Uncovering Europe's best budget hotels since 2001.

Home > Travel Blog > Book Reviews

EuroCheapo's Book Reviews Articles

European Rail: Celebrating 140 years of Thomas Cook Timetables

European Rail: Celebrating 140 years of Thomas Cook Timetables

“Hey, come on,” said our neighbor as we sat in spring sunshine, exclaiming in mild delight at the timetable that had just been delivered by the Berlin postie. “Look,” he said, “it is just a train timetable.” One book: 140 years of travel history But the March 2013 issue of the “Thomas Cook European Rail » Read more

Book Review: Bradt Travel Guides to Macedonia and beyond

Book Review: Bradt Travel Guides to Macedonia and beyond

The best guidebooks go through many editions, and canny publishers ensure that each edition just gets better and better. Our bookshelves are crammed with old guides, and it’s interesting to see how successive editions of classic 19th-century guides (like Baedeker’s Switzerland) both shaped and reflected evolving patterns of travel and tourism. We especially like the » Read more

Paris vs. New York… The neighborhood showdown

Paris vs. New York… The neighborhood showdown

By Bryan Pirolli in Paris— Vahram Muratyan’s book Paris vs. New York: A Tally of Two Cities has been making quite an impression on big city dwellers. Debuting at Colette last year in Paris and launching in February in New York, the book visually chronicles the comparisons and contrasts between both iconic cities. Images illustrate » Read more

Jonglez Guidebooks: Europe with a “Secret” Twist

Jonglez Guidebooks: Europe with a “Secret” Twist

From time to time, as we mooch around cities in western Europe we raise a glass to toast Thomas Jonglez – a man who took a decade to realize that a career in the steel trade was decidedly unsexy and in 2003 reinvented himself as a writer and publisher. We first stumbled on Jonglez’ work » Read more

hidden europe: Our favorite European map makers

hidden europe: Our favorite European map makers

Yes, we know it sounds dreadfully sad, but we have been spending the long winter evenings poring over maps. Maps are a must for travel planning, and an essential companion on the road. We count a good map as indispensable on all but the simplest of European journeys. A GPS is great but it is » Read more

Book Review: Venice explored through great prose

Book Review: Venice explored through great prose

By Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries— Last week saw the publication of the sixth title in Oxygen Books’ innovative city-lit/city-pick series, with Venice joining a line-up that already includes Berlin, Dublin, London, Paris and Amsterdam. The idea is simple but inspirational. Oxygen’s editors gather together the very best prose to evoke the spirit of a » Read more

Book Review: Only in Hamburg

Book Review: Only in Hamburg

By Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries— It is more than 18 months since we highlighted a trio of new titles in the “Only in…” series here on EuroCheapo. Now author Duncan JD Smith follows up Berlin, Vienna and Prague with a quizzical look at Hamburg. Only in Hamburg is a guide to hidden corners and » Read more

Slow Down: A new series on Slow Travel from Bradt Travel Guides

Slow Down: A new series on Slow Travel from Bradt Travel Guides

Slow travel is suddenly in fashion. Speed was once associated with success. Less so nowadays, as travelers realize that those who travel slow savor riches that those committed to speed simply miss. Getting to know one or two places properly can be immensely more satisfying than trying to pack ten European cities into a two » Read more

Europe by Train: Time Out’s guide to the best itineraries

Europe by Train: Time Out’s guide to the best itineraries

What train routes might make it into a list of Europe’s greatest train journeys? The book that inspires us to ask this question is published next month by Time Out Guides Ltd. Great Train Journeys of the World is edited by Andrew Eames who pulled together a team of leading luminaries on rail travel to » Read more

Book Review: “Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter”

Book Review: “Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter”

If you’ve been following the career of Arthur Frommer—guidebook pioneer, magazine founder, and budget travel personality—you’ve probably noted his daily travel musings on his blog, “Arthur Frommer Online.” Since launching it last year, Frommer has penned more than 1,000 posts that cover a vast array of subjects, from new travel sites to censorship in Dubai. “Ask Arthur Frommer: And Travel Better, Cheaper, Smarter,” » Read more

Essential Reading: Maps and travel guides

“A guide to hidden corners, little-known places and unusual objects,” says the blurb, nicely summarizing the emphasis of a series of guidebooks which we have recently discovered. Only in Budapest was published in 2006, with author Duncan JD Smith adeptly reviewing 84 offbeat and eclectic curiosities around the Hungarian capital. Now Smith has followed his » Read more

Guidebook Flashback! Fodor’s “Budget France ’82″

The other day, a copy of “Fodor’s Budget France ’82″ landed in our office. The cute little book, measuring no larger than a pocket-sized Agatha Christie novel, has captivated and charmed us ever since. For one thing, it’s so simple. The 178-page book is all text, providing three maps (France, Paris, and the Metro), ten chapters, and » Read more

