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 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.

reading challenge book list

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 – Winter Solstice and The Life She Was Given; Truly Madly Guilty; Mrs. Fletcher; The Immortalists; Damaged
  2. A book that takes place in a destination you’d like to visit – (Cuba); (England); The Flight Attendant (Dubai); Now You See Her (Key West)
  3. A book with a type of food in the title
  4. A book that takes place somewhere you’ve always dreamed of living – (Key West, Manhattan, England)
  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 – and Lilac Girls;
  7. A book recommended by a friend – Origin
  8. A book that you read years ago and want to re-read
  9. A book with an animal in the title – Bullseye
  10. A book with a type of plant in the title – Heather the Totality
  11. A book set in the future – Underground Airlines
  12. A book set in your favorite country or region – Rooster Bar and (Washington D.C. area)
  13. A book that is an adventure story – Eve of a Hundred Midnights
  14. A book by an author whose last name starts with the same letter as your last name – The Widows of Malabar Hill
  15. A book by an author who is not of the same gender as you – ; Unbound
  16. A book with a silly title – The Miracle Morning; The Woman Who Stole My Life
  17. A book that’s perfect for reading over lunch – An Incomplete Revenge
  18. A book from a genre you don’t typically read – The Hate You Give (young adult)
  19. A book with a purple cover – ; Quick and Dirty; The Mapping of Love and Death
  20. A book published in 2018 – The Wife Between Us;
  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 Big Leap


The 2018 Advanced Travel Reading List

  1. A book that was originally written in a different language
  2. A book that will help you become better at what you do – On Writing; ; ; ;
  3. A book that is a classic –
  4. A book that tells an alternative story of a historical event – (about the Hindenburg crash) and (about the adoptions scandals)
  5. A book about a road trip
  6. A book that you would like to see made into a movie – End Game

Click here to download the list