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Best Books To Read While Traveling

Books are no different than songs and movies…your favorites will constantly change as you continue to read new books and as the types of books you enjoy reading evolves. Books seem a bit more timeless, however, perhaps because we don’t read them on repeat (like songs) and get sick of them – so, perhaps your favorite books never change. We tend to take book recommendations from friends and family as well as Google searches, etc. As such, the books we read while traveling are constantly changing. This list includes some of our all-time favorite books as well as others that we are currently reading, and some we have queued up for our travels this year. Altogether, we think these are some of the best books to read while traveling.


Best Books to Read While Traveling


Explorations of a Cosmic Soul

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Author: Allie Michelle 

Who read it? Michael and Alex

Explorations of a Cosmic Soul is a collection of poems that contemplate consciousness. It explores the duality of what it means to be human in a world that has so much light and darkness. By exploring within ourselves, we will find the answers and love we have always been seeking.

Read more from Allie on her blog.

Buy Explorations of a Cosmic Soul on Amazon


The Pilgrimage

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

Step inside this captivating account of Paulo Coehlo’s pilgrimage along the road to Santiago. This fascinating parable explores the need to find one’s own path. In the end, we discover that the extraordinary is always found in the ordinary and simple ways of everyday people. Part adventure story, part guide to self-discovery, this compelling tale delivers the perfect combination of enchantment and insight.

Buy The Pilgrimage on Amazon


The Book of Secrets

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Alex currently reading (In Michael’s queue)

We all want to know how to find a soul mate, what career would be most fulfilling, how to live a life with meaning, and how to teach our children well. We are looking for a personal breakthrough, a turning point, a revelation that brings with it new meaning. The Book of Secrets–a crystalline distillation of insights and wisdom accumulated over the lifetime of one of the great spiritual thinkers of our time–provides an exquisite new tool for achieving just that. Every life is a book of secrets, ready to be opened. The secret of perfect love is found there, along with the secrets of healing, compassion, faith, and the most elusive one of all: who we really are. We are still mysteries to ourselves, despite the proximity of these answers, and what we most long to know remains lodged deep inside.

Buy The Book Of Secrets on Amazon


The Celestine Prophecy

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

In the rain forests of Peru, an ancient manuscript has been discovered. Within its pages are 9 key insights into life itself — insights each human being is predicted to grasp sequentially; one insight, then another, as we move toward a completely spiritual culture on Earth. Drawing on ancient wisdom, it tells you how to make connections among the events happening in your life right now and lets you see what is going to happen to you in the years to come. The story it tells is a gripping one of adventure and discovery, but it is also a guidebook that has the power to crystallize your perceptions of why you are where you are in life and to direct your steps with a new energy and optimism as you head into tomorrow.

Buy The Celestine Prophecy on Amazon


How to Love

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Alex (In Michael’s queue)

How to Love is the third title in Parallax’s Mindfulness Essentials Series of how-to titles by Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh, introducing beginners and reminding seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. This time Nhat Hanh brings his signature clarity, compassion, and humor to the thorny question of how to love. He distills one of our strongest emotions down to four essentials: you can only love another when you feel true love for yourself; love is understanding; understanding brings compassion; deep listening and loving speech are key ways of showing our love.

Buy How to Love on Amazon


The Alchemist

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.

**If we made a list of top 3 or 5 favorite books of all time, The Alchemist would probably make both our lists. It’s a book you can read over and over again.**

Buy The Alchemist on Amazon


The Four Agreements

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

In The Four Agreements, bestselling author don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering. Based on ancient Toltec wisdom, The Four Agreements offer a powerful code of conduct that can rapidly transform our lives to a new experience of freedom, true happiness, and love.

Buy The Four Agreements on Amazon


Harry Potter (All)

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael (Might have to force Alex to read them to our kids one day so she reads them!)

If you haven’t read the Harry Potter series, you need to. It doesn’t matter if you’ve seen the movies. There is SO much more to the series than the movies had time to tell. It would be a travesty for us to write a best books list and not include Harry Potter. This is arguably the best series ever written. There is a reason JK Rowling is wealthier than the Queen of England. Buy the entire series and read every one cover to cover. They only get better as the story unfolds.

Buy Harry Potter on Amazon


The Power of Now

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

It’s no wonder that The Power of Now has sold over 2 million copies worldwide and has been translated into over 30 foreign languages. Much more than simple principles and platitudes, the book takes readers on an inspiring spiritual journey to find their true and deepest self and reach the ultimate in personal growth and spirituality: the discovery of truth and light. In the first chapter, Tolle introduces readers to enlightenment and its natural enemy, the mind. He awakens readers to their role as a creator of pain and shows them how to have a pain-free identity by living fully in the present. The journey is thrilling, and along the way, the author shows how to connect to the indestructible essence of our Being, “the eternal, ever-present One Life beyond the myriad forms of life that are subject to birth and death.”

Buy the Power of Now on Amazon


A New Earth

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

With his bestselling spiritual guide The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle inspired millions of readers to discover the freedom and joy of a life lived “in the now.” In A New Earth, Tolle expands on these powerful ideas to show how transcending our ego-based state of consciousness is not only essential to personal happiness, but also the key to ending conflict and suffering throughout the world. Tolle describes how our attachment to the ego creates the dysfunction that leads to anger, jealousy, and unhappiness, and shows readers how to awaken to a new state of consciousness and follow the path to a truly fulfilling existence.Illuminating, enlightening, and uplifting, A New Earth is a profoundly spiritual manifesto for a better way of life—and for building a better world.

