Silver Travel Book Club
We know you love travelling, and we also know that many Silver Travellers are just as passionate about books. So what could be better than combining both, and giving you the chance to win a book each month?
Our Literary Editor Andrew Morris, has introduced us
to TripFiction, a
wonderful website focusing on books with a strong sense of place, allowing you
to see a location through an author's eyes. Great for reading ideas for your holiday!
Each month, we'll find out what Andrew is reading about a different destination, and two lucky Silver Travel Book Club readers can win a free copy of the month's book.
Andrew's Book of the Month - August 2018 - JOIN THE FORUM THREADThis month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading Flight Before Dawn by Megan Easley-Walsh. Set in Normandy, the book vividly captures the constant fear and mistrust of life in the Resistance, in the midst of a community torn asunder by the German occupation.
For over two years, she's watched him. Now he's on her doorstep.
This is life in the Resistance. In Normandy in 1943, Victoire leads a band of the Resistance. When Leal, the man she's had watched for over two years, arrives at her doorstep, she'll have to face new challenges in war and in love.
Robberies, a kidnapping and clandestine night adventures were not at all what Victoire planned for her life. And she most certainly never planned to be betrayed. But war - and love - are unpredictable. Joined by her friend Rainier who is mistrusted by Leal, the mysterious Voleta, and Father Pierre, Victoire and Leal must struggle for survival, the grounds of France, and the material of their souls.
When Leal unearths a twenty-five-year-old secret, with Victoire at the centre, her whole life is shaken. As the Allies approach, the past, present and future hang in the balance. Can anyone be trusted when the world spins upside down?
We’d love to hear about your own experiences in Normandy, whether related to the war, or to do with happier times. Join the Forum thread, or comment on Silver Travel’s Facebook page, and the best two entries from Silver Travellers will win a copy of Flight Before Dawn.
Andrew's Book of the Month - July 2018
Originally written in 1977, the author has republished the book recently to coincide with the release of a major new film, starring John Hurt in his last role. A trailer for the movie is on the author’s own website.
In a last ditch effort to revive his career, washed out agent Ari Ben-Sion accepts a mission he never would have 30 years ago, to smuggle a group of Jewish children out of the Damascus ghetto. Or so he thinks.
In Damascus, a beautiful American photographer, Kim, seems to be falling in love with Ari, but she is asking too many questions. His communication equipment disappears. His contact never shows up.
The operation is only hours away and everything seems awry.
Desperate to succeed, Ari might risk everything. Even his life.
The winners of the July Book Club Prize were Sologirl and NedtheRed, who have been sent a copy of The Damascus Cover by Howard Kaplan.
Andrew's Book of the Month - June 2018
All the contributors to this unique book were initially reluctant solo travellers, apprehensive about taking the plunge to go it alone after years of travel with a partner or friend. Some have embarked on the trip of a lifetime, walking or cycling alone through potentially hostile countries, but finding only kindness and hospitality - with a few hairy adventures thrown in.
One story is by Bradt founder Hilary Bradt, who confronted her fears and set out to fulfil a childhood dream to ride a horse through Ireland shortly after her marriage broke up. Others are widows and widowers in their later years who were anxious about joining an organised trip on their own or who wanted to make a difference in the world by volunteering their experience and knowledge.
Many ages, many personalities, one goal: to travel, and one stumbling block: anxiety.
Part literature, part guide, with tips for successful solo travel. Reassuring, entertaining and inspiring.
The winners of the June Book Club Prize were Cruzeroqueen1 and shellee1, who have been sent a copy of Roam Alone: Inspiring tales by reluctant solo travellers, edited by Phoebe Smith.
Andrew's Book of the Month - May 2018
This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer. It has been chosen to coincide with the release of a major film adaptation of the book, and also with a generous holiday prize of a trip to this beautiful Channel Island with GuernseyTravel.com.
To give them hope she must tell their story …
It's 1946. The war is over, and Juliet Ashton has writer's block. But when she receives a letter from Dawsey Adams of Guernsey - a total stranger living halfway across the Channel, who has come across her name written in a second hand book - she enters into a correspondence with him, and in time with all the members of the extraordinary Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.
Through their letters, the
society tell Juliet about life on the island, their love of books - and the
long shadow cast by their time living under German occupation. Drawn into their
irresistible world, Juliet sets sail for the island, changing her life forever.
