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A Time of Gifts

A Time of Gifts

by Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER

Fermor effortlessly interweaves anecdote, history and culture in this exuberant account of a walk from Holland, up the Rhine and down the Danube, through Germany, Prague and Austria in 1933. Written not in the moment, but 40 years later, the accumulation of time and experience gives the book particular poignancy. (CEU30, $16.95)

The Valleys of the Assassins, and Other Persian Travels

The Valleys of the Assassins, and Other Persian Travels

by Freya Stark

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2001
  • PAPER
  • 292 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

In the 1930s, Stark, an intrepid modern-day Scheherazade whose tales are as imaginative as those of the heroine of 1001 Nights, traveled into the then-uncharted territory of Luristan, which lies between Iraq and present-day Iran. Her expedition discovered the site of Lammassar, the second of the great fortresses to be discovered in the remote Alamut Valley. (MDE53, $18.00)

Danube

Danube

by Claudio Magris

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • BEST SELLER
  • FAVORITE

Mixing history, personalities and literature, Magris traces the course of the Danube from its source in the heart of the Austro-Hungarian Empire through the Balkans to the Black Sea in this anything but conventional travelogue, first published in 1986. (EUR58, $17.00)

Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere

Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere

by Jan Morris

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 208 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Morris called this her favorite book, a loving celebration of the city and its faded glory. Creased between Slovenia and the sea, the elusive sea port has an enchanting identity that imparts a "sweet melancholy" to her remembrances of past travels. (ITL347, $15.00)

Swann's Way

Swann's Way

by Marcel Proust | C K Scott Moncrieff

  • LITERATURE
  • 1998
  • PAPER
  • 656 PAGES

The first volume of Marcel Proust's masterpiece In Search of Lost Time, in which the taste of a madeliene conjures masterfully depicted memories of provincial life in central France. (FRA96, $16.00)

My Struggle

My Struggle

by Karl Ove Knausgaard

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 430 PAGES

The first volume of Norwegian literary star Knausgaard's brilliant six-volume autobiographical novel is composed of the narrator's interwoven memories of his coming-of-age in Norway. Knausgaard's philosophical reflections and relentlessly honest revelations have earned favorable comparisons to the work of Marcel Proust. (NOR84, $27.00)

The Solace of Open Spaces

The Solace of Open Spaces

by Gretel Ehrlich

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1987
  • PAPER
  • 131 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

A loosely organized travelogue and meditation on the high plains of Wyoming. While Ehrlich writes of ranchers, cowboys and weather, the real star of this lyrical celebration of Wyoming is the landscape itself. (USW67, $16.00)

Tracks, A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

Tracks, A Woman's Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

by Robyn Davidson

  • EXPLORATION
  • 1995
  • PAPER
  • 256 PAGES

The true story of a woman's trek across the Australian Outback -- an adventurous tale shot through with a feel for the landscape and empathy for the Aborigines she meets along the way. (AUS15, $15.95)

The Book of Disquiet

The Book of Disquiet

by Fernando Pessoa

  • LITERATURE
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 544 PAGES

Part intimate diary, part prose poetry, part descriptive narrative, this melancholic masterpiece by Portuguese poet Fernando Pessoa is a unique collection of short, aphoristic paragraphs comprising the "autobiography" of Bernardo Soares, one of Pessoa's many alternate selves. (PGL97, $20.00)

 
Behind the Beautiful Forevers

Behind the Beautiful Forevers


by Katherine Boo

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

A Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist and writer at The New Yorker, Boo turns her four years among the people of a Mumbai slum into an absorbing tale of the clash of India, new and old, prosperous and disenfranchised. (IDA654, $17.00)

Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage

Endurance, Shackleton's Incredible Voyage


by Alfred Lansing

  • HISTORY
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 416 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Lansing's gripping day-by-day story of Shackleton's legendary perseverance is essential reading for any Antarctic traveler. This 100th anniversary edition is outfitted with maps, an expanded selection of Frank Hurley's photographs and an introduction by Nathaniel Philbrick. (ANT396, $16.99)

