10 Seminal Books for World Travelers

Lonely Planet has the power to inspire itchy-footed wanderlust with its name alone, but the Australia-based publishing company’s newly released The Travel Book elevates this Pavlovian impulse to whole new levels. The coffee-table-style volume features travel advice, cultural suggestions, and basic information for each of the featured 230 countries — from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe — but it’s the stunningly selected images by a cadre of Lonely Planet’s best photographers that capture the charisma of each destination. In honor of this globe-shrinking guide, we’ve paired up some of The Travel Book’s most inspiring pictures with complementary book recommendations for any future journeys — whether already arranged, wistfully planned, or simply imagined from the comfort of an armchair.

Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Verne
Jules Verne’s adventure fantasy may fit more in the realm of imaginative fiction than travel reportage, but Phileas Fogg’s proposed circumnavigation of the globe in 80 days is one of the most classic tales of wanderlust and its unpredictable adventures. Naturally, Fogg’s planned transportation schedule aboard trains and steamers doesn’t go exactly to plan, and he is variously forced to acquire an elephant in India, ride a wind-powered sledge across the American prairie, and even purchase a dying boat from a mutinous crew in the Atlantic while trying to make his deadline. Although he at no point actually travels aboard the hot air balloon with which the book has now become synonymous, the iconic association is nonetheless impossible to overlook.

New Zealand: Aerial of hot-air Balloon near Methven with mountains in background. (David Wall / Lonely Planet Images)