AAA Travel Tips / Our Best Travel Books for Right Now

Our Best Travel Books for Right Now

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By AAA Travel Editors
May 27, 2020
Words can whisk us off on a journey in an instant, reminding us of the many extraordinary things to see and do (even if we have to wait for the experience). If you’re feeling a bit of wanderlust these days, then check out this list of 20 books, as chosen by AAA inspectors and editors, which they consider to be the best travel books around.
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Top 5 Travel Books Recommended by AAA Inspectors and AAA Editors

No stranger to travel themselves, our travel professionals have chosen writings from a range of historical figures to travel influencers and Pulitzer Prize-winning authors. The top five books, below, have been selected by number of recommendations and are listed in alphanumeric order:
• 1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz offers a curated list of 1,000 ideas on where to go from obscure to well-known that she considers bucket list-worthy destinations.
• “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert details the writer’s work toward self-discovery by way of Italy (eating and savoring), India (seeking and praying), and Bali, Indonesia (finding balance and, perhaps, love). This is also one of our favorite travel movies.
• "On the Road” by Jack Kerouac, inspired by his own travels with friends around North America, describes the protagonists’ lives amid the postwar Beat and Countercultural movements and features thinly veiled appearances within the novel of important Beat figures, such as William S. Burroughs, Neal Cassady and Allen Ginsberg.
• "To Shake the Sleeping Self” by Jedidiah Jenkins, whose epic trip first garnered attention on Instagram, chronicles a 14,000-mile bicycle trip from Oregon to Patagonia and reflects along the way on growing up, sexual identity, and, yes, adventures on the road.
• "Travels with Charley: In Search of America” by John Steinbeck recounts the late Pulitzer Prize-winning author’s—probably somewhat fictionalized—1960 road trip to rediscover America and Americans with his canine companion Charley.
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The Full List of AAA Inspector and AAA Editor Travel Book Picks

For trip inspiration, check out these travel books, including the top five, selected by our inspectors and editors. Most books should be available in your favorite bookshop or accessible from your local library.
• “1,000 Places to See Before You Die” by Patricia Schultz
• “A Blissful Feast: Culinary Adventures in Italy’s Piedmont, Maremma, and Le Marche” by Teresa Lust
• “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson
• “A Year in Provence” by Peter Mayle
• “Black Girl in Paris” by Shay Youngblood
• “Desert Solitaire” by Edward Abbey
• “Don’t Stop the Carnival” by Herman Wouk
• “Eat Pray Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert (Also a pick for our best travel movies list!)
• “Ghost Rider: Travels On The Healing Road” by Neil Peart
• “Less” by Andrew Sean Greer
• “On the Road” by Jack Kerouac
• “Tales of a Female Nomad” by Rita Golden Gelman
• “The Adventures of Tintin” by Hergé
• “The Sheltering Sky” by Paul Bowles
• “The True History of the Conquest of New Spain” (Historia Verdadera de la Conquista de la Nueva España”) by Bernal Díaz del Castillo
• “To Shake the Sleeping Self” by Jedidiah Jenkins
• “Travels with Charley: In Search of America” by John Steinbeck
• “Undaunted Courage” by Stephen E. Ambrose
• “Undress Me in the Temple of Heaven” by Susan Jane Gilman
• “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance” by Robert M. Pirsig
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