Here is New York

Here is New York


by Roger Angell | E.B. White

  • CULTURAL PORTRAIT
  • 1999
  • HARD COVER
  • 56 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Written in a hotel room over two hot days in the summer of 1948, White's timeless love letter captures the spirit of New York. (NYC28, $16.95)

Skyfaring, A Journey with a Pilot

Skyfaring, A Journey with a Pilot


by Mark Vanhoenacker

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

In the tradition of great literary pilots like Antoine de Saint-Exupery, pilot Vanhoenacker provides a meditation on modern-day flight. His thoughtful reflections on everything from jet lag to place names on flight charts renew the mystery and adventure of flight in an age in which air travel has become commonplace transportation. (TVL631, $16.00)

The Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard


by Peter Matthiessen

  • EXPLORATION
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

The most perceptive, acutely observed and personal of all his books, Matthiessen's account of a five-week journey through Nepal with naturalist George Schaller combines their quest for the elusive cat with a moving introduction to Buddhism and the people and culture of the Himalayas. (NPL03, $17.00)

Between the Woods and the Water

Between the Woods and the Water


by Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 320 PAGES

In this sequel to A Time of Gifts (CEU30), Leigh Fermor's classic account of his adventure on foot to Constantinople in 1933, Paddy relates his youthful travels in Hungary and Romania, culminating with his arrival at the Iron Gates on the Danube. (CEU31, $15.95)

Elephant Complex, Travels in Sri Lanka

Elephant Complex, Travels in Sri Lanka


by John Gimlette

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 384 PAGES

This exuberant travelogue by an award-winning writer takes stock of Sri Lanka, from the capital city of Colombo through the remotest interior. Gimlette mixes his narrative with colonial history and plenty of lucid observations. (SRL43, $28.95)

Finding George Orwell in Burma

Finding George Orwell in Burma


by Emma Larkin

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2006
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

An American journalist fluent in Burmese, Larkin (a pseudonym) masterfully interweaves her travels in the footsteps of the British colonial officer and writer with interviews and an astute, moving history of modern Burma. (BMA40, $17.00)

From the Land of Green Ghosts, a Burmese Odyssey

From the Land of Green Ghosts, a Burmese Odyssey


by Pascal Khoo Thwe

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2003
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

The young Burmese author, a member of a remote hill-tribe in the Shan hills, captures the traditions and challenges of the Padaung people in this astonishing memoir. (BMA29, $13.99)

Italian Journey, 1786-1788

Italian Journey, 1786-1788


by Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe | W.H. Auden | Elizabeth Meyer

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 498 PAGES

"Sicily is the key to everything" is only one of Goethe's many astute observations included in this Penguin Classics edition of his journals and letters from his grand tour of southern Italy. (ITL144, $18.00)

Love and War in the Apennines

Love and War in the Apennines


by Eric Newby

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2008
  • PAPER
  • 276 PAGES

This unassuming memoir of remarkable wartime adventures in German-occupied WWII Italy is perhaps Newby's best book. (ITL171, $14.99)

Peaks on the Horizon, Two Journeys in Tibet

Peaks on the Horizon, Two Journeys in Tibet


by Charlie Carroll

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Two men recount their personal relationships with the volatile and awe-inspiring country of Tibet: an English teacher who, acting on a lifelong obsession, explores the region during sabbatical and a Tibetan exile stranded at the border as he strives to reunite with the love of his life. (TBT168, $16.95)

Speak, Memory

Speak, Memory


by Vladimir Nabokov

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 316 PAGES

Nabokov's richly imagined memoir wonderfully evokes cultural life among the well-to-do in turn-of-the-century St. Petersburg. Nabokov called his childhood home, now a museum off St Isaac's Square, "the only house in the world." (RUS28, $16.00)

The Broken Road, From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos

The Broken Road, From the Iron Gates to Mount Athos


by Patrick Leigh Fermor

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 384 PAGES

Assembled from Leigh Fermor's manuscripts by friend and biographer Artemis Cooper, with the travel writer Colin Thubron, this is perhaps the most personal of all Leigh Fermor's books, catching up with young Paddy in the fall of 1934 and following him through Bulgaria and Romania to the coast of the Black Sea. (EUR416, $17.95)

