I read 15 books during my 5 months in Asia last year. About half of those I read during my 3 weeks trekking to Everest Base Camp; after that, I slowed down my reading pace juuuuuust a bit.
This next batch of books were read in Nepal, India, and Thailand – in huts, on trains, and on beaches. Aside from the occasional comedy book, most of what I read has a strong sense of location – if not specifically travel-related.
I’m always on the lookout for new books to read while traveling, so if you have any suggestions for good reads, leave ’em in a comment!
My book ratings are directly related to their put-down-ability: the more difficult it is for me to put down a book and stop reading it, the better I rate it. That said, sometimes I’m just a sucker for cheesy love stories or suspenseful murder mysteries, which aren’t necessarily high in quality or deserving of 5 stars. In those cases, I might adjust their score slightly – or not :)
Books Read in Asia (6-10 of 15):
Free Country: A Penniless Adventure the Length of Britain by George Mahood
I love the premise behind this book: 2 young men cycling through Great Britain with nothing but their bikes, relying on the good will of the strangers they encounter along the way to provide them with clothing, food, and shelter. I was occasionally annoyed at a few weird quirks in the author’s writing style, but I’m attributing that to the fact that he’s British and maybe I just don’t get it.
Free Country is a fun, light-hearted travel adventure novel – 4/5
My Horizontal Life by Chelsea Handler
I have undying respect for sassy, brassy, go-getting ladies – bonus points if they make me laugh. So it’s pretty much a given that I will thoroughly enjoy any book Chelsea Handler ever publishes. My Horizontal Life is no exception. It is exactly what it sounds like: a collection of sexcapades, told with typical Chelsea tongue-in-cheek humor.
My Horizontal Life is straight-up brilliant entertainment – 5/5
Savages by Don Winslow
I picked up this book at a guesthouse in Jaisalmer, India because, well, sometimes you just need a thrill. Sex, drugs, and murder deliver this in spades. The characters are California-cool and edgy, and the end of the book had me hanging on for life as if I were on a roller coaster ride. I thoroughly enjoyed this suspenseful novel and really need to watch the movie version now!
If you’re looking for a good adrenaline rush, Savages is a real trip – 4.5/5
Life of Pi by Yann Martel
This one had long been on my reading list, and with the movie coming out last year I thought I should finally give it a go. An Indian boy shipwrecked on a raft with a few zoo animals during his family’s journey from India to Canada? Sounds pretty darn interesting. To my disappointment, getting through Life of Pi felt like a chore. It focuses on 3 things: religion, animals, and survival. Having little-to-no interest in any of these topics, I did not enjoy this book; however, if you do, you probably would like it better than I did.
If you’re into fantasy novels with a travel twist, you might enjoy Life of Pi – 2/5
The Bedwetter by Sarah Silverman
I remember laying in a hammock on Koh Kradan, devouring this book in-between naps and dips in the sea. Like Chelsea, Sarah is a witty comedienne; and like My Horizontal Life, The Bedwetter is a collection of humorous stories from her past (though not exclusively sex-centric).
The Bedwetter is an easy, amusing read – the perfect beach book! – 4/5
Be sure to check out my other Good Reads reviews!
What books should I read on my next trip? Any recommendations?