Explore These 10 Books That Spark Wanderlust

The curated list of novels we feature here has the extraordinary power to ignite wanderlust.

These are the stories that pushed us beyond mere daydreaming of distant lands. They were the catalysts that shifted our desires from the passive hope of someday traveling to the active pursuit of new experiences.

Books That Spark Wanderlust

Each of these books possesses the unique ability to unlock imaginations, propelling us from the comfort of our armchairs out into the world at large.

1 Always Italy

Erick from Miami suggests the captivating memoir by Frances Mayers, a poet, culinary aficionado, and travel author. In her work, Mayers chronicles her experiences of reviving a forsaken villa nestled in the heart of Tuscany, Italy.

Immersing herself in the role of an Italian local, Mayers dives deep into the rich culinary heritage of Northern Italy and embraces the region’s intricately beautiful lifestyle.

2 Wild Swans by Jung Chang

“Wild Swans” unfolds the compelling saga of three Chinese women spanning multiple generations, each one enduring a tapestry of hardships reflective of their era.

Penned by Jung Chang, this narrative weaves together the individual stories of a grandmother sold to a warlord as a concubine, a mother entrenched in the Communist Party and Mao’s Red Army during seismic political upheaval, and Chang’s own experiences of survival amidst the Cultural Revolution.

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3 The Motorcycle Diaries by Che Guevara

Before the world knew him as Che, there was a medical student named Ernesto Guevara living in Buenos Aires. At the age of 23, he and his friend Alberto Granado set off on an adventurous road trip across South America on their trusty motorcycle named “La Poderosa” in 1952.

The memoir, “The Motorcycle Diaries,” penned by Guevara himself, offers an engaging and authentic glimpse into the diverse landscapes, rich history, and vibrant cultures of the continent.

4 On the Road by Jack Kerouac

Ken from California endorses Jack Kerouac’s underappreciated masterpiece, a defining narrative of America’s mid-century.

Characterized by its concise, erratic, and sometimes piercing prose, Kerouac’s epic traverse through America’s mid-20th Century landscape serves as both a nostalgic mirror reflecting a bygone era and a timeless portrayal of the quintessential American values of liberty and autonomy.

“On the Road” promises to stir contemplation with its untamed and fervent narrative that remains as impactful today as it was at the time of its release.

5 Gösta Berling’s Saga by Selma Lagerlöf

Selma Lagerlöf’s ‘Gösta Berling’s Saga,honored by her Nobel Prize accolade, stands as a triumph in Swedish literature and a bestseller. In the early 20th century, its cinematic adaptation marked the auspicious debut of the iconic Greta Garbo.

The narrative brings to life the figure of Gösta Berling, a fallen clergyman, against the rustic backdrop of 19th-century Värmland.

Which is the most life changing book? Of course, this is the one that was created by you personally.

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What books are inspired by other books? You can be inspired by any books and create your own based on them.

6 Big Apple, Black Sand and the Midnight Sun by Dave Ursillo

“Big Apple, Black Sand, and the Midnight Sun” (released in September 2014) is more than just a book—it’s a personal expedition that I documented in 15 essays.

These snippets of life were captured as I traveled 13,000 miles, searching for the blueprint of a life filled with meaning.

7 On the Road by Jack Kerouac

“On the Road,” a seminal piece crafted by Jack Kerouac, captures the spirit and tumult of the postwar Beat generation, charting a map of influence on subsequent counterculture phenomena, including the hippie wave.

The narrative, as recounted by Sal, the protagonist, follows his adventures with Dean on their quintessential American road trip.

En route, they immerse themselves in a revelry of poetry, jazz, and drugs. Kerouac’s novel is more than a mere chronicle; it’s a reflection of the era’s soul and an enduring echo of youthful rebellion.

8 Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar

Julio Cortázar’s ‘Hopscotch’ stands as a groundbreaking masterpiece, emblematic of twentieth-century literary innovation.

Its unique, non-linear approach allows readers the freedom to venture through its chapters in any sequence they desire, with each pathway offering coherence and insight. More than its structural genius, it is the novel’s embodiment of a boundless, cosmopolitan essence that resonates deeply with the youth.

Cortázar, with roots in Belgium, nurtured in Argentina, and flourishing in France, weaves a narrative that champions the unanchored spirit—a spirit that refuses to be confined by geographical borders.

9 The Aimée Leduc Series by Cara Black

I was utterly captivated by French cinema, which sparked a love affair with Paris, compelling me to visit this mesmerizing city five times within the last five years.

When I couldn’t physically immerse myself in the enchanting streets of France’s capital, the Aimée Leduc Series became my sanctuary, transporting me to “The City of Lights” from the comfort of my own home.

10 The Zanzibar Chest by Aidan Hartley

Based on the recommendation from Joe in Florida, the memoir penned by a renowned reporter offers an enthralling experience.

Embarking on an African quest, the author uncovers his family’s heritage amid the continent’s persistent turmoils and post-colonial challenges that have persisted over two hundred years.

This memoir, acclaimed for its compelling and at times intense narrative, showcases Hartley’s masterful depiction of Africa’s historical complexities and contemporary struggles.

Weaving familial anecdotes handed down from his father with the astuteness of a seasoned journalist, Hartley seeks a nuanced understanding of “truth” within the layered realities of post-colonial African states.