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Travel Writers’ Favourite Travel Books

Photo by Simon Cocks

By Carissa Bluestone

Maybe it’s the sight of school buses or the waning daylight hours, but there’s something about fall that makes us want to read—and start allocating next year’s vacation days.

For inspiration, look no further than The Guardian’s roundup of favourite travel books. The picks, made by 18 of the world’s best travel writers, including luminaries as “Tao of Travel” Paul Theroux and expedition royalty Kari Herbert, are a solid survey of iconic tomes (Bruce Chatwin and Freya Stark) and classic cross-genre efforts (Henry Miller, Graham Greene, and Woody Guthrie). Jan Morris, who examined Canadian life in 1992’s O! Canada: Travels in an Unknown Country, makes the list for her Destinations, chosen by Pico Iyer.

Many of the books describe trips undertaken so long ago there’s no way to replicate them—imagine visiting Greece’s famous ruins today and not encountering another single tourist. The “preserved in amber” anecdotes may lack direct relevance, but there’s a reason these books have inspired so many writers and vagabonds. Each diligently and eloquently worked to answer the “why?” of travel—a question we ask whether our destination is beyond the date line or a just day’s drive out of town.

More literary travel “best” lists you might enjoy:

Oprah’s “20 Books for the Armchair Traveler” [Oprah.com]

“Five Best Books on Travel” [Wall Street Journal]

“The 20 Best Travel Books of All Time” [The Telegraph]

“The 86 Greatest Travel Books of All Time” [Condé Nast Traveler]

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