When we’re not on the road, the folks at Traveler love to read and share stories that inspire us to travel. Sometimes they even spark ideas for future features.
More than four years ago, Amy Alipio, who edits our monthly Trip Lit column, started an informal, travel-oriented book club open to all Nat Geo staffers to give everyone at the Society an opportunity to scratch that travel itch — and get to know each other better.
“Hearing about the travel experiences of others in the book club adds a sense of reality to the books,” Program Manager Elena Takaki says. “It’s also nice to hear such personal opinions come out in co-workers. Often, in a work setting, we avoid talking about politics or personal views, but that’s not the case when you’re discussing how a book or passage made you feel.”
Oh, and there’s food. To conjure a sense of place, members contribute to a potluck that reflects the book’s region or theme. Our most recent read, Cheryl Strayed’s Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, inspired a lunch that featured trail mix, beef jerky, and Pacific salmon.
This month the club is reading Pauls Toutonghi’s latest novel, Evel Knievel Days: A Novel, about a Montana man who travels to Cairo to learn more about his Egyptian father. Anyone have a good recipe for baba ghanoush?
The Traveler Book Club is now nearly 50 members strong, with a reading list that spans the globe. Here’s what we’ve read so far.
What should we should read next month? Share your #TripLit recommendations with @NatGeoTraveler on Twitter or leave a comment below!
Traveler Book Club Reading List
- The Lost City, by Henry Shukman
- Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortenson
- The World Before Her, by Deborah Weisgall
- Travels with Charley, by John Steinbeck
- Silverland, by Dervla Murphy
- The Kindness of Strangers, edited by Don George
- Body of Lies, by David Ignatius
- The Van, by Roddy Doyle
- A Guide to the Birds of East Africa, by Nicholas Drayson
- Cold Beer and Crocodiles, by Roff Smith
- Pictures at an Exhibition, by Sara Houghteling
- The Lady and the Monk: Four Seasons in Kyoto, by Pico Iyer
- Geography of Bliss, by Eric Weiner
- A Year in Provence, by Peter Mayle
- Baghdad Without a Map, by Tony Horwitz
- Saving Fish from Drowning, by Amy Tan
- Sag Harbor, by Colson Whitehead
- The Man Who Loved China, by Simon Winchester
- Moonlight in Odessa, by Janet Skeslien Charles
- The Lemon Tree, by Sandy Tolan
- Motorcycle Diaries, by Che Guevara
- Hitching Rides with Buddha, by Will Ferguson
- Too Close to the Sun: The Life and Times of Denys Finch Hatton, by Sara Wheeler
- An Embarrassment of Mangoes, by Ann Vanderhoof
- Notes from a Small Island, by Bill Bryson
- The Shadow of the Wind, by Carlos Ruiz Zafón
- A Week at the Airport, by Alain de Botton
- A Moveable Feast, edited by Don George
- Planetwalker: 22 Years of Walking. 17 Years of Silence, by John Francis
- Love in the Time of Cholera, by Gabriel García Márquez
- Smilla’s Sense of Snow, by Peter Høeg
- The Commoner, by John Burnham Schwartz
- Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life, by Frances Mayes
- Pagan Holiday: On the Trail of Ancient Roman Tourists, by Tony Perrottet
- A Death in Vienna, by Frank Tallis
- The Woman Who Fell From the Sky, by Jennifer Steil
- City of Thieves, David Benioff
- Sex Lives of Cannibals, by J. Maarten Troost
- Lights, Camera…Travel, edited by Don George and Andrew McCarthy
- Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo
- Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day, by Doug Mack
- American Shaolin, by Matthew Polly
- Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, by Cheryl Strayed
- Evel Knievel Days:A Novel, by Paul Toutonghi
- Tell us what we should read next by using the #TripLit hash tag on Twitter.