So read the book with the Silver
Travel Book Club, go and see the film and – if you can – travel to Guernsey to
visit some of the locations described in the book.
The winners of the May Book Club Prize were PaulineTurner and Jackie99, who have been sent a copy of the The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer.
Andrew's Book of the Month - April 2018
This month the Silver Travel Book Club is
Mountain of Crumbs: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Elena Gorokhova,
with no apologies for its relevance today, given recent shenanigans in genteel
A Mountain of Crumbs is the moving story of
a young Soviet girl's discovery of the hidden truths of adulthood and her
country's profound political deception.
Elena, born with a desire to explore the world beyond her borders, finds her passion in the complexity of the English language - but in the Soviet Union of the 1960s, such a passion verges on the subversive. Elena's home is no longer the majestic Russia of literature or the tsars. Instead, it is a nation humiliated by its first faltering steps after World War II, putting up appearances for the sake of its regime and fighting to retain its pride.
In this deeply affecting memoir, Elena re-creates the world that both oppressed and inspired her. She recounts stories passed down to her about the horrors of the Bolshevik Revolution and probes the daily deprivations and small joys of her family's bunker-like existence. Through Elena's captivating voice, we learn not only the personal story of Russia in the second half of the twentieth century, but also the story of one rebellious citizen whose love of a foreign language finally transports her to a new world.
The winners of the April Book Club Prize were marietravel and DRSask, who have been sent a copy of the enthralling A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena Gorokhova.
Andrew's Book of the Month - March 2018
This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy, to tie in with launching this year’s prestigious Silver Travel Awards, for which the prize for voting will be a Saga cruise to festive Hamburg with Silver Travel partner Saga cruises.
When Liv and Nora decide to take their husbands and children on a holiday cruise, everyone is thrilled. The ship’s comforts and possibilities seem infinite. But when they all go ashore in beautiful Central America, a series of minor mishaps lead the families further from the ship’s safety.
One minute the children are there, and the next they’re gone.
What follows is a heart-racing story told from the perspectives of both adults and children, with many surprises along the way and – ultimately – some challenging moral dilemmas to be faced by both generations.
The main conclusion the reader can draw from Do Not Become Alarmed? Stay on board the ship, enjoying all the luxury and activities it offers. It may be safer!
Thanks to the generosity of publishers Penguin Random House, there are three winners of the March Book Club Prize, rather than the usual two. Congratulations SA-Takkies, Sararose and Sue_95, who will each receive a copy of Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile Meloy.
Andrew's Book of the Month - February 2018This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee, to tie in with Jennie’s February holiday prize of a 3-day break with Silver Travel partner HF Holidays.
In 1934, aged just 19, Laurie Lee walked out of his family home in rural Gloucestershire, carrying a rolled-up tent, a violin in a blanket, a tin of treacle biscuits and some cheese.
For the next 2 years, he walked. To the south coast of England, to London and then the length of Spain, from Vigo in the north-west to Andalucia – and briefly across to Gibraltar – in the extreme south.
With beautifully poetic language, he describes his experiences in green northern Spain and in the unrelenting heat of a southern summer, and the many kindnesses he encounters along the way, even from the very poorest people in the most remote villages.
He survived by busking, labouring on a building site in London for a year, and – briefly, when his trusty violin disintegrated in Malaga – as a tour guide.
And then war intervenes. He gets caught up
in the first skirmishes of the Spanish Civil War and, reluctantly, returns
The winners of the February Book Club Prize were Lottie and NedtheRed, who have been sent a copy of the wonderful As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee.
Andrew's Book of the Month - January 2018
Ben Hatch is on the road again. Commissioned to write a guidebook about France (despite not speaking any French) he sets off with visions of relaxing chateaux and refined dining. Ten thousand miles later his family has been attacked by a donkey, had a run-in with a death-cult and, after a near drowning and a calamitous wedding experience involving a British spy, his own marriage is in jeopardy.
A combination of obsessions about mosquitoes, French gravel and vegetable theme parks mean it’s a bumpy ride as Ben takes a stand against tyrannical French pool attendants, finds himself running with the bulls in Pamplona and almost starring in a snuff movie after a near fatal decision to climb into a millionaire’s Chevrolet Blazer.
Funny and poignant, Road to Rouen asks important questions about life, marriage
and whether it’s ever acceptable to tape baguette to your children’s legs to
smuggle lunch into Disneyland Paris.
