In Bowles’s strange, frightening, and at times almost hallucinatory novel, an American couple, Port and Kit, and their friend Tunner, travel in the aftermath of the second world war to the harsh emptiness of the north African desert.
Train Dreams by Denis Johnson
A short novel of extraordinary power, Train Dreams tells the story of Grainier’s long life in the midst of a violent, changing, haunted landscape of the 1900s.
A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
At once philosophical and immensely readable, these essays on the importance of getting lost are among Solnit’s best.
The Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge
Bainbridge brings them heartbreakingly to life in the cruel Antarctic wilderness.
South: The Endurance Expedition by Ernest Shackleton
The Book of Strange New Things by Michel Faber
Both a page-turning story and a meditation on love and mortality, suffering and loss, morality and faith.
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby
“Rarely in my life had I felt such an ecstatic feeling of happiness …”
Wuthering Heights by Emily Brontë
Quarantine by Jim Crace
Crace’s masterful novel takes us into the parched and hostile landscape of the Judean desert, where we meet Christ himself – naked and fasting – and a small band of other “quarantiners”, all with their different reasons for being there.
Walden by Henry David Thoreau