Just read

Without Reservations: The Travels Of An Independent Woman – Alice Steinbach

Alice Steinbach has been an independent woman for as long as she can remember. She is a single mother and a journalist, and is quite used to fending for herself. She has let her work and her motherhood define her and influence all her choices. One day, she is struck by the urge to take off on a one-year journey all by herself, which would help her rediscover herself. A lot of dilly-dallying, panic and talking to colleagues and friends, she does decide to make the project a reality. She starts on the journey with just a little bit of preparation, leaving a lot to chance, leaving a lot of scope for surprises – a journey ‘without reservations’. The book is a memoir, a chronicle of her experiences along the course of her journey, which begins in Paris.

Without Reservations: The Travels Of An Independent Woman is a beautifully written book. It is evident that the words have flown straight from the heart of the author. The book is honest, and the author hasn’t hesitated in writing about her mistakes. She writes not only about the places she visited, but also the people she met on the way, the introspection that each such meeting and incident triggered in her. There are some moments in her journey that influenced the author deeply, and these have been written about in a very lovely way. The author has done a great job with the descriptions of the places, especially while narrating her travels in the Cotswolds, and makes you feel like you are right there with her, taking the journey too. The author is a true-blue traveller, for sure, and she inspires wanderlust in you, too, with this book.

I loved reading Without Reservations: The Travels Of An Independent Woman, and would heartily recommend it to everyone. I can’t wait to read the other books by the author, too!

Thank you so much for recommending this book to me, Kismi!

Around India In 80 Trains – Monisha Rajesh

Monisha Rajesh is an Indian by birth, but settled in England with her family since long. A journalist by profession, she is inspired by the book Around The World In 80 Days to start a similar journey of her own – one that involves travelling around the vast country that is India by means of 80 different trains. She finds a companion, who is named as Passepartout in the book, and sets out on her journey with a lot of trepidation. Around India In 80 Trains is her memoir of the journey.

It is a very honest book, and Monisha writes with her heart of all the experiences, good and bitter, that she had during her travels around India. She writes about India from the perspective of a non-resident Indian and about her issues with the rail system in the country. The book is quite well-written and informative, as the author has included brief histories of the major trains she took and the places she decided to visit. That does not make the book boring, though – there is the perfect blend of entertainment and information.

However, the book seemed to lack something. It seemed sort of scattered. Some of the chapters lacked the punch that the other chapters had. Maybe a tighter editing process would have worked wonders for it.

I would still recommend this book, though. It is perfect if you want a light read about India, and will inspire you to travel for sure.


12 thoughts on “Just read

  1. The first book sounds really interesting. Thanks for the recommendation. I have been scouring the internet for quite a while now trying to find a good travelogue. Shall definitely try this one.

    I have read Monisha Rajesh’s book. I felt the main disadvantage of the book is her constant attempt to tick trains off the list. She seems to have been more intent on that than enjoying her journey. And the book is a bit too stereotypical as far the western world view of India is concerned. It reminded me of ‘Slumdog Millionaire’, a movie I hated heartily. The author seems to be too hasty in denouncing our country wherever she can and I hate the way she keeps saying ‘I am English’. Wonder if the actual English people would accept her as one considering the amount of racism that is quite deep rooted in the west.
    Having said that, I wouldn’t say I did not enjoy the book at all .. It was fine but had all these disadvantages πŸ™‚


    1. @Aarthy

      I felt Monisha did show both the good and bad sides of India. I didn’t feel the racism, somehow. I felt it was as much how India treated her, as much as what she viewed India to be. But then, maybe, that’s just me. πŸ™‚

      Hope you enjoy the first book!


  2. You know that I absolutely loved the first one! I am definitely going to read the book by Monica Rajesh coz’ it sounds very exciting and it is about travel – so, yes! Thanks for the reviews TGND.


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