Subject GuidesBooksReading ListsTravel Fiction

Selected travel fiction titles. This list was added December 2012.

Lost and Found by Carolyn Parkhurst Thrown together in a televised contest, seven unlikely couples--including two flight attendants, born-again Christians, and two former child stars--participate in a reality show in which they scour the globe in search of love and treasure.

The Edge by Dick Francis Tor Kelsey, an undercover security operative for the British Jockey Club, is assigned to protect guests on "The Great Transcontinental Mystery Race Train," individuals whose safety is imperiled by real-life murder and mayhem.

Murder on The Orient Express by Agatha Christie On a three-day journey through the snowbound Balkan hills, Hercule Poirot must weed through an array of international suspects to find the passenger who murdered a gangster on the Orient Express.

Travels With a Donkey in the Cevennes by Robert Louis Stevenson Travels with a Donkey in the CÚvennes recounts Stevenson's 12-day, 120-mile solo hiking journey through the sparsely populated and impoverished areas of the CÚvennes mountains in south-central France in 1878. The character of Modestine, a stubborn, manipulative donkey he could never quite get the better of, is memorable. It is one of the earliest accounts which presented hiking and camping outdoors as a recreational activity. It also tells of commissioning one of the first sleeping bags, large and heavy enough to require a donkey to carry.

The Spectator Bird by Wallace Stegner Retired literary agent Joe Allston passes through life as a spectator until he discovers the journals of a trip he took to his mother's birthplace years before.

The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty Smithy Ide is a middle-aged, overweight drunk -- until he loses his entire family in a matter of days. What he learns at his parents' wake sends him from Rhode Island to California...on a bicycle, still wearing his suit. On the way he comes to terms with his past, and starts looking forward to his future. -- Description by Shauna Griffin.

Sideways by Rex Pickett Jack's about to get hitched. His best friend, Miles, has divorced his wife, lost his money, been rejected by publishers left and right, and just about forgotten his passion for life. What better way for them to contemplate their last days of freedom (Jack) or reevaluate their lives (Miles) than to take off on a weeklong road trip from L.A. to the Santa Ynez wine country? Wine-loving Miles is there to take advantage of the wineries; Jack just wants to get laid. But Miles drinks too much and Jack doesn't always make the right choices; hilarious -- and occasionally dangerous -- misadventures ensue.

On the Road by Jack Kerouac On the Road is a thinly fictionalized autobiography, filled with a cast made of Kerouac's real life friends, lover, and fellow travelers. Narrated by Sal Paradise, one of Kerouac's alter-egos, On the Road is a cross-country bohemian odyssey that not only influenced writing in the years since its 1957 publication but penetrated into the deepest level of American thought and culture.

The Christmas Train by David Baldacci Tom Langdon, a weary and cash-strapped journalist, is banned from flying when a particularly thorough airport security search causes him to lose his cool. Now, he must take the train if he has any chance of arriving in Los Angeles in time for Christmas with his girlfriend.

The Great Train Robbery by Michael Crichton The time is Victorian London with all its lavish wealth and appalling poverty. In the thriving underworld of London, we meet Edward Pierce, a handsome young man of good breeding. Pierce believes he can rob a fast moving train carrying the payroll for Crimean War troops. The train safe is supposed to be uncrackable.

Changing Planes by Ursula LeGuin A collection of short fiction offers an odyssey through mysterious other worlds, as the tourist-narrator stumbles upon other planes of existence while enduring a boring wait for a connecting flight at an airport.

Anything by Paul Theroux Exotic locales, colorful characters, and wry commentary are hallmark features of the novels and travel writing of prolific author Paul Theroux. In his travel books he frequently opts for the road (or crumbling bus) less travelled in his vivid, perceptive, candid, witty (sometimes snide) portraits of exotic landscapes, bustling communities, humble paupers, and arrogant bureaucrats. This extensive travel experience also informs his atmospheric suspense fiction, which features similarly vivid foreign settings and colorful characters in tersely written tales of intrigue involving the tumultuous political landscape within these places. Start with: The Great Railway Bazaar (nonfiction); The Mosquito Coast (fiction).

 
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