Every year, a number of fantastic books are written for and by expats, and 2019 is no exception.Here is a round-up of some of the most useful, and most interesting, books published in recent months.
A Great Move: Laying the Foundation for a Successful Expatriate Assignment
With around 57 million expats worldwide, the community is a vast melting pot of people, their skills and ideas. But what makes for a successful expat? This book aims to provide the answers, explaining that all too often assignments fail due to insufficient preparation and unrealistic expectations. This inevitably results in undue stress and potential career damage, which can force individuals and families back home. A Great Move seeks to address both the practical and emotional impact of expat upheaval and is packed with useful information and practical tools.
A Year at Hotel Gondola
Set in Venice, A Year at Hotel Gondola is a true taste of Italy, packed with its myriad sights and smells. A tale of love, food, travel and expat life, the book follows Kat, a food writer who travels the world seeking out the most unusual of flavours. When she meets and falls in love with an Italian man, she finally swaps globe-trotting for the more simple life of running a guesthouse (Hotel Gondola) with said man… but does she really know him very well? An enjoyable read with a love of Venice at its heart.
Greetings from Abroadland: Experiences of Family Life Abroad
Helena Jalanka is a creative designer from Finland who has produced a truly unique non-fiction book about her family’s experiences of expat life. When Helena and her husband moved their two year old child abroad, the plan was to be home within six months. Seven years on, they have a second child and have lived in Australia and Singapore before settling in Switzerland where they currently reside. Greetings from Abroadland combines family experiences with expert advice on issues such as language barriers, adjusting to new climates and navigating foreign education systems. In a further twist, the book also contains 35 real-life cartoons penned by Jalanka herself. Well worth perusing.
In Search of the Best Swedish Chokladbollar: A Southeast Asian Falls in Love with Fika
In this exquisitely illustrated love letter to Sweden, Alaine Handa uses 30 recipes of chokladbollar (Swedish chocolate truffles) to demonstrate her fondness for the sweet snack. Additionally, Handa extolls the virtues of fika (Sweden’s answer to the Danish hygge). Food for the eyes and the soul.
C. M. Taylor
Staying On has been hailed a “geriatric coming-of-age story” and tells the tale of a couple’s expatriate life in Spain. 70 year-old Yorkshireman Tony Metcalfe is disenchanted as recent events begin to reinforce his newfound belief that he will only truly find happiness again with a return to his native England. Tony and his wife run Viva Espagne, a bar in a small village close to Costa Blanca. Set amongst the working-class UK expat community in Spain, this modern tale is peppered with Brexit references and written in the shadow of its ramifications. Tony and Laney, his wife, are floundering until the arrival of their son, Nick, and, more pertinently for Tony, their daughter-in-law Jo. A compelling story of the intrinsic link between family and home.
Living Elsewhere: Because a Life Overseas Can Be Tough…
Australian Cath Brew has used her experiences of almost-lifelong travel to create 100 cartoons detailing the trials and tribulations of expat life. Using drawing as a method of working through her emotions, Cath encourages fellow expats to take a walk on the funny side with the aid of her reality-infused illustrations.
Monday Morning Emails: Six Months, Twelve Countries, a Thousand Thoughts – Two Mothers Share the Journey of Living a Global Life
Terry Anne Wilson & Jo Parfitt
Whilst living in separate continents, Jo and Terry Ann made the commitment to correspond on a weekly basis, exchanging emails every Monday morning for six months. Combining memoir, diary and self-help attributes, the resultant book is a refreshing window into the lives of two families on the road. Disarmingly frank, Monday Morning Emails confronts topics as sensitive and diverse as identity, childhood trauma, depression and faith. With input from experts, this book will surely enlighten and reassure expatriate mothers for generations to come.
Life on the Move
A collaborative effort from myriad contributing authors, Life on the Move is the result of one woman’s call for submissions on stories of life abroad. Bursting with tales of adventure, this is a celebration of expat life in all its variations. Available on Amazon from June 2019, it promises to be an enthralling read.
The Reluctant Expat
The Reluctant Expat is Alan Laycock’s witty account of what happened when he found himself taking the plunge to live in Spain without any real desire to do so. Essentially tagging along with his sister Cathy and her husband Bernie, Alan is initially unreceptive to the charms that Spain has to offer, though he soon finds that there is more to his new home than he previously imagined. By way of befriending a couple of locals, he finds interesting new opportunities opening up to him and immerses himself in Spanish life, much to the surprise of Cathy and Bernie. An honest and light-hearted look at the joys of living in Spain, even for the most reluctant of expats.
In addition to these recent releases, there are a great many books available to help inform your decisions when it comes to living the expat life. There are also hundreds of novels set in countries all over the world that focus on expatriate families and individuals and their loves and lives in unfamiliar environments. The majority of books from both categories can be found on Goodreads (useful for reviews posted by fellow readers) and Amazon (for purchasing purposes). Happy reading!
What are your favourite books for expats? Share your suggestions in the comments below!