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Introducing the Travel Reading List Challenge

travel reading list reading challenge

Today I’m excited to announce the first of a couple of new projects that I’m launching for 2018 – the travel reading list.

I’ve always been an avid reader, going back to childhood days where I’d read under the covers at night. My love for reading was fostered by my grandparents, who took me to our local public library when I was barely able to walk, and parents, who bought me books and encouraged my patronage of the library.

When I was older and started traveling, I used to pack around two or three books at a time. I’d never want to finish one and not have another one to start. You can imagine how it must have been traveling for three weeks in Europe – I lugged around way too many books, leaving them behind as I finished, and then found myself looking for an English bookstore to replenish my supply. And in many locations, that not easy to do.

When the Kindle came out in 2007, I was one of the first in line to make the purchase. While I love the feel of a book in my hand, the convenience of packing around hundreds of book in a device that fits into my purse won out. I’ve been a Kindle user ever since – upgrading to a Kindle Paperwhite a few years ago. I love the feel of its plain paper screen. The ability to adjust the lighting makes it possible to read in a dark airplane cabin or on a sunny beach. And, the Kindle syncs with most library e-book lending programs.

In recent years I’ve seen a lot of reading challenges, even participated in a few. For 2018, I decided to create my own reading challenge, with a focus on travel (and books perfect to read when you’re traveling) and enticed a couple of friends to join me as guides for the challenge – Betsy from Passing Thru and Brenda from Dish Our Town. Together, we’ve created a basic reading challenge that has a pace of two books per month, for a yearly total of 24 books. The advanced portion of the reading challenge adds on another six books, bringing the yearly total to 30 books. It’s a number that challenges those who don’t read a lot, while still leaving avid readers time to participate in other challenges or get to books that don’t fit on this list.

The challenge is self-paced. Read what you want, when you want it, there’s no order you must follow. Feel free to interpret the list in any way you wish, choosing the type of books that you enjoy. However, we also hope you’ll be encouraged to try some new authors, genres, and add new voices to your reading list – that’s part of the fun of the challenge.

I’ve listed both the basic travel reading list and the advanced list below, along with a link for you to download a PDF copy and keep track on your own. To see what I’ve read, along with some comments about what I think about the book, you can check out the Travel Reading List website here. You can get suggestions from the other guides there as well. And, feel free to join our Goodreads challenge group here. Over on Goodreads we hope everyone will share what they’re reading for each of the challenges, along with what books they recommend and why. Come join our book chat there!

I’ll update this travel reading list right here on the blog throughout the year as I finish each of the challenges.

Happy New Year and Happy Reading!

The 2018 Basic Travel Reading List

  1. A book that takes place in the country of your origin
  2. A book that takes place in a destination you’d like to visit
  3. A book with a type of food in the title
  4. A book that takes place somewhere you’ve always dreamed of living
  5. A book that takes place in your hometown (or one like it) – Out of Circulation
  6. A book that is set in a period of history in which you are interested
  7. A book recommended by a friend
  8. A book that you read years ago and want to re-read
  9. A book with an animal in the title
  10. A book with a type of plant in the title
  11. A book set in the future
  12. A book set in your favorite country or region – Rooster Bar (Washington D.C. area)
  13. A book that is an adventure story
  14. A book by an author whose last name starts with the same letter as your last name
  15. A book by an author who is not of the same gender as you
  16. A book with a silly title – The Miracle Morning
  17. A book that’s perfect for reading over lunch
  18. A book from a genre you don’t typically read
  19. A book with a purple cover
  20. A book published in 2018
  21. A book that is also a movie
  22. A guidebook
  23. A book that is written by or is about a famous person – What Happened
  24. A book that inspires you to make a change


The 2018 Advanced Travel Reading List

  1. A book that was originally written in a different language
  2. A book that is a classic
  3. A book that tells an alternative story of a historical event
  4. A book about a road trip
  5. A book that you would like to see made into a movie

Click here to download the list


Explore the archives for more travel ideas.

2017: A Year of Travel in Review

While 2016 was a big year for international travel, 2017 represented a year spent enjoying destinations and activities closer to […]

A Most Wonderful Time of the Year at Universal Orlando Resort

Holiday magic is a real thing. A feeling deep in your soul. A feeling that brightens your smile, lights up […]

5 Tuscan Towns for a Perfect Day Trip

Pitigliano, Tuscany, Italy

It’s been awhile since we’ve traveled to Italy and it’s time to start making plans for a return visit. Our […]

Gift Guide for Travelers: 2017 Holiday Edition

It’s a most wonderful time of the year! Although I much prefer experiences to just buying stuff, there’s no getting […]