The funniest road trip memoirs

Who am I?

I'm Jackie, and I quit work in 2016 to hit the road permanently with my husband and four dogs, so road tripping is close to my heart. Initially, we were Adventure Caravanners, who aimed To Boldly Go Where No Van Has Gone Before. Now, we’re at large in a self-converted six-wheel army lorry, with Mongolia in our sights. I have published four books Fur Babies in France, Dog on the Rhine, Dogs ‘n’ Dracula, and Pups on Piste, all within one of my favourite genres; light-hearted travel memoirs. My forthcoming books will chronicle a tour of Poland in a pandemic and our new life as Trucking Idiots.

I wrote...

Year 1 - Fur Babies in France

By Jacqueline Lambert,

Book cover of Year 1 - Fur Babies in France

What is my book about?

Have you ever thought of giving up work and heading off into the sunset with surfboards on your roof? If you answer 'Yes' – or you just like dogs, travel, or recreational vehicles, this book is for you.

Year 1 – Fur Babies in France follows the true story of how my husband Mark and I accidentally bought a caravan – then decided to rent out the house, sell most of our possessions and tour Europe full-time with our four dogs, Cavapoodles Kai, Rosie, Ruby, and Lani. Described as ‘Laugh out loud funny and a great travel guide’, discover whether we survive the breakages and near-death experience to find peace and tranquillity on the back roads of France – with a bit of windsurfing thrown in!

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The books I picked & why

Book cover of Marie Potter and The Campervan of Doom

Jacqueline Lambert Why did I love this book?

Brian and his wife Marie (pronounced Marry) embark on a two-year epic road trip around Europe in Gemima the Hymer, an RV who would definitely have preferred to stay at home.  

Even without a Camper Van of Doom, resilience and a sense of humour are essential travel companions. With the scrapes these two get in, they needed plenty of both. I laughed out loud at the imaginative turns of phrases used to describe the tribulations, destinations, and people they met. This book stands out as one of the funniest I’ve ever read.

By Brian Burke,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Marie Potter and The Campervan of Doom as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

This magnum opus is an account of a two year trip around Europe in a campervan; we explored from the top of Norway up inside the Arctic Circle to Gibraltar; from Portugal in the west to Ukraine in the east. My wife Marie (pronounced Marry) and I thought that as we hadn't set foot in a van before it would be a great idea to head off into the sunset in a cloud of diesel smoke; our trusty steed Gemima (the Hymer) wanted to stay at home and Marie seemed determined to maim me. The following is a tale of…

Book cover of The Sat Nav Diaries

Jacqueline Lambert Why did I love this book?

The author bought a Mazda sports car on a whim, which prompted him to plan a mid-life road trip through Europe. His wife Nat decided to go along for the ride, and I am so glad she did. The banter between them is like a comedy double act. 

Road trip memoirs are frequently a catalogue of calamities, a search for self, or a directory of delectable destinations. This book is notably devoid of disasters and empty of ‘eureka' moments. In fact, very little actually happens…  

Yet in a series of wry observations, witty perspectives, and entertaining sketches, Adrian captures the flavour of the trip masterfully, with huge belly laughs thrown in. I can’t wait to read more from this thoughtful, funny writer.

By Adrian Sturrock,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Sat Nav Diaries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

"I had an idea for a road trip; a sports car I shouldn't have bought; and a wife to point out that what looks entirely feasible on a scaled map can actually be quite a long way away."This isn't a travelogue; it's much less than that. If you are looking for a font-of-all-knowledge encyclopaedic guru that will help you plan your next European adventure, you'll hate this book. However, if you've ever sat in a restaurant and wondered what the life of the couple opposite is like, then this might just be what you've been after. And the locations are…

Book cover of Vroom With a View : In Search of Italy's Dolce Vita on a '61 Vespa

Jacqueline Lambert Why did I love this book?

Vroom With A View is a giggle-filled rev around Italy aboard a vintage Vespa motor scooter. 

I am a born-again Italian. In the same way I love everything about Italy, I loved everything about this book. Good travel writing makes you want to jump out of your chair and hit the road yourself. From the snippets of history about an Italian classic, the Vespa motor scooter, to the descriptions of wonderful off-the-beaten-path places and the irrepressible kindness and spirit of the Italian people, I defy you not to want to sample la vita Italiana after reading this book!

