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Silver Travel Book Club - Book of the Month - October 2018

Thanks @almonds for your comment….I hadn’t heard about Tim Butcher’s Blood River: A Journey to Africa’s Broken Heart.

It sounds like a far cry from Three Men in a Boat drifting gently down the Thames, but it’s now on my To Be Read list.

I don’t think Emerald Waterways, proud sponsors of the Silver Travel Book Club, currently offer a cruise down the Congo, but maybe one day……

Love this book

Love to have the opportunity to read book of the month. Fingers crossed. Sadly I’ve not done any river journeys but I have read Tim Butcher’s book about the River Congo twice. I must admit I’ve no desire to journey down the Congo after reading his fascinating book.

Thanks for your comment @silverp – have you ever travelled down a river, whether in the UK or overseas, in a decent sized boat or in a smaller, less conventional craft? We’d love to hear your own stories!

I mentioned earlier my own most memorable trip on the Shannon in Ireland, way back in the 1960s. I’ve remembered another river experience from my own childhood, in the very early 1970s. My adventurous – mad? – parents had decided to buy a small hotel in Cliftonville, near the English riviera at Margate, moving us from vibrant south-east London to the quieter backwater of East Kent.

The Craven Hotel had 26 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, with most summer guests migrating south from Teesside on a Beeline coach. But that’s another story….

Mum & Dad worked all hours in an industry that they had never experienced before. My brother and I were sent to boarding school. It was a rather steep learning curve for all of us. Mum and Dad bought us an inflatable rubber dinghy, which we would sail out from the beaches of the Isle of Thanet. But on the odd Sunday afternoon they could escape from hosting a bingo session, we would load the boat onto our Singer Vogue estate and cast it into the quiet waters of the River Stour at Grove Ferry, on the outskirts of Canterbury.

Those afternoons, spend drifting quietly down the river reconnecting with my parents, was definitely my own Jerome K. Jerome moment in time.

i am an avid reader but missed out “Three men in a boat” when younger so would love to win any of these books.


Thanks everyone for your comments so far on this month’s Silver Travel Book Club choice. Apologies to @Grey-Wolf and @Endy for the confusion over the initial book choice, but please cut us some slack – as our friends across the pond might say – and allow us to draw a veil over the change.

Jerome K. Jerome’s Three Men in a Boat may not float everyone’s literary canoe, but it is recognised by most as a comic masterpiece and has never been out of print since it was first published in 1889. It is also the perfect choice to celebrate Emerald Waterways, our wonderful new sponsors of the Silver Travel Book Club.

My own most memorable river trip dates back to the 1960s. On a cold winter’s night in London, my Dad booked us – spontaneously, whilst visiting The Boat Show – on a cruise, our first, down the River Shannon in Ireland. That Easter, we cast off from Carrick on Shannon and chugged slowly away, encountering four seasons of weather in a week, friendly locals and hardly any other boats. My brother fell into freezing water while we were trying to moor, and all the crockery fell from cupboards in the middle of a storm on Lough Key. It was a fantastic holiday!

Would that I were as organised as @DRSask who has shown us some great photos of her own memorable river trips in Canada. I would love to revisit the Shannon all those years ago.

Happy reading and happy boating.

Literary Editor

Hi @Endy
Excellent research and you make a good point. Hopefully from now on the first choice each month will be the correct one and I am sure @AndrewMorris will have taken the point of the ‘First Reich’ onboard.
Was the Roman Empire Holy!! oh dear you’ve got me thinking already


Fossil wrote:

no third book

Hi @Fossil,
Your reply got me to thinking – If there were to have been a THIRD book it should probably have been about the FIRST reich (the FIRST book having been about the THIRD reich). Which of course led to a googlesearch and the discovery that the first reich was The Holy Roman Empire. Is that what all you boys who learned Latin at school pored over?
Fascinating world.
Anyway, it seems that the leaders of the Holy Roman Empire travelled extensively, so I feel sure @AndrewMorris could choose from the many books on the subject one sufficiently oriented towards travelling.

No @Endy no third book.


GypstWanderer wrote:

To Say Nothing of a Dog’ by Connie Willis

This looks like a book for anyone who did enjoy Three Men in a Boat, to which it apparently “pays hilarious homage”.

“Interestingly” I noticed that Tripfiction hasn’t listed “Three Men in a Boat”! Curiouser and curiouser … Does that mean it’s time for a third “Book of October” because this one also doesn’t fit the criteria?

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