Travel zine World Hum recently compiled a list of the most celebrated travel books:
We scoured the web and dug up every “best travel books” list we could find, from writers, bloggers and publications like Salon, Conde Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler and Transitions Abroad. (Naturally, we consulted our own top 30 list, too). Then we pulled out the books that were cited most often and added a few bestsellers.
Fair enough. I applaud their thoroughness and impressive graphics.
But this is not representative of the best travel literature of all time. Why? English-language authors dominate the ballot, the same ones who dominate the English-language sources used to compile it, despite the random translated book thrown in for a pomp of impartiality.
More importantly though, it’s not a faultless list because Team MB&S’s two favorite travel books are missing from the roster. Big mistake, World Hum. Though not All Powerful in the greater internet galaxy, I am God in this blogosphere—Bob & Surly rascally demigods—and furious we are at these mortals’ half-knowledge, at their defiance in creating a most excellent and inspirational Yellow Pages of travel literature without consulting us.
This post is revenge against World Hum, a forty day flood of re-directed blog traffic to mock their mistake, a plague upon the collective keyboards of their blasphemous writers, and a slew of non-Christian, computer programming references hushed below our breathe that will cause immense stress to crash down upon their cubicles, Vishnus and Poseidons and Quetzalcoatls hacking their mainframes for all eternity.
Pain, pain, pain, and some love too….
On a less lightning-strike-to-the-temple note, this post is also an adoration of the forgotten who should be properly and alphabetically memorialized in this almanac of travel authors. With utmost respect, the holy trinity of MB&S completes the list by hyperlinking to you….
Papillon by Henri Charrière
Flash by Charles Duchaussois (available in French, Spanish, and Italian)
Please feel free to add your favorite travel books below in the comment section.
Posted in Books, Brazil | Tags: A Dragon Apparent, A House in Bali, A Moveable Feast, A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush, A Time of Gifts, A Turn in the South, A Walk in the Woods, A Winter in Arabia, Alain de Botton, Alfred Lansing, Among the Russians, An Area of Darkness, Annie Dillard, Apsley Cherry-Garrard, Arabian Sands, Arctic Dreams, As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, Baghdad Without a Map, Balkan Ghosts, Barry Lopez, Beryl Markham, Beyond Euphrates, Bill Bryson, Bitter Lemons of Cyprus, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, Black Like Me, Blue Highways, Brazilian Adventure, Bruce Chatwin, Charles Duchaussois, Chasing the Sea, City of Djinns, Coasting, Colin McPhee, Colin Thubron, Coming Into the Country, Conde Nast Traveler, D.H. Lawrence, Dark Star Safari, Dervla Murphy, Desert Solitaire, Down the Nile, Eat Pray Love, Edward Abbey, Elizabeth Gilbert, Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage, Eric Hansen, Eric Newby, Ernest Hemingway, Ernesto “Che” Guevara, Evelyn Waugh, Facing the Congo, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, Flash, Flash Grand Voyage, Four Corners, Frances Mayes, Freya Stark, Full Circle, Full Tilt: Ireland to India With a Bicycle, George Orwell, Golden Earth, Great Plains, Greg Mortenson, Heat-Moon, Heinrich Harrer, Henri Charrière, Holidays in Hell, Homage to Catalonia, Hunter S. Thompson, Hunting Mister Heartbreak, Ian Frazier, In a Sunburned Country, In Patagonia, In Siberia, In Trouble Again, Into the Wild, Into Thin Air, Iron and Silk, Isak Dinesen, J. Maarten Troost, Jan Morris, Jeff Greenwald, Jeffrey Tayler, John Howard Griffin, John McPhee, John Steinbeck, Jon Krakauer, Jonathan Raban, Kira Salak, Kon-Tiki, Laurie Lee, Lawrence Durrell, Life on the Mississippi, M.F.K. Fisher, Mark Salzman, Mark Twain, Martha Gellhorn, Mary Morris, Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found, Michael Palin, National Geographic Traveler, No Mercy, Norman Lewis, Notes From a Small Island, Nothing to Declare, Old Glory, Out of Africa, P.J. O’Rourke, Papillon, Patrick Leigh Fermor, Paul Bowles, Paul Theroux, Peter Fleming, Peter Hessler, Peter Matthiessen, Pico Iyer, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, Rebecca West, Redmond O’Hanlon, Riding to the Tigris, River Town, Road Fever, Robert Byron, Robert D. Kaplan, Robert M. Pirsig, Rory Stewart, Rosemary Mahoney, Roughing It, Ryszard Kapuscinski, Salon, Sara Wheeler, Sea and Sardinia, Seven Years in Tibet, Simon Winchester, Slavomir Rawicz, Slowly Down the Ganges, Suketu Mehta, Terra Incognita, The Art of Travel, The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer, The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, The Great Railway Bazaar, The Innocents Abroad, The Lady and the Monk, The Log From the Sea of Cortez, The Long Walk, The Lost Continent, The Motorcycle Diaries, The Muses Are Heard, The Old Patagonian Express, The Pillars of Hercules, The Places in Between, The Rings of Saturn, The River at the Center of the World, The Road to Oxiana, The Sex Lives of Cannibals, The Size of the World, The Snow Leopard, The Soccer War, The Songlines, The World of Venice, The Worst Journey in the World, Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue, Thor Heyerdahl, Three Cups of Tea, Tim Cahill, Tom Bissell, Tom Wolfe, Tony Horwitz, Transitions Abroad, Travels With Charley, Travels With Myself and Another, Trieste and the Meaning of Nowhere, Truman Capote, Two Towns in Provence, Under the Tuscan Sun, V.S. Naipaul, Video Night in Kathmandu, W.G. Sebald, West With the Night, When the Going was Good, Wilfred Thesiger, William Dalrymple, William Least, Wrong About Japan, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance