The TMR Book Shelf

9 April 2020

The TMR Book Shelf

Looking for inspiration for your next holiday? Then look no further! You can explore the world from your sofa with our top recommendations for guidebooks, travelogues and fiction on the subject of favourite journeys, destinations and of course, rail travel. Please note, this is a work in progress. New ideas will be added regularly!



Great Continental Railway Journeys – Michael Portillo

The series that inspired thousands of people to go travelling by train – in book form, with plenty of gorgeous images to inspire you. You can also check out our Portillo inspired selection of holidays.






Bradshaw’s Continental Railway Guide

Where it all started.. this fascinating guide to Europe’s rail network gives an insight into Continental travel on the brink of World War I. A great book to dip into or the perfect doorstop for rail enthusiasts!






Europe by Rail The Definitive Guide – Nicky Gardner and Susanne Kries

A brilliant rail guide with suggestions on how to find the most interesting routes and where to stop along the way. We like this guide so much, we’ve created a whole Europe by Rail theme of holidays around it!








National Geographic Journeys of a Lifetime

The perfect present for travel lovers currently suffering withdrawal symptoms – or indeed as a present for yourself, this beautifully illustrated book offers tips on trips from all angles – culinary adventures, literary journeys, hiking trails, safaris and, of course, train journeys.






The Man in Seat61 – A Guide to Taking the Train Through Europe – Mark Smith

The well-known guru of all things train, Mark Smith offers a smorgasbord of rail-related information, much of it still relevant despite this guide’s age. If you’re not acquainted with his website, you should also pay a visit!







Amazing Train Journeys – Lonely Planet

Lovely coffee table book covering some of the world’s favourite train journeys like the Rocky Mountaineer in Canada and The Ghan in Australia, with inspiring images and illustrated route maps.






USA by Rail – Bradt Travel Guide

A personal recommendation from team member Emily, this an invaluable guide to bring with you on any rail trip to the US. It includes detailed route maps and highlights to look out for along the way. This newest edition also includes Canada’s main routes.









Around the World in 80 Trains – Monisha Rajesh

Monisha Rajesh embarks on an unforgettable adventure that takes her from London’s St Pancras station to Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. It’s all about the journey.







Slow Train to Switzerland – Diccon Bewes

In 1863, an English lady, Jemima Morrell, set out on the first escorted tour to Switzerland with Thomas Cook. 150 years later, Diccon Bewes uses her journals to follow in her footsteps, see the places that she saw and find out just how much the country, and international tourism, has changed since that first intrepid holiday. A fascinating read.







Gino’s Italian Express – Gino di Campo

Ok so this isn’t technically a travel biography, more a cookbook – but it’s inspired by Gino’s rail journeys around Italy and has already inspired a couple of customers with their holidays!






Trans-Siberian Adventures – Matthew Woodward

Matthew Woodward loves trains and so we love Matthew Woodward. Here, he takes on the most epic journey out there from Moscow to Beijing. You can also read the blog he wrote for us.







John Berendt – The City of Falling Angels

Taking as his starting point the fire that destroyed La Fenice theatre for the third time in 1996, John Berendt creates an intimate and evocative portrait of Venice and its extraordinary inhabitants.






Provence: The Cookbook – Caroline Rimbert Craig

Caroline Rimbert Craig’s maternal family hail from the southern foothills of Mont Ventoux. This cookbook is as full of love for Provence as it is for the author’s favourite recipes. Bring a little mediterranean sunshine into your kitchen with this guide  to cooking the Provençal way.







Murder on the Orient Express – Agatha Christie

The original train thriller! Hercule Poirot is en route home to London when a murder is committed on the train. But which of the passengers called him?








The Girl on the Train – Paula Hawkins

Forget about the film (if you’ve seen it), the book is much better and set in London rather than suburban New York. It’s a gripping read with a great twist at the end.







Strangers on a Train – Patricia Highsmith

A classic psychological thriller about two men whose lives become entangled after one of them proposes they “trade” murders.








Dracula – Bram Stoker

This may not be the first novel that springs to mind when you think about travel and trains, but the story does in fact begin with an ill-fated journey by hero Jonathan Harker to meet with Count Dracula. Thankfully, Dracula no longer lives in Transylvania – if you were planning to go.







A Room with A View – E M Forster

If you don’t love Florence after reading this book, you never will! And if you go there, you can actually stay at the Degli Orafi Hotel, used for the eponymous room in the 1985 film.







The Miniaturist – Jessie Burton

An immersive novel set in Golden Age Amsterdam, inspired by the author’s visit to the Rijksmuseum where Petronella Oortman’s doll’s house is on display.








Miss Garnet’s Angel – Sally Vickers

Emily says: I read this novel 20 years ago and I still have a lasting impression of winter in Venice with its stillness and ethereal beauty. A magical book about a magical place.








Jamaica Inn – Daphne du Maurier

When her mother dies, Mary Yellan is forced to come and stay with her Aunt Patience at Jamaica Inn on the windswept Cornish moors. She quickly discovers that the inn is a front for a motley band of smugglers, headed by her evil Uncle Joss. This is a rollicking good read and the perfect antidote to a Sunday afternoon stuck indoors.







The Shadow of the Wind – Carlos Ruiz Zafon

If you’ve not discovered this modern classic yet, then it’s time to clear your diary for the weekend and settle in for an adventure. The story begins when 10-year old Daniel is told to choose one book from the mysterious ‘Cemetery of Lost Books’, a labyrinthine library in the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona.