Read To Travel

10 Books I Read Last Year That You Should Pick Up This Week

Lately, it feels like I have been giving out more book recommendations than ever (and friends are actually taking them and buying the books, which I love!!).  Today, I went through all the books I read in 2017 to compile this for you, a list of my top 10!  Since I read anything and everything, this list is all over the map.  We jump from fantasy to history, classics to contemporary, novels to travel memoirs to a biography.  There’s a mixture of both male and female authors… So go, run, read! Take this as a sign to read something outside of your normal pool of choices.  You won’t regret it!


The Name of The Wind by Patrick Rothfuss

For fans of the Harry Potter and Song of Ice and Fire series, The Kingkiller Chronicles is the answer to your prayers, to your hunger for another book series that you cannot put down.  It’s the long story of the decline of a hero.  As book one, The Name of the Wind will leave you desperate for book two…

Favorite Quote: “The Waystone Inn lay in silence, and it was a silence of three parts.”

The Three Musketeers by Alexander Dumas

The tale of the three musketeers and D’Artagnan is known around the world.  As a child, I remember watching different film adaptations.  When I finally picked up a friend’s copy of the book as an adult, I was blown away Dumas’ incredible talent for telling an adventure story.  This is a tale of love and adventure entwined into one long narrative.

Buy it here: The Three Musketeers (Word Cloud Classics)


Stranger in a Stranger Land: My Six Years in Korea by Brian Williams

Brian Williams lived in South Korea for six years working at a textbook publishing company.  In his social commentary, he explains quirky cultural attributes, his favorite experiences, as well as serious topics of discussion that cannot be ignored (racism, sexism in the workplace, etc.)

Further ReadingStranger in a Stranger Land: My Six Years in Korea BOOK REVIEW


Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Louisa Clark is a quirky small village English woman who needs a job.  She takes on a position as caregiver for paraplegic, Will Traynor, who became paralyzed in a motorcycle accident.  Her job description says she should be taking care of him and keeping him company, but their friendship blossoms into something that changes the life she thought she would lead forever.

Buy it here: Me Before You


The Zahir by Paulo Coehlo

This novel is about a self-centered man who becomes obsessed with figuring out why his wife left him.  He makes a psychological and physical mecca to Asia to find her and determine what went wrong in their relationship.

Favorite Quote: “I had to lose her in order to understand that the taste of things recovered is the sweetest honey we will ever know.”

Buy it here: The Zahir

Under The Tuscan Sun: At Home In Italy by Frances Mayes

Many young women my age will remember Diane Lane in the romantic movie Under the Tuscan Sun.  In an emotional crisis, Frances drops everything to move to Italy and refurbish an old Tuscan villa.  She finds herself. Cliché.  Actually, in the book, Frances and her partner pursue their dream of establishing blissful life in the Italian country.  She takes the reader through the joys and nightmares of commuting twice a year to her Italian work-in-progress and the pleasures of creating a new home from scratch.

Favorite Quote: “To re-create something in words is like being alive twice.”

Buy it here: Under the Tuscan Sun: At Home in Italy

Wine and War by Donald Kladstrup and Petie Kladstrup

must read for anyone who considers herself or himself a wine and history buff!  It’s about the extreme measures the French took during WWII to protect their wine from the Nazis.

Buy it here: Wine and War: The French, the Nazis, and the Battle for France’s Greatest Treasure


The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexander Dumas

I took The Count of Monte Cristo on a backpacking trip to Vietnam with me and I’m pretty sure I read 300 pages in a single morning.  This is the best tale of revenge that I have ever read.  After completing two works by Dumas that were both impossible to put down for normal daily activities like eating and sleeping, I know I need to take on the rest of his writing.
Buy it here: The Count of Monte Cristo


WINE. All The Time. by Marissa A. Ross

Are you noticing a theme here?  I love wine.  Marissa A. Ross started a wine tasting blog years ago that soon developed into her guide on confident wine drinking.  This book is perfect for wine lovers who want to feel confident at the wine shop or when ordering at a restaurant.

Favorite Quote: “Wine is not math. Wine is a creative writing course.”

Buy it here: Wine. All the Time.: The Casual Guide to Confident Drinking

Mary Poppins, She Wrote by Valerie Lawson

When you think of Mary Poppins, do you imagine a young smiling Julie Andrews, practically perfect in every way?  Did you know that Walt Disney’s adaptation of the famous book series was nearly nothing like what P. L. Travers envisioned?  Pulling characters from her personal life, the original Mary Poppins books were full of adventure, philosophy, and a constant search for the answers to life’s confusing questions.

Buy it here: Mary Poppins, She Wrote: The Life of P. L. Travers


Tara Higgins

Tara Higgins

Tara loves all things London and wants to spend the rest of her life reading books in beautiful places. She can often be found nestled up in a bookshop, drinking a pint at the pub, or searching for the best pizza slice in town.

  • Shaily

    The list sounds quite interesting! Being a passionate lover of books, I’ll definitely try this collection for 2018. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

    February 2, 2018 at 11:29 AM
  • umiko

    I realized I haven’t read for a long time. I think I’m going to check the local library for The Name of The Wind. It looks interesting. Thank you for the reminder to start reading again.

    February 2, 2018 at 2:56 PM
    • Tara Higgins
      Tara Higgins

      You MUST pick up The Name of the Wind. I read it in 4 days because I couldn’t put it down.

      February 4, 2018 at 5:45 PM
  • Nina

    Oooo The Name of The Wind caught my attention right away! I’m a HUGE Harry Potter fan (and might currently be rereading the books… on the Order of the Phoenix) so I’ll give this series a go next!

    February 2, 2018 at 6:12 PM
  • Lydia Smith

    They all sound interesting but Me Before You by Jojo Moyes is fascinating to me. I love the storyline already and I’ll try to get a copy. I also like the wine novels, and would love to read them on a long flight.

    February 3, 2018 at 10:53 AM