Continuing to travel via our imaginations
Last year, we published a post on Novels that Transport You in an effort to travel vicariously through the pages of our favorite novels. Since we’re probably not traveling to far-off destinations just yet, we thought we’d do a part two—this time focusing on non-fiction.
Here are some of the non-fiction books we’ve been indulging in, in an effort to let our minds take us far away from the confines of these familiar four walls. We’ve put the entire collection on Bookshop.org, which supports local, independent bookstores via an earnings pool (you can also designate that it goes to your own local bookstore).
The Sex Lives of Cannibals
The Sex Lives of Cannibals is a fascinating and sometimes hilarious account of a man’s year on a remote South Pacific island. At age twenty-six, Maarten Troost moved to Tarawa where he didn’t discover the island paradise of his dreams, but rather deadly bacteria, stifling heat, toxic fish, sea lice, alarmingly large critters, and a cast of characters.
Monk of Mokha
In Monk of Mokha, Dave Eggers takes us to Yemen and its often overlooked central role in the history of coffee. Yemeni-American Mokhtar Alkhanshali, living and raised in San Francisco, heads to his ancestral homeland to resurrect the ancient art of Yemeni coffee, but finds himself in the middle of a civil war.
To Shake the Sleeping Self
Upon quitting his dream job, Jedidiah Jenkins takes us along on his sixteen-month bicycle ride from Oregon to Patagonia in To Shake the Sleeping Self. His question along the way: What makes a life worth living? As we traverse the terrain alongside Jedidiah, we’re challenged to reflect on everything from adventure and identity to defining adulthood and living without regret.
Wild, a classic from Cheryl Strayed, was the basis for the movie of the same name that starred Reese Witherspoon in 2014. This is a tale of life and loss on Strayed’s 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, a testament to the healing power of literally just continuing to put one foot in front of the other.
A Walk in the Woods
Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods offers us an intimate glimpse into hiking the Appalachian Trail. From silent forests and towering mountains to sparkling lakes, Bryson not only explains the ecology and history of the trail, but introduces us to those he meets along the way—both human and animal. All in all, a great read when you’re longing for the great outdoors.
Into Thin Air
Journalist and mountaineer Jon Krakauer shares his first-hand account of the May 1996 Mount Everest disaster in Into Thin Air. The storm that descended on May 10 and 11 ultimately killed five and left Krakauer and other survivors guilt-ridden. Don’t plan to de-stress with this nail-biter.
Bill Browder brings us an exploration of Russia in Red Notice that reads so insanely, you’ll think it has to be made up—but it’s all true! This is the story of a Chicago-born financier who is determined to prove corruption at the Kremlin. Ultimately, this book proves that real life is indeed often more outrageous than fiction.
Life with Picasso
Francoise Gilot was twenty-one when she met then sixty-two-year-old Pablo Picasso. Over the next ten years, the young painter became Picasso’s lover and mother to two of his children. Gilot’s recounting in Life with Picasso includes tales about his many friends (Matisse, Braque, and Giacometti—to name a few), as well an intimate look behind the curtain of the famous artist’s life.
Not That Anyone Asked
This travel memoir by Travis King transports you to several countries around the world as he examines what really matters in life. Curious about what life is like in a small scuba town? Or on an Alaskan fishing boat? Want to get to know the inmates of an Australian immigration prison? Travel around the world with Travis, page-by-page, in Not That Anyone Asked.
Ready to dive into one of these adventures? Order one of these books for pick-up at your local bookstore or check out our list on BookShop.org to order online and support local bookstores.