Books to Inspire Your Travels

For World Book Day (2nd March) we've been inspired to look back at our favourite books that have inspired our wanderlust!  

These are books we pick up when we get itchy feet, books that have inspired us to go to places and simply books that have transported us to the place they are set in and fired our imagination.

Let us know what you think of our choices and your favourite reads to inspire your wanderlust!

The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway

Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Sarajevo in particular, has always been high on our 'bucket list' of places to go that we finally got to visit last year.  Its mix of history, culture and beauty is what we look for in cities!  This book by Steven Galloway brings the harsh reality of civil war to light.  It mixes emotional, personal stories of people caught up in the civil war with an insight into how relentless a city under siege is.  Based around a cellist who plays everyday on a spot in Sarajevo where a bomb landed, it may sound like historical fiction - but it's actually based on a true story.

Vive La Revolution - Mark Steel

There's not many history books that can make you snort out loud - but Mark Steel manages it!  It's no exaggeration to say we've learnt more about the French Revolution from this book than we did at school.  Mark manages to mix the somewhat ridiculous nature of the period (and its characters) with a historical context brought to life in stories that not only teach you about history, but also makes you want to learn more about it and to travel to Paris to see where his stories are based.

The Agony and the Ecstasy - Irving Stone

This biographical novel has its detractors but its one of the books we like to read to remind ourselves of the genius of Michelangelo and to transport ourselves to the Renaissance period in Italy.  It's a masterpiece that paints a picture (pun intended) of the great man himself  and how his loves, anger and sheer will influenced his art.  This look at one of the genius's behind the Renaissance will make you want to experience the art in Tuscany and Italy yourself (after googling all the pieces of art mentioned in the book you didn't know about!)

Memed My Hawk - Yashar Kemal

We were introduced to this book about an outlaw/brigandage in Turkey last year.  It passes the test of what makes a good book - you will want to read it again.  It's a readable-epic that spans a time period where a young boy is forced to become a man to take vengeance on an evil and villainous landowner.  It's a tale as old as time but set in beautiful Anatolia and with a hero you can root for who uses the Turkish environment to get one over on the baddie.  This is Yashar's debut novel (and the first in a trilogy written in 1955) and we can't wait to read them all while dreaming of a getaway to the azure seas and other-worldly nature of Turkey.

These are just a few of the books that feeds our wanderlust!

Have you read any of them?

What are your favourite books that inspire you to travel and explore?