THE BEST TRAVEL NOVELS
One of our favorite categories of travel books is the travel novel. The definition of a travel novel can be relatively broad, but the most common form is a fictional book where a location setting is an essential part of the story. Travel novels are often the perfect inspiration for places to visit someday. Some of the best examples include Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises (Spain), The Beach (Thailand), Shantaram (India), Memoirs of a Geisha (Japan), and Paul Bowles’ famous novel The Sheltering Sky (North Africa). Historical fiction is an easy and enjoyable way to learn about the spirit of a place and time. Books like James Michener’s Hawaii and Edmund Rutherfurd’s London bring an authentic perspective that not even the best guidebooks can. A travel novel in our definition can also share the story of a life-changing journey, planned or unplanned, like What is the What, Dave Eggers' book about a Sudanese refugee’s experience in the United States. And sometimes, a travel novel can simply be something entertaining to enjoy while traveling. A meaningful journey often requires patience, with long flights and train rides, unexpected delays, and long open blocks of free time. A good book on a good trip is essential, a perfect opportunity to disconnect from the realities of daily pressures and to escape the allure of the television. It is no surprise that most people who love travel also love to read. Our selection of the books listed here may not be all be fairly classified as travel literature, but these are all books we love. Here are our recommendations on the best travel novels.