As a self-proclaimed bookworm I often get asked for reading recommendations, particularly by friends who are looking for a page-turner or two to take along on their honeymoon. I'm always sure to include a travel memoir amongst my suggestions. In general, I think this genre of book is best enjoyed when you're on a trip—it's easier to relate to the adventurous, romantic, and occasionally ridiculous scenarios in these stories when you're also in the mindset of a traveler. Here are some of my favorites I recommend packing:
1. My Life in France by Julia Child, with Alex Prud'Homme Child's memoir is a perfect choice for honeymoon reading. Her adventures with food and travel are funny and memorable, but it's her long, happy marriage to husband and best friend Paul Child I found to be the most inspiring aspect of this book.
2. West With the Night by Beryl Markham Better known as a pilot and horse trainer than an author during her life, Markham's memoir is never-the-less a gorgeously written love letter to her native Africa. I've read it four times and am still captivated by her marvelous storytelling.
3. The Sex Lives of Cannibals by J. Maarten Troost Troost's memoir about the two years he and his girlfriend spent on the tiny Pacific island nation of Kiribati had me laughing out loud. If you've ever lived on an island or even in a small town, you'll relate to his hysterical misadventures.
4. A Moveable Feast by Ernest Hemingway This collection of memoirs details the writer's years as an expat living in Paris before he became famous. Even if you're not a Hemingway fan in general, the book's familiar themes of youth, friendship, romance, and ambition make it easy to find a poignant moment in its pages.
5. A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson This travelogue follows Bryson's attempt to walk the length of the Appalachian Trail. I think this is my favorite of his books because it focuses on a trip most travelers have encountered: one that seems easy enough in theory, but ends up being much harder (and funnier) in practice.—Leigh Crandall