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Adventure Books to Read in August

No matter what kind of literature you’re into, nothing beats reading a good adventure story. Whether the tale is of a traveler upon the high seas or a man looking for fortune and love on a remote island, if the story is well crafted and well written, it will make for the perfect escape on a hot summer afternoon.

This list of some of the best fiction adventure books is a mix of new and old. So, let yourself be taken away to a time and place full of adventure, only to return to a cool evening in your own home.


All The Pretty Horses by Cormac McCarthy

What adventure is better than that of a 16-year-old looking for the place he has dreamed of being forever? This is exactly what All The Pretty Horses by Southern Gothic master Cormac McCarthy is about. The coming-of-age story follows a teenage boy as he rides across the Southern states, looking to get away from modernity and return to a time when horseback riding and survival were all there was. Through his travels, the boy ends up finding love, thieves and troubles—and learning a number of important lessons along the way.

This is a beautiful book that will capture the heart of any adventurer. It takes the reader back to a time of youth when both people and horses were unbridled and free.



How Kentucky Became Southern

More of a documentary tale, How Kentucky Became Southern has all the elements of a good adventure. It involves the aftermath of the Civil War and the decision of a number of people to move all the way to Kentucky to get away from the law. Kentucky might be on the verge between North and South, with a constant changing of identity, but it is also one of the states that became a haven for many of the outlaws coming from around the country.

The result is that Kentucky quickly became a welcoming place for all looking for shelter—and trouble. The state was known as a place to booze, party and gamble in ways that not a single casino around the world is able to offer today, no matter whether we are talking about Vegas or the best online Blackjack Australia gaming. How Kentucky Became Southern is recommended for historians and adventurers alike.



The Awakening by Kate Chopin

Women can have adventures too, especially in the South. The Awakening is the story of Edna Pontellier, who goes to the Louisiana shore on vacation and finds that she’s driven by certain feminist ideals she hadn’t been able to discover within the rigid constructs of Southern society. The book explores sexuality, adventure, motherhood and the constraints women in the South experienced at the end of the 19th century.

After its publishing in 1899, The Awakening was highly censored by a number of institutions because of its portrayal of female sexuality. The book is incredibly significant to Southern literature and is also an exceptional tale that inspires a spirit of independence and individuality.



The Moor’s Account by Laila Lalami

This story follows a slave by the name of Mustafa al-Zamori taken by his master around the world. They go all the way across the Atlantic into what today would be Tampa Bay, journeying north and west, then South, exploring a large chunk of modern-day North America during the 15th century.

A tale of uninhibited adventure, this book calls to mind Treasure Island and Smoke Bellew. The Moor’s Account combines travel, hardship, adventure and companionship, reminding the reader what it was like to be young.



The Gay Place by Billy Lee Brammer

This is not your average adventure book. The Gay Place is about the insides of the political world of the South. It tells three connected stories about a fictional Texas governor, with each concerning the “political carnival” that is the state legislature, Senate and governor’s office.

This book is incredibly important, simply because of the way it portrays the happenings of U.S. politics and captures the general mood so well. After all, the author served on Lydon’s Johnson’s staff and is no stranger to politics.

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