Monday, January 9, 2012

Best Travel Books of 2011

Goodreads, the largest site for readers and book recommendations, has released its list of the Best Travel Books of 2011 based on over 600,000 member votes. We've noted the top five below and added some of our own favorite travel books from last year.

Voted the best travel book of 2011, Little Princes is an amazing story about a regular (almost 30-something) guy in a regular job who left to travel the world and ended up helping reunite lost children with their parents in war-torn Nepal. An incredible journey unfolds as Connor travels through the mountains of Nepal in the midst of civil war and the onset of winter. Shocking, engrossing and inspirational...a well-deserved first place.


Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time, Mark Adams ($17)
If you are planning a visit to Machu Picchu any time soon, this book is for you. Funny, insightful and informative, this travelogue will bring you along the trek to Machu Picchu and give you some history about the Incas along the way. Plus, in addition to ranking #2 on Goodreads, this book was named a Christian Science Monitor Editor's Choice, a National Geographic Traveler's Book of the Month and one of Mens' Journal's top non-fiction books of 2011. I only wish this had been published when we tackled the four-day hike up to Machu Picchu!

The Good Girl's Guide to Getting Lost: A Memoir of Three Continents, Two Friends, and One Unexpected Adventure, Rachel Friedman ($10)
For the young traveler or young-at-heart, this is the story of a college grad that isn't quite ready to make those big life decisions. Instead the author heads to Europe, then Australia and South America, where she learns about adventure and a new way of thinking from a free-spirited Australian.

From the first paragraph, this book had me hooked. A business man turned teacher practices what he preaches by riding 1500 kilometers from the UK to India for charity. It all makes sense when you learn about the authors love of bikes, adventure and living an extraordinary life. The people he encounters along the way are almost unbelievable, but Bent takes us along for a fun, frightening and unforgettable ride.

Maphead: Charting the Wide, Weird World of Geography Wonks, Ken Jennings ($16)
Ranking high on both Goodreads and Amazon's top book lists last year, Maphead is a book about the world of, you guessed it, maps. Described as "witty and insightful", "charming and funny" this book from Jeopardy winner Ken Jennings, is not an academic book, but a fun take on the world of geography, maps and "wonks", the people who love them.

Top picks from 30-something Travel:

The latest book from the chef behind London's Ottolenghi, Plenty is a vegetarian cookbook from a non-vegetarian that makes skipping meat look very appealing. We first found Ottolenghi on a trip to London and became instant fans. The food is fresh, original, gorgeous to look at and most importantly tastes phenomenal. If you can't be eating at the London outposts regularly, you can try making the recipes at home.

Parisian Chic: A Style Guide by Ines de la Fressange, Ines de la Fressange and Sophie Gachet ($12)
Part style guide, part travel guide written by French style icon, Ines de la Fressange and Elle fashion journalist, Sophie Gachet. A fun read with some great shopping suggestions both in Paris and online. We've also dug up some of our own suggestions for experiencing the modern side of Paris, so be sure to take a look before you go.

Leave a comment and tell us about your favorite book from last year whether it was travel-related or not. Inquiring minds want to know!

Happy (Travel) Reading!
30-something Travel

1 comment:

  1. I like the efforts you have put in this, thank you for all the great content.

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