Travel books for the holidays: favorites and new “finds”

Rare Finds favorite travel books for holiday giftsAre you an armchair traveler or heading out on an adventure – or just shopping for someone with wanderlust?

If so, one of these books – all favorites of Rare Finds – may fill the bill.


Icelanders, by Sigurgeir Sigurjonsson: Meet these hearty folks who live traditional lives on a modern island.

Kon-Tiki, by Thor Heyerdahl: True story of 5 men who built raft to recreate sail from Peru to Easter Island.

Seven Years in Tibet, by Heinrich Harrer:  It’s a memoir of first European to enter Tibet in 1940’s.

A Man Named Ove, by Fredrik Backman:  A novel about the unswerving world view of an endearing curmudgeon.

Tales of a Female Nomad, by Rita Golden Gelman: A role model for the female wanderers out there, Rita left life at age 48 to become a

Dreaming in Cuba, by Cristina Garcia:  This novel is a colorful painting of heroines’ passions for new life and birth country.

Cafe Europa, by Slavonia Drakulic:  It’s a moving study of life after communism.

The Way of the World, by Nicolas Bouvier: This true story take 2 20-somethings from their home in Geneva to the Khyber Pass.

Skeletons on the Zahara, by Dean King:  Perhaps my favorite Morocco book, this true story follows the 1815 struggle and survival of the shipwrecked sailors.

The Girl in the Picture, by Denise Chong:  Meet Kim Phuc, the 12-year-old Vietnamese girl whose photo, taken by journalists as she burnt by napalm, changed the war.

My Brilliant Friend, by Elena Ferrante:  The first in a series tells a good tale of growing up in Naples.

Passage to Juneau, by Jonathan Raban:  Sailors, buy this one!  Jonathan tells about this his 1000 miles sail on his 35′ boat through the NW Passage.

The Voyage of the Sandlerling, by Roger Stone:  More sailing!  Explore the ecology of the Atlantic coast from Miane to Rio in this nautical adventure.

Waiting for Snow in Havana, by Carlos Eire:  Read the confessions of a Cuban boy – you’ll love it!

Fearless, by Joe Glickman:  Meet one woman (Freya) who paddled one kayak, around one continent (Australia).

On the Water, by Nathaniel Stone:  Vicariously explore the Mississippi on board Stone’s rowboat as he makes the Big Circle.

Down the Nile, by Rosemary Mahoney: More rowing!  Float along with this Rosemary in her 7′ rowboat through crocodiles and currents.

Harry’s Bar, by Arigo Cipriani:  Hear about the legendary Venice Bar from the proprietor himself.

In Maremma, by David Leavitt:  Watch 2 men rebuild an antique farmhouse in Maremma and fall in love with the locals.

The Moon by Whale Light, by Diane Ackerman: This scientific journalist goes to extremes to observe nature, firsthand.

North to the Orient, by Anne Morrow Lindbergh:  Here’s the true tale of the 1931 flight of the Lindberghs to the Orient.

Temple of a Thousand Faces, by John Shors:   Enjoy this fictional story of the fight for the Cambodian gem, Angkor Wat.

A Ride through Prohibition, by Don Fielding:  From Al Capone to the Valentine’s Day Massacre, it’s the Untouchables of Chicago.

The Hour of Land, by Terry Williams: Williams talks with reverence and respect about the closest thing we have to sacred lands.

Time Before The Boat, by Alta Ashley:  This charming collection of letters will take you back to simpler times on Maine’s Monhegan Island.

Lunch at Toad River, by Sally Lesh:  Here’s my favorite Alaska story – a large family from Boston heads out in a retrofitted bus and a tepee, for Alaska.

My holiday wish for you is that one of these wonderful books will whisk you away to a curious and enticing place. 

And when you get ready to actually go there, we would love to help! 

You can reach us right here:

Happy Holidays from Melanie & Rare Finds Travel!

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