Summer Travel Reads

These are our recommended summer travel reads, some of our favorites. These include both fiction from Barb and non-fiction from Rob, and we both liked the first-hand account of the multi-day hiking trails around Europe by Reg Spittle. These stories provide insights about the history of different cultures, inspiration for travel, and help discover both unique destinations and unique ways to travel.

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Trippin’ Through My 60’s: When Adventure Calls, the Trails of Europe Answer

Trippin’ Through My 60’s tells the fun tales of one recently retired couple hiking around Europe. With a lovely writing style, you quickly get to know Reg and his wife and trekking partner, Sue. The book reads as if you’re sitting down to dinner with your friends, hearing all about their adventures. The author’s descriptions of everything from weather and long days on trails full of switchbacks, to amazing rewarding panoramas, fun and quirky auberges and hostels, and the camaraderie with other trekkers make you feel like you are along for the hike.

Path in the woods for Summer Travel Reads

“I am drawn to the simplicity, rhythm, and adventure of distance walking.”

Stories of treks from the Scottish Highlands, the Tour de Mont Blanc in Switzerland, St. Francis’ Way in Italy, and England’s South West Coast Path, gives the reader lots of practical, honest, and funny information about each trek. We had always planned to do one of these European hikes some day, and after reading this, we are more inspired than ever. We both enjoyed this one!

Buy it here from Amazon:

Say Nothing: A True Story of Murder and Memory in Northern Ireland

Say Nothing, by Patrick Radden Keefe
Non-Fiction, History, True Crime, Ireland
Rob’s Recommendation

Say Nothing is an extraordinary book. The author has taken the difficult subject of the Troubles in the 1970’s and follows 4 main characters through their stories, as their lives intersect. Showing how neighbor couldn’t trust neighbor, and how “say nothing” is a theme throughout these times. The story includes car bombings, killings, kidnappings, violence, ideals, passionate religious and national feelings, and fighting in the name of a cause. It sheds light on a turbulent time in Ireland’s history.

Kilmainham Goal for Summer Travel Reads
Kilmainham Goal in Dublin

I cannot stop recommending this book, it comes up in many of my conversations. Everyone who has any interest in Ireland, or who has wished someone would untangle what the Troubles really were about, should read this book.

Buy it here from Amazon:

Where’d You Go, Bernadette?

Where’d You Go, Bernadette, by Maria Semple
Fiction, Comedy, Travel
Barbara’s Recommendation

Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an excellent story told with much humor, a peak into a unique family’s life in Seattle. One of my favorite books, it is a unique story woven together with excellent, lovable characters from beginning to end.

Blackberry Brambles for Summer Travel Reads

The amazing Bernadette is on the verge of a melt-down before she disappears from home in Seattle. As the young teen daughter Bee goes on an investigation to find out where her Mom is, the story unfolds both through the voice of Bee, and a variety of emails, notes, FBI files, and invoices. The story includes Seattle’s personality, from Bee’s Dad who works in IT, eats granola, and rides his bike when not on public transportation, to a Victims Against Victimhood group.

“People like you must create. If you don’t create, Bernadette,
you will become a menace to society.”

This story includes serious life topics, but it is all told, and concluded, in a very clever and entertaining way. It also includes a sense of adventure and travel, a feel-good read that will have you laughing out loud.

Buy it here from Amazon:

Venice: A History

Venice: A History, by John Davis
Non-Fiction, History, Travel
Rob’s Recommendation

Beginning when the city of Venice wasn’t much more than refugees from the mainland that fled across the lagoon to escape marauders and barbarians, through its height as a major world commercial shipping power, and the subsequent fall of the empire, the reader is immersed in the trials and traditions that the Venetian culture created.

Gondolas for Venice Travel Info

Reading this book before venturing to Venice will give the reader a better appreciation for the sites and tourist spots of this amazing city. You will have the feeling that you can somewhat understand how things looked and felt to the Venetians in the far distant past.

This book made the story of Venice come alive on the pages, and made the trip to Venice unforgettable.

Buy it here from Amazon:

A Gentleman in Moscow

A Gentleman in Moscow, by Amor Towles
Fiction, History, Russia
Barbara’s Recommendation

This is one of those really beautifully written books that stays with you long after you’ve finished reading it. In 1922, Count Alexander Rostov is put under house arrest at a grand hotel in Moscow, and from this elegant home base, the reader learns about the events unfolding in Russia during this time. The characters jump off the pages, as the Count makes connections with residents and workers at the hotel, and quirky capers ensue.

“There are many reasons for ordering a particular bottle of wine.
And memories of home are among the best.”

The story includes a bit of espionage, politics, secrets, and romance, all of it captured in lovely prose. The resilience of humans finding humor, staying true to themselves, and overcoming hardships is wonderfully captured in this story.

Buy it here from Amazon:

Enjoy your summer travel reading, and we welcome any reading recommendations you have for us.


Leave a Reply

2 responses to “Summer Travel Reads”
  1. Sonya Avatar

    I loved Bernadette!! Named my kitty after her! I am going to check out the Ireland book… sounds right up my alley. When can I read your book about Trippin across Europe and the US? Thank you for these recommendations, they all sound great- I can vouch for Gentleman in Moscow too- loved it.

    1. Barbara Skinner Avatar

      Fabulous! Ha ha … will let you know when that book comes out! 😊 Happy Reading!

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