Friendly Friday Challenge joins WOYBS to discuss our Favourite Travel Books

Friendly Friday Challenge meets What’s on Your Bookshelf Challenge

The Friendly Friday Challenge is a fortnightly challenge co-hosted by Sandy from The Sandy Chronicles, Amanda from Something to Ponder About and Sarah from Travels with Me. You can learn more about the Friendly Friday Challenge here.

What’s On Your Bookshelf is a monthly link-up co-hosted by Debbie (Deb’s World), Jo (And Anyways), Sue (Women Living Well After 50) and Donna (Retirement Reflections). #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

Guest Hosts for Friendly Friday Challenge

Jo, Donna, Sue, and I are thrilled to have been invited to join Sandy, Amanda and Sarah as Guest Hosts and join in as part of our monthly What’s on Your Bookshelf linkup – #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge to share our thoughts on our Favourite Travel Books.

What’s your favourite travel book? A guidebook, a history book, a photo book? Use the blue linkup button below to join in with your post on travel books, what you’re reading at the moment or simply leave us a comment.

My Favourite Travel Books

I decided to choose two books that inspired me to visit Iceland and I am happy to share my thoughts with you. One each of non-fiction and fiction.

Have you been to Iceland?

Two excellent books that piqued my interest in visiting Iceland:

  1. Saga Land by Richard Fidler and Kari Gislason
  2. Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

These books set the scene for me, with the descriptions of a vast, wild, beautiful area full of interesting history, superb scenery and sagas galore.

Iceland definitely seems to be the’ go to’ place with many articles, stories, blog posts and travel advice written about it and I’ve added my two bobs worth with a few posts of my own.

Our Odyssey

Odyssey – a long wandering and eventful journey 7 May – 2 August 2018 : our epic journey through my posts Our Odyssey – click this link to see posts from our adventures ICELAND Some of my favourite Iceland posts are listed here: Shades of glacial grey 10 Reasons why…

Keep reading

Saga Land – non fiction

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

It was this book that cemented our desire to visit Iceland which we did in June 2018, travelling with our then 35 year old daughter, which I have to say was a whole load of FUN!!!!

The Blurb:

This is Iceland as you’ve never read it before …

(Australian) broadcaster Richard Fidler and author Kári Gíslason are good friends. They share a deep attachment to the sagas of Iceland – the true stories of the first Viking families who settled on that remote island in the Middle Ages. These are tales of blood feuds, of dangerous women, and people who are compelled to kill the ones they love the most. The sagas are among the greatest stories ever written, but the identity of their authors is largely unknown.

Together, Richard and Kári travel across Iceland, to the places where the sagas unfolded a thousand years ago. They cross fields, streams and fjords to immerse themselves in the folklore of this fiercely beautiful island. And there is another mission: to resolve a longstanding family mystery – a gift from Kari’s Icelandic father that might connect him to the greatest of the saga authors.

Saga Land
Saga Land

The Mathematician read this book after I said how much I’d enjoyed it and we’ve since listened to interviews with the authors which were just as interesting.

The story has a personal quest for Kári woven through the stories and history. It added a whole new element to reading the book and made it even more enjoyable. It was part travel guide, part history, part fairytale and when combined it ended up being a fabulous story.

When a book makes you want to go and visit that place, and you do go there, then you know it’s a winner.

Burial Rites – fiction

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Blurb:

A brilliant literary debut, inspired by a true story: the final days of a young woman accused of murder in Iceland in 1829.

Set against Iceland’s stark landscape, Hannah Kent brings to vivid life the story of Agnes, who, charged with the brutal murder of her former master, is sent to an isolated farm to await execution.

Horrified at the prospect of housing a convicted murderer, the family at first avoids Agnes. Only Tóti, a priest Agnes has mysteriously chosen to be her spiritual guardian, seeks to understand her. But as Agnes’s death looms, the farmer’s wife and their daughters learn there is another side to the sensational story they’ve heard.

Riveting and rich with lyricism, Burial Rites evokes a dramatic existence in a distant time and place, and asks the question, how can one woman hope to endure when her life depends upon the stories told by others?

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
Burial Rites by Hannah Kent

This was a dark tale inspired by a true story and really got under my skin. It showed me a stark, empty countryside that wasn’t welcoming in any way but one that made me want to visit nonetheless – and I did!

