Whether you're hitting the beach, boarding a long flight, or flipping on a headlamp in your tent, you'll want these must-reads at your side
If the book is riveting enough, you’ll want to read it no matter how busy you are surfing, climbing, riding, or sightseeing. Here are eight new books worth bringing on your next trip that are guaranteed to keep you hooked while riding a shuttle to the airport, waiting for friends at the trailhead parking lot, and (of course) sitting around the campfire.
“Karakoram: Climbing Through the Kashmir Conflict,” Steve Swenson
Even if you’re not heading to an 8,000-meter peak, alpinist Steve Swenson gives you a taste of what that high-altitude air tastes like. In his new book, which hits shelves in April, the former American Alpine Club president shares his first-person account of climbing K2 and other mountains in western Asia’s famed Karakoram range. Swenson also looks at region’s contemporary history with an account of the 2013 terrorist attack that killed 11 climbers at the base of Nanga Parbat.
“Celine,” Peter Heller
In his latest novel, Outside contributing editor Peter Heller tells the story of a private investigator on the hunt for a photographer who disappeared decades earlier in the woods of Montana and Wyoming. You’ll be transported to Yellowstone through Heller’s prose, which vividly captures the beauty of the American West.
“A Really Big Lunch: Meditations on Food and Life from the Roving Gourmand,” Jim Harrison
“Harrison is probably incapable of writing a novel that is not enjoyable,” Tom Bissell wrote in his 2011 profile of Harrison. Published in March, a year after the author’s death, A Really Big Lunch is a collection of Harrison’s writing on food, gluttony, and the toll exorbitance can take on the body. His brilliant, sometimes cringe-worthy, often laugh-out-loud-funny essays are great companions for meals on the road or aimless travels through foreign lands.
“The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative,” Florence Williams
Most of us have heard of the therapeutic effect of time spent outdoors. In The Nature Fix, Outside contributing editor Florence Williams tries to explain this phenomenon by traveling the world, from the forests of Japan and Scotland to the deserts of Utah, to seek out truths about nature’s impact on well-being.
“The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit,” Michael Finkel
In the 1980s, a 20-year-old named Christopher Knight moved to the backwoods of Maine. He ended up staying there—living in a tent in the wilderness and foregoing any human contact—for the next 27 years. This book is such a fast, engrossing read that you’ll finish it by the time your plane hits the tarmac.
“The Outrun,” Amy Liptrot
As this memoir reminds us, sometimes we all just need to get away. The Outrun is nature writing at its finest: the story follows Liprot’s escape from a cyclical life of alcoholism in London to the sheep farm on a tiny island off the coast of Scotland where she grew up.
“Dog Run Moon,” Callan Wink
We’re a bit late in catching up with thirtysomething Montana fly-fishing guide Callan Wink, who published his first book last year. Set throughout Wyoming and Montana, this collection does not fail to impress. Wink’s characters are eccentric and varied, his prose is persuasive, and his stories take you to wild and unexpected places. Planning a summer road trip through the West? Keep this book in your van.
“The Yoga of Max’s Discontent,” Karan Bajaj
This novel, due out in May, chronicles a Wall Street analyst named Max who flees to India to find himself among the peaks of the Himalayans. As the main character meditates in an ashram to find enlightenment, there’s a chance that you too might glean insight into the meaning of life—whether you’re looking for it or not.