with.

The book shines a light on staying optimistic in the most dire circumstances, as Troost learned during his time on Tarawa. One of my most recommended in travel reading material!

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Contributor: Christian Eilers from Dauntless Jaunter

#6 Journey to an Untamed Land by Jonita Mullins

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Imagine taking five month to cover the distance that a two-hour plane ride would take today. In 1820, a group of young teachers, craftsmen, ministers and their families left New England to float (no engines) the Ohio, Mississippi and Arkansas Rivers to reach their destination. They arrived on the untamed prairie to build the first permanent log structures in an area that soon would be called Indian Territory. The hardships they faced make airport delays seem tame. 

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Contributor: Jonita Mullins from Candleshine Publishing

#7 Wings of Wisdom: Lessons Learned at 35,000 Feet

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From the Contributor: It is a collection of some of my stories while traveling as Road Warrior and encountering some of the best flight attendants in the world. The stories are inspirational and touch on our humanity. The book is a short and fun read and it is best enjoyed in flight or in your quiet hotel room after a long travel day. 

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Contributor: Phil Bohlender from Seed and Lead

#8 Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi

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This is an epic novel and history lesson that spans over 300 years. It begins in the 18th century in Ghana and ends in modern day United States. It traces the lives of two West African half sisters & their families. One sister is sold into slavery and the other lived in Ghana while being married to a colonial slave trader. 

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Contributor: Nadeen White from The Sophisticated Life Blog

#9 Next Year in Havana by Chanel Cleeton

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This book is in the historical fiction category. It tells the history of the Cuban revolution, the American involvement and what life was like for those unable to flee the country and what life was like for those who did. It is very interesting especially in the context of Americans now traveling to Cuba.

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Contributor: Nadeen White from The Sophisticated Life Blog

#10 Crazy Rich Asians (Crazy Rich Asians Trilogy)

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These books are particular great for ultra long-haul flights. They are very funny, suspenseful and teaches a lot about Chinese culture. In particular the hierarchy and status of old money vs. new money, mainland Chinese and American Born Chinese. The descriptions of the food alone will make you want to jump on the next plane to Singapore, Hong Kong and China! 

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Contributor: Nadeen White from The Sophisticated Life Blog

#11 Sick Idiot by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

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The positively-reviewed book Sick Idiot by Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a funny nonfiction health memoir. This collection of humorous, true, and unbelievable anecdotes about the author’s life and medical journey will have you feeling uplifted and amused while you’re on the road.

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Contributor: Ashley Shuck from Ultimate You

#12 Never Can Say Goodbye by Sari Botton

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While the essays focus on New York specifically, it's a great read while discovering new places because of the way these writers paint a vivid picture of their relationship with a place. It's a reminder of the life and secrets hidden in the architecture, culture, and history of a city. It's making me look at the new places I'm visiting with wider eyes. It's romantic and nostalgic and all the warm fuzzy feelings that you get when you fall in love with a city.

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Contributor: Jessica Altounian from PenPal Schools

#14 Diver’s Clothes Lie Empty By Vendela Vela

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This book is written in a voice thats makes the reader the protagonist! It is about a traveler who arrives in Morocco without any identification and must find his/her way. To read this book while traveling will give you an inception-like feeling! 

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Contributor: Leah Little from Leah Little Travel & Fashion

#16 Uganda be Kidding Me by Chelsea Handler

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Light and funny, nothing too serious makes an excellent travel book. This book gets bonus points since it is Chelsea Handler’s collection of stories from her world travels. 

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Contributor: Leah Little from Leah Little Travel & Fashion

#17 Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed

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This memoir of a woman’s solo hike is incredibly empowering. Perfect motivation for anyone on a physically or emotionally challenging journey. 

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Contributor: Leah Little from Leah Little Travel & Fashion

#18 Marching Powder by Thomas McFadden

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Marching Powder is an enthralling look into the complex prison system of Bolivia, written by a former British drug smuggler who was caught in the act and sent to live there for several years. It's an eye-opening glimpse at the world behind the walls of the San Pedro Prison in La Paz, Bolivia, leaving the reader on the edge of his or her seat until the very end.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Kay Rodriguez from Jetfarer 

#20 Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

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Into the Wild is a chilling read (and a true story) about Christopher McCandless' leap from suburban life to exploring the frontiers of Alaska alone. It's a compelling story about survival, confronting the risks and rewards of the unknown. 

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Contributor: Kay Rodriguez from Jetfarer 

#22 Desert Solitaire by Edward Abbey

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Abbey has a witty, sassy style of writing that is able to capture the attention of all ages. He embeds a compelling message about how important it is to experience nature even at, and perhaps especially at, the expense of our physical comfort.

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Contributor: Jacquie Whitt from Adios Adventure Travel

#23 One River by Wade Davis

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A little history and science combined with fascinating descriptions of Richard Schultes scientific adventures through South American jungles in pursuit of botanical information from indigenous people. At a time before pesky infrastructure spoiled things and turned us into weaklings. 

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Contributor: Jacquie Whitt from Adios Adventure Travel

#24 To Exist by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

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To Exist is a post-apocalyptic literary fiction novel by Ashley Boynes-Shuck. Published in 2015, with a new cover and second edition in 2016, To Exist is about Shelby Weiss, the last female left of childbearing age in a post-apocalyptic America. Shelby is being hunted by the men in the book. It is very timely and relevant with a strong, complex, and introspective lead character.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ashley Shuck from Ultimate You

#25 Chronically Positive by Ashley Boynes-Shuck

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Chronically Positive by Ashley Boynes-Shuck is a nonfiction medical anthology. More specifically, it is a collection of the most popular Arthritis Ashley blog posts and essays. It is meant to reach and inspire people — especially young people — living with chronic illness and chronic pain.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Ashley Shuck from Ultimate You

#26 The Wild Muir: Twenty-Two of John Muir’s Greatest Adventures

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If traveling anywhere outdoors, the writings of John Muir are essential reading. Muir was a founder of the Sierra Club, and his eloquent prose puts the beauty of nature in context, no matter where you are. I recommend The Wild Muir, a collection of his most exciting adventures.

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Contributor: James from James Kaiser

#27 On the Road by Jack Kerouac

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If you have a love and passion for exploring, you’ll enjoy this book. The 2 main characters travel throughout America just for fun. They are living and loving life. It will make you feel like you’re on the road if you aren’t already. 

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Contributor: Caleb Backe from Maple Holistics

#28 A Year in Provence by Peter Mayle

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From the Contributor: I think it's a great read while traveling because it is so common to fantasize about leaving your real life and moving to whatever exciting place you're traveling to. A Year in Provence does a wonderful job of painting a picture - a warm, funny, frustrating picture - of what picking up and moving to one of those places is actually like.

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Contributor: Jed Lewin from Triplemint

#29 Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson

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From the Contributor: I know a recommendation involving a travel memoir with a donkey seems strange but this book sets the mood for travel in rural France. The story is set in Cévennes, a range of mountains in south-central France. Follow Stevenson’s journey in the town of Monastier where he buys a donkey and hikes through the high pastures of the Cévennes. His journey entails sleeping under the stars, conversing with the locals at the village inn, hiking at Modestine’s pace.

Want to read more reviews of this book or buy it? Check out the links below:

Contributor: Supriya AN from Talk Travel

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Written by Taegan Lion