Christmas is coming… 200+ motorcycle/travel books for your holiday shopping list


When I was a child I remember thinking that a year was an interminable length of time. The distance from one Christmas to the next was longer than a year. It was eons. Eons times infinity. Maybe it wasn’t that bad. But the length of time far exceeded my patience.

But now I must be reaching the other end of the aging spectrum, but I feel some level of “the opposite” about how quickly time moves. Days and weeks go by in a blur. Months are gone much too quickly. New seasons and years are on my doorstep before I realize it. Christmas is no exception.

So now that it’s less than two months to Christmas, I had better start thinking about gifts and holiday plans before I forget. Because a second from now it will already be here.

My best friend Heather gave me a piece of wisdom 20 years ago, which I suspect she received from her wise and oh-so-brilliant-and-creative mother, Sharon. Instead of giving gifts for the holidays, she suggested I consider giving “experiences”. Some experiences were mine to have alone, and others included her so we had the chance to have new memories together. She once gave me tickets to a play. And one year she bought me scuba diving lessons so we could dive together on one of our annual vacations. I loved the idea. Most people don’t need another tchotchke or scarf anyway.

I’ve tried to use Heather’s suggestion with the gifts that I give. My sister, niece, stepmom and I go for pedicures each year instead of giving birthday gifts. I took Heather to see Anthony Bourdain speak as a gift. Etc. Etc. But experiences can also be physical things, at least in my opinion. I like giving a puzzle or game to my friends – so they can interact with other people through those gifts. One of my favorite “experience” gifts is the gift of a book.

A book can be a doorway to an entirely different world, a temporary portal to an adventurous escape, a way to feed your curiosity, or a platform for a new way living that can even help you shift your reality in a new direction. Books can be some of the best gifts.

When I was thinking about traveling long distance by motorcycle more than a decade ago, a friend suggested a book or two by people who had already done it. I picked up Into Africa by Sam Manicom and Lois on the Loose by Lois Pryce. First, I have to ackowledge that both of these authors are INCREDIBLE wordsmiths. They bring you out onto the road with them on their motorcycle journeys. You share their highs and lows and leave the story wanting an adventure of your own. Both books came highly recommended, and both exceeded my expectations. Enough so that I bought a dual sport bike and hit the road full time for two years, which is why this blog even exists. But anyhoo….

Six years ago I created a post to share some of the best motorcycle travel books I had on my shelf. I’ve since responded to countless discussions and requests for recommendations of great reads. In the process I’ve discovered a lot of great new reads for myself. I’m always on the hunt for a new moto travel book. So when a friend offered to share his list of moto travel authors, I said “Yes, PLEASE!”

What follows is a list of travel and moto travel authors and books, thanks to the generosity of international motorcycle traveler Nigel Grace. I’ve added a handful of books to his list. Of course whether or not you like a book is a matter of personal taste. Hopefully some of the books on this list might prove to be a perfect Christmas gift for yourself or someone you know. Someone gets a great gift, and an author gets a little bit of a boost before the holiday. Win-win.

My favorite authors include: Sam Manicom, Lois Pryce, Ted Simon, Graham Field, Derek Mansfield, Elspeth Beard, Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent, Jacqui Furneaux, Jeremy Kroeker, Tim Notier, Steph Jeavons, Lawrence Bransby, Neil Peart, Dan Walsh, Geoff Hill, Shirley Hardy-Rix, Nathan Millward, Helen Lloyd, Chris Scott, Craig Carey-Clinch and Carla King. And I’m sure I’m forgetting someone good…I hate that.

As time allows (and it never does), I will try to update this blog with additional titles and working links to books and authors, if I can figure that out. But in the meantime, hopefully this will suffice to give you Google starting point for your own adventure down the rabbit-hole that is the internet.

Good luck and happy reading! (Or listening! Some of these books are available as audiobooks, so please check that out too.)

My personal faves:

Sam Manicom – Into Africa, Under Asian Skies, Distant Suns, Tortillas to Totems

Lois Pryce – Lois on the Loose, Red Tape and White Knuckles, Revolutionary Ride

Ted Simon – Jupiter’s Travels, Dreaming of Jupiter and others

Graham Field – In Search of Greener Grass, Ureka, Near Varna

Derek Mansfield – Notes from the Road Volume III, Notes from the Road Volume IV

Elspeth Beard – Lone Rider

Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent – Land of the Dawn-lit Mountains, A Short Ride in the Jungle, Tuk tuk to the Road

Jacqui Furneaux – Hit the Road, Jac!

