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The journalist had the luck good and bad of wandering through Afghanistan weeks after the Taliban was deposed. I think this is where the genre is going. Riding the Iron Rooster.

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Of all Theroux's works, this vast survey of late-eighties China impressed Rosemary Mahoney most. Reading it just after living there, she "was amazed by how accurate and intimate a picture it is. He was also "very prescient about the whole Tiananmen event. Theroux gets a lot of criticism for his opinions, for not always writing about the beautiful. The Rings of Saturn. The young would-be prime minister's work is a travel book masquerading as triumphalist military history. The Road to Oxiana. Byron's eclectic, architecture-obsessed quest to find this ancient land in Afghanistan is credited with perfecting what would become the faux-casual tone of modern travel writing.

Jonathan Raban calls it "a work of fantastic craft and artifice and calculation, though it pretends to be just scribbled off on the spur of the moment. Some of these buildings are gone and just live through Byron's descriptions. Rome and a Villa. Clark came to Rome on a Guggenheim fellowship to write a novel.

Instead, says Anthony Doerr, "she walked, she looked, and she unleashed her tremendous intelligence.

The result is…intimate, explosive, swimming with memory. The ironist made this journey west between and along with his brother, the secretary of the Nevada Territory.

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Twain had enlisted on the Confederate side in the Civil War but quickly defected. Sandstorms: Days and Nights in Arabia.

Paul Theroux's brother also wrote a great travel book, but his is a slow burner, not a whirlwind tour. It begins as a search for a vanished Lebanese imam but focuses more on understanding Saudi culture from within. Sea and Sardinia. A nine-day visit to the island spawned the author's most memorable nonfiction work. What always separated the journalist from other foreign correspondents aside from his eloquence and his liberties with the facts was his deep engagement with history.

In Iran around the time of the shah's overthrow, he does the job of documenting the revolution's chaos and its many ironies e. A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush. Actually, a very long one. The self-effacing adventurer's first book describes his unsuccessful attempt to climb a remote 19,foot peak in northeastern Afghanistan. At the time, he was a fashion buyer with no mountaineering experience—apart from a trip to some rocky Welsh countryside. Long before escaping to Italy became the thing everyone did, wrote about, and parodied, Austrian-born Englishman Douglas documented the experience beautifully—particularly in this survey of the Naples region.

If you really want to see how these things should be written, read this" out-of-print. Skating to Antarctica. Perhaps echoing Moby-Dick, Diski begins with a lyrical description of whiteness, which summons her time in a mental hospital and fuels her odd passion for the icy continent. Of course she decides to go there. Slowly Down the Ganges. Newby, whose understatement extended to his book titles, had to travel a good distance overland along the river when his rowboat ran aground yards from the starting point.

Rosemary Mahoney calls it a "very funny story with just the right mix of history and personal interactions with the locals. His portrait of his sometimes skeptical and often deadpan wife is superb. The narrative, which begins with a trip to the Outback, soon breaks for new territory, using Aboriginal song as a metaphor for the evolution of human culture—about which Chatwin has strange, beautiful theories.

Southern Baroque Art. The art critic, baron, and literary scion wrote this survey of the art that arose in the seventeenth century in such creative cauldrons as Lecce, Italy—criticism as imaginative travel. Not long after settling in Tangier, the visionary novelist was charged with recording obscure Moroccan music for the Library of Congress and came away with a series of essays that Francine Prose considers "as dispassionate and odd and beautifully written as his fiction. A Time of Gifts. This is book one of a planned trilogy about the writer's journey on foot from Holland to Istanbul in —the concluding part has not yet been published and Fermor is over No matter, says Colin Thubron: This volume is perfect.

That makes it "more natural, looser in a way" than the second volume, but never careless.

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To a Distant Island. One of Stewart O'Nan's favorites is a very unusual kind of travel book. Travels in Arabia Deserta. Readers might be better served by a modern distillation of this nearly 1,page study of life with the desert nomads in the s—put to paper decades later. The ornate style makes Doughty a must-read despite his Victorian attitude toward non-Christians. He was beloved in his day, too. Travels in the Interior of Africa. The Scottish explorer who "discovered" the Niger River and drowned in it a decade later wrote this perennially popular log of his journey.

It has inspired a host of writers from Hemingway to T. The Travels of Sir John Mandeville circa There's a good chance this medieval Englishman's journey to Egypt and the Holy Land was entirely fabricated, but it was widely influential in its day and remains, according to Uzodinma Iweala, a "great point of departure for anybody interested in the history of travel writing.

Travels Through France and Italy. The Scottish author left for southern climes in his middle age and, as Peter Mayle says, "found so much to offend him that he wrote a wonderfully pithy and cantankerous book.

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He epitomizes a particular kind of English traveler—critical, superior, and deeply suspicious of foreign food and foreign ways. Travels with a Donkey in the Cevennes. The author of classic swashbucklers was also a crack travel writer, as in this ass-assisted journey—which, according to Graham Robb, "gives one of the very few accurate views of remote France, not seen through a coach or a train window.

Travels with Myself and Another. Gellhorn's husband Ernest Hemingway is the unnamed "another" in this collection of essays from the intrepid and savvy traveler, but Rosemary Mahoney recommends it for a section in which she treks alone through Africa. This collection of two separate pieces—a sixties portrait of Aix-en-Province and a late-seventies look at Marseille—works for the contrasts they evoke.

The Condé Nast Traveler Book of Unforgettable Journeys: Great Writers on Great Places

A View of the World. Peter Godwin recommends "anything" by this midcentury traveler—"deservedly recognized by Graham Greene as one of the best writers of the twentieth century"—but says this compilation of 20 pieces spanning 30 years is an excellent place to start. As great a journalist as he was a writer, Lewis manages an interview with an executioner for Castro and a report on the genocide of Brazilian Indians out-of-print.

West with the Night. A bush pilot and the first person to fly solo, east to west, across the Atlantic, Markham writes vividly about her discoveries, explorations, and narrow escapes. The Worst Journey in the World. The adventurer's retelling, from inside the expedition, of Captain Scott's disastrous last attempt to reach the South Pole made more so by Roald Amundsen's arrival there a month earlier is "justifiably famous—and well named," says Jim Shepard. Paul Theroux considers it a classic because he is "partial to travel books where a certain amount of difficulty is involved. Wrong About Japan. The novelist's account is as much about the generation gap as it is about the disorientation of travel. Carey's inability to grasp Japanese pop culture is magnified by his year-old son's easy embrace of it.

So many great travel books. How to choose? We asked 45 of our favorite writers for their favorite nonfiction travel titles—the ones that changed the way they considered a certain culture or place or people, that inspired them both to write and to get out into the world themselves. Their nominations—everything from Hunter S. Histories—follow, all of them passionately endorsed and beloved. The original date of publication follows the title; the current publisher and the price follow each entry. Will be used in accordance with our User Agreement and Privacy Policy.

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Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)
Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)
Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)
Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)
Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)
Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)
Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O) Book O: Introduction to Traveller (Book O)

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