Curl up with a book that will transport you to a foreign land (or perhaps a story about the places in your own backyard). The Austin Adventures staff loves to read, and we’re happy to share our favorite travel-inspiring books that’ll get you excited to travel again!
Bill Bryson books
Any works by Bill Bryson, an American-British author of travel and science non-fiction books. Bryson’s exploration-centric stories sometimes involve memoirs of his own adventures, like the 2,100-mile hike across the Appalachian Trail in eastern United States, and are perfect for curious minds that enjoy a bit of humor.
“He’s a classic travel writer. Always worth the read.” – Dan Austin, CEO/Founder
“The Diary of Young Girl” by Anne Frank
This novel is an autobiography of a blossoming teenager who writes of her harrowing experience during World War II, in which her Jewish family hid in an attic in Holland to escape capture by the Nazis. “I personally love to read and I’ve always loved historical fiction, especially World War II-based. Anne Frank was my first read way back in 8th grade, it was so cool when I finally got to go to the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam.” – Carol Austin, Co-Founder and Adventure Travel Consultant
“The Sun is a Compass: A 4,000 Mile Journey into the Alaskan Wilds” by Caroline Van Hemert
This inspiring memoir is about Caroline, a biologist, and her husband traveling from Washington to Alaska by rowboat, ski, foot, raft, and canoe; a journey of over 4,000 human-powered miles. “The things this couple sees, experiences, and discovers in some of the only wild places left on this planet absolutely blow my mind. And seeing the journey that the author, Caroline, goes through in mind and body to rekindle her inner adventurer is very moving to me personally. I mean, I don’t think I’ll be heading out on an epic Arctic journey anytime soon, but this story does make me want to explore the wild places accessible to me here in Montana’s backyard!” – Kasey Austin, President
“Shantaram: A Novel” by Gregory David Roberts
Written by an Australian author, this novel follows an escaped convict who flees to the slums of Bombay in India to avoid maximum security prison in Australia. The story is allegedly based on Roberts’ own life as a convicted heroin addict and robber. “Wow, incredible look into the back allies of Bombay. Soon to be a series on Apple.” – Curtis Fox, Vice President of International Operations
Anna Pigeon Mysteries series by Nevada Barr
These fictional novels are about a national park ranger who solves mysteries in various national parks and monuments. Set in landscapes all over the United States, these stories provide a different perspective of the natural world that lives within the American national parks and the imaginative secrets that can accompany their intriguing, sometimes dangerous, scenery. “I really enjoyed this series. I read all 19 of the books in the series.” – Christy Hamill, Logistics Manager
“Love, Life, Elephants: An African Love Story” by Dame Daphne Sheldrick
An inspiring memoir, this story transports its readers to Africa where Daphne indulges in the details of being the first person to raise newborn orphaned elephants. The book parallels Daphne’s love of elephants with an incredible look into her relationship with husband David Sheldrick whose death inspired the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust. “I always get a destination-themed book, or local author, before I head off somewhere. I typically start to read the book before I travel, or take it with me (hello long flights). To help get me immersed and learn a bit about the destination before showing up. And often once I’m home I’ll dive into another of the same region or country because I’ll hear about it while on trip.” – Kelly Palmer, Sales Manager
“Londoners: The Days and Nights of London Now – As Told by Those Who Love It, Hate It, Live It, Left It and Long for It” by Craig Taylor
A culturally-poignant non-fiction work, this book is a collection of stories as told by the people of London. The author journeys through the grey streets of the iconic city and meets true memorable characters along the way who tell their perspective of the British capital, an eclectic location that is ever-evolving. “I bought this book at The National Gallery in London when I was living and studying in Ireland. By the time I had arrived back in Ireland after my very short London weekend trip, I had read every page about three times and fell in love with the characters over and over. I was studying to be a journalist at the time, and was lit up with passion for telling people’s raw stories. The book is a testament to the fact that travel is more than just sight-seeing, it’s about understanding that a place is the people in it.” – Rachel Helgeson, Copywriter/Marketing Support