Lose Yourself in These New Travel Books

Lauren Hill

Senior Contributor

From traversing the desert and mountains of Morocco to exploring Italy’s hidden corners and cycling through Flanders, Belgium, these recently released travel novels provide all the escapism you need for the coming weeks.

Around the World in 80 Trains: A 45,000-Mile Adventure by Monisha Rajesh

Scenic routes, ease of use and greater environmental credentials are just some of the reasons train travel has become one of the biggest travel trends of recent times. Fully embracing this newly appreciated mode of travel, this recently released novel follows the 45,000-mile journey of author Monisha Rajesh as she circumnavigates the globe by train, travelling along some of the world’s most extraordinary railways from Mongolia and Tibet to the lavish Venice Simplon-Orient Express.

Bloomsbury, £20

The Colour of the Sky After Rain by Tessa Keswick

Having fallen in love with China when she first visited in 1982, author Tessa Keswick went on to extensively travel and get to know the history, landscape and culture of a diverse nation that was rapidly transforming over the following 30 years. Published in January 2020, this book delves into her experiences and observations of this vast country at a time of significant change.

Apollo, £30

The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman: A Bone-shaking Tour through Cycling’s Flemish Heartlands by Harry Pearson

Part sports novel, part travelogue, this February released homage to cycling takes readers on a journey through Flanders Belgium by way of its scenic but juddering cycling routes. The Beast, the Emperor and the Milkman tells the story of the people and places the author Harry Pearson encounters as he follows big and small races through the historically rich region.

Bloomsbury Sport, £10

The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad by Emily Thomas

Combining the escapism of a travelogue with the thought-provoking qualities of philosophical prose, The Meaning of Travel: Philosophers Abroad delves into our understanding of what it means to travel. The book’s narrative moves between philosophers’ thoughts in the Age of Discovery, the reflections on the wilderness of Henry David Thoreau and even how an interest in space spurred mountain tourism.

OUP Oxford, £14.99

The Only Gaijin in the Village by Iain Maloney

This brand new memoir follows the story of Scottish author Iain Maloney moving with his Japanese wife Minori to a small village of rural Japan and his attempts to fit in with the local community. Through a humorous account of being the only foreigner in the remote village, the author provides a window into a lesser-seen side of Japan, showing how even after a decade of living in the country, life in the countryside is a world away from any of his previous experiences.

Polygon, £12.99

Adventures in Morocco: From the Souks to the Sahara by Alice Morrison

It was after travelling to Morocco to take part in the famous Marathon des Sables that TV presenter, writer and adventurer Alice Morrison fell in love with the landscape, people and souks of this extraordinary country. After moving to Marrakech, the writer began to explore Morocco further, hiking through the Atlas Mountains and joining nomads in crossing the Sahara desert. This book ultimately gives a deeper insight into the people and customs of the diverse regions she comes across on her journey.

Simon & Schuster UK, £9.99

See You in the Piazza by Frances Mayes

The latest novel of the best-selling author behind Under the Tuscan Sun, See You in the Piazza transports readers to hidden pockets of Italy, proving an introduction into the places only the locals know as she and her husband eat and drink their way through the country. Exploration of Italy’s 13 regions takes in cultural and historic sites not found in your typical guidebooks, along with its backstreets, piazzas and markets.

Crown Publishing Group, £20

Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes by Helen Ochyra

A brand new release, and the author Helen Ochyra’s debut novel, Scotland Beyond the Bagpipes tells the story of how this writer falls for the people, landscape and customs of the country in her endeavour to see what makes this nation truly special. Having previously glimpsed the bewitching landscape and charm of the people, Oychra set out to explore Scotland properly, uncovering the stories behind its history, geography and people each step of the way.

Book Guild Publishing Ltd, £9.99

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