Into the Deep: A Memoir From the Man Who Found Titanic by Robert D. Ballard and Christopher DrewWhat it is: an engaging, fast-paced memoir by the legendary deep-sea explorer who's traveled the world and, among other things, discovered historical shipwrecks like Titanic, Yorktown, and PT-109.
Don't miss: details about his childhood in Southern California (by way of Kansas), his struggles in school due to undiagnosed dyslexia, and his support of science education and robotic exploration.
For fans of: the author's career and his other books; David L. Mearns' The Shipwreck Hunter.
A Course Called America: Fifty States, Five Thousand Fairways, and the Search for the... by Tom CoyneWhat it's about: For a year, Tim Coyne traveled across the United States looking for the greatest golf experience his country had to offer. Along the way, he played in all 50 states, including at every U.S. Open course, a military base at nighttime, and a remote Navajo Nation course.
Don't miss: the fascinating golf lore and history; the people he meets along the way, including Caddyshack actor Bill Murray.
Series alert: Following A Course Called Ireland and A Course Called Scotland, this is the fun final entry in a bestselling golf travel trilogy.
Freedom by Sebastian JungerWhat happened: War reporter and author Sebastian Junger walked and camped with a few friends, including combat vets, over the period of a year. They covered 400 miles along railroad tracks in DC, Maryland, and Pennsylvania, and avoided cops, security guards, and any assistance from outsiders.
Read it for: wide-ranging references to history and more, thoughtful insights, spare but lovely depictions of nature, and friendly camaraderie.
Want a taste? "It struck us as serious country, the kind where you kept an eye on the weather and slept next to whatever weapon you had."
The Ride of Her Life: The True Story of a Woman, Her Horse, and Their Last-Chance... by Elizabeth LettsWhat it's about: In 1954, broke 63-year-old Maine farmer Annie Wilkins -- who'd received devastating health news and hadn't ridden a horse in decades -- bought a run-down gelding, got her dog, and started riding across the country to fulfill a lifelong dream to see the Pacific Ocean.
Why you might like it: the delightful Annie, the evocative writing, the inspiring story, and the well-researched look at 1950s America.
Read this next: Ben Montgomery's Grandma Gatewood's Walk for another book about an older woman in the 1950s making her own way; Buck Rinker's The Oregon Trail if you like history and westward travel.
Madhouse at the End of the Earth: The Belgica's Journey Into the Dark Antarctic Night by Julian SanctonWhat it's about: The 1897-1899 Belgian Antarctic Expedition aboard the Belgica, where the multi-national crew became the first group to overwinter in the Antarctic Circle after the ship became stuck in the ice.
Why you might like it: Engaging, richly detailed, and full of fascinating history and people (including a young Roald Amundsen), the book is informed by diaries, journals, the ship’s logbook, and other documents.
For fans of: historical Antarctic adventure books, such as Hamptom Sides' In the Kingdom of Ice and Alfred Lansing's Endurance
Hitting the Books -- and the Road!
Hiking with Nietzsche: On Becoming Who You Are by John KaagWhat it is: an accessible introduction to philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche and a meditative travel memoir.
What happened: Both at age 19 and then 17 years later with his young family in tow, author and professor John Kaag hiked around the Swiss Alpine town where Nietzsche had lived and worked for years.
Want a taste? "I often tell my students that philosophy saved my life. And it's true. But on the first trip to Sils-Maria -- on my way to Piz Corvatsch -- it nearly killed me."
Overground Railroad: The Green Book and the Roots of Black Travel in America by Candacy TaylorWhat happened: When Candacy Taylor learned about the Green Book -- a guide for Black travelers published from the 1930s-1960s that listed safe places to eat and stay -- she wanted to know more, driving nearly 40,000 miles across the modern U.S. to see what had changed.
Don't miss: both old and new photographs; vintage advertisements.
Read this next: Gretchen Sorin's Driving While Black, which also explores the history of African Americans and road trips but without the travelogue aspect.
Mud and Stars: Travels in Russia With Pushkin, Tolstoy, and Other Geniuses of the Golden Age by Sara WheelerWhat it is: an informative, lighthearted, and personal look at both contemporary Russia and some of the country's most famous writers.
What happened: Veteran British travel writer Sara Wheeler spent two years traveling in Russia, skipping hotels for homestays to better learn the language and cooking traditions, and focusing on the country's Golden Age writers, like Pushkin, Tolstoy, Chekhov, and Dostoyevsky.
Read this next: Ian Frazier's Travels in Siberia, Elif Batuman's The Possessed, or Rachel Polonsky Molotov's Magic Lantern.
The Dog Went Over the Mountain: Travels with Albie: An American Journey by Peter ZheutlinWhat it's about: Inspired by John Steinbeck's Travels with Charley, 64-year-old journalist Peter Zheutlin and his beloved aging rescue dog Albie took a 9,200-mile road trip across the U.S. in a BMW convertible.
Don't miss: the musical references and visits to significant musical locations, including Winslow, Arizona and Woody Guthrie's Oklahoma hometown.
Read this next: Rob Kugler's A Dog Named Beautiful or Philip Caputo's The Longest Road.
Contact your librarian for more great books!