Books, Reading, Top Ten Tuesday
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10 books to read if you’re in the mood for ADVENTURE

Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This Top Ten Tuesday from The Broke and the Bookish is to come up with a list of books to recommend if you’re in the mood for [insert whatever you’re in the mood for here]. I thought I’d go with adventure for this one, as I’m not really the outdoorsy type, but I do like to read about the adventures of other people – they make me want to go out and do things and see the world (I think about it, A LOT).

So here are ten books you should read if you’re in the mood for some adventure. And for a change from my usual Top Ten posts, I’ve actually ranked this one!

10. Robinson Crusoe by Daniel Defoe

No list of adventure books would be complete this classic. Real talk for a second – it’s a bit tough to get through at times, but the historical significance of it makes it well worth the read. Aside from that, it’s packed full of adventure and the content, particularly how Crusoe manages to survive alone on an island for so long, is amazing considering it was written in the early 1700s. [Goodreads]

RiversOfLondon09. Rivers of London by Ben Aaronovitch

This is the first book in the ‘P.C. Grant’ series which I’ve seen floating around on loads of blogs recently. This one isn’t necessarily super adventurous – but if you love London like me, then you’ll love this story (and series) that wends in, around, and under London. Peter Grant is an apprentice wizard, so this series is kind of like if Harry Potter was older and in the ‘muggle’ police force. It’s pretty great. I actually learnt a bunch of really cool stuff while reading these, so they’re a bit educational as well. [Goodreads]

08. True Grit by Charles Portis

If you want a gun slinging western then you can’t go past this one. It’s such a great book that it’s had two film adaptations – one in the ’60s starring John Wayne as Rooster Cogburn, and one in 2010 with Jeff Bridges taking on the role of Cogburn. It follows a 14 year old girl as she journeys across the wilds of America in the 1870s to hunt down her father’s murderer, with the help of Marshal Rooster Cogburn. [Goodreads]

TheNorthWater Cover07. The North Water by Ian McGuire

This one isn’t really a “nice” book, but it’s got loads of adventure. From the freezing waters of the North Sea, to the heat of India, and in between the fog of the English docks – this one takes you everywhere. It’s dark and gritty and has one of the best murderers I’ve read in a long time. There’s a lot of swearing and some pretty horrible things happen, so this probably isn’t the best book to read if you want a sunny sort of adventure. [My Review] [Goodreads]

06. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared by Jonas Jonasson

This one is SO MUCH FUN! Not only is it about the adventure of an elderly man after he goes on the run from a nursing home, but it’s also an adventure through his past as he recounts his life and all the big events he had a hand in. Apparently he was a very influential man. [Goodreads]

1000HourDay05. The 1000 Hour Day by Chris Bray

SO MUCH ADVENTURE HERE. This is essentially the journal of Chris Bray from when he and his friend, Clark Carter, trekked unassisted from the most eastern point of Victoria Island (in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago), to its most westerly point. There are wolves, polar bears, completely terrible weather, and two young men (Chris was 20 and Clark was 19 when they first started planning the trip) determined to reach their goal. [My Review] [Goodreads]

04. Seven Years in Tibet by Heinrich Harrer

Some people might be familiar with the film adaptation of this starring Brad Pitt, but reading this journey in Heinrich Harrer’s own words is really beautiful. Set between 1944 and 1951, it chronicles the escape of Austrian mountaineer Harrer and his friend, Peter Aufschnaiter, from a British POW camp in India during WWII; their journey into Tibet and its capital, Lhasa; and what life was like in Tibet at that time. My favourite thing about this book is seeing the friendship grow between Harrer and the young Dalai Lama – it’s a friendship that lasted until Harrer’s death in 2006. [Goodreads]

Mawson03. Mawson and the Ice Men of the Heroic Age: Scott, Shackleton and Amundsen by Peter FitzSimons

I have so much love for this book. This is the one that kicked off my love for all things Antarctica and has me wanting to read anything about the Antarctic explorers of the early 1900s. The main focus is Sir Douglas Mawson, a geologist by trade who ended up being one of Australia’s greatest explorers and contributors to scientific research. But along with Mawson, Peter FitzSimons also brings to life the journeys of the three major Antarctic explorers – Robert Falcon Scott, Roald Amundsen, and Sir Ernest Shackleton. There’s danger, death, loads of ice, and some incredibly brave men in this book; and FitzSimons’ writing is just the best. [My Review] [Goodreads]

