10 Best New Travel Books of 2010

Reading a book

We brought you reviews of 129 books and 20 movies this year. Really?? Guest reviewers wrote 38 of those reviews, but I penned the rest.

If you are a regular reader, you may understandably be yearning for “faraway places with strange sounding names.”

And you can see why it is difficult to pick my favorites! Plenty of the books I shared with you were classics or at least a few years old. So although I loved James Thurber and Tom Wolfe and Donald Harrington and Willa Cather and others,  I am only counting NEW books here. Here’s the count down to Number One:

Disney - Illimunations - Reflections of Earth (1) (Explored)
Disney World

10. A Journey Through Literary America by  Tamirah Dempsey. A gorgeous photo book visiting author’s home territories.

9. 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go by Susan Van Allen. Although I tend not to review this kind of book–almost a guide book–this one is delightful from beginning to end and the frosting on the cake is book recommendations from several women who write about or cook in Italy.

8. Come Again No More by Jack Todd. (Wyoming) I galloped right through this novel about life in Wyoming during the Great Depression. (Road Trip Book)

7. Dogtown by Elyssa East. (Massachusetts) Our very first road trip book turned out to be a great choice for several reasons.

6. Iran by Inge Morath. This black and white photos in this book were taken in the 1950’s, but the book was brand new in 2010.

5. Nine Lives by William Dalrymple. (India) After reading a column by Dalrymple, I was prepared not to like his writing, but this book won me over. The stories of nine holy men and women in India.

4. The Last Child by John Hart. (North Carolina) This mystery was a winner of best novel award in the Edgars, and I can see why. A road trip book.

3. February by Lisa Moore. (Newfoundland) As gloomy as a foggy winter day in her home country, the novel is based on a true event. Nevertheless the book exudes hope.

2. The Woman Who Fell From the Sky by Jennifer Steil. (Yemen) I was so fascinated by the book that I did a second post with an interview of the author.

1. The Invisible Mountain by Carolina de Robertis. (Uruguay)  When I read this book back in January, I said that I had already found my favorite book of the year, and I was right. The wonderful story brings a lesser-visited South American country to life and tells the story of three generations of women. Not since Isabella Allende have I been so charmed by a south American novel.

To see a list of some of the best new books during the last quarter of the year, see my article at Wandering Educators. And if you want MORE Travel reading, World Hum listed 100 travel books earlier this year.

Your turn–I’d really like to know what travel-related book you read this year that knocked your socks off–or had you checking flight schedules.  Did we talk about it here? Should we?  (And how about sharing this list with friends by e-mail, Twitter, Stumble Upon or any other way you can think of? Tell them there is more to come in 2011, including more book giveaways.)

About Vera Marie Badertscher

A freelance writer who loves to travel. When she is not traveling she is reading about travel. When she is not reading or traveling, she is sharing with the readers of A Traveler's Library, recreating her family's past at Ancestors In Aprons . She writes frequently for Reel Life With Jane and other websites. Also co-author of a biography, Quincy Tahoma, The Life and Legacy of a Navajo Artist. Contact Vera Marie by e-mail.

12 thoughts on “10 Best New Travel Books of 2010

  1. LOL! Dogtown is a totally different place for an Alabamian. I’ll let you google it… “Dogtown furniture” The about page on the Akins site tells the basic story. There’s nothing special about the story so much as the oddity that every Alabamian within 200 miles knows where Dogtown is…even though, it’s just a little crossroad community around Lookout Mountain…really, in the middle of nowhere. People literally drive hundreds of miles to Dogtown, specifically for furniture.

  2. I want to read every one of these books. I have been voraciously reading nonfiction but no travel so I can’t add any recommendations. But this list is great. I will start working through it!

    1. I am so fortunate that publishers thrust these books at me. Otherwise I probably wouldn’t find them, either. So I’m very happy to share my favorites.

  3. I have profited from your recommendations for reading material. Once I obtained my Nook, I really went to town downloading so many of the books you had recommended throughout the past months.

    There are some books on this list which I must have skipped- maybe during my brief away time. I’ll have to get caught up!

  4. I know you’re not a big fan of Norah Lofts, but reading her book Black Hills ahad me thinking that’s a place I’d like to explore.
    Leaving aside what one may think of her politics for the moment, Sarah Palin’s book Going Rogue added to my interest in Alaska, too.

    1. Hi Kerry: Too bad I didn’t know about the Black Hills when we were in the Dakotas. Your comment about Palin’s book almost makes me want to read it, too. I’m still searching for the proper Alaska book.

  5. I always love a good list – this is a great reference, too. I’ll be checking back for books to read as we plan trips this year.

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