Book Review · Books

Overland: Travelling with No Plan by Richard Kaufmann [BOOK REVIEW]

Overland: Travelling with No Plan by Richard Kaufmann [BOOK REVIEW] 

Honestly, I can’t recommend Overland enough, if you love to travel!

Reading Overland was an adventure in itself for me, because of multiple reasons, which I will explore in more detail below. Reading Overland in the way I did made me experience this book in the most adventurous way and understand the points it makes so much better. 

About The Book:

Overland: Travelling with No Plan by Richard Kaufmann [BOOK REVIEW] 

Honestly, I can’t recommend Overland enough, if you love to travel!

Pages: 222

Genre: Travel, Nonfiction

Publisher: Raz el Hanout

Format I read it in: Paperback

Rating: ★★★★★

My Thoughts:

I am so glad the author, Richard Kaufmann, agreed to send me a copy of this book. The first bit I loved about it was the design. The book cover looks amazing, as well as the pictures inside the book, that give life to the places and characters in the stories. But aside from this, the book also comes with a big map and a postcard, both also looking gorgeous. The map shows the travel lines between major cities and more information about the journeys too. 

“One does not travel in order to arrive, but for the sake of the journey itself.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

When I started the book, I was preparing for a holiday. A 2-week road trip to Skopje, Macedonia in a car. According to Google, it takes 26 hours of driving (in one way). I was planning to finish Overland and write the review before we head off. And then the first paragraph of this book changed my plans. If I am about to travel so many hours, Overland would surely be the best choice of book to bring with me.

I am so glad I made that choice, and although this delayed my reading process and review (so sorry, Richard), I will forever cherish the connection this book now has with my road trip. What was supposed to be a “drive to get there” because a road trip in its fullest. My boyfriend and I decided to drive and stop in a lot of places throughout Europe, and explore a little bit of each country before we reach our destination. 

Overland focuses on travelling slowly, mostly using the train as a transport mode.

Richard begins his story by talking about his adventures and why he fell in love with travelling. Going to Morocco with one plan and ending up with a ton of memories, new friendships and stories to tell. Then travelling to Iran via train and meeting Anna, who will later on become his wife. I loved how well described the places and people are in this book. I can feel the culture, I can almost smell the cities. Everytime I read about an adventure, I want to travel and experience that too. 

A very important message that is shared in this book is about how holidays are perceived today by the majority of people. People book a flight, and then wait until they reach the destination for their holiday to start.

“I think that we should free ourselves of the idea that the holiday doesn’t start till we reach our destination, and that the happiness we find there ends with our departure.”

Through the stories in Overland, we can see there is more to travel than the actual destination. Travelling to a certain destination is an adventure in itself. I know my road trip with a car can’t compare with train or bus travels, but I saw so much more out my window than I would have if I was inside a plane. If I was on a plane, I would never have driven past Frankfurt, and seen a bridge above the motorway that happens to be a runway, and actually see a plane taking off right in front of me whilst I was driving. 

The book also explores travelling without a plan, and travelling with as little planning as you can manage. Usually, we are very quick to moan if something we’ve been expecting from our holiday is not there. But what if we don’t have any expectations? What if we just have our destination in mind, and then take things as they come? Imagine all the places you can see, all the new interesting people you may meet. How many adventures have we missed by sticking to our holiday plans? 

I am a very organised person, and having no plans would stress me out immensely. But after reading Richard’s stories, I know it’s possible to plan little to be able to relax, but also leave a lot of free space for memories to just create themselves on their own accord. And that’s where the real fun is. 

Honestly, I can’t recommend Overland enough, if you love to travel!

And even if you don’t, it will prompt you to book your next holiday. It has so many amazing stories that feature slow travel. A lot of tips about the locations, organisation, planning, budgeting, culture, etc. It has amazing quotes, mentions of books, movies, and music. It even has a little bit of petry included, that I quite enjoyed!

About The Author:

Overland: Travelling with No Plan by Richard Kaufmann [BOOK REVIEW] 

Honestly, I can’t recommend Overland enough, if you love to travel!

Richard Kaufmann, born in Dresden in 1985, is a freelance copywriter and author. He gained a BA in International Communication Management in Amsterdam, and after many years in marketing for a range of internet start-ups, made his great journey to Iran in 2014. Back in Berlin, he founded the magazine transform with a series of illustrators, journalists and friends, and then became its editor and director. Today he lives and works in Leipzig.

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Book Review · Books

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel by Ruth Hogan

book review queenie malone's paradise hotel by Ruth Hogan goodreads netgalley reading books blog blogging love child mother reader

Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel is a book that not all kinds of readers will relate to. You either love it or hate it. And me, well, I really wish I loved it.

The book flows in two parallel timelines: Tilda in the present and little Tilly in her childhood. Tilda has a broken relationship with her mother, who killed her dad. After her mum dies, Tilda goes to a place called Queenie Malone’s Paradise Hotel, to find the truth of what happened in the past.

