Riot Recommendation

20 of Your Favorite Adventure Memoirs

Kelly Jensen


Kelly is a former librarian and a long-time blogger at STACKED. She's the editor/author of (DON'T) CALL ME CRAZY: 33 VOICES START THE CONVERSATION ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH and the editor/author of HERE WE ARE: FEMINISM FOR THE REAL WORLD. Her next book, BODY TALK, will publish in Fall 2020. Follow her on Instagram @heykellyjensen.

This Riot Recommendation is sponsored by No Baggage: A Minimalist Tale of Love and Wandering by Clara Bensen

no baggageWhen Clara Bensen arranged to meet Jeff Wilson on the steps of the Texas State Capitol after just a few exchanges on OKCupid, it felt like something big was going to happen. Jeff is a wildly energetic university professor with a freewheeling spirit. Clara is a sensitive, reclusive writer just recovering from a quarterlife existential breakdown. Within a few days of knowing one another, they decide to embark on a crazy travel experiment:  21 days from Istanbul to London, with zero luggage, zero reservations, and zero plans.  NO BAGGAGE is the story of their luggage-less adventure, told from Clara’s perspective.





There are so many reasons to love a well-written memoir about an adventure, whether it’s physical (traveling to far away places) or emotional (a memoir of parenting or new love or loss). It’s both the comfort of living vicariously through someone– I’m glad you spent four months backpacking through the countryside, but I really like air conditioning– and the joy of seeing a fellow human being overcome and, well, slay.

We asked you to share what your favorite adventure memoirs were, and you answered. Get ready to be inspired to take on your own adventure….or live vicariously through the adventures of others while snuggling in your reading cocoon. Here are 20 of your favorite adventure memoirs.


Almost Somewhere: 28 Days on the John Muir Trail by Suzanne Roberts

An Age of License by Lucy Knisley

Between a Rock and a Hard Place by Aron Ralston

Black Wave: A Family’s Adventure at Sea and the Disaster That Saved Them by John Silverwood

Born to Run by Christopher McDougall

Cruelest Journey: Six Hundred Miles To Timbuktu by Kira Salak

Down the Nile: Alone in a Fisherman’s Skiff by Rosemary Mahoney

Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert

The Final Frontiersman by James Campbell

Four Corners: A Journey into the Heart of Papua New Guinea by Kira Salak

French Milk by Lucy Knisley

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

Life Is A Wheel by Bruce Weber

The Lobster Chronicles: Life on a Very Small Island by Linda Greenlaw

The Lost City of Z: A Tale of Deadly Obsession in the Amazon by David Grann

The Old Patagonian Express by Paul Theroux

Seven Years in Tibet by H. Harrer

Tracks by Robyn Davidson

A Walk In The Woods by Bill Bryson

Wild by Cheryl Strayed