Summer is finally here even though for those of us that live in the South, it may seem that it arrived months ago. At our house, summer is about planning new adventures, daydreaming about magical destinations and a good reading list for inspiration. This month, we put together a list of our favorite books about travel and adventure to share with you.

Into the Wild– Jon Krakauer

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to give up your identity, give away all your money and live on the fringes of society? Christopher McCandless sought a different kind of life, far from ivory towers and corporate day jobs he was groomed for. He set out across the country with no money or identification and hitchhiked his way to the Alaskan wilderness. It is a story of exuberant idealism, finding friendship in unlikely places, sorrow and the quest for the meaning of life.

Running the Amazon – Joe Kane

A group of intrepid adventurers and documentarians set out to find the source of the Amazon River and paddle it from the Andes mountains of Peru to its confluence with the Atlantic Ocean. Along the way they encounter guerrilla fighters, mosquitos that make you itch just reading about them, deadly snakes and panic-inducing slot canyons. It’s an amazing story of perseverance, questionable judgement and overcoming incredible odds.

Tough Trip Through Paradise – Andrew Garcia

This autobiography was based on the manuscripts that Andrew Garcia had written about his experiences in the Yellowstone backcountry from 1878-1879. Garcia had come to Montana with the U.S. Army, but eventually left the service and began a business trading furs. He met and married a Nez Perce woman and shares her first-hand account of the Nez Perce War. It’s a story of love, adventure, Native American culture and the challenges of a life in the wilderness.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy – Douglas Adams

Sure the world as you know it has just come to an end, but not to worry, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy will help you adjust as you hurtle through space. Follow the misadventures of Arthur Dent as he comes to terms with the startling realization that we are not alone in the universe. Witty satire at it’s best. This is an absolute must read. Remember to keep your towel handy and whatever you do, don’t panic.

Buried in the Sky – Peter Zuckerman & Amanda Padoan

The typical Himalayan adventure story revolves around the dramatic tales of wealthy tourists who attempt their first ascents Everest or K2. This book is a welcome breath of fresh air, telling the story of the people who makes these ascents possible, the Sherpa. Perhaps the most skilled mountaineers on the earth, this book tells the harrowing tale of the deadliest day on K2 from the perspective of the people who have been raised at the foot of these behemoth mountains and educates the reader about the life and history of Sherpa culture.