It’s nearly July, summer is in the air (if not always in the London temperatures), and it’s time to start thinking about holidays…. France… Turkey… India… wherever! So, to celebrate the holiday spirit, this week’s BOOK BY ITS COVER takes a look at some of the most beautiful and inspiring travel writing books around at the moment. What are you waiting for? Get planning!

The Uke of Wallington by Mark Wallington (AA Publishing)
A tale of what is possibly the first rock and roll tour ever undertaken on public transport – Mark Wallington and his rhythm and blues band travel the land introducing us Brits to the magic of the ukulele. I think this retro, red and blue cover design hits exactly the right spot. It’s fun, funky and employs a perfect, laid back typography.

Son of Serge Bastarde by John Dummer (Summersdale)
I love Lucy Davey’s super-fun and super-colourful illustrations for John Dummer’s Serge Bastarde books. This follow up to Serge Bastarde Ate My Baguette is full of more madcap mayhem from John, working as a travelling antiques dealer, and his affable partner in crime, Serge Bastarde. A gloriously merry portrait of rural France.

Following Fish by Samantha Subramanian (Atlantic Books)
Samanth Subramanian’s ingenious book about his travels around the coast of India is not only a revealing, exotic account of the beautiful coastal towns and cities of India, it also looks at the importance of fish at the heart of Indian life. Delicious to eat, naturally, but fish are also vital to the country’s culture, commerce, sport, history and society, in more ways than you can imagine. The cover – designed by our clever fellow Magpie, Alice Stevenson – is stunning. Modern, but timeless, with gorgeous colours and a playful use of paisley pattern shapes and swirling fish. A lovely piece of travel writing and one of the most beautiful books I’ve seen this year!

Le Road Trip by Vivian Swift (Bloomsbury)
Freelance travel writer Vivian Swift has written and illustrated this gorgeous book about her and her husband’s post-wedding road trip around France. The book abounds with her fun, yet atmospheric, watercolour sketches, playfully illustrating the places, the food, the people, and of course, the wine. Du pain, du vin, du Boursin, anyone?

Wayward by Tom Gates (Self-published)
Here’s a turn up for the books – a self-published collection of travel essays from music business insider Tom Gates. Amusing, clever and observant, this book is almost certain to rekindle your travel bug. Gates got his industry buddy, Sam Means to design the cover. I love how sketchy it is, like it has been coloured in by felt tips. It’s light-hearted but somehow, perhaps with the muted colours, it achieves an air of sophistication.


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