The writing style of when Tilda is little was hard for me to connect to. If felt as if the grown up version was talking in both timelines. The book is very slow, with no major plot twist, which made it boring. We had the whole ending dumped in the last chapters, with no anticipation. She is a girl that clearly has a troubled past, and she has with her a sense of mystery, as she is able to see what other people can’t. She is very attached to her father, even though he was absent most of her life, and she spent her childhood and teenage years holding a grudge against her mother.

And yet, I didn’t care about her.

In fact, I didn’t care about anyone in this book, and by the end, I just wished for the story to finish. I am sad that I couldn’t relate to this book, and I wish I liked it. But I didn’t. Moving on. A shame though, it has such a beautiful cover.

If the synopsis seems interesting to you, I would still encourage you to give it a go and let me know what you thought. You opinion is also valid.

Thank you to Netgalley and John Murray Press, for sending me an ebook, in exchange for an honest review.

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Books · Monthly Tags

My 2018 Reading Year in Review

Hello Lovelies!

2018 was an amazing year for me, as I managed to read 74 books, which is triple of what I read last year. This year I completely dedicated myself to this blog and this amazing community, and I want to thank you all for being here, for reading my reviews and for suggesting me books that I absolutely loved. Here’s to another amazing year ahead of us! 

goodreads my books in review 2018 book books blog diaryofdifference

Best books I have read in 2018 (in no particular order):

🌟 Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

🌟 My Name is Anna – Lizzy Barber

🌟 Day Of The Accident – Nuala Ellwood

🌟 Fawkes – Nadine Brandes

🌟 A Game of Thrones (A Song Of Ice and Fire #1) – George R. R. Martin

🌟 City Of Bones (The Mortal Instruments #1) – Cassandra Clare 

🌟 The Cruel Prince (The Folk of The Air #1) – Holly Black

🌟 Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld

🌟 Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie Lu

🌟 The Silent Patient – Alex Michaelides


Book that disappointed me:

Books of The Month:

🌟 January:

Moonlight Over Manhattan – Sarah Morgan

🌟 February:

Ready Player One – Ernest Cline

🌟 March:

The Night Raid – Clare Harvey

🌟 April:

Coming Home – Fern Britton

🌟 May:

Now You See Her – Heidi Perks

🌟 June:

Quidditch Through the Ages – J.K. Rowling

🌟 July:

Fawkes – Nadine Brandes

🌟 August:

Never Forgotten (Never Forgotten #1) – Kelly Risser

🌟 September:

7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle – Stuart Turton

🌟 October:

A Game of Thrones (A Song Of Ice and Fire #1) – George R. R. Martin

🌟 November:

Uglies (Uglies #1) – Scott Westerfeld

🌟 December:

Warcross (Warcross #1) – Marie Lu


Happy New Year!

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Book Review · Books

Hippie – Paulo Coelho [BOOK REVIEW]

hippie by paulo coelho books review books blog diary of difference


Hippie is the autobiography by Paulo Coelho, told in third person. This is a story about people that travel the world, wear funny clothes and flowers in their hairs, and believe in peace, love and freedom.

I have read many of Coelho’s books, even since I was a teenage girl. And all of them share something in common – the path of finding yourself. After reading Hippie, I believe that this is the the best one that covers this subject quite perfectly.

‘’He was a human being, with all the fragility that entails, he didn’t understand everything that happened in his life, but he truly wished to believe he was travelling in search of the light.’’

Continue reading “Hippie – Paulo Coelho [BOOK REVIEW]”


Coming Home – Fern Britton [BOOK REVIEW]

I had the pleasure to receive a copy of this book from GoodReads and HarperCollins. This was the first book I have read from Fern Britton, and I know it won’t be my last for sure!

Coming Home is based in Cornwall, England, a beautiful seaside area with loads of fisherman around. The author describes the place so well, that it made me want to go there, just to see it and be close to the characters. It reminds me of South Shields very much as well.

This is a story of one family, three generations and their difficult lives entwined with love, pain, leaving and coming back home.

Sennen is a woman that leaves her hometown, her parents and her two little children (Ella and Henry) at 17-years-old because life gets too hard to handle.

Ella and Henry are raised by their grandparents and live their whole life without their mother in their lives – until one day, Sennen comes back and wants to be a part of their lives. But are they ready for it?

We see the story through the eyes of Sennen, Ella and Henry and the grandparents. We travel from one generation to the other through the years, and we learn a lot for each of the characters. It is so well-written, that I wasn’t confused at all. Usually I get confused when authors try to do this in other books, but this one was definitely not the case.

This is one of those books that will hook you from the very first pages! The characters are so warm and close to the heart, that I felt like I have known them forever. I felt close to them and their feelings and thoughts, that I could have easily gone out and have a conversation with them. It is one of those books that fills you with anticipation, then gives you a back-story, and just when you thought things will happen as you thought, you will discover a surprise.

Wonderful plot and beautifully written – this is a book of love, family, broken and fixed hearts. This is a book that will make you cry while waiting for a train, and laugh out loud while drinking a hot chocolate in a coffee shop.

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