What have I read so far this year?

This link will take you to my 2022 Reading Challenge page which lists all the books I’ve read so far this year – all 41 of them!

I’ve been keeping a tally of books I’ve read for quite some time now and update my pages every year. It wouldn’t be a What’s on your Bookshelf challenge post without linking to what books I’ve been reading!

You can easily catch up on my reading for 2022 – all my books are listed here

Your thoughts

Have you read either of these books? What do you think of them and if you haven’t read them, would they appeal to you?

Sue, Jo, Donna and I have been delighted to co-host this one-time combo challenge with Friendly Friday Challenge and What’s On Your Bookshelf. To join us and showcase your favourite travel book, you can share in the comments, pingback with your own post, or use the handy InLInkz bar below. Please be sure to tag both challenges (‘Friendly Friday’ and #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge). We look forward to hearing your thoughts as well as your travel book suggestions!

You are invited to the Inlinkz link party!

Click here to enter…

Deb xx

Shared for Natalie’s #weekendcoffeeshare

Guidelines for WOYBS: Next month’s linkup is Friday 20 May

What: What’s On Your Bookshelf #whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge
When: Third Thursday PM (Northern Hemisphere)/ Third Friday AM (Southern Hemisphere).
Why: Share a love of reading.
Where: Linkup below, Blog, Blog Comments, Instagram or other Social Media.
Who: This linkup is open to everyone.
How: You can share in the comments, with a blog post, or on other social media of your choice. You can use the hashtag #Whatsonyourbookshelfchallenge

You can also find Deb’s World in lots of other places – stay in touch by clicking any of the buttons below.

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62 Replies to “Friendly Friday Challenge joins WOYBS to discuss our Favourite Travel Books”

  1. Hi Deb, I’m so jealous of your trip to Iceland – I have been wanting to go there for some time. I haven’t read the two books you list but the Hannah Kent one is on my book wish list. Maybe if I get the book, then I will get to travel to Iceland too!
    Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

    1. HI Janine, thanks for your thoughts on my post. I’m so glad we got to got to Iceland when we did and didn’t put it off until later as it may never have happened!


    1. The travel book prompt was for us as we are guest hosts for the Friendly Friday challenge. I really enjoyed your post, thanks for joining us and good luck for the last week or so of your A-Z April.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Burial Rites is one of my most favourite books Deb. Also I loved SagaLand. It has so much that I love – history and Iceland. I also love Crime fiction by Icelandic authors. I really Messed up the #whatsonyourbookshelf this month. I thought it had been postponed till next week. Blame it on the pain meds!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hi Jen, I think we’ve talked about our love of Hannah Kent’s book and Saga Land before 🙂 Yes to crime fiction and Sacndi Noir! Sorry for the confusion, we are joining in with Friendly Friday challenge this month as guest hosts 🙂 Hope your arm is healing.


    1. It’s fine Carol, it’s just that we are guest hosts of the Friendly Friday challenge and the theme for that is Travel Books. Your post is great – as always!


  3. I heard the radio interview with Richard and Kari on the ABC and when you mentioned visiting Iceland it piqued my interest as I’ve a very good Icelandic friend who I spent some time with in 2012. An amazing country. I was there in winter and from your photos it looks like your visit was in summer?
    Did you have a favourite spot? Thingvellir and Myvatn were pretty special as was the Blue Lagoon in its winter coat, I have to say.
    Thanks for co-hosting the Friendly Friday challenge this fortnight. I do hope you will be tempted to join in again sometime. We would love to have you.
    Regarding travel books, I prefer a non fictional account but not necessarily a guide book.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for having us for your Friendly Friday challenge! Yes went to Iceland in June but it wasn’t all that warm 🙂 We loved the black sandy beaches and Thingvellir was probably a highlight and the glaciers and hot springs. It was all just amazing if I’m honest! I will definitely join you again 🙂


        1. Yes sort of independently. We had everything booked before we went, hire car and hotels and just had to self drive from place to place which was fun and a huge adventure.


          1. Driving on the wrong side of the road is admirable so well done to you guys. I was too much of a scardey cat to try driving in February snow and ice! As it was I remember seeing a car on the side of the road that had skidded and rolled near Thingvellir!

