Silver Travel Book Club

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Silver Travel Book ClubEmerald WaterwaysWe 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? 

Andrew MorrisOur 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 - October 2019 - JOIN THE FORUM THREAD

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is rading The Salt Path by Raynor Winn.

Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall.

The Salt Path by Raynor WinnCarrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey.

The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways.

The Salt Path is an especially appropriate choice for the Silver Travel Book Club as author Raynor Winn has recently won the Royal Society of Literature Christopher Bland Prize for 2019, awarded to encourage and celebrate older writers. It is awarded annually to a debut novelist or popular non-fiction writer, first published at the age of 50 or over.

How to win a copy of the book

Tell us about a long-distance walk you’ve undertaken, what your inspiration to do it was and what you discovered about yourself or the landscape along the way.

Join the Forum thread or comment on Silver Travel’s Facebook page and the most interesting two entries from Silver Travellers will each win a copy of the The Salt Path.

Andrew's Book of the Month - September 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is rather excitingly about more than just reading a book.

'First Overland: London-Singapore by Land Rover'Back in 1955, some Oxford & Cambridge undergraduates jumped into two new Land Rovers and completed the first overland journey from the English Channel to Singapore. Seven months, 12,000 miles, rivers, jungles, mountains and too few roads. A remarkable expedition and achievement, where many had previously failed.

Tim Slessor was in that 1955 team and his book First Overland: London-Singapore by Land Rover has recently been republished, with a foreword by Sir David Attenborough.

And now Tim has combined forces with Alex Bescoby (from Grammar Productions) and others to return one of those original Land Rovers from Singapore to London. Sponsors of this exciting expedition include our friends at the Singapore Tourist Board. The team departed on August 25th and watch this space for updates on their journey across a challenging landscape which has changed dramatically over the last 60 years.

Watch a trailer of the Last Overland expedition and read more about the route and the team – which includes Tim’s grandson Nat. 

 

The winners of the September Book Club prize were GypsyWanderer and DRSask who will each receive a copy of Tim Slessor's First Overland: London-Singapore by Land Rover.


Andrew's Book of the Month - August 2019

'Underland' by Robert MacfarlaneThis month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is reading Underland: A Deep Time Journey, by Robert Macfarlane.

Discover the hidden worlds beneath our feet ...

In Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland's glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet's past and future.

Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane's long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart.

The winners of the August Book Club prize were Upstart and mexicanhat who will each receive a copy of Underland: A Deep Time Journey by Robert Macfarlane


Andrew's Book of the Month - July 2019

To Oldly Go, published by Bradt Travel GuidesThis month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is reading To Oldly Go, published by Bradt Travel Guides.

A new collection of remarkable travel tales from 'Silver Travellers': Dervla Murphy travelling in Cuba at the age of 74, Matthew Parris swimming the Thames at 60, and Colin Thubron climbing the last stronghold of the Assassins in his 60s are among the writers recounting their adventures, often defying expectations - and the odds - and going outside their comfort zone to take a less-travelled path in later life.

This single volume brings together contributions - some original, some previously published - from independent-minded souls whose experiences have been entertaining, amusing, thrilling, and even a little irresponsible. Other contributors include Silver Travel Advisor’s very own Roger Bray, 'Green Goddess' Diana Moran and publisher Hilary Bradt.

The winners of the July Book Club prize were GBG and Sararose who will each receive a copy of To Oldly Go. GBG has also won a luxurious monogrammed bath robe from Silver Travel Book Club sponsor Emerald Waterways.


Andrew's Book of the Month - June 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is reading The House on the Edge of the Cliff, by Carol Drinkwater.

No one else knows what happened that summer. Or so she believes ...

The House on the Edge of the Cliff by Carol DrinkwaterGrace first came to France a lifetime ago. Young and full of dreams of adventure, she met two very different men.

She fell under the spell of one. The other fell under hers. Until one summer night shattered everything …

Now, Grace is living an idyllic life with her husband, sheltered from the world in a magnificent Provençal villa, perched atop a windswept cliff. Every day she looks out over the sea – the only witness to that fateful night years ago.

Until a stranger arrives at the house. A stranger who knows everything, and won’t leave until he gets what he wants.