Jeremy Kroeker – Motorcycle Therapy, Through Dust and Darkness, Motorcycle Messengers, Motorcycle Messengers 2

Tim Notier – 2 up and Overloaded

Steph Jeavons – Home by Seven

Lawrence Bransby – Two Fingers on the Jugular, The Wakhan Corridor, Venture into Russia, There are no Fat People in Morocco

Neil Peart – Ghost Rider, Far and Away

Dan Walsh – These are the Days That Must Happen to You

Geoff Hill – In Clancy’s Boots, The Road to Gobblers Knob, Anyway Where Was I, Way to Go

Shirley Hardy-Rix – Circle to Circle, The Long Way to Vladivostok

Nathan Millward – The Long Ride Home (also published as Going Postal), Adventures of Dorothy, Running Towards the Light

Helen Lloyd – Serow Saga, Desert Snow

Chris Scott – Adventure Motorcycling Handbook, Desert Biking, Desert Travels, Morocco Overland, The Street Riding Years

Craig Carey-Clinch – The Road to Mali

Carla King – American Borders, Stories from Elsewhere

Authors who are on my shopping list:

Adrian Scott – The Road Gets Better From Here

Airborne Andy – Alaska by Motorcycle

Ajit Harinsinghani – One Life to Ride

Alan Leduc – Passion in the Wind

Alan Whelan – Empire Road, Africa Brew Ha-Ha, The Black Stars of Ghana

Alec and Jan Forman – Strangers Like Angels

Alexandra Fefopoulou and Stergios Gogos – Rice and Dirt

Alfonse Palaima – Journey to the End of the World

Alison Delapp – Chaos in Harmony, How Far is North?

Allan Karl – Forks – A Quest for Culture, Cuisine and Connection

Anatoly Chernyavskiy – Between 2 Oceans

Andres Carstein – Odyssey to Ushuaia

Andrew Benfield – The Wrong Way Round

Andrew Pain – Going Small

Ara Gureghian – Freedom on Both Ends of the Leash

Austin Vince (Editor) – Mondo Enduro

Bill Dwyer – Anxiety Across the Americas

Billy Kerr – A Tale of Buddha and Bandits

Bob Goddard – Beyond Bucharest, Land of the Long Wild Road

Bob Woofter – Motorcycle Camping Made Easy

Bruce Smart – Live Your Life

C. K. Shepherd – Across America by Motorcycle

Carl Stearns Clancy – The Gasoline Tramp

Carlos CAggiani – Tracks and Horizons

Cathy Birchall and Bernard Smith – Touching the World

Charley Boorman – Race to Dakar

Chris Hardy – Motorcycle Touring

Chris Reese – Captain and the Starter Monkey

Chris Tharp – The Worst Motorcycle in Laos

Christian Brix – East to Zero, The Unseen Walls

Christopher Robert Finch – Motorcycle Wanderlust in Europe and North America

Colette Coleman – Great Motorcycle Tours of Europe, Greatest Motorcycle Adventure Tours

Connie Stambush – Untethered: A Woman’s Search for Self on the Edge of India

Craig Bourne – Philosophical Ridings

D.F. Campbell – Russian Rules

Dale Coyner – The Essentiual Guide to Motorcycle Travel

Dan Richards – Outpost

Danell Lynn – Philanthropic Wanderlust

Dave Barrett- Dodging Potholes

Dave Clarke – Pack Your Bags and Get Out

Dave Cornthwaite – Board Free

Dave Gorman – America Unchained

Dave Gurman and Simon Kewer – The Carin’ Sharin’ Chronicles

David Newman – Mongolia or Bust: A RTW Misadventure

Dawn Swift – Heading for the Hills

Debi Tolbert Duggar – Riding Soul-O

Dom Giles – Gone Riding

Dr. Pat Garrod – Bearback

Dr. Gregory W. Frazier – Everything You Need to Know About Motorcycle Touring

Dylan Samarawickrama and Martina Zuercher – When the Road Ends

Emilio Scotto – The Longest Ride

Eric Hansen – Motoring with Mohammed

Ernesto Che Guevara – The Motorcycle Diaries

Ewan McGregor and Charley Boorman – The Long Way Round, The Long Way Down

Geno Zanetti – She’s a Bad Motorcycle

Glen Heggstad – One More Day Everywhere, Two Wheels Through Terror

Gordon G. May – Overland to Egypt, Overland to Vietnam, Overland to India

Greg Turp – Two Up with a Pup

Heather Ellis – Ubuntu, Timeless on The Silk Road

Ian Mutch – Gandalf’s Garden, Harley to Mali, Looking for America, Low Rider, Riding the Beast

