Friday, June 28, 2019

Armchair Travel Report - by Magdalena Scott

Since some of my fellow Sweet Romance Reads authors have recently mentioned armchair travel, a/k/a vacation through the pages of a book, I thought I'd do a quick report on some of the books I have read in June. (I'm not going to mention any books by authors I personally know, because to mention one and not all of them doesn't feel right.)

Ready? Let's head out...

Title: Sunset Beach
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Format: Hardback provided by my public library's book club
Armchair Travel to: St. Petersburg, FL

Heroine Drue Campbell is recovering from an injury that ended her career, and mourning the recent death of her mother. Now working a job she dislikes for the father she doesn't trust, she solves two mysteries - one old, and one older. Drue makes new friends, heals broken relationships, and finds a new future.

Title: Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape
Author: Diane Winger
Format: Ebook purchased online
Armchair Travel to: South Carolina - Colorado Rockies - Tucson, AZ, and points between

Our heroine is 61 years old when her husband of four decades walks out on her. Now she has evacuated their apartment as a hurricane approaches. Things are about to get even worse before they start to improve, as Ellie sets out on a life-changing camping trip of self-discovery. This book's cover grabbed me, and I related to the heroine in many ways.

Title: Nomadland: Surviving America in the 21st Century
Author: Jessica Bruder
Format: Ebook checked out through my local public library
Armchair Travel to: Across the USA

Not your parents' RV-life fantasy, this is an up-close look at the new "retirement" many Americans are enduring, caused by the 2008 crash and recession, and other financial disasters. The author's research included living and traveling throughout the USA along with some of these folks who have lost their homes and are now nomads living out of their cars or RVs. There are plenty of heart-breaking insights into the intense physical labor, deprivation, and unknown future of a large group of people whose American dream has gone very wrong.

Title: September
Author: Rosamunde Pilcher
Format: Paperback I own
Armchair Travel to: London and the Scottish Highlands

This is my current read, so I'll just say I'm glad to see Noel Keeling is a good guy in this one. Noel was the son of the heroine Penelope Keeling in the beautiful, best-selling The Shell Seekers.

Title: How to Train a Wild Elephant & Other Adventures in Mindfulness
Author: Jan Chozen Bays, MD
Format: Paperback I own
Armchair Travel to: This Moment

From the back cover: "A guided program for bringing mindfulness and meditation into daily activities to reduce stress and get more out of life." I am reading one chapter each week and doing the exercise throughout the week. I'm currently on Chapter Five, When Eating Just Eat. (Instead of doing other tasks while eating, allow yourself to savor the food.) My most difficult chapter so far was Three, Filler Words. When talking, I often begin with So, and find myself interjecting Like way too often. Yikes!

Where have you traveled this summer through reading?

Book links

Sunset Beach:
Ellie Dwyer's Great Escape:
How to Train a Wild Elephant:
Recent book releases by Sweet Romance Reads authors:

USA Today Bestselling Author Magdalena Scott is a practicing minimalist, having downsized from a 3,000 square foot house to a studio apartment, where her Giant Closet continues to resist taming. When not writing at home or spending time with family and friends, she loves to travel–carry-on baggage only–and is always pleasantly surprised at the kindness of strangers.



  1. Armchair travel is such fun, Magdalena. Last month, my husband and I traveled to Alaska, prompted by the wonderful book by Kristin Hannah--The Great Alone. Thanks for your list of books--I'll check them out.

    1. I'll have to look at The Great Alone, Josie. Thank you for the recommendation!

  2. I haven't gone anywhere memorable. I need to seek out a beach read. Sunset Beach sounds like a good option. :)

  3. I love traveling to different places and times through history through reading a book.

    1. Yes, time travel is possible via books. Love it!

  4. Nomadland sounds interesting. Wow! I hadn't heard of it before.

    1. Definitely interesting, Cindy. And eye-opening for me. I'm not sure where I learned about the book. Probably one of those internet rabbit-hole experiences. ;)

  5. Back in time to Nebraska, present day Ohio, Georgia, and Oklahoma. You've gone quite a few places in your armchair travels.

  6. Thank you for commenting, Merrillee. You've done a lot of armchair travel too! :K)