It’s been a while since I last updated you on all the books that have been transporting me to faraway places. I guess I have been too busy travelling. But getting me through all those long haul flights have been a number of good travel stories. From the Australian Outback to Thai beaches and Greek wars, here’s how my reading list has been keeping me warm this winter.
The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin
I became obsessed with tracking down this book after my trip to the Northern Territory in May. Bruce tells it exactly how it is; from the landscape to the people, the culture and the smells he brings the Northern Territory to life in vivid, fascinating and humorous prose. Bruce attempts to unravel centuries of Aboriginal history and beliefs in a sensitive and often moving manner.
The Girls of Riyadh by Rajaa Alsanea
This novel appealed to the blogger in me. The story of 4 young women growing up in Muslim Riyadh is relayed through a series of weekly anonymous emails. We learn about the challenges and comprises the women have to make as they progress through careers and relationships in strict Muslim conditions. Each of the women’s stories are insightful, compelling and ultimately without a happy ending. Maybe that’s what life is like the world over?
The blogging author introduces her own content each week and as the readership of the emails grows she has to begin responding to their concerns, and also their calls for the author to reveal which of the four women she is. As a blogger I was fascinated by this aspect of the author/reader relationship, as well as the central story of the 4 women.
Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
I have never been to Japan so decided to travel there via this infamous novel set in Tokyo. I did not anticipate how deeply I would be swept into this miserable love story about sanity and suicide. Tokyo in the 60’s becomes just a beguiling backdrop to the story of a lost student. An epic book that I would recommend approaching with caution.
Catch the Sun by Tony Parsons
Thailand fans look away now – this novel will dispel any illusions you may have about setting up home in ‘Paradise’. A British family move to Thailand to escape trouble back home and end up embroiled in the islands criminal underworld. Then their new home gets hit by a tsunami. Bad luck or poignantly realistic? You decide.
The Thread by Victoria Hislop
I thought nothing could be as good as her first novel, The Island, and then she released The Thread. I love Greece, I love epic historical novels with romance and war set in Greece, I love Victoria Hislop. I shared this novel with every member of my family and they said the same thing.
I’ve teamed up with Stanfords Travel who own my favourite book store in the world. They pay me a small fee for any purchases you make from their site if you click the links in this post but I wouldn’t tell you to read a book unless I loved it. For those of you that also love travel and reading I have an exciting project coming up with Stanfords in the new year. Watch this space for further details.