All time favourites:

Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit by Daniel Quinn. Changed the way I see humankind’s relationship with our planet, and why our current  path is unsustainable. Amazon.com Audible.com

The Celestine Prophecy: An Adventure by James Redfield. I read this at a very formative stage of my life, and it changed the way I make decisions. I now trust my instincts much more than my head, and keep the faith that everything is exactly as it is meant to be.  Amazon.com Audible.com

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values by Robert M Pirsiq. A classic – with good reason. I hesitate to say what I got from it, because it seems that everybody finds a different message in this book. Amazon.com Audible.com

Conversations with God: An Uncommon Dialogue (Book 1) by Neale Donald Walsch. Made me unafraid to step out of the ordinary, and dare to be extraordinary – as we all deserve to be!  Audible.com Amazon.com

The Alchemist: A Fable About Following Your Dream by Paulo Coelho. A beautifully written reminder that life is a spiritual quest, and all our experiences – good and bad – are a part of that quest. Audible.com Amazon.com

The Art of Effortless Living: Do Less, Let Go, and Discover Health, Emotional Well-Being, and Happiness by Ingrid Bacci. Rowing an ocean will never be effortless, but this book helps to ease the mental effort, if not the physical! Amazon.com

A Crack in the Edge of The World by Simon Winchester. Starts with the San Francisco earthquake, and goes on to explore the volatile Pacific Rim. I never knew geology could be so interesting. Amazon.com Audible.com

Dirk Gently’s Holistic Detective Agency Douglas Adams. Quirky, but thought-provoking. Amazon.com Audible.com

A Long Way Down by Nick Hornby. I love the Britishness of the setting and the characters in this book. Darkly humourous, and superbly read by the 4 main characters. Amazon.com Audible.com

A Memory of Running by Ron Maclarty. A life-enhancing story of a lost soul finding his way. Amazon.com

Mountains Beyond Mountains: The Quest of Dr. Paul Farmer, a Man Who Would Cure the World by Tracy Kidder. Incredibly inspiring story of a man with a mission. If you liked Three Cups of Tea, you’ll probably love this too. Amazon.com

Middlesex: A Novel by Jeffrey Eugenides. It takes a special kind of imagination to create so vividly the interior landscape of an unusual individual. Gripping. Amazon.com

Seabiscuit: The True Story of Three Men and a Racehorse by Laura Hillenbrand. I found myself rowing faster with the sheer adrenaline of the horse-racing scenes, so caught up was I in the action. Amazon.com Audible.com

The Company (TV tie-in) by Robert Littell. A huge book – great value for money. An epic tale of the CIA that spans many decades and touches on most of the important events in 20th century American history. Amazon.com

Fierce Invalids Home from Hot Climates by Tom Robbins. Seriously offbeat, incredibly entertaining, and frequently thought-provoking. I love Robbins’s flamboyant use of language. Amazon.com Audible.com

Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul by Tony Hendra. A touching story of a man’s relationship with his priest. Emotionally gripping. I cried. Amazon.com

The Perennial Philosophy by Aldous Huxley Amazon.com

The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight: The Fate of the World and What We Can Do Before It’s Too Late by Thom Hartmann, Neale Donald Walsch, and Joseph Chilton Pearce Amazon.com

A Game of Thrones (A Song of Ice and Fire, Book 1) by George R.R. Martin
I found myself completely caught up in this fantasy world, almost impatient to get back to the rowing seat so I could find out what happened next. Amazon.com

Nobody’s Fool by Richard Russo. I fell in love with the rogue-ish Sully. For 2 days I felt as if I was living in this small town in New York state, caring deeply about the characters in all their glorious ordinariness. Amazon.com

Chainfire, Terry Goodkind Trilogy, Part 1 (Sword of Truth, Book 9) Glamorous fantasy tale, where the good guys are charismatic and goodlooking, and the baddies are deliciously evil. Amazon.com

Hemingway Adventure, Michael Palin. All of Palin’s travel books, written and read by the former Python, are imbued with his wit and twinkling humor. This is my favorite. Amazon.com
Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks. An eccentric adventure – exactly as you’d expect from the title. Entertainingly told. Amazon.com

Vets Might Fly, James Herriot. I grew up with these gentle tales of a Yorkshire country vet’s practice in the 1930s. Nostalgic and elegiac. Amazon.com

Neverwhere, A Novel by Neil Gaiman. A fantastic tale of a hidden, underground London, after which you will never see the familiar names of the Underground stations in quite the same way. Amazon.com

Shantaram, A Novel By Gregory David Roberts. Great bang for the buck, an epic tale of a fugitive’s adventures in India. Although the main character is occasionally arrogant, his empathy for his Indian friends redeems him. Amazon.com

Siddhartha, Hermann Hesse. Soothing and enlightening. A gem of a book. Amazon.com

Oh, and there’s a book by a little-known British female ocean rower that I should also mention here:

Rowing the Atlantic: Lessons Learned on the Open Ocean (by Roz Savage) Amazon.com

More books on ocean rowing

Audiobooks for Pacific 1

Audiobooks for Pacific 2

Audiobooks for Pacific 3

Audiobooks for Indian Ocean