This year I made a goal to read 25 books in 2017. I fell short of my goal when travelling through Europe but still managed to read 21 books this year which I’m proud to have accomplished. As a writer the most important thing I can do is write as much as I can and the second most important thing I can do is read.
As a travel writer I tend to focus mostly on travel books but occasionally read the non-travel book that sparks my interest. I’ve never done a book round-up before but this year will be the first so hopefully I can inspire you to read more in 2018 and give you some great ideas of what you can read.
Reading is important and something I believe everyone should prioritize.
This year’s round-up includes lots of travel from male authors talking about the bad side of travel writing to female memoirs that will have you laughing so hard you’ll cry. There are books about people’s life stories growing up in Nepal with China in control, books by bloggers and a science-based booked about vaginas and orgasms. If you read any of these books in 2018 I promise you will be entertained, you will learn and you will both laugh and cry.
In no particular order, here is my 2017 book round-up. Enjoy!
I started off 2017 wanting to read more books by bloggers and found this guide to climbing Mount Kilimanjaro by travel blogger Travel in Her Shoes. She details her personal struggles on the adventurous journey of climbing Africa’s highest mountain. If you need a guide or just love to read about women conquering their adventure dreams then this book is for you. READ IT NOW
I’ve been a fan of the travel blogger Be My Travel Muse for a few years and finally got to pick up her first book. The book follows Kristin as she leaves her home, steady boyfriend and secure job to travel through Southeast Asia solo. It’s written diary-style as she tells it all from boys to finding jobs abroad and the incredibly diverse surroundings of the continent. READ IT NOW
After being dumped by his fiance only days before their wedding Franz’s perfect life was turned upside down. So what did he do? The wedding party was still on without the bride and he spent his honeymoon with his brother, Kurt. The honeymoon turned into 2 years of travel visiting sixty countries with both brothers quitting their jobs to pursue their passion of travel. READ IT NOW
Every woman needs to read this book. And every guy should too. My roommate in Australia told me about this book telling me how it changed her entire perspective on orgasms and how her and her boyfriend we now having the best sex ever. I asked her when I could read it. Naomi Wolf covers topics that people need to read about from how rape affects women to porn and vibrator addiction. She goes further on to suggest how orgasms are connected to our brain, causing more creativity. It was the most fascinating book I read this year. READ IT NOW
I randomly picked this book up in the library when I was living in Melbourne and had a hard time putting it down. It follows the extraordinary life of a local and the hardships he went through during Nepal’s rough past and a traveller who had a 20-year obsession with visiting Nepal. The story follows these two characters on completely different paths who meet at the end of the Friendship Highway where the local tells his story to Charlie, the author who made his Tibetan life heard by others. READ IT NOW
Lauren is a successful blogger who left home to travel the world knowing full well that she was disaster-prone. But she didn’t let that stop her from travelling to exotic destinations, falling love or stopping her from continuing to travel the world. I promise this book will make you laugh at Lauren’s small mistakes and gasp at some of the things that happened to her that seemed like they were from a movie. READ IT NOW
Looptail is a book by Bruce, the entrepreneur who started G Adventures, the now wildly successful travel company that offers tours in 134 countries around the world. The book isn’t strictly about adventures but more so about how Bruce built the company from the ground up, his failures and all, and how he managed to create an incredible company that people are passionate about all without giving up on his goals or what he thought was most important – helping the people in the countries where the tours go to and keeping the tours local. READ IT NOW
I picked up After You when I found it in a hostel book exchange corner and quickly read it after loving the original book Me Before You, the love story that made me weep like a child when I finished reading it beside a pool at a yoga retreat. The second book follows the lovable main character, Louisa Clark, after an event forces her to return home and she reflects on how different she has become. READ IT NOW
Matt Gross is the genius writer behind the New York Times column Frugal Traveler and Getting Lost. His book, the Turk Who Loved Apples, showcases everything else that happened in his travels that he’s never written before. He reflects on the art of getting lost and how travel writing had restricted him in his travelling. It is an honest reflection from a true travel writer of how travel writing affects how we see the world. READ IT NOW
