Books have always remained a person’s best friend. It doesn’t matter if we are travelling or sitting cozily in the comforts of our homes, a book can always light up our mood! They say that there is a book for every mood and for every person. Browsing for a book is like browsing for a piece of one’s soul which would help us in completing our inner puzzle.
So, as Frank Zappa had famously quoted, “So many books, so little time”, let us look at the following list of books that one should read while travelling:
1. On The Road (Jack Kerouac)
The book will definitely put you in the mood for adventure! An excellent source of inspiration, this book will guide you through your adventures and give you the hit to get you running. On The Road. Jack Kerouac has successfully described the idea of wanderlust and is based on Kerouac’s own life experiences of travelling across America with his friends. A true gypsy, letting you in on the secret of living in the moment!
2. The Motorcyle Diaries (Ernesto ‘Che’ Guevara)
The book is about the time when Che left his family and hometown to ride a motorcycle across South America on a greatly inspirational trip with his friend Alberto Grenado. The sights that these two bikers come across, that of injustices done to exploited mine workers and ostracized lepers among others, is an important part of Che’s later life as he got moulded into the Marxist ideology. Great travelling experiences along with equally inspirational guidelines for life that comes along with travelling, that’s what this book has to offer you.
3. By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept (Paulo Coelho)
We always hope that when we travel, we are engulfed by new and beautiful experiences. And, sometimes on a journey, it makes good sense to read a book in which something extraordinary happens to someone, as we wish for us. Part of a trilogy, ‘By The River Piedra I Sat Down And Wept’ is a perfect selection for this. Follow Pilar as she journeys from a quaint university life to the greater experiences. She meets her childhood sweetheart and a journey ensues in the French Pyrenees that makes her learn about love, spirituality and sacrifices of life.
4. Murder On The Orient Express (Agatha Christie)
If travelling on a train, this murder mystery is a staple read. The story takes place on the passenger train called the ‘Orient Express’, where Belgian detective Hercule Poirot dives headfirst into the case of the murder of a fellow passenger. Agatha Christie is famous for her witty and charismatic presentation of the characters, and this novel is un-putdownable. A classic whodunit!
5. Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Based in one of the small and romantic regions of Spain, this tale of true love is truly spectacular. A sultry, heated atmosphere created by Marquez is something that will hook you to it. One of the author’s best works ever, this book is a joyous read from the beginning till the end. It is one of those books which you need to ‘feel’ in order to understand it completely, if you don’t it’s not worth explaining.
6. The Hobbit (J. R.R. Tolkien)
Tolkien’s classic set in the Middle East is perfect those trip where you cannot focus on your books for a long while at a time. It is the quintessential travel books for the fantasy world. ‘The Hobbit’ is at one level simply a charming adventure story, perhaps one of the most charming and most adventurous ever told. This book’s importance can also be measured in ways how it has inspired people to travel. Cheers to one of the greatest stories ever told! To order the book, you can use Paytm coupons to order on various e-commerce websites.
7. Zorba the Greek (Nikos Kazantzakis)
This classic novel is the story about two men, their incredible friendship and about living life to the fullest. Zorba and the unnamed narrator are men who belong to two different kinds of personalities and through the course of the narrative, Zorba is able to influence and inspire the narrator to live life freely. Zorba the Greek explores the beauty and pain of existence, as he asks readers to wuestion and find the answers to the most important aspects of their lives.
8. Shantaram (Gregory David Roberts)
It is a semi-biographical story of an Australian bank robber who escaped from prison to flee to India. Roberts’s description of Bombay (Mumbai) and his efforts at settling in India into his new environment as he tried to start his life anew is something that will grip you to the book as you read along. His travels across India and Afghanistan in order to never be deported back to his country, churns a different kind of a narrative around the text which makes Shantaram an interesting read.
9. The Alchemy of Desire (Tarun Tejpal)
It traces the journey of a writer from the jauntiness of Delhi to the mesmerizing foothills of the Himalayas. His life comprised of his creativity and his beautiful wife, whom he worshipped endlessly. Filled to the brim with erotic descriptions of their romantic life and the gorgeous scenery of the Himalayan foothills, this is truly an addictive read to have while travelling. Inventive, playful, heartbreaking, brimming with ideas and memorable characters, The Alchemy of Desire is an un-missable read. This is a major novel by one of the most significant new voices of his generation.
10. Into the Wild (Jon Krakauer)
It has so become the case that every time the idea of wanderlust comes across someone’s mind, Into The Wild is not late to follow that up. Alexander Supertramp, has become a name that everyone is familiar with now, even 20 years after his death. Author Jon Krakauer starts us at the bus and brings us through the final two years of McCandless’s life as he abandons his school, identity, family and spends the next two years wandering around his country.
The issue remains the same with every book adaptation for a film, read the book before watching the movie as Krakauer refuses to pull punches on perhaps one of the most interesting nomads in literature.
11. Tracks (Robyn Davidson)
This is one of the most inspirational and awe-inspiring reads about a one-person journey against nature’s difficult odds. The book is about the author’s own 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of west Australia using camels. Originally Robyn participated the National Geographics photo essay stories, by allowing them to document her journey if they agreed to sponsor her journey. The article became so popular that she wrote a book on it, which was heavily praised. Mia Wasikowska played her role in the movie on the book.
12. Eat, Pray, Love (Elizabeth Gilbert)
Set against the backdrop of three different cultures: pleasure in Italy, devotion in India and a balance between worldly pleasures and guilt-free abandonment in Bali, Eat Pray Love is a story about a modern American woman who has everything in the world, a loving husband, a country home and a successful career but, inner peace. This bold book is about her travels around the world as she leaves behind all these ‘marks of successes’ in order to get over her depression following her divorce. A completely exhilarating read, Elizabeth Gilbert has struck a chord in our hearts which has left us questioning about our existence.
13. Siddhartha (Hermann Hesse)
It is about a young man named Siddhartha, who leaves his family for a contemplative life, then falls prey to lust and conceives a son, bored again of lust and greed, moves on. One day, he comes across a river, which had a sound that signaled him to the true meaning of life. An easy read but nevertheless it leaves you wiser once you finish it. The experiences shared in the book are extremely relatable and doesn’t matter if you are from the same culture or not. This is a book which can convince you to get back on the only one and true path of life and teach you to live with humility.
14. Marching Powder (Rusty Young)
If you love “true life” or non-fictional stories, then this is the book for you! This is the story of Thomas McFadden who was arrested in Bolivia for smuggling drugs and thrown inside the notorious San Pedro prison. This was a prison where the convicts had to pay an entrance fee to buy their cells in the prison and high quality cocaine was manufactured and sold from the prison too! Thomas ended up making a living by giving backpackers tours of the prison and was named in the Lonely Planet guide to Bolivia. The San Pedro prison was indeed a tourist attraction at one point of time. A shocking read, this is a book about survival.
15. Boats on Land (Janice Pariat)
It is undoubtedly one of the best short story collections of the North-East. If your trip is taking you to the quaint valleys of the north-eastern part of the country, then this beautifully penned book should be your literary companion. With rich and flavorful stories about the mystical lands, enriching folklore and long-standing cultural traditions, Janice Pariat has managed to compile the book in such a way that the stories stay with you long after the book is over.