In addition to being a travel fanatic, I am an unrepentant book nerd and recovering bookseller. I believe strongly that books and travel go together. Books inspire travel and travel encourages reading.
Reading an atmospheric book invokes an acute sense of place, which can inspire travel. Conversely, traveling somewhere will give you that special insider knowledge about the place which is later rewarded when reading a book set there. It’s for that reason that I’m hosting the Travel Reading List Challenge and inviting you to participate.
I’m joined in this challenge my several other travel bloggers who are also avid readers; Mary Jo at Traveling with MJ, Amanda from Maroc Mama, Tam from The Traveling Book Junkie and Ruby from A Journey We Love.
We’ve designed this challenge to encourage you to read more…and read more widely. The basic challenge has 24 book prompts and the advanced challenge adds another six for thirty total.
Join the Travel Reading List Challenge
Are you up for the challenge? Great! Here are four actions that you can take right now.
- Check out the challenges below. I’ve listed all thirty challenges and will help you get started with a few suggestions for each. Bookmark this page and come back often as I’ll be updating it monthly.
- Download this printable copy of the challenge. It’s designed as a check list with space for you to keep track of the books you’ve read.
- Sign up for the monthly Travel Reading List Challenge newsletter. It will tell you what we are reading and give you book ideas.
- Join our Travel Reading List Facebook group where you can engage with other book nerds and get book ideas for your challenges.
(This article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase, I’ll make a small commission.)
The 2019 Basic Challenge List
Here is what I read during the 2019 Challenge.
1. A book by an author of a different nationality than you
Something Fresh (Blandings Castle #1), P.G. Wodehouse
Drive Your Plow Over the Bones of the Dead, Olga Tokarczuk
2. A book with a destination in the title (country, city, state, geographic region)
FKA USA, Reed King
3. A book about food
The Foragers, Sarah Dunham
4. A book published in 2019
The Glovemaker, Ann Weisgarber
5. A book set in a destination you want to visit
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine, Gail Honeyman
Too Much Lip, Melissa Lucashenko
Star Wars Smugglers Guide, Daniel Wallace
6. A book about a controversial topic
Confessions of the Fox, Jordy Rosenberg
Choose anything from the American Library Association’s list of books that have been challenged by uptight people who live in fear and hate creativity (emphasis all mine.)
7. A book that inspires you to travel
The Phantom Tollbooth, Norton Juster
8. A book where the main character is female
The Woman in Cabin 10, Ruth Ware
Transcription, Kate Atkinson
Cinderella Liberator, Rebecca Solnit
The Book Women of Troublesome Creek, Michele Kim Richardson
Ninth House, Leigh Bardugo
9. A book on the New York Times bestseller list
Becoming, Michelle Obama
10. A book that is a debut novel
Fruit of the Drunken Tree, Ingrid Rojas Contreras
11. A book that is the first in a series
The Ultimatum (The Guardian book #1), Karen Robards
The Name of the Wind (Kingkiller Chronicle #1), Patrick Rothfuss
Illuminae (The Illumae Files), Amie Kaufman
12. A best seller from 2018
The Friend, Singrid Nunez
13. A book written by a person of color
The Black God’s Drums, Djeli Clark
There There, Tommy Orange
The Wangs vs the World, Jane Chang
14. A book with a one-word title
Bannerless, Carrie Vaughn
Educated, Tara Westover
15. A book about a historical event that happened in your lifetime
Accidental Feminists, Jane Caro
Who Thought This Was a Good Idea, Alyssa Mastromonaco
Good and Mad: The Revolutionary Power of Women’s Anger, Rebecca Traister
16. A travelogue
The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton
17. A book published by a small press
What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding, Kristin Newman
Check out this list of small presses for more ideas.
18. A book set on the continent of Africa
My Sister, the Serial Killer, Oyinkan Braithwaite
19. A book about a quest
A Long Way from Home, Peter Carey
20. A book on one of your hobbies
My Life with Bob: Flawed Heroine Keeps Book of Books, Pamela Paul
21. A true crime story
The Map Thief, Michael Blanding
22. A book about books (bookstores and/or libraries)
Thirteenth Tale, Diane Setterfield
Scorcery of Thorns, Margaret Rogerson
Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore, Matthew J. Sullivan
23. A book with a red cover
Shepherd’s Hut, Tim Winton
24. A book that is next in a series you enjoy
The Murder Bot Diaries series, Martha Wells
The 2019 Advanced Challenge List
Here’s the advanced challenge with an additional set of prompts.
1. A book with a Muslim main character
Internment, Samira Ahmed
The Bird King, G. Willow Wilson
2. A book published before 1900
The Moonstone, Wilkie Collins
3. A book set in a war or conflict zone
The Tattooist of Auschwitz, Heather Morris
Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society, Mary Ann Shaffer
4. A book set in or about a natural disaster
Severance, Ling Ma
The Overstory, Richard Powers
5. A book that won a literary award
One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel Garcia Marquez
6. A book in the humor genre
The Witches are Coming, Lindy West
Read More: Take a virtual visit to some of the most stunning libraries in the world.
Get More Book Ideas
READ MORE BOOKS!
Start with this list of the very best travel books. It includes great reads about how travel is transformative, offering wacky tales of derring do, epic quests and stories of authentic travel.
You should also check out the following series of book lists for specific destinations:
Peruse my Good Reads profile for books that I’ve read and want to read.
Check out the Get Booked book recommendation podcast from Book Riot.
Don’t forget to sign up for the newsletter for Wayfaring Views for the latest on books and travel.