The idea to feature a series of books on Legging It came after I kept discovering amazing books in hotels. Many I would never normally have read like Ben Elton’s Time and Time Again: A Novel that I discovered when we were staying in Kusadasi in Turkey.
Time and Time Again was the only English book in the bookcase. It was a gripping tale of time travel about people trying to make the future a better place, I read it in two days it was so enthralling. This is Part Two of our feature and includes books from all over the world, we hope you find something to add to your list. If you missed Part One you can find it here
Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything by Simon Majumdar
James from Portugalist: The Portugal Travel Blog
A few years ago, before I began traveling full-time, I stumbled across a book in a hostel in Berlin called “Eat My Globe: One Year to Go Everywhere and Eat Everything” The book was by a then relatively unknown writer called Simon Majumdar. Following the success of the book, Majumdar would go on to become a TV personality on shows like Iron Chef America and Cutthroat Kitchen. At the time, however, Majumdar was just a normal guy who had quit his job to travel the world.
Learning about all the different cuisines that Majumdar managed to try in a year was fascinating and his personal stories of the events that surrounded each dish were entertaining, but the main adjective I’d use to describe the book is inspiring.
Majumdar previously worked in publishing, but following the death of his mother became disillusioned with life. No longer content with his current life in the UK, he set off to travel the world and for one year do the thing he loved to do most: eat. He was going to circle the globe, and eat as many unique dishes as he could.
Majumdar had made no plans for what he’d do once the year was up, and that bold decision to simply say yes to life later inspired me to do the same. I left my job, and my comfortable life, to travel the world in the hope that everything would eventually work out. I didn’t end up becoming a TV personality on the Food Network, but I’m definitely happy with the way things turned out.
Ten Trees and a Truffle Dog by Jamie Ivey
Jessica Norah from Independent Travel Cats
I love reading books about the places I am visiting when I travel, and I am a big fan of actual paper books. I have yet to buy an e-reader or read a digital book. However, it can be hard to carry a lot of books when travelling, so we often pick up books as we go and leave ones behind once we are finished. We were staying in a gîte in rural Provence (a region in southern France) a few years ago for a week and we found a couple of English language books in the gîte that must have been left by previous guests.
One of the books was Ten Trees and a Truffle Dog: Sniffing Out the Perfect Plot in Provence by English writer Jamie Ivey. The book is a lighthearted read of the author’s real-life adventures as a former London lawyer who decides to leave hectic London for sunny Provence with his pregnant wife. The two end up buying a property in Provence which includes truffle oaks, and the pair encounter a number of hurdles, French bureaucracy, and cultural misunderstandings as they raise their new daughter, find a truffle dog, build a home, try to make friends, and try to start a business. The book is full of descriptions of the great food and wine of the region that really makes you want to travel here immediately. It is a “fish out of water” sort of story that is similar to the much better-known books by Peter Mayle. It was a great easy vacation read and best savoured while on a Provençal terrace sipping a glass of rosé!
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Shandos from Travelnuity
Our rustic beach resort on Koh Pha Ngan, an island in the south of Thailand, was the ideal place to relax for a few days and not spend much money. The fan in our room was perfectly complemented by the sea breeze through the windows, and there was a hammock ideally positioned on the balcony, glimpses of the sea through the trees down below. In either direction was a beautiful white sand beach, dotted with various cafes and bars. The perfect place to chill out for a few days, if only I had a good book to read…
Luckily, there was a small stash of books in the dining area, amongst them the mysteriously titled Shantaram: A Novel. I’d heard some recommendations for it from friends, and undaunted by its thickness, delved right in.
Within its pages is the story of an Australian prison-escapee who finds himself living in Mumbai and involved in an incredible series of adventures, from living in a slum to becoming a member of the criminal underworld. It’s apparently based on the real-life adventures of the author, Gregory David Roberts, though how much is true and how much embellished only he can say.
The story is about as far removed from my quiet beach in Thailand as possible, but no less real to me. It’s too enthralling not to continue reading when I leave the resort, finishing it on the bus to Bangkok. Highly recommended holiday reading, whether you’re on a long flight or also just chilling on the beach.
The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls
Michelle from Roam Redmond
While serving in Peace Corps Jamaica for two years, it was common to pass around books with our fellow volunteers on the island. One that stands out from that time is The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls. The fascinating story of her upbringing in an unconventional, dysfunctional family has left a lasting impression on me. With honesty and humour, her memoir continues to shape my own views on parenting, unconditional love and family flaws. The story has been turned into a movie, but of course, you’ll get more richness out of the original written work!
Have you read any amazing books lately? If so drop us a line here and we can share it with our next Amazing Book Collaboration.
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