The Lonely City

The Lonely City


by Olivia Laing

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2016
  • HARD COVER
  • 320 PAGES

Confronted with debilitating loneliness when she moved to NYC in her mid-30s, Laing handled the shame of feeling alone through a study of art, through which she explored the causes of loneliness while also identifying solitude's redemptive qualities. (NYC295, $26.00)

The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific

The Sex Lives of Cannibals, Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific


by J. Maarten Troost

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 2004
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Dragged unwittingly with his wife to Kiribati, the author settled down to explore the island and its eccentric inhabitants in this hilarious, disturbing first book. It's a fascinating, decidedly unromantic glimpse into island life. (PAC146, $15.00)

West with the Night

West with the Night


by Beryl Markham

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2013
  • PAPER
  • 294 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

Markham evokes the landscapes, people and wildlife of East Africa in engrossing detail in this classic memoir of amazing adventures as a bush pilot in 1930s Kenya. A favorite. (EAF10, $16.00)

Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye

Where the Dead Pause, and the Japanese Say Goodbye


by Marie Mutsuki Mockett

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 336 PAGES

When her American father passes away, Mockett seeks consolation in her mother's home country of Japan. She visits a radiation zone, a Buddhist school, temples and festivals in an effort to understand the Japanese way of grieving, to bury her dead and find healing. (JPN460, $16.95)

Wind, Sand and Stars

Wind, Sand and Stars


by Antoine de Saint Exupery

  • TRAVEL NARRATIVE
  • 1967
  • PAPER
  • 229 PAGES
  • FAVORITE

St. Exupery's luminous account of flying early postal routes over South America, Europe and the deserts of North Africa in the 1930s includes the classic tale of his crash in the Libyan desert. (DES11, $13.95)

Without You, There Is No Us, My Time With the Sons of North Korea's Elite

Without You, There Is No Us, My Time With the Sons of North Korea's Elite


by Suki Kim

  • BIOGRAPHY/MEMOIR
  • 2015
  • PAPER
  • 304 PAGES

In this stirring memoir, South Korean writer-journalist Suki Kim recounts her experiences teaching heartbreakingly brainwashed students at a North Korean university -- a censored, prison-like environment. (KOR71, $15.00)

A Moveable Feast

A Moveable Feast


by Ernest Hemingway

  • LITERATURE
  • 2010
  • PAPER
  • 240 PAGES

This restored edition of Hemingway's exuberant, irreverent portrait of life in Paris after World War I, edited by his grandson Sean, puts the 19 chapters originally selected by Hemingway in the order he preferred. (FRN916, $16.00)

Austerlitz

Austerlitz


by Anthea Bell | W. G. Sebald

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 298 PAGES

Seabald's haunting book, evocative of WWII Europe, travels from the magnificent railway station in Antwerp to London, Paris and the streets in Prague where the narrator Austerlitz was born and fled during the Nazi devastation. Tenth anniversary edition. (GER282, $17.00)

Burmese Days

Burmese Days


by George Orwell

  • LITERATURE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 287 PAGES

Orwell, a veteran of the colonial police force in Rangoon, writes with irony and insight in this sharp novel of politics, folly and the British. (BMA03, $14.95)

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath, The Wife, The Cross

Kristin Lavransdatter: The Wreath, The Wife, The Cross


by Sigrid Undset | Tina Nunnally

  • LITERATURE
  • 2005
  • PAPER
  • 1184 PAGES

A masterful historical epic by the Nobel Prize-winning author, first published in 1927. This omnibus edition follows the life of one woman from birth to death in devoutly Catholic 14th-century Norway. A cornerstone of Scandinavian literature, the trilogy is a powerful introduction to the medieval society. (NOR40, $28.00)

Letter to a Hostage

Letter to a Hostage


by Antoine de Saint-Exupery

  • LITERATURE
  • 2009
  • PAPER
  • 58 PAGES

This slim letter-sized book delivers a missive that acclaimed French aviator Saint-Exupery wrote during an interim in Lisbon. Having just escaped the terrors of war-torn France, Saint-Exupery reflects on the in-between place he finds himself as he waits at the edge of Europe for a passage to America. (PGL96, $12.95)