The past and present spectacularly collide in this gripping story of love and betrayal echoing across the decades.

Carol Drinkwater is a much-loved actress and also an author of many books, including the ‘Olive series’, based on the 10-acre olive grove where she lives in the South of France. We’re delighted that she will be interacting with Silver Travel Book Club readers on the Forum thread throughout June.

The winners of the June Book Club Prize were Grosvenor and terrypaul2 who will each receive a copy of Carol Drinkwater’s The House on the Edge of the Cliff.


Andrew's Book of the Month - May 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is reading The People We Were Before, by Annabelle Thorpe.

The People We Were Before, by Annabelle ThorpeYugoslavia, summer 1979. A new village. A new life. But eight-year-old Miro knows the real reason why his family moved from the inland city of Knin to the sun-kissed village of Ljeta on the Dalmatian Coast, a tragedy he tries desperately to forget.

The Ljeta years are happy ones, though, and when he marries his childhood sweetheart, and they have a baby daughter, it seems as though life is perfect. However, storm clouds are gathering above Yugoslavia.

War breaks out, and one split-second decision destroys the life Miro has managed to build. Driven by anger and grief, he flees to Dubrovnik, plunging himself into the hard-bitten world of international war reporters.

There begins a journey that will take him ever deeper into danger: from Dubrovnik, to Sarajevo, to the worst atrocities of war-torn Bosnia, Miro realises that even if he survives, there can be no way back to his earlier life. The war will change him, and everyone he loves, forever.

Read Silver Travel Book Club Literary Editor Andrew's literary cruise on the mighty Danube from Budapest to Bucharest, on board Emerald Waterways’ Enchantment of Eastern Europe cruise.

The winners of the May Book Club Prize were Shirley and JKM who will each receive a copy of Annabelle Thorpe’s The People We Were Before.


Andrew's Book of the Month - April 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is The 50 Greatest Castles and Palaces of the World, by Gilly Pickup.
The 50 Greatest Castles and Palaces of the World by Gilly Pickup

From the flamboyance of Germany’s fairy tale-Neuschwanstein Castle to the gothic, Dracula-inspiring Bran Castle, perched high in the craggy peaks of Romania’s Carpathian Mountains; Tokyo’s Imperial Palace, previously home to samurai warriors to Ireland’s Blarney Castle, where ‘the gift of the gab’ will be granted to any who kiss its stone, the world’s castles and palaces are steeped in history and stories to tell.

Travel writer and journalist Gilly Pickup shares these stories, providing a tour of 50 of the world’s greatest castles and palaces, filled with humour, interesting facts and tips on how best to visit them.

The winners of the April Book Club Prize were FlyingFlish and Grey-Wolf who will each receive a copy of Gilly Pickup’s The 50 Greatest Castles and Palaces of the World.


Andrew's Book of the Month - March 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – is reading the thought-provoking The Art of Travel, Alain de Botton's travel guide with a difference.

The Art of Travel by Alain de Botton

Few activities seem to promise us as much happiness as going travelling: taking off for somewhere else, somewhere far from home, a place with more interesting weather, customs and landscapes. But although we are inundated with advice on where to travel to, we seldom ask why we go and how we might become more fulfilled by doing so.

With the help of a selection of writers, artists and thinkers - including Flaubert, Edward Hopper, Wordsworth and Van Gogh - Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel provides invaluable insights into everything from holiday romance to hotel mini-bars, airports to sight-seeing.

The perfect antidote to those guides that tell us what to do when we get there, The Art of Travel tries to explain why we really went in the first place - and helpfully suggests how we might be happier on our journeys.

The winners of the March Book Club Prize were Upstart and The-lone-traveller who will each receive a copy of Alain de Botton’s The Art of Travel.


Andrew's Book of the Month - February 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club – proudly sponsored by Emerald Waterways – will be all about Kate Humble’s inspiring Thinking on My Feet: the small joy of putting one foot in front of another.

Shortlisted for the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards ‘Travel Memoir of the Year’ this book is Kate’s tribute to the raw power of a walk: "I've discovered that going for a daily walk has become as essential to me feeling good for the rest of the day as that first cup of tea. But I would argue that all I am doing is responding to a natural need we all have. Humans have always been migrants, the physiological urge to be nomadic is deep-rooted in all of us and perhaps because of that our brains are stimulated by walking. I solve all sorts of problems, formulate ideas, work things out to that gentle rhythm of self-propelled movement."

