Travel Fiction: Eight Books That Make Us Want To Travel


First Posted: 21/02/2012 12:01 Updated: 23/02/2012 17:01

You wake up one morning and there it is: Spring sunshine, pushing us over the crest of Winter, opening up the possibilities of the year.

And like mice sniffing our way out of hibernation, our first thought is always: where shall we go now?

At this time of year nothing excites the soul like the thought of travel, and nothing inspires those thoughts better than literature.

From the dust and blood of Hemingway's Spain to the swinging fruit of Arundhati Roy's Southern India, a good work of fiction can evoke a sense of a place better than any photograph or film.

Then, of course, there are the travel memoirs - not dispassionate travel guides but the works of writers like John Steinbeck or Bill Bryson, who make an art form from observing the landscapes and characters that populate their journeys.

To celebrate the power of inspiring travel books, we've rounded up eight of our favourites. If you have any suggestions of your own, please add them to the comments below.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance - Robert M. Pirsig
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Although there are motorbikes, roads and scenery aplenty, Pirsig's book is less the story of a physical journey than a mental one as he uses the metaphor of motorcycle maintenance to explore various branches of philosophy.

Insight into: North America, the philosophy of science