When my husband Will hands me a book and says “you need to read this,” I make every effort to prioritize it—not only because he’s recommended some of my all time favorite books, but also because a shared reading experience paves the way for great discussions over morning coffee.
Last spring, he persuaded me to read Chasing the Thrill by David Barbarisi. Having followed the Forest Fenn treasure hunt in Outdoor Magazine for months, Will couldn’t wait to read the full story from beginning to end—but I wasn’t sure this book was for me.
Readers, once again, Will’s recommendation did not disappoint. Chasing the Thrill earned a spot in the 2021 Summer Reading Guide and on last week’s episode of One Great Book because I could not put it down.
This unexpected favorite got me thinking about what to read next when my appetite for adventure and intrigue strikes again. Inspired by Will’s narrative nonfiction recommendations, I gathered a list of books brimming with real accounts of world travels, dangerous expeditions, and outdoor adventures.
Because these well-researched works read like novels, you’ll be completely swept away by stories of lost cities in the Amazon rainforest, alligator hunting, or surfing down the coast of California.
I hope you find an unputdownable tale of adventure that’s just right for you—or your favorite nonfiction reader—on today’s list.
12 nonfiction books filled with treasure hunts and epic travels
Have you read any adventure-filled nonfiction books this summer? We’d love to hear about them in the comments.