The Motorcycle Diaries – Ernesto Che Guevara
At 23, Che Guevara was an aspiring doctor; this memoir traces the early travels of the would-be communist revolutionary as he explores South America. Setting off on a rickety old motorcycle with best friend Alberto, he takes a journey that will eventually shape the rest of his life.
Along the way he encounters social injustice; exploited mine workers, lepers forced to live in segregated colonies, and the plight of these people has a lasting effect on him. At the end of the nine month journey spanning over 8000 miles, a revolutionary is born. This is a lively and entertaining coming of age tale that is set against the beautiful backdrop of South America.
Into the Wild – Jon Krakauer
The mysterious true story of student Christopher McCandless is retold in this haunting tale; following graduation the promising student gave away his college fund, cut contact with his family and disappeared into the American wilderness in search of truth and adventure.
Eventually ending up in the wilds of Alaska, he survives for 100 days before starvation takes its toll. If you have a spirit for adventure then this is a must-read; the book stays with you long after you’ve turned the last page, as does the untamed beauty of Alaska.
Down Under – Bill Bryson
Any one of Bill Bryson’s travelogues could have made our list; his witty accounts of his travels really bring characters off the page and give you a sense of the destinations he’s visiting.
In Down Under he heads south to Australia; here he journeys across the vast country by car and rail, depicting events, people and places he sees and taking his chances with the poisonous animals that lurk in the bush; all the while falling helplessly in love with the gorgeous scenery, friendly people and lively cities.
Make the Most of Your Time on Earth – Rough Guides
The title may be a little coffee table sentimental, but this huge book really is a travellers dream; packed full of a whole host of inspiring adventures, from looking for lemurs in Madagascar, to sleeping in a yurt in Mongolia, you will return to this book time and time again.
This is not a guide book as such; the finer details are a little thin on the ground, but if you’re an adventurer at heart it is a great place to dream of future trips; perfect for a rainy afternoon when adventure seems far away!
Humans of New York – Brandon Stanton
Beginning life as a street project in the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton set out one long hot day to create a photographic census of New York City.
A blog was born and thanks to its huge success, along came this fascinating book. Filled with everyday New Yorkers from all walks of life, the characters really jump out from the page thanks to his vivid images; if you’re looking for an insight into what life in New York city is really like then this is the book for you.