Moby Dick

Moby Dick


by Herman Melville

  • LITERATURE
  • 2002
  • PAPER
  • 720 PAGES

The American classic about the legendary white whale, set in New England. (OCE111, $15.00)

Sidewalks

Sidewalks


by Valeria Luiselli

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • PAPER
  • 110 PAGES

Luiselli's unhurried observations of Mexico City's architecture, streets and sidewalks create a powerful impression in this masterful collection of essays. (MEX315, $15.95)

The Ballad of a Small Player

The Ballad of a Small Player


by Lawrence Osborne

  • LITERATURE
  • 2014
  • HARD COVER
  • 272 PAGES

In this riveting novel, Osborne immerses the reader in the psychology of a gambler entrenched the underworld of Macau's casinos. Hong Kong and Macau outside of the gambling scene are depicted with great accuracy and allure. (HKG47, $25.00)

The Bridge on the Drina

The Bridge on the Drina


by Ivo Andric | Lovette F. Edwards

  • LITERATURE
  • 1977
  • PAPER
  • 318 PAGES

These linked stories by the Nobel Prize-winning author capture the history and complexity of Christian and Muslim relations during Ottoman occupation. Hewn of stone, the bridge dividing the town of Visegrad was Andric's inspiration. (BLK59, $15.00)

The Master and Margarita

The Master and Margarita


by Larissa Volokhonsky | Richa Pevear | Mikhail Bulgakov

  • LITERATURE
  • 2016
  • PAPER
  • 432 PAGES

Pevear and Volokhonsky's incisive new translation of Bulgakov's satiric masterpiece -- part fairytale, part fable and part slapstick -- set in someplace like Moscow and written in the 1930s during the height of Stalin's reign. (RUS44, $17.00)

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis

The Year of the Death of Ricardo Reis


by Jose Saramago

  • LITERATURE
  • 1992
  • PAPER
  • 368 PAGES

Expertly evoking the melancholy (known as "saudade" by the Portuguese) of Lisbon's ports and hotels, Saramago builds his plot around the premise that characters -- like the poet Fernando Pessoa's Ricardo Reis -- live on nine months after their author's death. (PGL95, $15.95)

To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse


by Virginia Woolf

  • LITERATURE
  • 1989
  • PAPER
  • 209 PAGES

Woolf's modernist classic, in which the Ramsay family goes on holiday in the Hebrides, is drawn from memories of childhood trips to Cornwall. (SCT41, $13.95)

To The River, A Journey Beneath the Surface

To The River, A Journey Beneath the Surface


by Olivia Laing

  • LITERATURE
  • 2012
  • PAPER
  • 288 PAGES

Olivia Laing's meditative prose floats the reader along England's river Ouse as she walks from its source to the sea. Interweaving natural history with biography, Laing enriches her travelogue with acute observation and tangential reflections on the river's role in the English story. To the River becomes a survey not only of the river and the English countryside that spreads from its banks, but of the entire landscape of English literature, from Kenneth Grahame and Iris Murdoch to Virginia Woolf, whose complicated relationship to the river in which she drowned is delicately excavated and explored. (GRB82, $19.95)

Ulysses, The Gabler Edition

Ulysses, The Gabler Edition


by James Joyce

  • LITERATURE
  • 1986
  • PAPER
  • 649 PAGES

This landmark work in the history of literature is by turns a day in the life of Leopold Bloom, a reimagining of Homer's Odyssey, and a dazzling tour of turn-of-the-century Dublin. (IRE131, $22.00)

Walden and Other Writings

Walden and Other Writings


by Henry David Thoreau

  • LITERATURE
  • 2004
  • HARD COVER
  • 432 PAGES

The 150th anniversary illustrated edition of the Thoreau's musings on nature, the simple life, self-reliance and the value of freedom. (GEN183, $40.00)

More Recommendations

Here are some other groups of books that might be of interest

Longitude provides recommended reading for travelers in partnership with the leading tour operators and travel programs for hundreds of destinations worldwide. We've got the classic, new and hard-to-find books and maps to help you get the most out of your adventures.