22 Must-Read Adventure Books

Embarking on a thrilling journey through the pages of a book can be just as exhilarating as setting out on a real-life adventure. Whether you’re a fan of classic tales that have stood the test of time or crave the excitement of more contemporary narratives, our list of the best adventure books has something for every adrenaline-seeking spirit.

Find a captivating collection of adventure fiction, non-fiction, and more, ranging from timeless adventure classics to the latest releases that will sweep you off your feet and transport you to uncharted lands. 
Gear up and prepare for an unforgettable expedition with these captivating must-read books.

1 | The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

In the adventurous science fiction novel The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, join Arthur Dent, an unwitting Earthling, on a cosmic adventure guided by a hilariously eccentric handbook, where the answer to life, the universe, and everything is far from what you’d expect.

2 | Six of Crows

A gang of misfit criminals embarks on a daring heist in a gritty, magical world where their pasts come back to haunt them at every turn in Six of Crows.

3 | Into the Wild

Follow Christopher McCandless as he leaves his conventional life behind to journey into the Alaskan wilderness in the mystery Into the Wild. However, not long after, he was dead. This non-fiction adventure novel explores McCandless’s short life and his reasons for vanishing into the wild.

Woman sitting in hammock reading with a scenic view in the background.

4 | Beyond Impossible

Beyond Impossible is the awe-inspiring true story of ultramarathon runner and mother Mimi Anderson, who pushes the boundaries of human endurance in her quest to conquer the world’s toughest races. With one success leading to another, she continues to push herself, building up to the biggest challenge yet.

5 | Around the World in Eighty Days

In Around the World in Eighty Days, join Phileas Fogg and his eccentric valet on a whirlwind adventure as they attempt to circumnavigate the globe in just 80 days to win a high-stakes wager.

6 | Dune

One of the most popular science fiction adventure novels and movie adaptations of all time, Dune is a universe where noble houses, political intrigue, and the desert planet of Arrakis converge in a sweeping tale of power and prophecy.

7 | Life of Pi

Experience the extraordinary journey of Pie Patel, who survives a shipwreck and spends 227 days adrift in the ocean, sharing his lifeboat with a tiger in Life of Pi.

8 | The Martian

In The Martian, an astronaut must use his wits and resourcefulness to survive alone on Mars after being left behind by his crew. This gripping tale of human determination showcases the power of science and problem-solving while serving as a thrilling testament to the spirit of exploration.

9 | 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

In 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Professor Aronnax and his companions are taken on a breathtaking undersea adventure by Captain Nemo aboard the Nautilus.

10 | Ready Player One

If action-packed fantasy books are more your speed, Wade Watts embarks on a high-stakes quest within a virtual reality world to find a hidden Easter egg that promises fame and fortune in the dystopian novel Ready Player One.

11 | The Count of Monte Cristo

Follow Edmond Dantès’ transformation from a wrongfully imprisoned sailor to a master of vengeance and disguise in the classic tale of betrayal and redemption, The Count of Monte Cristo.

12 | Alone on the Wall

If you prefer non-fiction adventure and travel books, Alone on the Wall journeys alongside free solo climber Alex Honnold as he defies gravity, conquering treacherous rock faces without ropes or safety equipment.

13 | Hatchet

Stranded in the Canadian wilderness after a plane crash, a young boy must rely on his resourcefulness and a hatchet for survival in Hatchet.

14 | The Odyssey

Join the epic hero Odysseus on his journey home, facing mythical creatures, gods, and the perils of the ancient Mediterranean in The Odyssey. This adventure book is a timeless literary masterpiece that continues to inspire readers with its enduring themes of perseverance and the human spirit.

15 | The Lord of the Rings

Enter the enchanting world of Middle-earth in these action books as Frodo and his companions undertake a perilous quest to destroy the One Ring and thwart the dark lord Sauron in The Lord of the Rings.

As they journey through breathtaking landscapes, face formidable foes, and forge unbreakable bonds, this epic saga captivates with its rich mythology and imparts timeless lessons of courage, friendship, and the battle between good and evil, making it a must-read for all adventure seekers.

Close-up of a hand pulling a copy of The Hobbit off the shelf.

16 | The Hunger Games

In the dystopian adventure novel The Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen volunteers as a tribute in the brutal Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death, to protect her sister and challenge the oppressive Capitol.

17 | Percy Jackson and the Olympians

In Percy Jackson and the Olympians, follow Percy, a demigod son of Poseidon, as he embarks on a quest to prevent a war among the Greek gods. This thrilling adventure dives into ancient Greek mythology and showcases the courage and resilience of a young hero, making it an engaging and educational read for all ages.

18 | The Three Musketeers

Join the legendary Musketeers in an adventure of sword fights, honor, and intrigue in 17th-century France. The Three Musketeers offers a thrilling narrative and provides a glimpse into an era of chivalry, making it engaging for those who crave action, camaraderie, and timeless tales or heroism.

19 | The Right Stuff

Dive into the daring world of the early American space program, following the courageous astronauts who risked everything to explore the cosmos in The Right Stuff.

20 | The Mark of Zorro

Witness the masked vigilante Zorro’s daring exploits as he defends justice in Spanish California with his wit, swordsmanship, and a signature “Z” carved with a rapier in The Mark of Zorro.

21 | Alebrijes

In Alebrijes, Leandro, a young pickpocket, takes the fall for his sister’s theft in the harsh city of Pocatel, only to find himself exiled and trapped within an ancient drone.

As he navigates a world of spirits and other mythical creatures, Leondro’s quest for survival leads to the discovery of a hidden oasis, mutant monsters, and the truth about the barren wasteland that is Earth.

22 | Thirst

Follow the gripping true story of ultrarunner Heather “Anish” Anderson as she tackles the Pacific Crest Trail, a grueling 2,600-mile odyssey of self-discovery and endurance in Thirst. This memoir demonstrates the writer’s courage and willingness to seek out life fulfillment.

Find Your Next Breathtaking Read

Whether you prefer adventure fiction that takes you to new heights or action-forward stories filled with adrenaline, there’s something for everyone on this list. Immerse yourself in a journey of epic proportions from the comfort of your own home with adventure novels from Alibris. 

We offer a wide selection of the best adventure books for adults, teens, and children from thousands of independent sellers. Shop new and used books at low prices and find your next read.

Comments are closed.