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Around the World in 10 Books

Send your imagination to distant lands with our fall reading list.

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A camel caravan travels across the Erg Chebbi sand dunes in Morocco.


We believe every season is book season, so we found 10 new picks for you to cozy up with this fall. Whether you’re an armchair traveler looking for a quick getaway or a restless adventurer who’s already at the airport, these stories are sure to satisfy your inner nomad’s needs. Snack on sushi in the belly of Japan, visit the sacred city of Varanasi, and trek across the Sahara with these captivating reads.

Country-Hopping Anthologies

Inspired Journeys: Travel Writers in Search of the Muse by Brian Bouldrey: In this collection of essays, travelers seek inspiration and epiphanies across six continents. Follow their personal pilgrimages from the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, to the twists and turns of the Brothers Grimm-inspired Fairy Tale Road in Germany.

The Best American Travel Writing 2016 by Bill Bryson: Best-selling author Bill Bryson has unearthed the best travel writing published in 2015 and invites readers to stay in a lonely Airbnb in Tokyo, parade down the jubilant streets of Kerala, and discover the burgeoning plastic surgery business in Seoul.

The Lonely Planet Travel Anthology: True Stories From the World’s Best Writers edited by Don George: National Geographic Traveler editor at large Don George has assembled a collection of 35 short stories to inspire your wanderlust. Buy a ticket to Vienna with Ann Patchett, wander Kathmandu with Pico Iyer, and discover magic in Morocco with Tahir Shah.

Introspective Journeys

Don’t Think Twice: Adventure and Healing at 100 Miles Per Hour by Barbara Schoichet: After experiencing profound personal loss, 50-year-old Barbara Schoichet buys a Harley on eBay and rides from New York to Los Angeles. Schoichet battles her inner demons while surrounded by the beauty and vastness of the Appalachian Mountains, New Mexico’s Turquoise Trail, and iconic Route 66.

And the Monkey Learned Nothing: Dispatches From a Life in Transit by Tom Lutz: Seasoned traveler Tom Lutz is on a mission to visit every country on Earth, and his new book takes readers through 50 of them. Lutz encounters the sublime and the strange, including poetry in Iran and sociopathic monkeys in Bali.

The Marches: A Borderland Journey Between England and Scotland by Rory Stewart: Embark on a thousand-mile journey with Scotland native Rory Stewart as he contemplates the meaning of home. Stewart weaves an unforgettable tale as he walks the length of Hadrian’s Wall, wades through flooded fields, and sleeps on mountain ridges in historically and politically significant borderland.

Exhilarating Adventures

The Timbuktu School for Nomads: Across the Sahara in the Shadow of Jihad by Nicholas Jubber: Journey across Mali’s desert sands to the ancient city of Timbuktu, once the seat of African civilization. Nicholas Jubber traverses the Atlas Mountains, western Sahara, and Niger River, learning survival skills from the 21st-century nomadic communities of North Africa.

Super Sushi Ramen Express: One Family’s Journey Through the Belly of Japan by Michael Booth: Take your taste buds on a culinary adventure to Japan. Booth and his family eat their way through this gastronomic paradise, making memorable stops to dine with sumo wrestlers, give beer and massages to the world’s most expensive cow, and meet the greatest chefs in Japan.

Crashing the Party: An American Reporter in China by Scott Savitt: Scott Savitt was the youngest accredited foreign correspondent in China at 25 years old, navigating the backstreets of Beijing on his red motorcycle to document the bloody occupation of Tiananmen Square in 1989. After starting the first English-language newspaper in China, Savitt was eventually arrested and thrown into solitary confinement.

Precious and Grace by Alexander McCall Smith: In the latest installment of the No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series and the only work of fiction on our list, a young Canadian woman travels to Botswana to seek a long-lost acquaintance from her childhood spent in Africa. With few clues, cautiously hopeful detective Precious Ramotswe decides to take on the challenging case.

Ready to start planning your own adventure? Check out National Geographic’s Destinations of a Lifetime for tips on visiting the world's most spectacular destinations, or pick up a copy of @NatGeo, and let National Geographic’s most iconic Instagram images inspire your next trip.


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