Thinking on My Feet by Kate HumbleThinking on My Feet tells the story of Kate's walking year - shining a light on the benefits of this simple activity. Kate's inspiring narrative not only records her walks (and runs) throughout a single year, but also charts her feelings and impressions throughout - capturing the perspectives that only a journey on foot allows - and shares the outcomes: a problem solved, a mood lifted, an idea or opportunity borne. As she explores the reasons why we walk, whether for creative energy, challenge and pleasure, or therapeutic benefits, Kate's reflections and insights will encourage, motivate and spur readers into action.

Also featured are Kate's walks with others who have discovered the magical, soothing effect of putting one foot in front of the other - the artist who walks to find inspiration for his next painting; the man who takes people battling with addiction to climb mountains; the woman who walked every footpath in Wales (3,700 miles) when she discovered she had cancer.

This book will inspire you to change your perspective by applying walking to your daily endeavours.

The winners of the February Book Club Prize were JKM and Judergn who will each receive a copy of Kate Humble’s Thinking on My Feet.


Andrew's Book of the Month - January 2019

This month the Silver Travel Book Club will be all about the mouth-watering Food Trails from Lonely Planet – ‘Plan 52 perfect weekends in the world’s tastiest destinations’.

For everyone who loves travel and trying the local delicacies, this beautifully illustrated hardback is the must-have handbook to a year's worth of perfect weekends around the world for food lovers. Featured trails include an homage to Buenos Aires steak, cosy wintertime French Canadian cuisine, Puglia's distinctive dishes, and Parisian patisserie. Each trail is an itinerary, detailing when and where to indulge in the local specialties. There are 52 trails, each with gorgeous photography, a bespoke map, expert writing and practical details of how to get there and where to stay.

Food Trails from Lonely PlanetThe 52 itineraries cover the whole globe. In the Americas we try seafood chowder in Maine; creole and cajun food in the Deep South; barbecue in Texas; and Hawaii's island food among other taste sensations. In Europe we discover the mouth-watering cuisines of Crete, Italy, Denmark, England, Spain, Germany, Iceland, Ireland and other countries. Prepare for spice in Asia as we go to India, Vietnam and Malaysia for street food; Japan for sushi and South Korea for barbecue. In Australia and New Zealand, experiences include the farm-to-table scene in Tasmania, Melbourne's melting pot of cuisines and seafood in Auckland. Wherever you are in the world, there will be a trip.

Each itinerary features about a dozen stops, including food markets, must-visit restaurants and shops or opportunities to meet food makers or providers. Each is reviewed by Lonely Planet's authors who have visited the place. Practical details are provided so readers can make bookings and tailor their own trips. A section at the end of each itinerary suggests places to stay and lists events that take place during the year. Great photography adds visual appeal to every itinerary, each of which has an illustrated map, showing the route hungry travellers should take.


What has been your own most memorable meal or food experience whilst travelling? A Michelin-starred gourmet feast in the Loire Valley, or something unidentifiable in an Asian street? The famous scallop pie in Hobart’s Salamanca Market, or an ostrich steak on a farm in the Cape?

The winners of the January Book Club Prize were GerryK and Upstart who will each receive a copy of Lonely Planet's mouth-watering Food Trails.


Andrew's Book of the Month - December 2018

The Silver Travel Book Club choice this month is the rather special Journeys of a Lifetime from National Geographic.

Completely updated for its 10th anniversary, this best-selling inspirational travel guide reveals 500 celebrated and lesser-known destinations from around the globe, from ocean cruises in Antarctica to horse treks in the Andes.

Journeys of a Lifetime from National GeographicCompiled from the favourite trips of National Geographic's legendary travel writers, this fully updated and revised Journeys of a Lifetime spans the globe to highlight the best of the world's most celebrated and lesser-known sojourns.

Offering a diverse array of possibilities, every continent and possible form of transport is covered, illustrated with glorious colour photographs. With 16 new pages and updated information throughout, this timely new edition is the perfect resource for travellers who crave adventurous trips - from trekking the heights of Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to mountain biking in Transylvania - and those searching for more specific experiences (the world's top small cruises, hot new museums around the world, secrets for following in the footsteps of film and TV heroes, and more).

