7 Adventurous Nonfiction Books to Read This Summer

a woman and one of a few nonfiction books to read this summer

Summer is nearly upon us, and with it comes vacation time… and the chance for adventure! Of course, not everyone has it in them to sail the seven seas or climb the highest mountain, but thanks to the printed word, those adventures can come to you. Project Bold Life has compiled a list of seven adventurous nonfiction books to read this summer. Are some of these books old enough to be considered classics? Yes, but trust us, the follow-up article will help you plan on how to make the tales told in these books a reality. Enjoy!

(If adventure isn’t your thing, check out this Project Bold Life story on the Italian art of doing nothing.)

1.   Seven Years in Tibet

Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer is not a new nonfiction read, but it’s still a must-add to anyone’s reading list for the summer. Many people might remember it as one of Brad Pitt’s many Hollywood films, but reading Seven Years in Tibet is as interesting as watching its movie adaptation– maybe more.

The book follows the experience of the author in the wake of World War II when England declared war on Germany while he was on a mountaineering expedition in the Himalayas. Austrian mountain climber Heinrich Harrer made several attempts at escaping at a Prisoner of War camp after the British army arrested him in India before succeeding in reaching the borders of Tibet. Tibet rarely accepted foreign visitors during that period and feared an invasion from China besides the war.

Despite that, Harrer and his climbing partner snuck into the country and managed to live in Tibet for seven years. The book shows a deep dive into Tibetan culture from an outsider’s view and how this country’s tradition influenced their beliefs and way of life. Seven Years in Tibet is a classic nonfiction read for everyone looking for an adventure while developing their spirituality.

a dude drinking coffee and reading by a campfire
First check out this list of adventurous nonfiction books to read this summer, then go on the adventures!

2.   Tracks: A Woman’s Solo Trek Across 1700 Miles of Australian Outback

Tracks is a unique story that started with the author, Robyn Davidson’s plan to train a group of camels for her trek across the Australian Outback. But, like any great adventure, hers didn’t pan out as planned. It’s the record of her incredible 1700-mile journey and all the wins and challenges she faced to complete her trek.

Davidson’s book follows her adventure, starting from her arrival in the small outback town of Alice Springs, her plan of finding and training a group of camels, and travel across the Australian Outback to completing her trek with four camels in tow. Tracks also showed her experience of the rampant anti-Aboriginal racism and sexism within the area and how she overcame it with her determination and with the help of the people around her.

Tracks is a perfect addition to anyone’s nonfiction summer reading list who thirsts for adventure. Besides, who doesn’t want to share the experience of trekking the Australian Outback with their trusted furry companion, four camels, and dearest friends?

3.   The Royal Road to Romance

Many people often think of traveling after finishing their studies, but not everyone has the guts or the support to make their plans a reality. But Richard Halliburton, author of The Royal Road to Romance, knew no one would stop him from seeing the world after getting his diploma.

Halliburton takes the readers on a rollercoaster of adventures as he sets out on an adventure of a lifetime with only a few bucks, his backpack, and his diploma. The book records his trips to several countries, including Paris and Cairo, in the 1920s. In addition, the author provided many comic vignettes of his adventures despite how dangerous they became.

4.   Arabian Sands

Arabian Sands is a nonfiction book by Wilfred Thesiger and his travels across the Arabian Peninsula’s Empty Quarter from 1945 to 1950. The story follows Thesiger’s encounter with the people from the Arabian Sands and how he spent his years living with the Bedu people.

Arabian Sands is the perfect summer read for those seeking adventure and a source of information about the people from the Empty Quarter, including their history and the place’s landscape. In addition, most of the book showcased the development and changes in the area after World War II and the gradual erosion of the traditional Bedouin way of life.

a woman reading by a lake
Read about the adventure first, then go on the adventure.

5.   The Journals of Lewis and Clark

The Journals of Lewis and Clark is a gripping nonfiction read full of adventure and history. The historic expedition of the two men, their group, and their Shoshone guide, Sacajawea, led to America’s first report on the West.

The book follows Lewis, Clark, and their group’s expedition from the Missouri River to the northern Pacific coast. During this period, they mapped rivers, traced principal waterways, and established an American claim to Idaho, Washington, and Oregon. In addition, the journals have detailed records of the plants and animals they saw, the native tribes they came in contact with, and the scenic landscapes from their base camps.

6.   The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons

One of the most iconic works of exploration literature on America, “The Exploration of the Colorado River and Its Canyons” is an account of an expedition’s survival from famine, attacks, mutiny, and rapids as they explored the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon.

The book follows the author, John Wesley Powell, and his group’s adventure into the heart of the American West’s final frontier while achieving their expedition’s goals with limited supplies and zero modern river-running equipment.

7.   The Travels of Marco Polo

The travels of the Venetian traveler, Marco Polo, are one of the most popular adventures recorded in history. His trips to the Orient lasted over 25 years, and he spent 17 years of it under the court of the Chinese emperor, Kublai Khan.

During his imprisonment by the Genoese, Polo regaled his stories to a fellow prisoner and writer, Rustichello. The book became a treasury of knowledge on the culture and life in the Near East and Asia, including valuable observations and detailed descriptions of cities, customs, flora, and fauna. In addition, The Travels of Marco Polo shows Persia and China in the last half of the 13th century.

Don’t forget the book that lays out the principles of goal-achievement and attaining a Bold Life!

About the Author

Through timely and thoughtful articles, the book Project Bold Life: The Proven Formula to Take on Challenges and Achieve Happiness and Success, and other media, we deliver engaging content that educates, motivates and inspires you to live a Bold Life.
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