Book List Blog

Collette Reads, Vol. 1: Favorite General Travel Books

Christian Papadellis
by Christian Papadellis

December 28, 2021

4 minute read

Ralph Lauren (yes, as in the fashion designer) once said: “Books open windows to the world and have the power to transform lives.” While Mr. Lauren is very true in saying that books have the power to transform lives, what he forgot to mention is that they also have the power to enhance our travel experience.


Our ongoing “Collette Reads” series, will present a selection of staff-recommended travel books that we hope will inspire a deep sense of wanderlust in our travelers. In this first edition, we’re giving you our favorites that celebrate travel itself. From heartwarming autobiographies to practical guidebooks, our staff hopes these books will help you in your upcoming travel endeavors.


Less (Andrew Sean Greer)

A love story, a satire of the American abroad, a rumination on time and the human heart, Less is the story of Arthur Less, a man who accepts every invitation he has to travel abroad just to avoid his ex’s wedding.


“It’s part fictional storytelling about what happens when we get to these big moments in our life and how we respond and also part travel writing. Highly recommend.”- Westley G. (Tour Manager)


The Hemingway Stories (Ernest Hemingway, Edited by Tobias Wolff)

A wonderful collection from one of the twenty-first century’s most prolific writers that’ll take readers from the streets of Spain to the plains of Africa and back to the shores of Lake Michigan.


“… a wonderful collection of Hemingway’s short stories, often influenced by the time he spent in Northwestern Michigan during his youth.”—Marc P.


The New York Times 36 Hours World (Barbara Ireland, Editor)

A roundup of 150 cities across six continents, each tailored for a memorable and feasible 36 hour stay.


“Awesome resource!”—Deb S.


“A book that has a permanent place on my coffee table… Photos are beautiful and it creates a short thirty-six hour itinerary for each destination—this book can make you yearn for adventure. To me it is one of the best books for a traveler who may want to check out a new destination or

recall the folly of a trip gone by.”—Bethany S.


Eye Witness Travel Guides (Various Authors & Editors)

A helpful pocket-sized series of guides that are a helpful dossier for any destination.


“I love my ‘Eyewitness Travel Guides.’ Broken up by regions of the country with beautiful color pictures… great to follow along when going to a site or town because you get the overview and history.”—Esther P.


Ten Years a Nomad (Matthew Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt)

Part memoir, part philosophical look at why we travel, and filled with stories of Matt Kepnes’ adventures abroad, this book is an exploration of wanderlust and what it means to be a nomad.


“While this book is about traveling on a budget around the world for an extensive period of time, overall the author’s message is about how he got to fall in love with so many places by experiencing them from the perspective of locals. The author also writes about how amazing it is to meet other like-minded travelers (or nomads) everywhere he goes and how he deals with flexible travel and being home sick.”—Michael M.


World Travel: An Irreverent Guide (Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolever)

A guide to some of the world’s most fascinating places, as seen and experienced by writer, television host, and relentlessly curious traveler Anthony Bourdain.


“If you are a Bourdain fan, like I am, this book is a wonderful tribute to many of the places that the late travel aficionado has been. This casual guide can help you travel in the footsteps of Bourdain, giving his perspective of the destination as well as ideas on transportation, hotels, and of course, food! The illustrations in the book also bring many of the places to life”—Michael M.


“It is entertaining and practical and brings us back to the very much missed Anthony Bourdain—I love how it picks apart a city with its vast knowledge of airports (how much to get from airport to city center, etc.) and great food for the destination—but it also gives the reader some knowledge about what has happened to these restaurants after the ‘Bourdain effect’—did they fall apart or become immensely popular? Loved this book immensely!”—Bethany S.


A Woman’s Passion for Travel: True Stories of World Wanderlust (Various Writers)

Lighthearted or serious, sad or funny, or some combination of it all, women from all stages of life make their way across the globe.


“These are all small stories about traveling from a woman’s perspective”—Ana R.


Well, I guess I can add these books onto my already overflowing “To Be Read” shelf…alongside all those classics I was supposed to read in grad school. Be sure to check back in next month for the latest installment of “Collette Reads!”

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