"Travels with Myself and Another" - A Memoir of a Woman Ahead of her Time

"Travels with Myself and Another" - A Memoir of a Woman Ahead of her Time

The book is a true travel narrative. Gellhorn was a brave and sometimes reckless woman (well, you'd have to be, to marry Hemmingway) and the tales she recounts here are what she calls her “horror stories” - that is the hardship of travelling in less developed parts of the world (some of them actual war zones...)

"Into Thin Air" - a Thrilling Account of an Everest Disaster

"Into Thin Air" - a Thrilling Account of an Everest Disaster

Krakauer is a fine storyteller and doesn’t shrink from difficult questions in this book - including asking whether anyone who puts themselves in such danger to stand “on the roof of the world” is actually rational.  Because, let’s face it, climbing Everest isn’t for your average thrill-seeker - you’ll need $65,000 minimum and, quite possibly, a death wish... 

"Go Away. Go Somewhere. Look for a Story..."

"Go Away.  Go Somewhere.  Look for a Story..."

The gold standard of travel writing, for me, has got to be Paul Theroux, whose epic train journey in the 1970′s became a best-seller in the form of his book “The Great Railway Bazaar.”  Setting out from Victoria Station, Theroux took one train after another as far as the Far East, traveling through Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan, onto India, Burma and Vietnam...

"Goodbye Things" - the Fine Art of Saying Adieu to your Possessions...

"Goodbye Things" - the Fine Art of Saying Adieu to your Possessions...

Sasaki, I discovered, as I read on, owns almost nothing.  It wasn’t always this way…a while back he was a typical typical Tokyo professional - stressed, anxious, and permanently exhausted.  He needed answers and decided to begin with stripping down his possessions……until he was left with almost nothing...

"A Field Guide to Getting Lost" - Rebecca Solnit

"A Field Guide to Getting Lost" - Rebecca Solnit

Received wisdom, of course, points to getting lost as something negative - which Solnit disagrees with entirely...“The question, then, is how to get lost.  Never to get lost is not to live, not to know how to get lost brings you to destruction and somewhere in the terra incognito in between lies a life of discovery.”

"Into The Wild" - Compelling to a Fault

“In April 1992 a young man from a well-to-do East Coast family hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mount McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a party of moose hunters…”

So begins the extraordinary and riveting “Into the Wild” which quickly became a bestseller. 

Getting Lost with "Travels"

Getting Lost with "Travels"

In 1997, I was poking around in second-hand bookstores, looking for good reads to take with me on a trip to East Africa.  I stumbled upon a dog-eared copy of Michael Crighton's 'Travels' and purchased it for $1.25.  Little did I know that it would become one of my favourite books and that I'd re-read it so many times that, finally, I'd have to go out and buy a new copy, 18 years later...

The Bookseller of Kabul

The Bookseller of Kabul

Asne Seirstad definitely makes the cut in my list, for "The Bookseller of Kabul", a tale of post-Taliban Afghanistan but with a “personal” twist.  After befriending Sultan Khan (who, for years, had defied the authorities and kept open a bookstore in the capital), the author was invited to move into his home, where she subsequently spent several months living with him and his extended family (his mother, his aunts, Khan’s two wives and five children).