My favorite travel book - and one of my favorite books in general - is The Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner. He's a correspondent for NPR. In each chapter, he travels to one of the statistically happiest countries in the world to understand why its people are so happy. He also goes to the unhappiest country. If you want to know what countries they are, you'll have to read the book! It's uplifting and, above all, fascinating.
Julie and Julia inspired me to read Julia Child's memoir, My Life In France. I'm pretty sure this book was the kickoff to my current fascination with expat life (which will be the subject of another TT post).
Bill Bryson was born in the US, but lived in England for many years, and has spent notable time in many other places. Every time I see one of his books at thrift, I buy it, but I haven't read them all yet. My favorites are In A Sunburned Country (Australia) and A Walk In The Woods (the Appalachian Trail).
I love Peter Gethers' trilogy of memoirs about his incredible cat, Norton. The second book, A Cat Abroad, covers the year they lived in the south of France. Although far too much rabbit is eaten (with gusto) in this book, it's otherwise wonderful. :)
Travel is only part of Nicholas Sparks' memoir, Three Weeks with My Brother. The story of a once-in-a-lifetime trip around the world with his brother is intermingled with the history of their family. As you might expect with Nicholas Sparks, it's all very dramatic - I mean, the family stuff is practically the Book of Job. But it's compelling.
As I said in my May review, Maureen Johnson's 13 Little Blue Envelopes (and its sequel, The Last Little Blue Envelope) is about a teenager's madcap trip through Europe. It's lots of fun and made me regret that I never did the European backpacking/youth hostel thing.
Sometimes I feel like a walking advertisement for the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. I mention them almost every time someone asks me for book recommendations. They're set in and around Gaborone, Botswana, Africa. I have to admit I was never very interested in Africa until I read these books, but Botswana is as strong a character as Mma Ramostwe and Mma Makutsi - and I admire its spirit and heart!
I also reviewed Anna and the French Kiss recently - it's a wonderful modern YA romance set in Paris. I dare you not to want to visit Paris after reading this!
What other travel books should I put on my to-read list?