As an editor (and as a writer) I've always been drawn to true stories, and especially to people writing about adventures they have had or about their travels and voyages. Whether harrowing or humorous, these exciting memoirs are always my favorite reads, year in and year out.
Like all my "top ten" booklists, this one is quite personal and highly subjective. I had to leave out some classics like Riding the Iron Rooster by Paul Theroux, because it's been so long since I read it, I couldn't remember what I loved about it, only that I loved it. And I left out Into The Wild because it's not a memoir, it's the story of Christopher McCandless, told by Jon Krakauer, an excellent writer.
Readers may notice a number of these titles are about Baja California and boats. Well, I lived on a sailboat for many years, much of that time spent on and around Baja's Sea of Cortez, so I'm partial to stories about the area, and about sailing, too.
Anyway, here's my current list of favorite memoirs that involve travel or adventure:
Adrift: Seventy Six Days Lost at Sea by Steven Callahan
Almost An Island by Bruce Berger
A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail by Bill Bryson
Eat, Pray, Love: One Woman's Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia by Elizabeth Gilbert
Into A Desert Place by Graham Mackintosh
Miraculous Air: Journey of a Thousand Miles Through Baja California, the Other Mexico by C.M.Mayo
My Old Man and the Sea: A Father and Son Sail Around Cape Horn by David Hays
Never Cry Wolf by Farley Mowat
The Log from the Sea of Cortez by John Steinbeck
Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Coast Trail by Cheryl Strayed
Let me know which of these books are on your top ten list—and which of your favorite memoirs I should check out.