The staff at Matador Network is not only made of great travelers, it’s also composed of serious readers who know that literature is the second-best way to escape our daily reality and to learn about culture, history, science, animals, the wonders of our world, etc. From dark fairy tales to travelogues and self-help works, here are the books that the team at Matador Network is planning on reading in 2018.

1. From Excuses to Excursions: How I Started Traveling the World by Gloria Atanmo

Une publication partagée par B (@barecca82) le

Gloria Atanmo is a super inspiring travel blogger who also happens to be a woman of color. As someone who fits into that category as well, I am intrigued with how she attained a lifestyle that is location-independent. She’s always on point with her social media presence and how she writes about her travels, so I’m sure this book is just as beautifully written as her Facebook posts. It’s important to have representation in this industry, so I’m excited to support her in her pursuits and check out her first book. –Sam O’brochta

2. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

I went to grad school to study human rights, and one of the big topics in any human rights course is genocide. We talked about the Holocaust, about Rwanda, about Armenia, and about the Balkans, but I didn’t notice until recently that we never once talked about the genocide that my own country was, in many ways, founded upon: the systematic destruction of the American Indian. When we, the white Americans, talked about our Manifest Destiny and building our country so that it spanned coast-to-coast, we ignored an inconvenient truth: there were already millions of people and hundreds of nations living on that land. Now, in 2017, wherever there’s a big political fight over the environment — Standing Rock, Bears Ears, etc. — it seems to be American Indians that are leading the charge. I think I maybe owe it to them, my country, and myself to learn a bit more about their history. –Matt Hershberger

3. Lost on Planet China by J. Maarten Troost

I discovered Troost this year while traveling through Asia and binge-read three of his books. He brings a humble humor to travel writing and to his own circumstance that more writers should strive for. His work is simultaneously educational, narrative-driven, and hilarious. –Tim Wenger

4. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Yuval Noah Harari

Because reading it once wasn’t enough! Full of fascinating ideas about our history as a species, this book traces the evolution of what makes us human: focusing on language, technology, art, and other cultural ideas that shaped humanity. –Ryan Dury

5. Superintelligence by Nick Bostrom

Superintelligence asks the questions: What happens when machines surpass humans in general intelligence? Will artificial agents save or destroy us? Nick Bostrom lays the foundation for understanding the future of humanity and intelligent life. –Dayana Aleksandrova

6. Boy, Snow, Bird by Helen Oyeyemi

Boy, Snow, Bird is a loose retelling of Snow White (one of my fave childhood Disney Princesses — because she was friends with all the animals). The author, Helen Oyeyemi, meshes real-world conflicts and the darker themes from a fairy tale. Boy, Snow, Bird is based in 1950s New England and hits on race issues and blended family dynamics/identity. Not a light read, but a book that will suck you right in. –Jessica Berdeau

7. John Muir’s Book of Animals by John Muir

I love the writings of this naturalist and environmental philosopher. He brings a vividness to his experiences in nature that are very relatable, but often very hard to put into words. –Ryan Dury

8. The River of Consciousness by Oliver Sacks

Oliver Sacks has been called the “poet laureate of medicine” by the New York Times, and for good reason. He explains his deep, often medical understanding of complex scientific topics by using beautiful prose, making complicated ideas accessible to anyone with an interest. A collection of posthumously-published essays, Sacks delves into creativity, memory, psychiatry and more. –Stephanie Edri

9. Goodbye, Things: The New Japanese Minimalism by Fumio Sasaki

I want to get a better sense of what things are essential to my lifestyle and phase out excess. Less material things and more experiences for 2018! –Ridan Arellano

10. #woke by Damon and Jo

It’s been epically fun (and not at all surprising) to witness Damon and Jo blow up on YouTube. This year they wrote their first ebook called #woke. In their own words: “We wrote this ebook for anyone and everyone who needs a life detox, wake up call, or push in the right direction.” Damon and Jo represent total fearlessness in travel and a beautiful ethos of embracing and sharing what they learn about other languages, customs, and ideas wherever they go and wherever they’re at in their lives. –David Miller

11. My Journey to Lhasa: The Classic Story of the Only Western Woman Who Succeeded in Entering the Forbidden City by Alexandra David-Néel

Alexandra David-Néel was a badass female solo traveler before it was trending on Instagram. She traveled extensively across Asia, but in this book, she focuses on her 1923 journey from Japan to Tibet by mule, yak, horse, and foot at the age of 55. It is said that her writing inspired Beat writer Jack Kerouac, so I have no doubt that my reading of the account of her most famous journey will inspire me to be a more determined, fearless traveler in 2018. –Morgane Croissant