Holiday Gift Ideas #4: for Armchair Travellers

Greetings one and all...just back from Australia with all sorts of travelling ideas for you! I am thinking big comfy armchair, a cup of tea...or a glass of wine and a great book. I have a few books that I recently discovered, some old, some new. There might be one or two here, that may interest you. :)

From Paris....
If you looked at my travel bookshelf you would wonder why I would want to add another book on Paris. It is just too hard to resist..they are all so special. Paris by Janelle McCulloch is filled with wonderful photography and what I like best...inspirational destinations...bookstores, vintage boutiques, galleries, garden, shops, neighbourhoods... A list is not essential when in Paris, but when time is of the essence it surely helps.  You get all that and more in Janelle's book.

Image and interview with Janelle HERE

To Italy, France, Greece, India and Australia...
If you have not discovered Carla Coulson, you are missing the works of a brilliant photographer. When I picked up Carla's recent book, Chasing a Dream,  I admit it was difficult to put it down. In fact, I did a spin around the bookstore and went back to look at it again. If you love photography and travelling the armchair, be sure to check out Carla's book.

Image and review HERE

From backpacking across Europe, Australia, England, USA.... at 50../
To be honest, I think this is my fifth copy of 'Gang of Four' by Liz Byrski. I seem to purchase it with every trip to Australia and pass it on to a friend as soon as I return home.  I love this book, it is one of those feel good, coming-of-age (at fifty) kind of stories. Four friends, each on a journey, the kind that could easily happen to you. 

Book review HERE, image HERE.

To France and Australia....
I discovered Australian author, Alex Miller, with 'Journey to the Stone Country' and was compelled to read all his books from that point on.  Sometimes you find an author that 'speaks to you' and there begins the journey. Since moving from Australia, I have fallen out of step with his recent novels. I picked up 'Lovesong' and wished for more room in my luggage for 'Autumn Laing'. I am sure it won't be long before it finds it way to a bookshop in England. 

Images and information on the novels by Alex Miller HERE

From Chennai, India to London/Devon.....
I attended a dinner on a recent trip to India. I entered the room not knowing a soul and left with one of the most enjoyable memories of my trip. Amongst the many fascinating women I met that evening, was Ruth Khanna. We talked about life, work, family, careers and dreams. Ruth had recently written her first novel, Paper Boats, and I knew from the moment she mentioned it that I had to read it. I finished the book last night and it left me wanting more. I take that as a good sign and look forward to telling Ruth all about it.

Ruth Khanna's review HERE

To India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Thailand, Cambodia and Laos, Vietnam, The Philippines, China, Korea and Japan....
What better way to travel than through food! I love Charmaine's curry pastes and marinades. They were regular features in our pantry when we lived in Australia. With our recent travels to India and impending move to Vietnam, I think this book will make a nice addition to our cookbook collection.

Visit Charmaine Solomon's website HERE

Lastly....while we are talking travel, I was absolutely glued to Australian, Maeve O'Meara's SBS TV episode of French Food Safari (available on DVD) on my flight from London to Sydney.  It was worth every minute!

Read about Maeve and her Gourmet Safaris HERE

AND.....I just discovered Maeve's Vietnam Gorgeous Safaris
A big YES from this side of the world. Who wants to join me?? :)
I think Maeve is fabulous! Go Maeve!

There you have it, put a woman on a plane round trip from Sydney to London and
she will come up with all sorts of suggestions...of the travelling kind.

I hope you found something of interest here....maybe a gift idea for you or a friend?

Either way, I send my very best wishes for a wonderful weekend.... 
Happy Holiday Planning!

Jeanne xxx


  1. Hello dear, dear Jeanne,

    You are so right. One can never overdose on France or Paris.

    In case we do not "speak" before the holidays. I hope you have a joy filled Noel and the happiest of new year's in all the ways you wish.


  2. Welcome back! I hope you got my e-mail thanking you for the wonderful present.

  3. Welcome back!! I cannot wait to go and get all of these, I did not know of any of these books! I have not had a minute since my return from PAris but after the holidays I will be enjoying some freetiem to relax and read.

    I cannot wait to hear all about the ball! How fabulous did you look in your gorgeous dress? I cannot wait to see photos!
    I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

  4. Fantastic reading ideas Jeanne. Going to keep an eye out. I hope you saw the last Food Safari series in England (French Food Safari). As usual, Maeve does a fantastic job presenting.

  5. The books all look great. MY big problem is finding a discreet armchair where no one will come and disturb me while I read. Do imaginary rooms and peace and quiet come with your fabulous book list? ;-) Jeanne ) HOW WILL YOU MOVE THEM ALL? This is a serious question as it's one I may face one day if I move back to Aussie. List of things to take: All my books, my 3 kids, Everything that's in my studio!
    Merry Christmas!!

  6. Hi Jeanne,
    Thank you for featuring my book on your blog. I was so touched when I saw it. And curiously, the link to your site is right underneath mine on Brabourne Farm's blog. Must be kindred spirits. I adore your Brown Paper Book Club idea, and would love to be part of it. I'm happy to send my favourite books on. It could be the start of a wonderful new worldwide club? Three of loveliest books I've read recently are:
    The The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society
    An Encyclopedia of the Exquisite
    Mrs Harris Goes to Paris
    Would love to hear of /read other's suggestions.
    Janelle McCulloch | LIbrary of Design

  7. Wow . . . these look great.


  8. Some wonderful books here! Off to amazon to add a few to the wish list!

  9. Hi, Jeanne. Enjoyed going over your travel-inspired booklist. I'm going to try to find some of those titles, especially, "Gang of Four". Happy holiday season!
    best, nadia


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