We’ve already spoiled you for choice with summer reading choices, but we’re generous when it comes to quality literature. A Labyrinth of Kingdoms: 10,000 Miles Through Islamic Africa ($20) by Steve Kemper catalogues the real-life epic of Heinrich Barth, a 19th century explorer who ranks among Stanley and Livingstone but is virtually unknown outside of his homeland, Germany.

In 1849 Barth departed on an ill-fated British expedition to explore and record Northern and Central Africa; at its completion after only five and a half years, he was the sole survivor. Barth’s observations still carry pertinence today as a European view on culture and religion of Africa, and his exploits are as adventurous as they come. Forgotten by history in favor of other explorers (“Doctor Livingstone, I presume?”), Barth’s journey and insights are an unearthed gem created into an irresistible read for history nuts and explorers alike.

Buy Now: $20