As you may have noticed, I love reading. I have since I was a child and will still prefer a night with a book on the couch to a night out. The following books have seriously inspired my wanderlust, (almost) made me want to go to certain places and kept me day dreaming.
My 10 favourite travel books
Shantaramby Gregory David Roberts
I had actually restrict myself to 100 pages per day to make it last. It was the closest I ever came to wanting to visit India – or Mumbai rather – to see with my own eyes what G.D. Roberts to delightfully describes.
The Brunetti mystery series by Donna Leon
Usually not a fan of mystery novels, Brunetti gets me every time. It’s not so much about the crime but about Italian food, family, politics and, of course, Venice.
Donna Leon’s German translator does a terrific job: the novels feel exactly the same when you read them in German translation as in the (English) original.
The Songlinesby Bruce Chatwin
Be prepared for a beautiful journey across Australia, along the “songlines” indigenous peoples have been using as maps navigating today’s Australia for centuries, if not millenia.
Seven Years in Tibetby Heinrich Harrer
All he ever wanted was to be in the mountains – even if that meant joining the NSdAP and getting funded by the Nazis. Young Heinrich Harrer and his companion Peter Aufschnaiter make it all the way to Lhasa – then a forbidden city in a forbidden country – where he gets to become friends with the young Dalai Lama, 20 years his junior. He stays there for seven years before returning to his former home in Austria.
Down Under (also known as “In a Sunburned Country”) by Bill Bryson (he wrote quite a few other, mostly entertaining books too)
An American with a sense of irony visits a good part of Australia and takes note of a all the things he finds odd, of which there are many. It’s heaps better to give you a feeling of this vast – and mostly devoid of people – landmass than most guidebooks and sparked my wish to see the stromatolites in Western Australia (which I haven’t managed so far).
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The heart-breaking story of a loving couple with a secret: He is a time-traveller and cannot predict when he’s next going to disappear from the present and turn up unexpectedly in some other time and place, past or future.
Kiwi Tracks by Andrew Stephenson
Walking a handful of Great Walks and some more, this book will make you want to pack your bag, put on your hiking boots and
The Beach by Alex Garland
All clichées and stereotypes about Thailand in one novel you will not want to put away.
Midnight’s Children by Salman Rushdie.
At the very moment of India’s independence exactly 1,000 children are born, linked forever by telepathic powers and each of them endowed with a special gift. Saleem Sinai is one of them. Rushdie at his best.
After Darkness by Christine Piper
This enthralling debut-novel of an Australian author tells the gripping story of a Japanese doctor who moves to Broome, Western Australia, to escape from his old life and is (literally) captured in the throes of World War 2.
Which books have inspired you to (re)visit a certain country or at least to pull out a map and have a good look at it?
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