Travel Reading

I enjoy reading.  A lot.  I’m thankful for this, as there’s nothing quite like a good book to while away the hours waiting for various forms of transport at unreasonable hours of the day and night, or while eating alone in restaurants and cafes, or just when you find the perfect reading perch while out wandering around picturesque Adriatic islands…

While I’ve been travelling, I have particularly enjoyed reading stuff that’s related to the places I’ve visited.  Not so much in the form of the relevant Lonely Planet, but novels.  Just now I’m in Croatia for a couple of weeks, so I googled ‘novels set in Croatia’ as I didn’t have any likely starters in mind.  In another triumph for internet technology, I found information about a bunch of relevant novels, and downloaded a couple to my Kindle to get reading.  (Love the Kindle!)

I thought it was worth sharing with you, as in the course of my search I found some great resources (for example, this blog) where people have created reading challenges and lists of all kinds.  I know a few followers of this blog are avid readers… and a couple have even told me recently they are looking for new challenges (maybe not in the reading sphere… but still!)  Anyhow, maybe this will inspire your own reading!  You don’t have to be travelling to enjoy some good travel reading 🙂

For what it’s worth (and mainly for my own record), here’s what I’ve read in the places I’ve wandered through so far on this journey.

Hong Kong

Tai-Pan; James Clavell

Ghetto at the Centre of the World: Chungking Mansions, Hong Kong; Gordon Mathews


The Secret Countess; Eva Ibbotson (thanks Mandy!)

Anna Karenina; Leo Tolstoy

Russka; Edward Rutherfurd

Helsinki, Finland

Sadly didn’t score a book of its own – I was still finishing Russka.  Sorry Helsinki.


The grail quest trilogy – Harlequin, Vagabond & Heretic; Bernard Cornwell (which turned out to spend quite a lot of time set in France, but feature a lot of English long-bow archers and knights and fair maidens and corrupt cardinals and angry Scots etc etc around the time of the Hundred Years war, so it still counted as UK)

The Netherlands

I think I managed to skip over this one too, however Vanessa did read Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl while we were in Amsterdam where we visited the Frank house, so I’ll vicariously count that in my list.

Belgium and a bit of France (the Somme)

Fighting in Flanders; E. Alexander Powell

Letters from France; C.E.W Bean

(Both of these are available to download for nix, and if you have any interest in the WWI battles in the Flanders / Somme area are well worth the read.)

Paris, France

I was still reading Letters from France (above), which is about France but not really Paris.  I’ll have another chance at France later though so might have to try harder next time…


Somehow I managed to spend 10 days in Italy and not read a single relevant book.  Huge failure there.  I did read a Karin Slaughter thriller, which featured crimes so horrible I had to stay up very late reading so that I’d get to the end faster and know the criminal had been caught… it was exhausting!  But not Italian…

Salzburg, Austria

No books, but a lot of Sound of Music references.  And I jumped the gun and started reading the book I found on a swap shelf in Italy about Poland…

Krakow, Poland

A Long, Long Time Ago and Essentially True; Brigid Pasulka


April Fool’s Day; Josip Novakovich (currently in progress)

Impossible Country; Brian Hall (next in line)

Then I head back to France…

… where the possibilities are effectively endless.  Les Miserables is on the list.  I might even be able to read something in French! (Although it might be something like “Spot goes to the beach”, that will still be pretty exciting I think).

Happy reading!

Categories: Uncategorized | Tags: | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Travel Reading

  1. Mum

    Hi there Anna,
    Thanks for the Krakow book – A Long long time ago, etc – I’m enjoying it, especially as we’ve just been there, but finding it hard to read much each night as we’re so busy during the day still enjoying our travels!

    Hope the warm weather has arrived in Croatia, it’s been quite hot today in Prague.
    Lots of love,

  2. Pip

    Great blog Anna. I am still working through the bookshelf you left me here, but a good list to ponder in the future.

  3. Katrina

    Hey Anna,
    I’ve done this too! Gives a whole different perspective to travelling. If you ever get time, look out for Tove Jansson’s ‘The Summer Book’. Not set in Helskinki, but in southern Finland at least. It’s short and lovely.
    I hope you enjoy the rest of your trip!

  4. Jen

    lolz 😛 enjoy Spot!

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