I’m pretty sure this is a long overdue post – I had lots of things I was working on based on travel and cruises but that is not super relevant in the COVID-19 world. I arrived safely in New Zealand back in early January and have been here ever since – we moved into a nice place and then lockdown began on the 22nd March 2020.
As I am currently searching for a new role, I have spent a lot of time reading books and trying to read about other people’s adventure’s through the pages rather than be able to explore myself. I’ve put together a list for all of you of my good reads for lockdown that I have enjoyed during these last few weeks.
1. It’s on the Meter – Paul Archer & Johno Ellison
It’s the tale of 3 guys from Aston University, who finish their studies and come up with the idea of driving a London Black cab around the world while sitting in the pub. As all great pub ideas start out, they actually did buy the taxi and really did drive it around the world!
Along the way, they come across many travellers, come face to face with the Taliban, try to get the car up to Base camp and have the most entertaining run-ins wherever they go. It’s hilarious to read the 43,000-mile adventure they all went on and made me long to drive a car on their trip – definitely a good read for lockdown.
2. The Tent, the Bucket and Me – Emma Kennedy
This book is the inspiration for the BBC Tv series – The Kennedy’s and is based on the childhood stories of Emma Kennedy on her camping trips around the UK and Europe. So many of the stories were relatable for a British family, especially with the camping and caravanning holidays.
I shared this book with my Grandma and she was laughing away at the different stories, it is very easy to get taken in by this book and the charming memories it brings back. When I was a child we were in a caravan on a campsite in France when the tail end of a hurricane hit and half the tents on the campsite flooded so they had to dig them out. These funny childhood stories all come flooding back with this book, which is why I had to add it to my good reads for lockdown list.
3. Half of a Yellow Sun – Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
This is not such a happy or funny book like the rest of this list, but definitely a really good read and a really important one too. Also, this is the only one of this list that is fiction and not autobiographical and follows the lives of three intertwined people during the Nigerian Civil War. It is heartbreaking in so many ways, following the characters as their lives change throughout the war and what it does to their personalities and resilience. The book was haunting in many ways and really made me feel lots of different things – without giving away the plot, it covers hard-hitting topics of massacres, paranoia, post-colonialism, refugees and starvation.
Definitely, a beautifully written book and I must have cried quite a few times throughout – it was also made into a film in 2014 starring Chiwetel Ejiofor and was named in the Guardian’s top 10 books written since 2000.
4. What I was doing while you were breeding – Kristin Newman
On to a more lighthearted story, of Kristin, of everyone’s single friend who just loves travel and Argentina. This book was recommended multiple times on different travel Facebook groups that I am a member of and it didn’t disappoint. Kristin is a sitcom writer, having worked on shows like How I met your Mother and that 70s show – in-between seasons and writing schedules. She explores much of the world, mainly Latin America, Russia, Israel and more off the beaten path adventures.
She recounts many different stories of lovers in different countries and it is definitely a little more adult than some of the others on this list. It took me to so many places and really made me think of all the different places I want to go when the lockdown is lifted. Especially in New Zealand, where she spends one chapter – making it one of my new favourite good reads for lockdown.
5. Don’t go there – Adam Fletcher
My final good read for lockdown is a series of tales by Adam where he heads to places that a lot of people would say to avoid. It’s a series of dark tourist spots and interesting places spanning from Chernobyl to North Korea and his misadventures. The novel is not as laugh out loud funny as other books I read, but I did find it interesting.
Adam has a similar style to Bill Bryson and I think that works very well for the different places he explores. His stories are pretty refreshing and just make me want to hop onto a flight to Ukraine.
So that’s what I have been reading these past few weeks to feel like I’m travelling and exploring new places. I hope this has given you some inspiration for new books during lockdown to read.
Let me know in the comments about what you’ve been reading during the lockdown.
The Great Ambini
You can buy all of these books online or like I did (on my kindle)