Travel: Business, fun or adventure.. here are the finest books to carry

Apr 07, 2017, 08:20 IST | Shraddha Uchil

Whether you're travelling for fun, adventure or on business, here are our recommendations for tomes you should carry on your next trip


Illustrations/Uday Mohite

If you're Travelling for: Leisure

Wreck and Order by Hannah Tennant-Moore
Elsie is an intelligent young woman who feels lost — she's in a tumultous relationship, and she's stuck in a job she doesn't enjoy. After returning from a trip to Paris, she decides to quit and travel the world. In Sri Lanka, she meets people who push her towards making big changes in her life. Elsie's journey is an honest exploration and throws up important questions that are relatable.

The Great Railway Bazaar: By Train Through Asia by Paul Theroux
Travelogues can be exciting, and even more so when they are entirely about trains. Paul Theroux is a master of this art, and it's evident in this title, where he writes about his epic rail journey from London across Europe through parts of Asia. Expectedly, several trains are involved — the Orient Express, the Trans-Siberian Express, the Khyber Pass Local, and more — and they pass through an equally vast number of exotic locales. A must-read, this book is as thrilling as it is nostalgic.

Islands in Flux by Pankaj Sekhsaria
Although Sekhsaria writes about the beautiful Andaman and Nicobar Islands in his latest non-fiction title, it may not be everyone's cup of tea. He explores key issues
like wildlife conservation and the lives of indigenous communities on the islands. Pick this paperback if you want to go beyond being a tourist and take a deeper dive into the what makes these islands tick.

If you're Travelling for: Adventure

Down Under by Bill Bryson
When you think of adventure, you probably think of Australia. And there's no better person to take you on a journey of this crazy continent than storyteller extraordinaire, Bill Bryson. Australia is the driest, flattest and climatically the most aggressive of all inhabited continents, and it has a surprisingly large number of things that can kill you in a very nasty way. However, Bryson, with his witty prose, makes all these stories of impending disaster sound almost romantic.

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer
This is the true story of the time when members of three expeditions to Mount Everest got caught in a storm, which ended with the worst single-season death toll in the peak's history. The book has been written by veteran journalist and seasoned climber Jon Krakauer, who was sent on the expedition by Outside magazine in March 1996. Although an ill-fated adventure, it's a great read for anyone who's an aspiring or amateur climber.

Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found by Cheryl Strayed
At 26, Cheryl Strayed lost her mother to cancer, her family disbanded, and her marriage fell apart. That's when she impulsively decided she would walk 1,100 miles of America's west coast. As part of this long-distance hike, which she had never attempted before, she went from the Mojave Desert, through California and Oregon, and into Washington state. Wild captures the agonies — mental and physical — of Strayed's terrifying yet incredible journey, and how it helped her heal.

If you're Travelling for: Work

Welcome on Board by Vinamra Longani
Haven't we all, at some point, while flying 33,000 feet above the ground, wondered what the life of a flight attendant must be like? In this book, author Vinamra Longani, who worked as an international flight attendant for over a decade, tells it like it is. His collection of experiences span everything from difficult passengers and doomed relationships to fussy Bollywood starlets. A quick and breezy read, this should keep you entertained on that flight.

The Business Traveller's Guide To The World
Flying out to Singapore for a conference and need basic facts? Staying back in Brazil for a project, and need to get to know the place? This book has all you need to know about every country in the world, in a nutshell. Whether it's the history, geography, government, economy, or the transport and communcations systems of each country, or fun things to do while you're there, this guide has you covered.

White Sands: Experiences from the Outside World by Geoff Dyer
This collection of linked journeys takes you to places both far and near, and Dyer's accounts are funny and smart. From chasing a ghost in French Polynesia, to falling for someone who may or may not be a tour guide in Beijing's Forbidden City, every story blends travel writing, fiction and essay with wit that can belong only to a British writer.

Traveller's Recco
Raul Dias
Food and Travel Writer,
has visited 
50 countries
I've grown up on a steady diet of travel-centric books like Sahara, and Around The World In 80 Days, and reading them, I could not help but dream of travelling. In the recent past, Kathmandu by Thomas Bell has intensified my desire to journey back to Nepal, as has The Amazing Racist by Chhimi Tenduf-La, set in Sri Lanka. But if there's one book I could recommend, it would be City of Djinns by William Dalrymple, where both the old and the new Delhi merge into one super-fascinating city.

Author's Recco
Ravi Subramanian
Bestselling Author and Banker
If you love mythology, I would recommend Anand Neelakantan's new book, The Rise Of Sivagami, which focuses on the life of the warrior mother. It's a prequel 
to SS Rajamouli's Baahubali franchise. The second installment of the film is going to be out at the end of the month, and reading this title will help you understand the movie better.

Bonus picks

  • Tales of the Open Road by Ruskin Bond
  • Santa and the Scribes: The Making of Fort Kochi by EP Unny
  • The Beach by Alex Garland
  • Banaras: Walks Through India's Sacred City by Nandini Majumdar

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