My aim on TraveLit is to introduce readers who share my love of travel literature to good books they may not know about. Mostly classics, some new, the books cover travel in its many forms, from exploration to tourism. Along with reviews, TraveLit also brings together provocative, entertaining travel quotations and reader recommendations. I welcome comments on the readings, the reviews, the quotations, or the fascinating enterprise of travel itself.

TraveLit--A blog about travel literature

Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys.

Books you might like: Reader recommendations

November 30, 2013

Wynelle Evans, a broadcast media producer and a devoted reader of literature about the Antarctic, recommends Antarctic Navigation, a novel by Elizabeth Arthur about a woman who becomes obsesssed with Robert Scott's expedition to the South Pole.

Books you might like: Reader recommendations

November 22, 2013

Maureen Blevins, writer, traveler, and blogger (, recommends Roads by Larry McMurtry and Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing. “Both,” she writes, “are exceptional.”

Book Review

November 20, 2013

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes.”
―Marcel Proust

A Sacred Landscape: The Search for Ancient Peru.
By Hugh Thomson. Overlook, 2007, 330 pp.

For decades people have lamented the death of real travel, complaining that there are no new discoveries to be made in our much-traveled, well-known world. Hugh Thomson offers a different perspective in A Sacred Landscape, warning against complacency about the extent of our knowledge. Indeed, in Peru, where excavation has been slow, monuments and artifacts of the most ancient civilizations have only recently begun to emerge, offering glimpses of the fascinating cultures that are the focus of this book. (more…)

Book Review

November 9, 2013

Tibetan Venture: In the Country of the Ngolo-Setas
By Andre Guibaut. Translated by Lord Sudley. Introduction by Pamela Nightingale. John Murray, 1947. Oxford University Press, 1987, 206 pp.

When Andre Guibaut and Louis Victor Liotard reached Tibet in 1940, they were headed for a region of the country that was unmapped and largely unknown to the western world. This was their second expedition to Tibet, but the first to the high plateaux inhabited by nomadic herdsmen notorious for their brutal hostility to intruders.

The aims of the mission were geographical and anthropological, and Tibetan Venture covers both aspects of the journey. But the heart of this gripping book is the death of Liotard, who was shot by bandits, leaving Guibaut at once grieving for his close friend and fearfully alone in an alien and dangerous land. (more…)

Selected Works

Travel Memoir
"Loved this book, which appears to be but is more than an account of an anthropological expedition, more than a travel book, more than a memoir."--Barbara Beckwith, author of What Was I Thinking?: Digging Deeper into Everyday Racism,
"It is undoubtedly the best written account of, and reflection on, fieldwork I have read, and --perhaps -- the best book on fieldwork (period) I have come across. --Joel Savishinsky, Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus), Ithaca College, author of Trail of the Hare.
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
Midwest Book Review
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”

Quick Links

Find Authors