The First Step: 6 Great Stories About the Journeys of a Lifetime

September 16 2014

From Chaucer to Elizabeth Gilbert to Harold Fry these are stories about and by people on a pilgrimage. At turns poignant, funny, ribald, sexy , and eye-opening if you don’t have a chance yourself to go to India or walk the Camino de Santiago or search for the trail of Butch Cassidy or set out to find someone you lost years ago then reading these wonderful books will make you feel like you did.

The Canterbury Tales
by Geoffrey Chaucer

A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight’s account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England.

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The Canterbury Tales
Geoffrey Chaucer

A story-telling competition between a group of pilgrims from all walks of life is the occasion for a series of tales that range from the Knight’s account of courtly love and the ebullient Wife of Bath’s Arthurian legend, to the ribald anecdotes of the Miller and the Cook. Rich and diverse, The Canterbury Tales offer us an unrivalled glimpse into the life and mind of medieval England.

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Eat, Pray, Love
by Elizabeth Gilbert

In this massive bestseller and Oprah pick, Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life. During a three year pilgrimage to study three different aspects of her nature amid three different cultures, Gilbert explored the art of pleasure in Italy and the art of devotion in India, and then a balance between the two on the Indonesian island of Bali.

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Eat, Pray, Love
Elizabeth Gilbert

Elizabeth Gilbert’s beautiful memoir is about finding out who she really was and what she really wanted from life. Aiming to visit three places where she could examine one aspect of her own nature, she spends a year traveling to Italy, India and Indonesia. But it is more than the appealing locations and heaping plates of pasta that caused Eat, Pray, Love to touch a nerve among both readers and reviewers. Intensely articulate and wise, Eat, Pray, Love showed that a woman can claim responsibility for her happiness and stop living in imitation of society’s ideals.

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MENTIONED IN:

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Close
I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago
by Hape Kerkeling

Overweight, overworked, and physically unfit, Hape Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the 1,200-year-old pilgrimage across the French Alps to the Spanish shrine of St. James. But that didn’t stop him from getting off the couch and walking. Lonely and searching for meaning, he began the journal that turned into this frank and engaging book. Through his struggles with his physical limitations and the rigors of long-distance walking, he discovered a deep sense of peace that transformed his life and allowed him to forgive himself, and others. He learned something every day, and shares his daily lessons in this book.

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I'm Off Then: Losing and Finding Myself on the Camino de Santiago
Hape Kerkeling

Overweight, overworked, and physically unfit, Hape Kerkeling was an unlikely candidate to make the 1,200-year-old pilgrimage across the French Alps to the Spanish shrine of St. James. But that didn’t stop him from getting off the couch and walking. Lonely and searching for meaning, he began the journal that turned into this frank and engaging book. Through his struggles with his physical limitations and the rigors of long-distance walking, he discovered a deep sense of peace that transformed his life and allowed him to forgive himself, and others. He learned something every day, and shares his daily lessons in this book.

Amazon logo Barnes & Noble logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo Bookshop logo

MENTIONED IN:

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By Off the Shelf Staff | December 1, 2020

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A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

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Close
Wild
by Cheryl Strayed

A solo thousand mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State taken by an inexperienced hiker is a revelation. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo
Wild
Cheryl Strayed

A solo thousand mile journey on the Pacific Crest Trail from the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State taken by an inexperienced hiker is a revelation. Told with suspense and style, sparkling with warmth and humor, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

Amazon logo Audible logo Barnes & Noble logo Books a Million logo Google Play logo iBooks logo Indiebound logo

MENTIONED IN:

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A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

By Holly Claytor | November 27, 2020

10 Family Novels as Warm and Fuzzy as Your Favorite Sweater

By Maddie Ehrenreich | November 26, 2020

Readers’ Choice: The 10 Best Book Recommendations You’ve Ever Received

By Off the Shelf Staff | November 25, 2020

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Close
In Patagonia
by Bruce Chatwin

An exhilarating look at a place that still retains the exotic mystery of a far-off, unseen land, Chatwin’s exquisite account of his journey through Patagonia teems with evocative descriptions, remarkable bits of history, and unforgettable anecdotes. He recounts his treks through “the uttermost part of the earth”— that stretch of land at the southern tip of South America, where bandits were once made welcome—in search of almost forgotten legends, the descendants of Welsh immigrants, and the log cabin built by Butch Cassidy.

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In Patagonia
Bruce Chatwin

Fueled by wanderlust and a lifelong fascination with one of the outermost reaches of the earth, Bruce Chatwin set off for Patagonia to uncover the mysteries of this territory once favored by bandits like Butch Cassidy. An elegant and captivating journey to the end of the earth, Chatwin’s memoir is a masterpiece of the travel canon.

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MENTIONED IN:

9 Festive Books We Always Read to Get Into the Holiday Spirit

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The 10 Most Popular Books We Escaped Into This November

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A WWII Historical Novel of Hope and Resistance to Light Up the Darkness

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Close

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