Friday, 22 April 2022

Travel books

 When I travel, I read books set in the country I'm in, preferable the town I'm in if I can manage it.

Even if the book itself is not brilliant, I've enjoyed the history or being on the streets mentioned in the book, walking around like the characters did quite literally.











In Ho Chi Min City, I loved They are all my family (but I love this book full stop. Everyone should read it). Saigon by Anthony Grey was good if you travel up to Hue. It also includes the French history so it's not all focus on the American War, which is good tho it is one of those saga books.




In Singapore, I loved Singapore Grip by J. G. Farrell (the only one of his Empire trilogy not to win the Booker but my favourite of the three). I enjoyed King Rat and The Long Pursuit too, but they are war focused.








In Finland, I loved Let the Northern Lights Reveal your Name as we were up north in snowy Sami country and also The Wednesday Club and any of the Tove Jansson adult novels.










In Paris, I strolled around with the Phantom of the Opera (and even got busted trying to see the lake in the basement of the Opera House - they had a photo exhibition of it while I was there, but the security guard informed me that it had been filled with concrete decades ago). I would also recommend Swann's Way when in France just to get a joyful buzz every time you eat a Madeleine.







In Malaysia I liked And so the Rain my Drink, The Undone Years, and of course, The Malayan Trilogy. These are great if you are going out of KL. They're books where you really feel the heat and the jungle in the pages (and the rubber plantations). For some reason I think they're set in Johor Bahru, but can't be sure, I might have invented that because that's where I read them.






These books bring history alive, bring a different light to the buildings and architecture and often, not always correctly, show an insight to the culture.





Currently, for those visiting Sydney I would recommend Careful, He Might Hear You! I found this book delightful and it traipses all over Neutral Bay, the Cross, and the city.







(For the crime readers, Shamini Flint's Inspector Singh solves crime in a new country each book, and I enjoy all of these. They aren't brilliant books but good, easy holiday reads).



What are your travel reads?

Linking with  #Whatsonyourbookshelf challenge., 

#TrafficJamWeekend

25 comments:

  1. I LOVE this! I haven't read The Singapore Grip, but I enjoyed the mini series. We're doing a cruise of the Norwegian fjords (in search of the Northern Lights) later this year so might take your suggestions on board for that. Thanks for linking up.

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    1. Norway I read one of those crime books set in Oslo, a Jo Nesbo book - it was fine but not a must read (except for all the street names). I also read The Half Brother by Lars Saabye Christensen. I really liked it but it's odd so not sure if it's a must read or not. I gave my copy to a friend also going to Norway otherwise I would have posted it to you.

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  2. Thank you for sharing your reading with us at #weekendcoffeeshare. I'll check with my library for some of the books you mentioned.

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  3. I love it! I also love it when I read a book after I have visited the place. Thanks so much for the titles. I will certainly look into some of them.

    -Soma

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  4. Thank you for linking up with 'What's On Your Plate', 'Friendly Friday Challenge' and 'Weekend Coffee Share' -- a three way win!
    I fully agree about the benefits of reading a book while in that setting (or in a setting that has been experienced). I am just finishing My Mother's Daughter which is primarily set in the Whitby-Ajax-Pickering area (near Toronto) where I lived for many years. This connection helped to pull me into the book even further. I will definitely keep your recommendations in mind for my future travels!

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  5. To do what you do to immerse yourself further into a new place and culture is wonderful. I used to get the daily paper in country towns when we visited to get a feel for the community. Denyse

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    1. I love reading the (unfortuantely usually English Language) newspaper. In Bali, I'd lie around reading the paper then tut tuting with everyone about the increasing price of Tempah. My husband would go nuts...(because I don't even eat tempah...hehehe)

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    2. Thank you for sharing your blog post with the community at Denyse Whelan Blogs. The link up, each fortnight, called Life’s Stories, continues with bloggers such as you linking up and connecting! The next time to do so is Monday 9 May. Warmest wishes, Denyse.

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  6. I often read books set in the same place and THEN plan a vacation there! When we went to Charleston, SC for my 40th birthday I made my husband take 2 side trips-- one to Isle of Palms and another to Sullivan's Island as I had been reading books about all three places and each sounded just lovely.

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    1. And were they? In Italy we went to Orvieto because the language book I learnt Italian from was set there, so we were always pratciing sentences about Orvieto. hehhe

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  7. What a fabulous way of immersing yourself in the country you're in Lydia! Your suggestions are a great travel guide on their own. Thanks for joining in with us for What's on Your Bookshelf and I'm visitng from #weekendcoffeeshare

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  8. Some interesting books here Lydia and I've not read any of them. Thanks for sharing your list and joining us for What's On Your Bookshelf? It is lovely to have you join us. x

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  9. we went to Ho Chi Min City to visit also the south of Vietnam and we love the people and the extraordinary nature and at our first day we spoke with an old man who speake also french...
    thank you for your books around the world

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  10. An impressive list. Thank you 😊

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  11. Thank you for this list of reads. I love reading and have several big stacks of books to get through! In the last couple of months I have been purchasing a couple of books a fortnight. I can't wait to get stuck in to them.
    I love to read books about cities or places I am planning on visiting or have visited. Great to have that insight.

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  12. What a great idea Lydia! I'd never thought of doing that, but it makes a lot of sense being in the place that the author is describing. I'll have to think about doing this if I ever step outside the country again!

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  13. I used to do that many years ago (and still do to a certain extent)
    I remember reading ‘We of the Never Never’ the first time we went to The Territory in 1992. The story of Jeannie Gunn and her life in the bush stayed with me all the way up the Stuart and to walk around the Mataranka/Elsey area was icing on the cake.
    Take care
    Cathy #lifestory

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    1. I've not read that but I did watch the mini series as a child (teen? ) long time ago...

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  14. What a great idea. I've never thought of doing this, but I think I will now.

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  15. unfortunately I don't travel enough to start this habit but I love the idea #dreamteam

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  16. Thank you for sharing your reads! I enjoy reading books set in different countries as well. In the beginning of the pandemic, it was the closest to actually travelling.

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  17. Such a mindful practice to read books based in the countries that you are travelling in! I might actually try this. It's a great way to connect and spark interest in the places you are visiting. Thank you for joining us for the #DreamTeam x

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  18. Ooh this is a fab idea! I don't travel internationally but I'm sure I could find books set around the UK for the places we go. Thanks for linking up with #DreamTeam

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    1. I try to do it here too, if going for longer than a weekend (but it's harder - or maybe I just don'tsearch or the books properly, but in the UK it would be easier to find ones set in particular cities or villages...)

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  19. Wow! It sounds like you've had many excellent travel adventures. This is such a cool idea to read books set in the cities you visit. Best wishes for wonderful journeys in your future!
    Carol
    www.scribblingboomer.com

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