Books

James McEnaney's top 5 books about incredible journeys

Author of 'A Scottish Journey: Personal Impressions of Modern Scotland', James McEnaney, talks us through five reads that will get you in the exploring mood

The Snail and the Whale

by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler

The story of a courageous snail who leaves the safety of her “flock on the rock” to explore the world on the tail of a “great big, grey-blue humpback whale”. I hope my son remembers this when he grows up.

Red Dust Road

by Jackie Kay

Reaching from the Highlands of Scotland to rural Nigeria, from the 1960s to the beginning of
the new millennium, Kay’s autobiography is bursting with humanity as she journeys through her own complicated past. It is a must-read from one of Scotland’s true literary giants.

Henderson the Rain King

by Saul Bellow

Middle-aged millionaire Eugene Henderson goes on a journey of self-discovery to Africa, eventually becoming an unlikely ‘Rain King’, in a novel that speaks to the voice inside all of us that says ‘I want, I want, I want’. 

The Thought Gang

by Tibor Fischer

Eddie Coffin, failed philosophy professor and embezzler of hundreds of thousands of pounds, is on the run in France. There he meets Hubert, a thief missing an arm, a leg and an eye, and the two embark on a philosophy-and-farce-laden bank-robbing spree across the country.

Life of Pi

by Yann Martel

In this dazzling, perspective-shifting novel, a teenaged boy survives a shipwreck only to find that he is lost at sea and sharing a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The tiger is named Richard Parker. What’s not to like?

Read more Top 5s from top authors here

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