9 books on my lockdown and Summer reading list

picture of lockdown reading - 9 books

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What does a travel blogger do when they can’t travel? Reading is up there for me, and here are 9 books on my lockdown and summer reading list. Some of them aren’t even about travel.

Dare Not Linger, Nelson Mandela and Mandla Langa

I finished this book in April, having loved A Long Walk to Freedom when I read it years ago. Dare Not Linger is a thought-provoking account of the transition and first term of ANC Government in South Africa with Mandela as President, and some of the eye-opening challenges he faced. For example: how do you embed a culture where paying tax is the right thing to do on a population who in the preceding decades had opposed and avoided paying taxes to a Government that had oppressed them?

Buy Dare Not Linger from Amazon.

Walking the Americas, Levison Wood

I saw Levison Wood live a couple of years back and also loved the TV series of this book. So … this one’s here ready and waiting for me to get stuck in.

Buy Walking the Americas from Amazon.

The Places in Between, Rory Stewart

Remember a year ago in British politics? When the Conservative Party hadn’t yet chosen BoJo as Prime Minister and Rory Stewart was the surprise candidate who started to get some momentum behind him – not least with non-Conservative voters (including me!) who figured that if we had to have the Tories in charge he would be an option we could deal with. Oh my, how times have changed. Anyhoo, this book is about Rory’s travels in Afghanistan in 2002.

Buy The Places in Between from Amazon.

Becoming, Michelle Obama

I want to be inspired by Michelle’s humanity and fabulousness and I don’t believe this book will disappoint!

Buy Becoming from Amazon.

Bring up the Bodies, Hilary Mantel

It took me a while to get into this book’s prequel, Wolf Hall, but when I did I loved it. It was incredibly well written and taught me a lot more about Tudor history than I learnt in junior school. I’ve had this on my bookshelf for a good five years – I will get round to reading it this Summer 🙂

Buy Bring up the Bodies from Amazon.

To Catch a Rabbit, Helen Cadbury

Set in Doncaster, South Yorkshire (UK), this book won a Northern Crime Award and was the first of the Sean Denton crime series. Sadly Helen, who was a York-based author, passed away in 2017; the year her novel was given away in the city as part of its annual “Big Read” campaign.

Buy To Catch a Rabbit from Amazon.

One Hundred Years of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez

It’s a classic. I haven’t read it. I should. Scratch that. I WILL.

Buy One Hundred Years of Solitude from Amazon.

Short Walks from Bogotá, Tom Feiling

I want to go to Colombia and understand more about the place before I (eventually) get there – it’s as simple as that!

Buy Short Walks from Bogotá from Amazon.

Charlie y la Fábrica de Chocolate / Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl (Spanish language version)

I’ve been reading and listening to a lot more Spanish during lockdown, adding a few online group classes into the mix too. It’s in a bid to improve from level B1 (intermediate) to B2, and children’s literature with its creative vocabulary is a fun way to do it. As I click “publish” on this post, I’m up to page 53.

Buy Charlie y la Fábrica de Chocolate (Spanish version) from Amazon.

Have you read these books? What did you think? And what’s on your lockdown/Summer reading list? Leave your comments below.

Julie Sykes of The Gap Year Edit


Hi, I'm Julie, a York (UK)-based travel blogger and comfort-zone pusher. Join me as I bring you pics and musings from my mildly adventurous travels around the globe. My mission is to hear you say, "I"m so glad I did it!" instead of, "I wish I could, BUT ..."

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9 books on my lockdown and Summer reading list