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The Best Fall Travel Books

This fall, we’re seeing a heap of new #TripLit stocking the shelves, the kind of books that — no matter if they fall under the fiction, adventure, history, or foodie categories — open up the world and inspire us to make a break for new places and embrace new experiences.

So cuddle up with a cup of something warm and start turning the pages of one of these great new travel reads:

  • The Consolations of the Forest: Alone in a Cabin on the Siberian Taiga, by Sylvain Tesson. “I promised myself that before I turned forty I would live as a hermit deep in the woods.” That’s how this Thoreau-esque memoir of six months spent on the shores of Lake Baikal starts out. In the end, the author does find solitude — along with a surprising number of colorful characters who are more than happy to share his vodka.
  • The Lowland, by Jhumpa Lahiri. No surprise here: the Pulitzer Prize winner is racking up accolades for her tale of two especially close brothers in Calcutta whose paths diverge as young adults, one emigrating to the U.S. to attend university, the other getting involved in India’s revolutionary activist movement of the 1960s.
  • On the Trail of Genghis Khan: An Epic Journey Through the Land of the Nomads, by Tim Cope. A National Geographic Adventurer of the Year, Cope spent three years riding the entire length of the Eurasian steppe, 6,000 miles from Mongolia to Hungary, on horseback. Be even more amazed: When he started planning the trip he had only ridden a horse for 10 minutes — at age seven.
  • How Now Brown Frau, by Merridy Eastman. An actress in Sydney, Eastman resists wearing a dirndl to the very end in this lighthearted, wry take on relocating to Bavaria with her German fiancé and baby-on-the-way.
  • The Mountain: My Time on Everest, by Ed Viesturs. The only American to have climbed all 14 of the world’s 8,000-meter peaks reflects on his relationship with the king of all mountains, which he has summited seven times.
  • Mastering the Art of French Eating: Lessons in Food and Love from a Year in Paris, by Ann Mah. Mah pays tribute to Julia Child in this account of the year she spent alone in Paris after her diplomat husband unexpectedly got posted to Baghdad. She makes a life for herself by delving into the country’s regional specialties, from andouillette in Troyes to cassoulet in Toulouse.
  • Empire Antarctica: Ice, Silence & Emperor Penguins, by Gavin Francis. The Scotsman fulfills his childhood dream of living alongside emperor penguins when he gets assigned as base camp doctor at Halley, an uber-remote British research station in Antarctica. In fact, it’s so isolated that it’s said to be easier to evacuate a casualty from the International Space Station than it is from Halley in winter.
  • Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China, by Jung Chang. The author of the best-selling Wild Swans paints a biographical portrait of a 12-year-old girl from a well-off Manchu family who is chosen as a concubine to the emperor but manages to become the de facto ruler of China for 47 years.
  • The Ministry of Guidance Invites You to Not Stay: An American Family in Iran, by Hooman Majd. In strictly media-censored Iran, the Supreme Leader has his own Twitter feed and Instagram account. This and other revelations can be found in this memoir by a longtime U.S. resident/Iranian journalist Majd who returns to live for a year in the country of his birth, bringing along his Midwestern wife and baby son.

What are you reading right now? Share your recommendations with the Intelligent Travel community in the comments section below or on Twitter by using the #TripLit hashtag.

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