Condé Nast Traveler names 86 best travel books of all time

Just in time for Christmas, Condé Nast Traveler has released a very detailed list of the 86 Greatest Travel Books of All Time. (Actually, the list came out in the September issue, but now is a far more appropriate time to be looking for gifts, don’t you think?)

So how does one pick the very best travel books of all time?

By relying on a panel of experts, naturally. Condé Nast Traveler asked 45 of the magazine’s “favorite authors for their favorite nonfiction travel titles–the ones that changed the way they considered a certain culture or place or people, that inspired them both to write and to get out into the world themselves.”

The result is a rather exhaustive list that has been sorted alphabetically, leaving no room for the “very best travel book of all time.” The list does, however, mention which author has recommended a book and provides a few lines about the reason why.

The following is just a small smattering of what to expect:

Arabian Sands by Wilfred Thesiger (nominated by Paul Theroux)
Great Plains by Ian Frazier (nominated by John McPhee)
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin (nominated by Adrienne Miller)
The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz (nominated by Sebastian Junger)
Siren Land by Norman Douglas (nominated by Gore Vidal)
A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor (nominated by Colin Thubron)