European Holiday Reading – A (Temporary) Farewell

Tomorrow we’re off to continental Europe for two weeks of train travel, making stops in Brussels, Freiburg (Germany), two towns in Switzerland, and Salzburg and Vienna in Austria. This will be some of the most extensive travel I’ve done in Europe in the 11 or so years that I’ve lived here – and the first time I’ve been to Switzerland or Austria – so I’m excited. I’ve been working like a fiend recently to catch up and/or get ahead on reviews and blogs, so it will be particularly good to spend two weeks away from a computer. It’s also nice that our adventure doesn’t have to start with going to an airport.

Here’s what I’ve packed:

  • Setting Free the Bears by John Irving (his first novel; set in Vienna)
  • Diary of a Pilgrimage by Jerome K. Jerome (about a train journey from England to Germany)
  • Me and Kaminski by Daniel Kehlmann (the author is Austrian)
  • A Whole Life by Robert Seethaler (a novella set in the Austrian Alps)

+ Enchanting Alpine Flowers & the Rough Guide to Vienna


Also on the e-readers, downloaded from Project Gutenberg:

  • Three Men on the Bummel by Jerome K. Jerome (further humorous antics in Germany)
  • Burning Secret by Stefan Zweig (a novella; the author is Austrian)

+ another 250+ Kindle books from a wide variety of genres and topics – I’ll certainly have no shortage of reading material!

(Looking back now, it occurs to me that this all skews rather towards Austria! Oh well. Vienna is one of our longer stops.)


I’m supposed to be making my way through the books we already own, but on Saturday I was overcome with temptation at our local charity shop when I saw that all paperbacks were on sale – 5 for £1. I’m in the middle of one of the novels I bought that day, June by Gerbrand Bakker, along with The Accidental Tourist by Anne Tyler, and need to decide whether to put them on hold while I’m away or take one or both with me. Either way I’ll try to finish June this month; it’s just too appropriate not to!


I was also overcome with temptation at the thought of a new Eowyn Ivey novel coming out in August, so requested a copy for review.


It’s an odd time here in the UK. Readers from North America or elsewhere might be unaware that we’re gearing up for a referendum to decide whether to remain in the European Union. By the time we pass back through Brussels (‘capital’ of the European Union) on the 24th, there’s every chance the UK might no longer be an official member of Europe. I haven’t taken British citizenship so am ineligible to cast a vote; I won’t court debate by elaborating on a comparison of “Brexit” with the specter of Trump in the States. My husband has sent in his postal vote, so collectively we’ve done all we can do and now just have to wait and see.

We’re not back until late on the 24th, but I’ve scheduled a few posts for while we’re away. I will only have sporadic Internet access during these weeks, so won’t be replying to blog comments or reading fellow bloggers’ posts, but I promise to catch up when we get back.

Happy June reading!

11 responses

  1. Carolyn Anthony | Reply

    I like your variety of reading choices. Thanks for the update. Bon Voyage!

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. A good set of books and great to have a selection of ebooks to hand, too, just in case! Happy travels!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Do have a wonderful holiday!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Have so much fun, Rebecca!
    Your book choices sound just right. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Bon voyage. You seem to have a lot of reading to get through. Don’t forget to be a tourist too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Some of our train rides are 8+ hours long! We’ll also have a deck of cards, binoculars, music and snacks to pass the time.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah, well in that case you will need all those books.


  6. Have a delightful trip! Happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sounds like a decent amount of reading for all those train journeys. We just did a train trip to Florence (via Zurich and back via Turin) and I managed at least 5 books in a week. I *love* European train travel….

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t done nearly enough European travel yet. Your trip sounds great. We went to Florence two years ago, but that was by plane and bus. Compared to plane travel or driving, trains seem so much less stressful (and much safer!).


  8. Sounds like a wonderful trip – if you are doing it by train you’ll see just how superior the German/Austrian system is compared to Britain’s slow coaches…..

    Liked by 1 person

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