Best Reads of 2014 – From Blogs to Books


best reads of 2014Best Reads of 2014 – From Blogs to Books

It’s no surprise to those who read my blog that I love reading, whether its animal related books to biographies or travelogues to history books, I love to devour books.  This year I found myself reading more blog posts than ever and shied away from my average 25 to 30 books a year (only slightly ;).  As I delve more and more into the blogging scene and learn of more and more amazing travel bloggers I find there is endless great reading material.  And I’ve realized there is one underlying factor in all of my best reads and that is inspiration.  Whether it was inspiration to simply work on my writing or to get out and live life to its fullest, inspiration can be found in all of my best reads of 2014.

Best Reads – Blogs

This is bravery by Nadine from Begin with a Single Step

Begin with a Single Step began as a blog about Nadine’s journey to prepare and then walk The Camino de Santiago and has now morphed into one woman’s tale to life live after The Camino.  Like all so many of her posts, This is bravery is an inspiring blog post to us all that bravery is not a super human trait, and to be brave you can also be fearful – all you need is courage.  I must admit Begin with a Single Step was my all time favourite blog of the year! As someone who has longed to walk The Camino for years I was immediately drawn to her blog and then fell in love with her beautiful, poetic writing style and her inspiring strength.

Roses and the Pantheon by Ashley & Alex from In Pursuit of Adventure

In Pursuit of Adventure is an entertaining and witty blog about the adventures of a couple with a passion for travel and living out loud. I fell in love with Roses and the Pantheon, this hauntingly beautiful post full of stunning photos about their visit to Rome’s Pantheon (my favourite building in Rome) on Pentecost, when every year they throw thousands of roses through the dome. What a wonderful sight!

Tattoos & Travel by Cristina from Chronicles of a Travel Addict

Chronicles of a Travel Addict is a blog about one brilliant woman’s addiction to travel and finding adventure.  Just one of many great pieces written by Cristina in her brilliant writing style that draws you in, hooks you and leaves you wanting more.  Tattoos & Travel is her story of the adventurous tales that go along with each tattoo she got on her travels.  If there is one thing this piece left me with it’s that we all have a story to tell.

10 Reasons to choose Experiences over Possessions by Tamara from The Jet Setting Brunette

The Jet Setting Brunette is a blog about one woman’s passion for travel and all that comes with it.  I must admit I used to LOVE shopping for clothes, accessories and more – I still like to look but am reminded – do I really need this stuff? – no!  I really made the switch this year and chose to spend my money of creating experiences – like my travels – instead of wasting it on possessions.  10 Reasons to choose Experiences over Possessions is a great inspiration to get out there and live instead of wasting time, money and life on STUFF!

Best Reads – Books

The Art of PilgrimageThe Art of Pilgrimage by Phil Cousineau

The Art of Pilgrimage is about the simple art of travel, whether your journey takes you on a long adventure through foreign countries, a religious site or to a famous grave stone, no matter your destination the truth is the journey is just as much inward as worldly. Phil Cousineau introduces you to other travellers who have set out on pilgrimage and weaves their stories with his poetic and quote littered narrative to guide you through some steps to help make your travels sacred. I ended up falling in love with this book! I felt like it was destiny that I had stumbled upon it and needed to read it, especially for my upcoming solo adventure next spring.

Love with a Chance of Drowning by Torre DeRoche

I must admit I’m not one for love stories but Love with a Chance of Drowning is so much more than a love story, it’s about the journey to discover who you really are and facing your fears.  Love with a Chance of Drowning is Torre’s memoir of the unexpected year she got swept off her feet by love and joined him on his sailboat to sail the Pacific.  Its an intoxicating read about love, fear and the magic that travel does to the soul.  You can’t help but be swept away on the strong tides of Torre’s pure, poetic, witty and richly smooth writing style as well as intrigued by the island gems they discover.

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

A Walk in the Woods is Bryson’s account of his adventure in hiking Eastern USA’s Appalachian Trail. I love Bryson’s strong sense of humor in spite what life throws at him and I was blown away by his passion and determination to hike the Appalachian Trail which is no easy feat – especially for someone with no real experience.  But his lack of experience and company doesn’t slow him down or stop him, it’s his pure desire to experience life and stubborn determination of accomplishing his goal no matter how, that gets him from the beginning trail head to the end.

An Idiot Abroad by Karl Pilkington

If you’ve seen the series and loved it then you’ll love the books! I don’t think I’ve ever laughed out loud so much from reading a book in all my life.  The first books is An Idiot Abroad: The Travel Diaries of Karl Pilkington and the second is The Further Adventures of An Idiot Abroad and both are like diaries by Karl running parallel with the series, season one and two. As he travels around the world being put in some interesting and awkward situations Karl has a no holds bar approach to what spills from his mouth.  His non-filtered way of expressing his dislikes is gut pounding hilarious.

What was the best thing you read this year?


I'm a Canadian gal with a passion for wildlife, the great outdoors and travel and hope to inspire others to feel the same way! Travelling mostly solo I love to explore Ontario Gems in my own backyard as well as exotic cities around the world.

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6 Responses

  1. Hannah says:

    I’m a book nerd so thanks for the recommendations 🙂

  2. Nadine says:

    I’m not sure how to thank you for the kind words you wrote about my blog- seriously, I’m at a loss for words. Reading your post came at a perfect time: when I was struggling with some personal stuff and doubting, a bit, the progress I’d made over the last year. Reading this brought tears to my eyes and renewed my spirit; thank you so much. I am so grateful to everyone who reads my blog, but this is something else… it’s a large, large reason as to why I write. Thanks again, and a very Happy New Year to you!

    • I’m amazed and inspired by you and your writing and am thankful that I could give back to you in however small way it is. I wish you the best in 2015 and look forward to following your journey!

  3. Hi Stephanie!

    Cool list of blogs and books here. I may need to bookmark this to dive into some winning blogs.

    Thanks for the share and keep on inspiring!


    • ladyofthezoos says:

      Thanks Ryan! Glad you enjoyed the list. There are some great blogs out there and these are a great place to start!

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