February 25, 2019 3 min read


 A book always looks great on an insta pic, but they can also be fun to read while you are waiting on a bus or train because let's face it there is a lot of waiting around when you're travelling the world.

So for world book day - we thought we'd help you out :)  It makes sense to read a book about the place your travelling to as it really helps inform you of where you're going and you get a sense the place. 

So here are 6 GREAT book recommendations to go with your #instatravels  Australia, Mexico, Paris, London and Round the world. 


1) Journey to Java by Harold Nicolson (1957 edition)

Perfect for - Indonesia

Based on diplomat and author Sir Harold Nicholson’s own travels from Southampton to Indonesia during the golden age of sea travel, Journey to Java remains a fascinating read, not to mention a more impressive travel companion than the ubiquitous Lonely Planet. Filled with the writer’s own musings on the search for happiness, it’s a book that explores life at sea and the exotic island paradise that waits at the other end, to a backdrop of the last gasps of both an era and an empire.


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2) Kangaroo by D. H. Lawrence (1954 edition)

Perfect for - Australia

Written in just forty-five days whilst the author was living in Sydney, Kangaroo features intensely beautiful descriptions of the Australian bush that will still be eerily familiar to travellers today. This semi-autobiographical story follows English writer, Richard Somers and his German wife, Harriet through the politically tumultuous powder keg of post-war Australia and in particular their relationship with Kangaroo, the secretive leader of a clandestine fascist organisation.


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3) The Pearl by John Steinbeck (1951 edition)

Perfect for - Mexico

Based on a traditional Mexican folktale, The Pearl is a heart-rending story of subsistence living, where one piece of bad luck (or in this case, extremely good luck) can send you spinning towards destruction. Desperate to pay for a doctor for his injured son, the book’s protagonist Kino discovers an enormous pearl and in the process exposes both the kind nature and darker emotions of those around him.



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4) Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (Vintage, Penguin)


Perfect for - Britain

If you’re staying close to home, then this evocative novel will take you into the dark underbelly of the British Seaside - a world of faded paint and past glories. Set in 1930’s Brighton, it also introduces readers to one of literature’s most terrifying antiheroes, Pinkie Brown, a teenage psychopath and emerging gangster whose attempt to cover up a murder soon spins violently out of control.


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5) Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell (1963 edition)

Perfect for – Britain and France

Worth getting for the cover alone, this vivid account is based on Orwell’s own experiences of living in both European capitals. First published in 1933, its a tragi-comic take on the struggle to escape poverty, fuelled by optimism, a parade of wonderfully believable characters and the kind of badly paid jobs that every backpacker will surely recognise. If you’re travelling and running out of cash, then this is the book for you.


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6) A Moor of Spain, The Story of a Rogue by Richard Parker (1953 edition)

Perfect for - Spain and the Caribbean

You can practically feel the heat and dust of Andalusia in this young adult adventure that follows a young moor as he travels across southern Spain and survives the dreaded inquisition before travelling with Columbus into the New World. Now almost forgotten, it’s a rip-roaring story that’s perfect if you want to learn more about Moorish Spain, or just love re-discovering a lost classic (if you do, then why not join our Obscure Book Club).


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And finally -


7) Illustrated Around the World in Eighty Days by Jules Verne

Perfect for - Everywhere

This timeless tale of one man and his loyal valet’s attempt to circumnavigate the world by train, ship – even elephant in order to win a wager worth more than £2 million in today’s money, remains fun, gripping and hilarious. With stops in Europe, Africa, India, China, Japan and the USA, it’s also an epic travelogue that pre-shadowed today’s round the world tickets by more than 150 years. This version is also beautifully illustrated, helping to bring an unforgettable story to life.


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 Discover our travel collection today CLICK HERE 

Sean Heather
Sean Heather


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