Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who (Travel)

Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who (Travel)


This week’s Top Ten Tuesday is about finding ten books whose protagonists have something in common. Of course, because my entire reading life revolves around travel literature at this point, my mind went instantly to that place, but I didn’t want to fill my list with non-fiction narratives, so tried to expand and include some of my favorite “travel” books of all time. As always, because I have a hard time just getting to ten, I avoided having to choose a #1 by putting them in alphabetical order. (Cop-out, I know!)

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson– (Non-fiction) This is a hilarious adventure of hiking on the Appalachian Trail. If you’ve not picked up something by Bryson before, I’d say this is the one to start with!

Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie– (Fiction)- Beautifully written story of a Nigerian woman who lives in the US for a time and then returns home, juxtaposing the two worlds. I loved the discussions of being African in America, but not African-American, a distinction that I had never thought about before, as well as the peek into the world of Nigeria, a country a deal with on a daily basis, but mostly in terms of warning people away from scams.

And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini- (Fiction) Another beautifully written story that has many elements of travel in it, both within Afghanistan and from the US to Afghanistan. This is one of those books that I can’t stop thinking about. It was both heartbreaking and magnificent at the same time. Again, if you’ve not read Hosseini before, this is the one to start with!

Blood River by Tim Butcher- (Non-fiction) This is the travel narrative of Butcher, who attempts to cross the Congo, following the path of the famous journalist H. Stanley (“Dr. Livingston, I presume”). It is a powerful look at what the country has become post-colonization and post-dictatorship with a great mix of history and culture included in the tale of his journey.

Carpe Diem by Autumn Cornwell- (Fiction)- One of my all-time favorite YA novels and a huge reason I decided to study a combination of YA literature and travel literature. If this book doesn’t make you want to pack your backpack and catch a flight tomorrow, I don’t know what will. (Kelsey, if you are reading this blog, find this book!)

Peak by Roland Smith- (Fiction)- Another great YA novel about travel- this one awfully timely with the horrific earthquake in Nepal this week. The main character heads to Everest in an attempt to be the youngest to ever summit the mountain, but along the way learning as much about himself and life as he does about technical climbing skills.

The Buried Giant by Kazuo Ishiguro- (Fiction)- A new release, just having come out earlier this year, this book is amazing. It is a strange but great combination of fairy tale and fantasy with a touch of historical fiction thrown in. The story itself meanders a bit, but I loved the overall theme of memories and whether we should take the bad with the good and what it is worth in the end. Powerful!

The Martian by Andy Weir- (Fiction) – I suppose there is no travel father than to Mars! If you haven’t read this one yet, do it before the movie comes out. (Always read the book first!) I’ve given this book as a gift to several friends/family members and have had only positive reviews.

The Odyssey by Homer- (Fiction)- What list of great traveling characters would be complete without The Odyessey? It is the first and foremost leader in travel narratives! Really, no further comment is needed.

Turn Right at Machu Picchu: Rediscovering the Lost City One Step at a Time by Mark Adams- (Non-fiction)- I didn’t want to get away from this week without at least one more contemporary travel literature entry. I love this one because Adams writing makes you wish you were there with him on the adventure, even when you really don’t want to be a part of some of the situations he encounters. Now that is great writing!

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21 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who (Travel)

    • Love, love, love Americanah. I found it quite insightful into something I’d never even considered before. Definitely pick it up! (I have to say, I started her other novel and couldn’t get very far. Have you read it? Should I give it another shot?)


  1. I adore your list since I love travelling and I’ve always wanted to pick up The Buried Giant and The Martian. And since I believe I’m winning my April TBR challenge, I can buy a book for May and these two will definitely be on the list. a lot of recommendations ❤ thank you for sharing it here!


    • I really did like it and I don’t normally go in for “outer space” type reads. I passed it along to my husband, who isn’t a big fiction reader and he really liked it to. It’s a hit in our household!


  2. Do you know I haven’t read any of the books you listed? But what a great list. I have been meaning to read The Martian. Wait – I did read The Odyssey in high school. OK, I’ve read one. LOL

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ve only read Peak out of your list, but I did like that one! IT FELT SO REAL. Like I literally felt I was climbing the mountain with him. And suuuuch an unexpected ending. x)
    Thanks for stopping by @ Paper Fury!


  4. Well, I loved “The Martian” and “A Walk in the Woods” and you’ve got a few other titles here that are on my TBR list — so I’m just going to have to look up all the other books you have on your list! I’m glad you liked “Turn Right at Machu Piccu.” The beautiful cover grabbed my attention at a bookstore a while back and I was planning to check it out from the library but I haven’t gotten around to it. Maybe it needs to move up the ol’ to-read list a bit!


    • I’ve been loving reading everyone’s lists for TTT each week. I get so many good ideas! (But, in a way it stresses me out too, as my “to read” list is growing faster than ever!)


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