Buy A New Earth on Amazon


Cosa Nostra

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael 

Hailed in Italy as the best book ever written about the mafia in any language, Cosa Nostra is a fascinating, violent, and darkly comic account that reads like fiction and takes us deep into the inner sanctum of this secret society where few have dared to tread.In this gripping history of the Sicilian mafia, John Dickie uses startling new research to reveal the inner workings of this secret society with a murderous record. He explains how the mafia began, how it responds to threats and challenges, and introduces us to the real-life characters that inspired the American imagination for generations, making the mafia an international, larger than life cultural phenomenon. Dickie’s dazzling cast of characters includes Antonio Giammona, the first “boss of bosses”; New York cop Joe Petrosino, who underestimated the Sicilian mafia and paid for it with his life; and Bernard “the Tractor” Provenzano, the current boss of bosses who has been hiding in Sicily since 1963.

Buy Cosa Nostra on Amazon


Brunelleschi’s Dome

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael 

Brunelleschi’s Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes (among some of the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers’ platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction–all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. This drama was played out amid plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence– events Ross King weaves into the story to great effect, from Brunelleschi’s bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near catpure of Florence by the Duke of Milan. King also offers a wealth of fascinating detail that opens windows onto fifteenth-century life: the celebrated traditions of the brickmaker’s art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation, the power of the guilds. Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.

Buy Brunelleschi’s Dome on Amazon


The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck

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Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael 

For decades, we’ve been told that positive thinking is the key to a happy, rich life. “F**k positivity,” Mark Manson says. “Let’s be honest, shit is f**ked and we have to live with it.” In his wildly popular Internet blog, Manson doesn’t sugarcoat or equivocate. He tells it like it is—a dose of raw, refreshing, honest truth that is sorely lacking today. The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is his antidote to the coddling, let’s-all-feel-good mindset that has infected modern society and spoiled a generation, rewarding them with gold medals just for showing up. Manson makes the argument, backed both by academic research and well-timed poop jokes, that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to stomach lemons better. Human beings are flawed and limited—”not everybody can be extraordinary, there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties, once we stop running and avoiding and start confronting painful truths, we can begin to find the courage, perseverance, honesty, responsibility, curiosity, and forgiveness we seek. There are only so many things we can give a f**k about so we need to figure out which ones really matter, Manson makes clear. While money is nice, caring about what you do with your life is better, because true wealth is about experience. A much-needed grab-you-by-the-shoulders-and-look-you-in-the-eye moment of real-talk, filled with entertaining stories and profane, ruthless humor, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k is a refreshing slap for a generation to help them lead contented, grounded lives.

Buy The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck on Amazon


Leonardo

best_books_to_read_while_traveling_leonardo

Image: Amazon

Who read it? Michael and Alex

This fascinating exploration of Leonardo da Vinci’s life and work identifies what it was that made him so unique, and explains the phenomenon of the world’s most celebrated artistic genius who, 500 years on, still grips and inspires us. Martin Kemp offers us exceptional insights into what it was that made this Renaissance man so special, and the “real” meaning behind such masterpieces as the Mona Lisa and the Last Supper. Tracing Leonardo’s career in all its variety, we learn of his unfulfilled dreams, relationships with powerful patrons, and the truth about his views on God, humanity, and nature. The famous notebooks are the key to understanding the secret of Leonardo’s success and genius, Kemp shows, as they clearly reveal the workings of his mind and display the truly innovative and investigative nature of his creative vision. In these notebooks, over 20,000 pages of drawings and notes detail his incredible discoveries and inventions–from the workings of the human eye to designs for flying machines and giant crossbows. Bringing the story up to the present day, Martin Kemp considers what he means to us today, investigates the “Leonardo industry,” and speculates about what he would be doing if he were alive today.

Buy Leonardo on Amazon


East of Eden

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Image: Amazon

Who read this? Michael (currently reading)

In his journal, Nobel Prize winner John Steinbeck called East of Eden “the first book,” and indeed it has the primordial power and simplicity of myth. Set in the rich farmland of California’s Salinas Valley, this sprawling and often brutal novel follows the intertwined destinies of two families—the Trasks and the Hamiltons—whose generations helplessly reenact the fall of Adam and Eve and the poisonous rivalry of Cain and Abel. John Steinbeck literally said that everything he wrote before East of Eden simply prepared him to write his masterpiece (East of Eden).

Buy East of Eden on Amazon


Vagabonding

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Image: Amazon

Who read this? Michael and Alex

There’s nothing like vagabonding: taking time off from your normal life—from six weeks to four months to two years—to discover and experience the world on your own terms. In this one-of-a-kind handbook, veteran travel writer Rolf Potts explains how anyone armed with an independent spirit can achieve the dream of extended overseas travel. Now completely revised and updated, Vagabonding is an accessible and inspiring guide to:

• financing your travel time
• determining your destination
• adjusting to life on the road
• working and volunteering overseas
• handling travel adversity
• re-assimilating back into ordinary life

Buy Vagabonding on Amazon


In the Queue

We always seem to have books queued up for our upcoming trips, or simply to read around the house. Some of those books include: I Can’t Make This Up by Kevin Hart, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson, Elon Musk: Tesla, Spacex, and the Quest For a Fantastic Future by Ashlee Vance, The Medici: Power, Money, and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance by Paul Strathern, The Motivation Manifesto by Brendon Burchard, and many others.

What are some of your favorite books to read while traveling? We are always looking to add to our list and queue some books up for future travels.

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