Friday Coffee Table Book Suggestion

We just got a look at Rough Guides’ tome of a coffee table book Make the Most of Your Time on Earth. In addition to sporting a bit of a foreboding title, Make the Most is bursting at the seams with event and activity suggestions around the world. Looking at the compendium’s European offerings, we » Read more

The Hungarian Girl Trap

Visitors to Hungary should consider buying a copy of the novel The Hungarian Girl Trap, written by English ex-pat Ray Dexter, who lives in Miskolc (a still life of which can seen above) in the east of the country. The title is a reference to the scores of foreign men who are drawn to settle » Read more

Vienna Primer: Soap Opera a la John Irving

Photo by infraredhorsebite A sibling love affair, a taxidermic incident with the family dog (whose name, of all things, is Sorrow), and a dancing bear. Need we say more? These plot details are just the tip of the iceberg in John Irving’s novel, The Hotel New Hampshire. The story follows a family from New England » Read more

Geoff Dyer: Hopelessly Transient, Perpetually Readable

Geoff Dyer seems to write his way out of his obsessions. Whether it’s jazz, the Battle of the Somme, or John Berger, Dyer is unconcerned with standard exposition. He appears to type until he’s figured out why he can’t help writing on his chosen subject matter. For the reader, the journey is sometimes manic, but » Read more

Dresden: “Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing Hurt”

Last week we all lost a literary great, Kurt Vonnegut: war hero, anthropologist, and writer of such greats as Breakfast of Champions and Cat’s Cradle. He’s left us a legacy of quotable writing, humor, and thought provoking literary scenes. And so this week we are rereading Slaughterhouse-Five in tribute to Vonnegut. The semi-autobiographical novel recounts » Read more

Book review: “The Good Soldier”

Book review: “The Good Soldier”

We know, the name is not thrilling. We groaned inwardly at the prospect of another war book with gruesome battle scenes and unrequited love for the poor wounded soldier, a la Hemingway. But who knew we’d be taken to a German spa town? It turns out, The Good Soldier, by Ford Madox Ford, is war » Read more

Paris: Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s Love in the Days of Rage

April is just around the corner. We’re thinking of the world’s best April Fool’s joke, warmer weather, and student riots. Ok, we know that riots don’t quite fit with Easter egg pastels, matzo ball soup, and cherry blossoms, but we just read Love in the Days of Rage by Lawrence Ferlinghetti, a chronicle of the » Read more

Pamplona: The Importance of Reading Ernest

When it’s gross and rainy we dream of the sun. More precisely, we dream of stifling, heat-heavy days in Pamplona during the fiesta of San Fermin. Yes, that’s right. On cold, rainy days we fantasize about long lazy summer afternoons spent camped at a café sipping coffee or cognac, awaiting the wild magic of the » Read more

London Read: Mrs. Dalloway

London Read: Mrs. Dalloway

If you’re going to London–heck, even if you’re not–we think that you should read Mrs. Dalloway. In part because Mrs. Dalloway author Virginia Woolf was a lead figure in the famed Bloomsbury Group, the influential network of artists and intellectuals who met in the London neighborhood of the same name in the early 20th century; » Read more

DK’s Real City Books

DK’s Real City Books

Yesterday the DK “Real City Barcelona” guidebook showed up at the office, allowing us to get our first look at the publishing house’s new Real City series. To cut to the chase: We dig. “Real City Barcelona” has all the visual detail and thoroughness of the DK Eyewitness guides, though the target demographic is younger and more » Read more

Sad Wabbits

Sad Wabbits

Meredith Franco’s recent “Bunnies Good and Bad” post brought to mind another bunny: the suicide bunny. Perhaps visions of cute cartoon bunnies creatively offing themselves are not the thing on Valentine’s Day. Then again, perhaps they are. British scriptwriter Andy Riley’s “The Book of Bunny Suicides: Little fluffy rabbits who just don’t want to live » Read more

Don’t Judge a Book by its Couverture

Don’t Judge a Book by its Couverture

On the last page of this Sunday’s New York Times Book Review is a rather enlightening article on the branding of best-selling American authors. The piece examines the exhaustive process publishers go through to design the books of celebrity authors. Everyone seems to have a hand in the creation of the all-important cover: publishers, art directors, marketing » Read more

On the road with Goofus and Gallant

We couldn’t let another day go by without Highlight-ing our favorite characters in Tim Leffel’s latest book, “Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune” (Travelers’ Tales, August 2006). Throughout the book, Leffel humorously follows two imaginary (we hope) couples, the Smiths and Johnsons. The Smiths (a.k.a. “Goofus”) plan and travel with the masses; the Johnsons » Read more

Follow Us