Travel Channel Star Andrew Zimmern Reveals 13 Of His Favorite Books

Jennifer Polland

We asked Zimmern to share some of his favorite books with us. He sent us his recommendations, but asked us to include this note:

"Asking someone to name their 10 favorite books is simply not fair," Zimmern wrote to us in an email.

"Books, like music or sunsets are too numerous to choose only 10 from. So I chose 13. Plus, it is simply too tempting for quasi-celebs to create artificially erudite lists that make us sound way more worldly than we really are. I chose this list based on what came to mind sitting on a plane, headed nowhere, in the middle of a weather crisis, wishing I had a different life and thinking of some great travel books. And I had to include some others but they all evoke a place to me.I can also tell you I love reading everything by the prolific Daniel Silva, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Len Deighton, Pat Conroy, Truman Capote, Ken Follet and William Boyd. Their books stack next to my bed like empty wine bottles that you're afraid to move."

Here are Zimmern's recommendations: 

  1. Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail, H S Thompson: The best book about politics and its intersection with culture that’s been written in the last 50 years.
  2. Naples '44, Norman LewisItalian city, close of the war, a world gone mad.
  3. The Road to Oxiana, Robert Byron: The greatest Middle East travelogue of all time. Searingly beautiful.
  4. Winnie the Pooh, A A Milne: I cried every night reading this to my son on the first, second and third readings. A timeless treatise on friendship and need.
  5. South Seas Tales, Somerset MaughamMy favorite writer's best collection, and always brings me right back to the sensual heat of the Pacific.
  6. Food, The History of Taste, Paul FreedmanBest single volume of food history I've ever read. Superb perspective for all lovers of food and travel.
  7. Venice, Jan Morris: One of  the world’s most enigmatic cities explained in such beautiful words. A must for any lover of travel.
  8. Sun Also Rises, Hemingway: Bullfights. Pamplona. Papa at his best.
  9. Ragtime, E.L. DoctrowAn era of NYC history so perfectly wrought and a finely crafted tale blending reality and fantasy.
  10. Our Man in Havana, Graham Greene: The Pre-Castro era in Cuba. All laid out in a gaudy mess that I come back to again and again.
  11. Worlds End, TC BoyleGenerational madness, funny and for me still Boyle's best book.
  12. The Godfather, Mario Puzo: The best family saga of all time. Loyalty and honor. Boom.
  13. The World According to Garp, John IrvingTS Garp, his life and times. A hilarious and sorrowfully important American pastiche about intolerance, growing up, parenting and sex.

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SEE ALSO: Anthony Bourdain Reveals His 10 Favorite Books

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