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.
12/31/21 RMB A Mother’s Light
1 year ago
I loved the movie WILD so I want to read the book. A Walk in the Woods was a true surprise, made me want to go to Appalachia - as for the rest, will add some of these to my 'will read when I have an extra minute' list! Thanks for the suggestions, keep on traveling.....ReplyDelete
Rita Will by Rita Mae Brown is a favorite memoir of mine :) Oh and Carol Burnett's This Time Together: Laughter and Reflection. Julie Andrews' Home: A Memoir of my Early Years. Those are top of mind. Thanks for sharing JSR!ReplyDelete
Gosh, I am very honored to have my work included on your list!!ReplyDelete
My top 10 change by the day, but for today there are (in alphabetical order):
Fanny Calderon de la Barca's LIFE IN MEXICO
MFK Fisher's LONG AGO IN FRANCE
Ian Frazier's GREAT PLAINS
Wayne Karlin's WANDERING SOULS: JOURNEYS WITH THE DEAD AND THE LIVING IN VIET NAM
Emma Larkin's FINDING GEORGE ORWELL IN BURMA
V.S. Naipaul's A TURN IN THE SOUTH
Sam Quinones's TRUE TALES FROM ANOTHER MEXCO
Sara Mansfield Taber's BREAD OF THREE RIVERS
Jan Morris's TRIESTE AND THE MEANING OF NOWHERE
Jon Swain's RIVER OF TIME: A MEMOIR OF VIETNAM AND CAMBODIA
The ever-expanding list is at this link http://www.cmmayo.com/workshop-rec-read-lit-travel.html
I think you would be hard pushed this year to find a better memoir than Larry Dunlaps Night People.ReplyDelete
It follows his rock band 'Stark Naked and The Car Thieves' as they tour the west coast of America during the late sixties.
A really exciting and eventful adventure that absolutely sucks you into all the highs and lows of an incredible period for America. Reading this book really reminds you how so much of what happened in the sixties has shaped the future generations. An excellent history read even for those without an interest in rock music.
This article interested me very much. You described it great. Definitely a great post.ReplyDelete
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