Top Ten Tuesday: Travel Tomes

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week we will post a new Top Ten list that one of our bloggers here at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

Today we’re listing our favorite books that incorporate travel.  I haven’t read many travelogues, and while I’ve read plenty of historical fiction set around the world, those books don’t usually involve traveling.  To compensate, my list is going to include books in which the characters do a lot of traveling, as well as a few books that hold special travel connotations for me.

1. “The Road” by Cormac McCarthy. A man and his son make their way to the coast, hoping to find something better than the ash-covered hellscape they’re living in.  This one gets bonus travel associations because I bought and read it while interning in Ireland.

2. “Unaccustomed Earth” by Jhumpa Lahiri. This anthology takes its title from a Nathaniel Hawthorne quote, and its stories feature characters arriving in new places and adjusting to them.  This book also came from Ireland.

3. “Daughter of Smoke & Bone” by Laini Taylor. Karou zips around the world using magical doors that connect her home in Prague to Morocco, Russia, and more.  That would be a handy way to travel, especially with her added benefit of having wishes that can grant instant language capabilities.

4. “The Lord of the Rings” by JRR Tolkien.  Frodo and Sam hike from the Shire to Mount Doom via the mystical forest of Lothlorien, while their various companions ride horses to ancient cities and fortresses.  It would be a cool trip, aside from the mortal peril.  If my copies weren’t so old, I’d bring these on every vacation.

5. “Daughter of Fortune” by Isabel Allende. Eliza voyages from Chile to gold-rush California in pursuit of her lover.  She stows away in a steam ship, walks, and even hooks up with a traveling circus to get there.

6. “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman. Quentin and his magician friends find a way into the Narnia-like world of their childhood books. Then everything goes horrifically wrong.

7. “The Golden Compass” by Philip Pullman. Lyra leaves her home in Oxford for the mysterious far North, traveling by dirigible to steampunk London, then to a gypsy camp, and finally on sleds to a polar-bear city.  Then she crosses into another universe entirely!  The other two books explore parallel Earths, some reached by cutting a hole in space-time with a magical knife – another handy means of exploration, but, naturally, too good to be true.

8. “Timeline” by Michael Crichton. Time-travel sends a group of scientists back in time to 14th-century France.  Hey, time-travel counts, right?

9. The Vows & Honor trilogy by Mercedes Lackey. Swordswoman Tarma and mage Kethry travel the land, fighting monsters, saving damsels, and wreaking vengeance.

10. “Archangel” by Sharon Shinn. Rachel leaves her life of servitude when she’s selected as the next Angelica, wife to the Archangel.  Places factor heavily into the story, both by serving as important symbolic locations and by providing motivations for each character.  Bonus travel points go to this one because it’s one of my go-to take-on-vacation books.


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