The winners of the January Book Club Prize were GBG and SilverMarie, who have been sent a copy of The Road to Rouen by Ben Hatch.
Andrew's Book of the Month - December 2017
This festive month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading Skipping Christmas by John Grisham. Yes, the same John Grisham who usually writes fast-paced novels with a legal twist.
Imagine a year without Christmas. No crowded shopping centres, no cheesy office parties, no crackers, no unwanted presents. That’s just what Luther and Nora Krank have in mind when they decide that, just this once, they’ll skip the holiday altogether. Theirs will be the only house on Hemlock Street without a Santa on the roof, they won’t be hosting their annual Christmas Eve party, they aren’t even going to have a Christmas tree.
They won’t need one, because come 25th December they’re setting sail on a Caribbean cruise. But as this world-weary couple is about to discover, skipping Christmas brings enormous consequences and isn’t nearly as easy as they’d imagined.
A classic morality tale for modern times, Skipping Christmas offers a
hilarious look at the chaos and frenzy that have become part of our holiday
winners of the December Book Club Prize were FKarbal and
Solent_Richard, who have been sent a copy of Skipping Christmas by John
Andrew's Book of the Month - November 2017
This month Andrew is reading A Year in the Woods: The Diary of a Forest Ranger by Colin Elford and you could win a copy too.
Colin Elford spends his days alone - alone but for the deer, the squirrels, the rabbits, the birds, and the many other creatures inhabiting the woods.
From the crisp cold of January, through the promise of spring and the heat of summer, and then into damp autumn and the chill winds of winter, we accompany the forest ranger as he goes about his work - stalking in the early morning darkness, putting an injured fallow buck out of its misery, watching stoats kill a hare, observing owls, and simply being a part of the outdoors.
"Colin Elford immerses himself in the richly
diverse and unique landscapes of Britain, existing in rhythm with natural
environments. For fans of Robert Macfarlane's Landmarks, Helen
Macdonald's H is for Hawk or James Rebanks' A Shepherd's Life,
Colin's rare and uplifting journey will unveil the true nature and beauty of
Britain's countryside." (Summary from Amazon).
The winners of the November Book Club Prize were Susmal and Kelpie, who have been sent a copy of A Year in the Woods by Colin Elford.
Andrew’s Book of the Month - October 2017
This month Andrew is reading One Summer in Venice by Nicky Pellegrino.
"This isn’t a mid-life crisis, OK? For a
start I’m not old enough yet to have one of those. I’m calling it a happiness
project. I’ve stolen an entire summer from my life and by the time it’s over I
plan to leave this place with a list in my hand. The ten things that make me
happy, that’s all I want to know. How difficult can it be? They may be small things
– a perfect cup of coffee, a day without rain – or bigger ones. It’s still the
beginning so how can I know?"
Addolorata Martinelli knows she should be happy. She has everything she thought she wanted – her own business, a husband, a child. So why does she feel as if something is missing? Then when her restaurant, Little Italy, is slated by a reviewer, she realises that she’s lost the one thing she thought she could always count on, her love of food.
So Addolorata heads to Venice for a summer
alone, aiming to find the ten things that make her happy.
winners of the October Book Club Prize were Paulinet and Carol Anne
Thurley, who have been sent a copy of One Summer in Venice by Nicky
Andrew's Book of the Month - September 2017This month Andrew is reading Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe. This classic novel of 1980s excess introduces us to Sherman McCoy, a 'Master of the Universe' Wall Street bond trader. But Sherman's extravagant Manhattan lifestyle is under threat after he takes a wrong turn into the notorious Bronx district, driving from JFK airport with his mistress.
A hit and run accident puts black kid Henry Lamb in hospital, where he becomes manipulated by alcoholic hack Peter Fallow and Reverend Bacon, an opportunist preacher and political leader from Harlem.
Enter media-obsessed Bronx District Attorney Abe Weiss, and Sherman is really up against it.
This was Tom Wolfe's debut novel and transports us to the glamorous heights and the sleazy depths of New York City through a perceptive narrative and vivid characterisations.
Andrew's Book of the Month - August 2017This month Andrew is reading The Rome Affair by Karen Swan, a book which brings the glamorous capital city of Italy to life, and sounds like the perfect summer novel to take on your travels.
1974 and Elena Damiani lives a gilded life. Born to wealth and a noted beauty, no door is closed to her, no man can resist her. At twenty-six, she is already onto her third husband when she meets her love match. But he is the one man she can never have, and all the beauty and money in the world can't change it.