            Liked by 1 person

  4. You are my go-to travel lady! Gosh its great to read about your many experiences of other parts of the world and how fortunate for us that the blog is the perfect way to share. I knew Richard had gone to do something related to his interest ages ago because he was MIA for conversations with Richard Fidler for so long. I may need to re think reading Burial Rites..I would have said ‘nah’ to that before reading this. Thanks Deb for such info and to you and your friends for hosting! Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Denyse, travel up until two years ago, was something we enjoyed doing on a regular basis. Blogging is a great way to share and learn from others as you say. Richard was very interesting and his podcasts and interviews shed more light on the country we were keen to visit. I’m so glad we did it then! Burial Rites was different but I really enjoyed it. Thanks for joining us too this month, your post was great!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve been waiting for this link and have published my post already ahead of time! Will link later to this. We went to Iceland a few years back and loved it. I did do a few posts about it but they didn’t get much attention at the start of my blog.
    My books aren’t about travel but are set in different countries!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’ve been to Iceland twice and love the country but I’d not come across either of those books. Burial Rites sounds particularly intriguing so I’ve added it to my ‘read some day’ list 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Hi, Debbie – I totally agree that when a book makes you want to visit its setting, it’s an absolute winner. Same for posts. And you’ve just achieved this! Iceland had not been on my travel list – but it definitely is now! Thank you for this inspiring post — and thank you for cohosting! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s great to know Donna, I’m sure you’d enjoy the country and the hiking and many waterfalls are fabulous! Great to join you as co-host and collaborate with Friendly Friday challenge!


  8. I listened to Sagaland and loved it. I also heard an episode of Conversations with Richard Fidler where Hannah Kent was talking about Burial Rites – it sounded interesting then but somehow I never read it. I’ve never been to Iceland, but I’d love to…one day…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s fabulous Lydia, it is one of those places I never thought I’d visit but I’m so glad we did. Your University of Iceland course sounds very interesting!


  9. Debbie, Thank you for your book recommendations and for linking up with #weekendcoffeeshare. Iceland is a wonderful country to visit. I visited it a while ago and had booked a 2nd visit in 2020 which was cancelled due to the pandemic. I hope to reschedule soon.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Hi Debbie, it’s great having you as guest-host our Friendly Friday & WOYB challenges. I enjoyed your post on Iceland and must say I’m especially intrigued by the last one “Burial Rites.”

    Iceland is the go-to place, isn’t it. Up until 2019, it seemed like everyone I knew had travelled to or was planning to travel to Iceland. I can only wonder how the global shut-down of tourism affected them. Hopefully, they will recover.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandy, the opportunity to co-host with you was too good to miss!
      Yes we’ve been wondering how the shut-down has impacted their industry as they rely on tourism so much! Hopefully things can pick up again soon.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Deb,
    Another great post.
    This time, “Burial Rites” really caught my eye and now I want to add it to my non-kindle TBR pile. But I almost never catch up with the kindle collection long enough to progress my real non-kindle stack of titles.
    I really need to retire. . .
    Thank for the visit.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hi Deb, Thank you for sharing a wonderful post, and reminding me about Iceland…a gift that keeps on giving. Thank you for sharing the books now on my TBR list. My husband and I also gravitate to movies/series filmed in Iceland. I just finished an engaging book, Stanley Tucci’s “Taste.” Sort of about food, travel, family, life. I love the personal photos you share here.❤️

    An aside: you remind me how I wrote an article about Iceland published in an online magazine “Iceland Naturally.” Unfortunately, the company changed hands and the link is now broken. I cannot locate it anywhere on the web. I only have a pdf in a file. In retrospect, I should have taken screen shots of the publication. I know you have written for other sources, and have you experienced links disappearing? I hope all is well with you and your loved ones. Some fun travel is in your future. Thank you for sharing a great, fun and informative post, Deb.xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Erica, lovely to see you and reminisce about our travels to Iceland. I remember your article and we bonded over that back in the day :). I’m so sorry you don’t have a copy or the link anymore, it was a great story. I haven’t had that happen to me so feel for you!

      All is well with us and yes travel plans are in place and I’m so excited! Hope you and the family are well too. xx

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I do read a lot Kirstin and try not to feel guilty about it! Being retired now life is my own and reading is a great way of stopping for a moment and travelling into a new world.


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