Each chapter features stunning photography, full-colour maps, and practical tips, including how to get there, when to visit, and how to make the most of your journey.

Informative, and inspiring, this luxurious volume is a lifelong resource that readers will treasure for years to come.

What has been your own ‘Journey of a Lifetime’? What was the most memorable mode of transport you’ve experienced whilst travelling? Your favourite museum?

The winners of the December Book Club Prize were elena_2 and MOUNTAINGOAT who will each receive a copy of National Geographic's inspirational Journeys of a Lifetime.

Andrew's Book of the Month - November 2018

Sail Away by Celia ImrieThis month’s Silver Travel Book Club is reading Sail Away by Celia Imrie.

The deliciously witty, irresistibly indulgent new novel from the top ten Sunday Times bestselling author of Not Quite Nice follows the exploits of two women on an Atlantic cruise ship.

Vividly evoking the old-world glamour of a cruise ship – and the complex politics of its staff quarters – Sail Away is at once a hilarious romp and a thrilling tale of intrigue, from the acclaimed pen of Celia Imrie.

What amusing experiences have you had whilst crossing the Atlantic? Which, erm, strange and interesting characters have you met on a cruise ship? Or what unexpected rewards have you stumbled upon on the high seas?

The winners of the November Book Club Prize were GeminiJen and yorkshirecat who will each receive a copy of Sail Away by Celia Imrie.


Andrew's Book of the Month - October 2018

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. JeromeThis month’s Silver Travel Book Club selection is Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.

First published in 1889, this book charts the journey of three London clerks as they travel for two weeks along the Thames from Kingston upon Thames to Oxford. It captures the essence of messing about on the river, with hilarious moments that are still relevant today.

"It is about the cameraderie of youth, the absurdity of existence, camping holidays, playing truant, comic songs, and the sweet memories of lost time. This was the golden age of the Henley regatta. Rowing boats, steam launches, even the occasional gondola: in the Season, up to 800 vessels a day passed through Boulter's Lock near Maidenhead. In fact, Jerome's descriptions of Hampton Court, Marlow and Medmenham are all that survive from the original plan for a travel book." Robert McCrum in The Guardian

The winners of the October Book Club Prize were almonds and The-lone-traveller who will each receive a copy of Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K. Jerome.


Andrew's Book of the Month - September 2018

This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading Turning Left Around The World by David C. Moore.  And you can find out much more about the author and his wife Helene, and their experiences travelling around the world, in this Q&A interview article with our Literary Editor Andrew.

Turning Left Around The World by David C MooreFor some people, retirement dreams consist of comfy slippers and gardening. Not so David and his wife Helene, whose dream was of adventure.

They presented Audley Travel, specalities in creating tailor-made journeys to all corners of the globe, with the challenge of exploring the history, landscape, wildlife, people and food in fifteen countries over ten months.

Fortunately, they were up to the task so David and Helene traded their slippers and gardening gloves for 53 flights, 30 trains, 8 boats, 3 cruise ships, 1 light aircraft, 1 hot air balloon, a motorbike and sidecar, countless speedboats, taxis, tuk-tuks, cyclos, bicycles. And a disobedient horse.

Turning Left Around The World is an entertaining account of their adventure, often intriguing, frequently funny and occasionally tragic. Share their adventure, enjoy the surprises and meet some fascinating people with some unusual customs.

The winners of the September Book Club Prize were ESW, Kay9, Sararose, GypstWanderer and CCH who have all been sent a signed copy of Turning Left Around The World by David Moore.

And ESW also won the star prize of a signed print by Tim Bulmer, the humorous artist who designed the book cover for David.

You can contact David, and read all about his great retirement travel adventure, on his own website www.davidcmoore-author.com

Andrew's Book of the Month - August 2018

This 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.

Flight Before Dawn by Megan Easley-WalshFor 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?

The winners of the August Book Club Prize were BigDreamer and Happy-Traveller_3 who have been sent a copy of Flight Before Dawn by Megan Easley-Walsh.