2017 and Francesca Hackett is living la dolce vita in Rome, leading tourist groups around the Eternal City and forgetting the ghosts she left behind in London. When she finds a stolen designer handbag in her dustbin and returns it, she is brought into the orbit of her grand neighbour who lives across the piazza - famed socialite Viscontessa Elena dei Damiani Pignatelli della Mirandola. Though the purse is stolen, Elena greets the return of the bag with exultation for it contains an unopened letter written by her husband on his deathbed, twelve years earlier.
Mutually intrigued by each other, the two women agree to collaborate on a project, with Cesca interviewing Elena for her memoirs. As summer unfurls, Elena tells her sensational stories, leaving Cesca in her thrall. But when a priceless diamond ring found in an ancient tunnel below the city streets is ascribed to Elena, Cesca begins to suspect a shocking secret at the heart of Elena's life.
The winners of the August Book Club Prize were Silvertravellerfan, LH and Manja, who are all delighted to win a copy of The Rome Affair by Karen Swan.
Andrew's Book of the Month - July 2017This month Andrew is reading The Talented Mr. Ripley. Written by Patricia Highsmith in 1955, this is a stylish psychological thriller and the author's first outing for Tom Ripley. Four more followed and the series has collectively become known as the Ripliad. But the original remains the best known, partly no doubt because of the hugely successful 1999 film adaptation, starring Matt Damon, Jude Law and Gwyneth Paltrow.
Tom Ripley is a low-life chancer, languishing in New York, until offered an attractive proposition by wealthy shipping magnate Herbert Greenleaf; go to Italy and retrieve errant son Dickie from his hedonistic lifestyle, and persuade him to return to the US to join the family business.
Tom ingratiates himself into Dickie's entourage and is soon enjoying the luxurious life too. Reluctant to return to his own sad life, how far will Tom go to ensure he lives as self-indulgent an existence as Dickie?
Taking us from 'Mongibello' to San Remo, Rome and Venice, the author effortlessly transports the action around Italy and inside the head of twisted, talented sociopath Tom Ripley.
The winners of the July Book Club Prize were Grey-Wolf and Applegroupie, who are both delighted to win a copy of The Talented Mr Ripley by Patricia Highsmith.
Andrew's Book of the Month - June 2017This month Andrew is reading Into the Water by Paula Hawkins, the much anticipated follow up to her 2015 blockbuster debut The Girl on the Train.
Based in the imaginary town of Beckford, in rural Northumberland, Paula describes her new novel as “a psychological suspense novel centred on the fractured relationship between two sisters, Nel and Jules. When Nel dies unexpectedly, Jules finds herself trying to figure out not just what has happened to her elder sister, but what has happened between the two of them to leave them so estranged. This is a book of many mysteries. It is about searching for answers, for meaning.”
“Jules is afraid. So afraid. Of her long-buried memories, of the old Mill House, of knowing that Nel would never have jumped. And most of all she’s afraid of the water, and the place they call the Drowning Pool . . .”
Into The Water is a very different read to the Silver Travel Book Club’s first Book of the Month – Rosanna Ley’s The Little Theatre by the Sea – in terms of genre, complexity and location!
The winners of the June Book Club Prize were Sally Hill and Denise Bridge who are both delighted to win a copy of Into the Water.
Andrew's Book of the Month for May 2017
In May, Andrew was reading Rosanna Ley's latest novel The Little Theatre by the Sea. The author whisks you off to sunny Sardinia, with an enchanting tale of intrigue and romance, whilst immersed in local food, wine and culture. And travelling with Silver Travel Advisor partner Sardatur Holidays, Andrew is planning to visit sunny Sardinia to follow in the footsteps of Rosanna's principal character, interior designer Faye.
He will visit the real town that becomes fictional Deriu in
the novel, the location of the mystery-laden Little Theatre by the Sea. He'll
visit the walled Catalan city of Alghero, which Faye explores with her father
on a road-trip while they both mark time at important times in their lives. And
he'll force himself to try some of the Sardinian food and wine that Faye enjoys
whilst working on the historic theatre.
Read all about Andrew’s trip to Sardinia in search of Faye.
The winners of the May Book Club Prize were Sally Dowling and Mags Addison who were each delighted to win a copy of The Little Theatre by the Sea.