I’ll be honest, I didn’t love this book. But it was good enough that I finished it. I’m a sucker for reading stories about women travelling solo and this book was no exception as author Kristine K. Stevens talks about her failures, what encouraged her to drop everything and travel Africa in the first place and how travel has changed her. READ IT NOW
Falling in Honey was my favourite book that I read this year. Jennifer Barclay was able to capture the smell of a Greek salad and the feel of the sun while laying on the beach perfectly with her descriptive words. She opened up her life for us to follow her and her dreams of living on a quiet Greek island, leaving her old life in the UK. She recounts her times with boys, her love and the pain that was caused when a man leaves you. But through it all she had her biggest love of all, a tiny Greek island. READ IT NOW
Another book by a travel writer, Laura Fraser turns 40 years old and is still single. So what does she do? She travels and finds herself on a series of adventures as she searches for love. There may be a quote about what Elizabeth Gilbert thinks of the book on the cover but it should not be compared to Eat, Pray, Love. All Over the Map will leave you with a happy and warm feeling at the end when you find out what truly makes Laura happy. READ IT NOW
Don’t ask me what took me so long to pick up this classic that has now been translated into over 70 languages. The Alchemist combines adventure, exotic locales, magic and wisdom in a story of self-discovery that every travel lover needs to read once in their life. READ IT NOW
Think Thailand is all beaches, glistening blue water and parties on Koh San Road? Think again. Chuck Thompson takes you behind the scenes and shows you the real side of travel and travel writing. He’s quite cheeky and flips travel writing on its head, calls out the stereotypes in travel writing and tells you about the misadventures of what actually happens to travellers. READ IT NOW
This fiction tale is about a girl who finds herself in the middle of a social media scandal and instead of staying home in London in the midst of it packs her bags and heads to volunteer in Ibiza. Only this spot isn’t for partying but natural food, early mornings and working in a garden. She vows to stay away from boys but falls head over heels for someone completely unexpected. READ IT NOW
This is Torre DeRoche’s second book after the popular and must-read love story of Love With a Chance of Drowning. The Worrier’s Guide to the End of the World brings you along Torre’s journey as she meets her soulmate who invites her on her journey of walking around the world. Torre joins and together they walk through Tuscany and India with each step drawing up old feelings, new worries and helping them both learn more about themselves and each other. READ IT NOW
It says it in the title, this book is truly a powerful read and one that put things in so much more perspective for me. We see what’s on the media but reading the story and the struggle of what one woman has gone through just to live in a country that is free and without war really opens your eyes. A Hope More Powerful Than the Sea is the story of a Syrian girl as she fought for her country, freedom, love and her life while crossing borders and becoming a refugee. READ IT NOW
The famous movie of the same name starring Leonardo DiCaprio is what originally got me interested in this book. Though I didn’t love it as much as the movie (I know you’re supposed to read books first!) I loved the author’s different style of writing. The books follows the main character who is given a map to a secret beach off the coast of Koh Phangan in Thailand. He successfully finds the beach and begins leading a life away from society with a group of people who live off the grid on an undisturbed island. READ IT NOW
I picked up this book having no idea who the author was but ended up laughing my entire way through this hysterical book that looks at the author’s life as she travels with her husband on business trips and blogs about it along the way. Geraldine shares the reality of her life from the harshest moments to the absolute worst in a way will have you in tears from laughter. She says things about her life that you think about your own but then takes it a step further with her humour. READ IT NOW
Backpacker Business covers every aspect of backpacking through southeast Asia from the overrated destinations to off the beaten track spots, the tough side of travelling through the region and more. It also follows Nicole on her journey as she takes on the daunting task of starting a business in Thailand as a foreigner and details how it has grown to the now successful SEA Backpacker Magazine. READ IT NOW
As someone who is an overthinker and semi-perfectionist (I used to be much worse) I picked up this book thinking it would be a good laugh. It ended up being a book about truths that I needed to be told, truths that everyone needs to be told. If there is only one book that you read in the new year then make it this one and it will give you a new perspective on your life with a few chuckles tossed into the mix. READ IT NOW
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