Tag Archives: Reading list

Inspired Adventures’ Reading Guide: Overcoming Adversity

Whether it’s novels to read when you’re travelling or travel books themselves we thought we’d give you a heads up of what books we’re reading.

First and foremost we thought we should share some of our all-time favourites. Here’s a few gems that beautifully refer to an individual overcoming adversity. The perfect read whilst training, raising funds and preparing for a life-altering adventure of your own.

‘The Goldfinch’ by Donna Tartt

(Image credited to John Manno)

One of our favourite reads, this character-driven plot is beautifully told by the uber-talented Donna Tartt, winning the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 2014.

The protagonist ‘Theo’ was thrust into a life he knew nothing of, still suffering from his traumatic accident in New York and the subsequent loss of his mother. The characters are flawed and appear full of nuance and complexities. The novel is constructed beautifully and the expansive and crazy descriptive language appears effortless for Tartt.

(to be noted: If you’re not into descriptions detailing the minutia then this is not the read for you)

‘The Book Thief’ by Markus Zusak

(Image credited to Abe Books)

The musings of death narrate this unwittingly brilliant read. The novel explains the sufferings of World War 2 from a new perspective. Markus Zusak is a masterful writer, having the reader in the palm of his hand through the entirety of the novel.

The writing is haunting and reading this novel will undoubtedly evoke some semblance of emotion within you. The novel is filled with Death observing and contemplating human nature giving the reader an almost surreal experience. ‘The Book Thief’ shows us that even in the worst of times we can find beauty and strength.

‘The Power of One’ by Bryce Courtenay 

(Image credited to Penguin Books Australia)

One of those honest-to-goodness life-changing reads. A book of humanity and thoughtfulness. With a rich plot, our protagonist ‘Peekay’ experiences a life of horrible abuse and ridicule, being the mirror image of those that tore his peers’ families apart. A timeless story of adversity set in South Africa in the late 1930’s, it shows Peekay experiencing both the ramifications of World War 2 and the brewing apartheid, as a read you are learning about the history of South Africa through the eyes of a child.

Peekay experiences horrific conditions from a tender age, setting up the intensity of his own growth & personal transformation that takes place throughout the novel. This is a journey of self-discovery, enlightenment & empowerment.

‘The Count of Monte Christo’ by Alexandre Dumas

(Image credited to Wordsworth Classics)

A immersive tale of a lifetime dedicated to revenge, a man hardened by life wronging him, in indescribable pain coming to a place of peace through retribution. Categorised as an adventure novel, the protagonist Edmond Dantès is in a state of utter despair and on the brink of giving up. It’s quite long, intricate and not for the faint-hearted, but if you are a voracious reader and in the mood for a little adventure – you’ve met your match.

Have a book in the same vein that you think we should read?

4 Inspiring titles to add to your spring reading list

Inspired’s Jenny Trigg offers her suggestions for a spring reading list…

Spring has finally rolled around and everyone here at Inspired HQ is beginning to enjoy longer nights and sunnier weekends. Whilst I consider spring to be the best season of the year, I can’t help but get a little lost with how to fill in all of my new found freedom.

To ease this, each spring I challenge myself to read a list of books – not magazines, audiobooks or watch Netflix. Real books! Here are the books I’m planning on reading this spring and I challenge you to do that same.

The Turk Who Loved Apples And Other Tales of Losing My Way Around the World - Matt Gross

The Turk who loved apples - Goodreads.com

Having followed Matt’s column ‘The Frugal Traveller’ in the New York times for years, I couldn’t hold in my excitement when I heard about his first book.

The Turk Who Loved Apples is based on a collection of anecdotes that Matt has collected in 60 countries over his 30 years of travel.

Matt doesn’t shy away from sharing the low points of traveling solo on a budget – getting lost, sick, and feeling lonely, scared, poor, unprepared and naive. However, Matt manages to face these challenges face on and comes out smiling!

What others are saying:

“A vicariously entertaining whirlwind of scrapbook memories from an author who can’t sit still.” – Kirkus Reviews

“The Turk Who Loved Apples is exactly the travel book you should read while traveling. Filled with the kind of moments of absurdity, sadness, madness, wisdom, beauty, realization, and Weltschmerz familiar to the chronic, lifelong traveler.” – Anthony Bourdai

Matt is no longer the author of the NY Times column, but it’s still a great read.

Unlikely destinations - The Lonely Planet Story

Unlikely Destinations - Goodreads.com

Having grown up with a lonely planet guide always by my side, I’m excited to read about Lonely Planet’s origins story.

It all begins Maureen and Tony Wheeler (the creators of The Lonely Planet) arriving back to Australia after an epic adventure across Europe and Asia that left them with 27 cents to their names.

Post-adventure, Maureen and Tony were thrown continuous questions about their travels: How much, where did you go, what to avoid. This inspired them to create their first guide book ‘Across Asia on the Cheap’.

From this humble beginning, they’ve managed to build a empire and inspire travelers across the world.

What others are saying:

“[The creators live] the kind of life most people dream of living. And I found their story truly inspiring.” – Renee Estey

“The Lonely Planet Story is a unique mix of autobiography, business history and travel book.”

In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson

Sunburned Country - Goodreads.com

It’s always confronting to view your country and culture through someone else’s eyes and that is exactly what Bill Bryson is challenging Australians to do in this novel. ‘In a Sunburned Country’ is based on what Bryson observed in his three visits to Australia and countless mishaps along the way.

If Bryson’s other work is anything to go on, this read will be an insightful, funny and eye-opening journey of Australia through a traveler’s eyes.

Don’t get disheartened by the size of his books –  Bryson is a wordsmith like no other and they are always worth every page.

What people are saying:

“Every time Bill Bryson walks out the door, memorable travel literature threatens to break out”

“From the clean and congenial cities, to the rugged coastal regions and the largely uninhabited outback, Bryson takes us with him and we never, ever look back. It’s a delight to be included on any one of Bill Bryson’s journeys” – Sienna Powers, The January Magazine

The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

The Alchemist - Goodreads.com

This story has taken the world by storm, with close to 27 million copies sold worldwide,  and is currently available in 56 different languages. The story follows a young shepherd who begins a pilgrimage across the Mediterranean and the Sahara to discover the meaning of a recurring dream. Along the way, the boy meets a range of characters who shape and define the young boy’s journey.

This book is perfect for two types of people:

  • Those who are wanting to take a pilgrimage
  • Those who don’t understand why anyone would want to

What others are saying about it:

“Every few decades a book comes along that changes the lives of it’s readers forever”

“For anyone who reads not only to escape reality but also to understand reality, The Alchemist can offer the best of both worlds” – The Guardian

Feeling inspired?

Check out our calendar for our latest adventures.