Looking for some travel entertainment during trip downtime? Check out the following great titles, each recommended by top travel bloggers, so captivating you’ll actually look forward to your next long plane ride.
1. Alyssa Ramos of My Life’s A Movie: Up in the Air is (an) interesting read about a man whose job is basically to fire people, and he has to fly all over the place to do it. Even though he hates his job, he enjoys the traveling aspect of it, and eventually aims to quit and accomplish his goal of reaching a million frequent flyer points.
2. Gretchen Healey of Safarious: Just when you thought every last ounce of enjoyment was gone from air travel, Mark Vanhoenacker comes along and rekindles the romance of flying. In Skyfaring, he shares his story of becoming a pilot, his love of flight and the nearly forgotten magic of being up in the air – and he does it poetically.
3. Stephanie Yoder of Twenty-Something Travel: On my last flight I devoured The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan, which was fun, bubbly and had surprising depth for a book that is essentially fan fiction about the British royal family. Super entertaining for anglophiles like myself.
4. Katie Foote of Gypsy Soul, Itchy Feet: My go-to travel writer is Paul Theroux, who writes about his long overland train journeys. I’d recommend starting with his classic, The Great Railway Bazaar. One of my other favorites is Eric Weiner’s Geography of Bliss, which describes a journalist’s journey around the world to see how other cultures define happiness.
5. Tim Leffel of The Cheap Destinations Blog: My latest read was The End of Jobs: Money, Meaning and Freedom Without the 9-to-5 by Taylor Pearson. It outlines, in a convincing fashion, how drastically the work world is changing from one where most people work for others to one where the majority could soon be working for themselves. As a blogger and travel writer who has been supporting his family for a decade working as a solopreneur, it was interesting to see how this is becoming a growing trend. It’s a good read for those who dream of leaving the “commute to a cublicle” life with two lousy weeks of vacation.
6. Ethan Gelber of The Travel Word: My hands-down favorite travel classic is Bruce Chatwin’s dazzling The Songlines, in which he overlays fact and fiction during a research trip in Australia to study Aboriginal culture and its connection to nomadic travel.
7. Anne Lowrey of Part Time Traveler: For any plane journey, I try and pick up a book set in the destination I’m heading to. For more general travel reads, I recommend The Way of Wanderlust, a newly-released collection of Don George’s writing.
8. Kate McCulley of Adventurous Kate: The fourth book of Elena Ferrante‘s Neapolitan Novels was released in September. (It’s) a thrilling conclusion to a series with a fascinating setting. The book takes place in a rough neighborhood of Naples, Italy, and I’ve never read a book with a more richly depicted setting. In Ferrante’s Naples, men punch each other in the face over looking at someone’s sister for half a second too long. Men throw their daughters out the second story window for disrespecting them. Murder and abuse are commonplace enough to be accepted nonchalantly. While the true strength of these books is the uncanny depiction of friendship between Lenu and Lila, it’s the wild setting of Naples that makes it a jarring travel read.
9. Anna Kate of The Legendary Adventures of Anna: Recently I’ve felt inspired by The Kindness Diaries: One Man’s Quest to Ignite Goodwill and Transform Lives Around the World by Leon Logothetis, a man who leaves his job to travel the world on his motorcycle. It’s about the many people who change his life through their generosity and the ways that he finds to repay their kindness as he continues his personal journey
10. Maria Russo of The Culture-Ist: Favorite travel reads for 2015 includes A Thousand Hills to Heaven: Love, Hope, and a Restaurant in Rwanda, a memoir by Josh Ruxin that shares the surprising story of how he and his wife travel to Rwanda for philanthropic work and end up opening the country’s most popular restaurant.
Jessica Festa is the founder on the solo and offbeat travel blog, Jessie on a Journey, and the online responsible tourism and culture magazine, Epicure Culture. She’s constantly searching for local experiences beyond the guidebook. You can follow her travels on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.