J.D. Hodges – Following the Front Wheel

Jacek Klimko – Living on the Road, Hitting the Road

Jack Grey – Those Two Idiots

Jill Maden – Excess Baggage: One Woman, One Bike and Lots of Luggage, Slow Rider

Jim Oliver – Lucielle and the XXX Road

Jo Rust – Woman Alone

John Bradshaw and Peter Henshaw – The Artful Bodger

Jon Herman – Motorcycle Journeys Through the Alps and Beyond

John Hillaby – Journey Through Britain

John McKay – One Brit, One Bike and One BIG Country

John Metzger – Motorcycling Through Midlife

Jonny Bealby – Running with the Moon, Silk Dreams Troubled Road

Kathleen Terner – Two-Wheeled Wind Therapy

Keith Jahans – Bike Traveling Man

Kevin Turner – Bonjour! Is This Italy

Lance Gines – Into the Horizon

Laurence Shelley – On Chance Road

Lawrence Hacking – To Dakar and Back

Lily Brooks-Dalton – Motorcycles I’ve Loved

Linda Bootherstone – Into Africa, Where Angels Fear to Tread

Linda Crill – Blind Curves

Liz Jansen – Crash Landing: The Long Road Home, Women Motorcycles and the Road to Empowerment

Lorraine Spence – Butterflies and Flat Tyres: Zurich to Singapore

M. Scott Peck – The Road Less Travelled

Major William Watson – Adventures of a Motorcycle Despatch Rider First World War

Matt Bishop and Reece Gilkes – Our Ridiculous World

Matthew Biberman – Big Sid’s Vincati

Melissa Holbrook Pierson – The Perfect Vehicle

Micheal Fitterling – Northeast by Northeast

Michelle Lamphere – The Butterlfy Route, Tips for Traveling Overland (yes, that’s me and this is a shameless plug)

Michele Harrison – All the Gear, No Idea

Mihai Barbu – Vand Kilometri (Romania)

Mike Carter – One Man and His Bike, Uneasy Rider

Nathan and Sara Millward – Don’t think Ride

Paddy Tyson – In Search of Puerto del Faglioli

Peggy Iris Thomas – A Ride in the Sun (or Gasoloine Gypsy)

Richard and Mopsa English – Full Circle

Richard Georgiou – One Man on a Bike

Robbie Marshall – Triumph Around the World

Robert Edison Fulton Jr. – One Man Caravan

Robert M. Pirsig – Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance

Robert Wicks – Adventure Motorcycling, Adventure Motorcycle Routes

Ross Ketchum – Motorcycle Shorts

Sherrie McCarthy – Fernweh: A Trans Continental Motorcycle Adventure, Unleash Your Adventure Packlist, Taking the Long Way Home

Simon Castle – 12 Countries in 12 Days on a 1200 GSA

Simon Gandolfi – Old Man on a Bike, Old Men Can’t Wait

Simon Roberts – Tea With Bin Laden’s Brother

Spencer James Conway – The Japanese Speaking Curtain Maker

Stephen Mason – Ride to the Midnight Sun, Llama Bananas and Bears: Argentina to Alaska

Steve Stewart – Steve and the Tiger

Ted Bishop – Riding with Rilke

Terry Beck – Route 66 Pocketbook

Theresa Wallach – The Rugged Road

Tiffani Burkett – Chronicles of a Motorcycle Gypsy

Tim English – Overlanding

Tim Watson – There & Back Again to See How Far It Is

Tom Bruce – Biking to the Roof of the World, Every Inch of the Way

Tom Cunliffe – Good Vibrations

Tom Judd – Misadventures in India

Tony Burns – What If You Don’t Break Down?

Will Wilkins – Wollongong to Woolich

William Murphy – Grace and Grit

Yves Dugas and Martine Pare – A Winter Adventure: 4700 miles on a Russian Motorcycle

Zoe Cano – Bonneville Go or Bust, Southern Escapades, Hellbent for Paradise

Categories: TravelTags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 comment

  1. Thanks Michelle! You’re such a good person to take the time to share this list!

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