You can contact Megan, and read all about her other books, on her own website www.meganeasleywalsh.com.

Andrew's Book of the Month - July 2018

This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading The Damascus Cover by Howard Kaplan. Set in Cyprus, Damascus and Jerusalem, it is a riveting spy thriller played out in the complex Middle East theatre and written by someone who knows this area and milieu well.

The Damascus Cover by Howard KaplanOriginally 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

This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading Roam Alone: Inspiring tales by reluctant solo travellers edited by Phoebe Smith from Bradt Travel Guides. It has been chosen to tie in with this month’s holiday prize of a trip to Santorini with ClubSolos from Solos Holidays.

Roam Alone: Inspiring tales by reluctant solo travellersAll 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.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann ShafferTo 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 reading A Mountain of Crumbs: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain by Elena Gorokhova, with no apologies for its relevance today, given recent shenanigans in genteel Salisbury.

A Mountain of Crumbs by Elena GorokhovaA 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.

Do Not Become Alarmed by Maile MeloyWhen 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 2018

This 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.

As I Walked out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie LeeIn 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 home.

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

This month the Silver Travel Book Club is reading Road to Rouen by Ben Hatch, to tie in with Jennie’s January holiday prize of a week with Silver Travel partner Eurocamp.

Road to Rouen by Ben HatchBen 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

Skipping Christmas by John GrishamThis 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 tradition.

The winners of the December Book Club Prize were FKarbal and Solent_Richard, who have been sent a copy of Skipping Christmas by John Grisham.


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.

A Year in the Woods: The Diary of a Forest Ranger by Colin ElfordColin 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.

One Summer in Paris 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.

The 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 Pellegrino.


Andrew's Book of the Month - September 2017

This 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. BBonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfeut 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.

The winners of the September Book Club Prize were Silvertravellerfan and Jo Carroll, who have been sent a copy of Bonfire of the Vanities by Tom Wolfe.

Andrew's Book of the Month - August 2017

This 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.

The Rome Affair by Karen Swan1974 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 2017

This 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.

The Talented Mr RipleyTom 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 2017

This 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.

Into the Water by Paula HawkinsBased 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

Rosanna Ley - The Little Theatre by the SeaIn 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.  

AlgheroHe 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.


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Other Members' Thoughts - 30 Comment(s)

  • Claire_S
    over 2 years ago
    The only time I went to Sardinia was for a weekend break which turned out to be extremely disappointing, so it would be great to discover Sardinia through this book - it might inspire us to try again!
  • Riversiderouge
    over 2 years ago
    I enjoyed reading "The Island" by Victoria Hislop, based on the Leper Colony on Spinalonga Island in Crete.
  • AndrewMorris
    over 2 years ago
    Thanks for the encouraging feedback @Geoff....we hope plenty of others love the Silver Travel Book Club too!

    Did you enjoy Thessaloniki? A friend lent me The Thread before going there, and it really helped us to understand the city's history better. I even tweeted Victoria Hislop when we were there, to ask where one of the churches in the book were.

    https://www.silvertraveladvisor.com/blog/destination-features-europe-greece/thessaloniki-a-historical-and-modern-greek-city

    The essence of TripFiction and exactly why we set up the Silver Travel Book Club.
  • Geoff
    over 2 years ago
    Just a brilliant idea. It is great to get a sense of a place when you're preparing for a trip, and even more fun to identify the places once you're there. I've done that with a couple of Victoria Hislop's books, The Thread particularly.
    Looking forward to reading more and getting the recommendations.
    Enjoy Sardinia.
  • AndrewMorris
    over 2 years ago
    Well...are we right about Silver Travellers loving books as much as travel?

    Welcome to the first adventure for the Silver Travel Book Club.

    Rosanna Ley's The Little Theatre by the Sea takes us to Sardinia, where newly qualified interior designer Faye is hired to restore the beautiful - but sadly now crumbling - old theatre in Deriu. It turns out to hold some rather interesting secrets...

    Where have you been in Sardinia, and what captivated you most? The two best entries on this forum thread will each win a hardback copy of the book, and we can follow in Faye's Sardinian footsteps together.

    Looking forward to loads more adventures with you and the Silver Travel Book Club. Where would you like to go next?

    Andrew