02. South: The Endurance Expedition by Sir Ernest Shackleton

This is the incredible story of the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition (1914-1917) headed by Sir Ernest Shackleton. It’s an adventure that also happens to be one of the greatest stories of survival in the history of exploration. It includes a shipwreck which led to the ship’s crew trapped on drifting ice for months; then Shackleton and five of his comrades undertaking an 800 mile open boat journey across the Southern Ocean, culminating in a trek across the unexplored, mountainous interior of South Georgia with all the wrong equipment. Only Shackleton could have pulled off such miraculous feats, and as the saying goes, “…when disaster strikes and all hope is gone, get down on your knees and pray for Shackleton”. [Goodreads]

TheLastCavalier01. Just about anything by Alexandre Dumas

If you want some proper swashbuckling adventure, you can’t go wrong with Alexandre Dumas. The Count of Monte Cristo is long but incredible and has some excellent revenge. OR you could go for The Three Musketeers or its sequel 20 Years After, which was then followed by The Man in the Iron Mask. All three of these have sword-fighting, romance, travel, betrayal and whatever else you can think of. If you want something a little less well known, you could go for his final novel, The Last Cavalier, but a word of warning with this one – Dumas died before the tale was finished, so the final chapters were written by a Dumas scholar. [Goodreads]

Do you have any favourite books that make you want to go adventuring?


  1. I’ve only read Robinson Crusoe. Well, here’s 9+ new books to add to by to-read list! Thanks!

    “The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” is one that I believe I’ve heard of. Someone described it as “a Swedish Forest Gump”.

    In any case, I really like that you put a nice, concise description of the book as well as what you liked about it. The feeling definitely comes across through the screen.


    • I’ve never thought of The Hundred-Year-Old-Man as a Swedish Forrest Gump, but it completely is. Basically every flashback in the story is a Watergate-type scenario. It’s great.
      I got approved for his new book on NetGalley this week which I’m really excited about – it’s called ‘Hitman Anders and the Meaning of It All’. I like that the main character is a hitman.

      And thanks for your kind words about my descriptions/thoughts. I get VERY enthusiastic about some books, and all of these are definitely some that I’m super enthusiastic about.


    • I haven’t read either of those – I just googled them both and they sound like exactly the sort of thing I’d love. I’ll definitely be adding them to my TBR. Thanks for the recs!


  2. The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is definitely getting added to my TBR list so thanks for the recommendation! Great list all around.


  3. I just added Mawson and the Ice Men to my list! Never heard of it, and I also love all the ice-cap exploration stories.


    • This one’s great as it kind of covers all the major Antarctic exploration moments, and then you can go off and read about them all separately and in depth. Peter FitzSimons is one of my favourite Aussie writers – he has such an amazing narrative voice. I hope you enjoy it!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s things like this that make me very grateful to have Goodreads to keep track of things – I’d never be able to remember anything otherwise!


  4. The North Water has such a gorgeous cover! And I love that one of the books on the list is about an elderly man on the run from a nursing home lol. It’s not what first comes to mind when I think “adventure” but it sounds like it definitely qualifies, and it does seem fun. This is a fun idea for a topic this week 🙂


    • Thanks!

      The cover of The North Water is definitely A LOT nicer than what it contains.
      And The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared is loads of fun – you should definitely give it a read if you get the chance.


    • I’m so glad! The P.C. Grant series is one of my absolute favourites – once you read Rivers of London you’ll definitely want to read the rest of the books.


  5. I’ve not read a single Dumas novel (or really any classic lit), but do love the BBC productions or “The Count of Monte Cristo” film with his name. So good!


    • He’s a brilliant writer. A bit of an acquired taste for some, but you can’t go wrong with him if you want some swashbuckling revenge!

      Liked by 1 person

    • It’s amazing! The whole series is excellent. I read ‘Rivers of London’ and then went and bought the rest of them as soon as I’d finished it. They’re very easy to binge on.


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