By Peter Moore,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Vroom With a View as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It was the late night Tai Bo fitness commercial warning him that life comes to an end after 40 that prompted Peter Moore to chase a boyhood dream. To go to Italy and seek out its celebrated dolce vita from the back of a Vespa.
But it couldn't be just any old Vespa. Peter wanted a bike as old as he was and in the same sort of condition: a little rough round the edges, a bit slow in the mornings perhaps, but basically still OK. And it had to have saddle seats. And temperamental electrics. And a little too…

Book cover of Three Men in a Float: Across England at 15 mph

Jacqueline Lambert Why did I love this book?

Entry into the Mongol Rally from Europe to Ulan Ude in Russia requires a car with a maximum engine size of 1.0 litre. The premise is that such a farcically inappropriate vehicle will invite adventure and interaction with locals. 

Obviously, a 600-mile odyssey across southern Britain in an elderly electric milk float, with unreliable batteries and a top speed of 15 mph invites all kinds of mishaps.

Comedy writers Dan and Ian tackle alternate chapters. Since Dan authored the bestselling trilogy Crap Towns: a guide to the worst towns in Britain, there is plenty of off-the-wall detail about the places they passed through. Reliant on the kindness of strangers and third man Pras, an electrician with magical powers, this is a gently comic, informative, and quirky alternative to Jerome K. Jerome’s classic.

By Dan Kieran, Ian Vince,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Three Men in a Float as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

After planning the entire trip on the back of a beer mat, buying a 1958 decommissioned milk float on eBay and charging its tired batteries, the team set off from Lowestoft to Land's End. On the way, they discovered that their float needed to charge for eight hours for every two hours it spent on the road. Relying on the milk of human kindness, they were at the mercy of strangers every night, sometimes even using other people's cookers just to keep the show on the road. En route, they were treated to tea and rock cakes by the Vice…

Book cover of Not Tonight, Josephine: A Road Trip Through Small-Town America

Jacqueline Lambert Why did I love this book?

Impecunious Brits George and his friend Mark decide to search for the ‘real’ America, crossing the continent from east to west in a clapped-out old car. 

At every point, amid clouds of smoke, impending mechanical Armageddon, and brushes with the law, it seems unlikely that they’ll make it. One night, in the middle of nowhere, when ominous sounds emanating from the engine, George pleads, “Not tonight, Josephine…!”

The author has a humorous conversational style and paints an unforgettable portrait of the unlikely places he passed through. I thoroughly enjoyed this bump-start, clunk, and judder across the States with the frustrating but lovable Josephine!

By George Mahood,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Not Tonight, Josephine as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

“…exceptionally entertaining writing…”
“…George is genuinely hilarious…”
“…everything you could want in a travel memoir and more…”
“…hilarious, cringe-worthy and totally chaotic. A brilliant read…”
“…amusing, informative and heart-warming…”
“…I laughed out loud throughout…”
“…I learned more about our great US of A from this BRITISH author than I did in history class…”

Two Brits, George and Mark, set off from New York City to explore the back roads of America. In this calamity-ridden travel tale, George sets out in true clichéd fashion to discover the real America.

Throw in plenty of run-ins with the police, rapidly dwindling finances and…

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The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

Book cover of The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

Alexander Rose Author Of Empires of the Sky: Zeppelins, Airplanes, and Two Men's Epic Duel to Rule the World

New book alert!

Who am I?

A long time ago, I was an early-aviation historian, but eventually realized that I knew only half the story—the part about airplanes. But what about airships? Initially, I assumed, like so many others, that they were a flash-in-the-pan, a ridiculous dead-end technology, but then I realized these wondrous giants had roamed and awed the world for nearly four decades. There was a bigger story here of an old rivalry between airplanes and airships, one that had since been forgotten, and Empires of the Sky was the result.

Alexander's book list on Zeppelin airships

What is my book about?

From the author of Washington’s Spies, the thrilling story of two rival secret agents — one Confederate, the other Union — sent to Britain during the Civil War.

The South’s James Bulloch, charming and devious, was ordered to acquire a clandestine fleet intended to break Lincoln’s blockade, sink Northern merchant vessels, and drown the U.S. Navy’s mightiest ships at sea. Opposing him was Thomas Dudley, an upright Quaker lawyer determined to stop Bulloch in a spy-versus-spy game of move and countermove, gambit and sacrifice, intrigue and betrayal.

Their battleground was the Dickensian port of Liverpool, whose dockyards built more ships each year than the rest of the world combined and whose merchant princes, said one observer, were “addicted to Southern proclivities, foreign slave trade, and domestic bribery.”

The Lion and the Fox: Two Rival Spies and the Secret Plot to Build a Confederate Navy

By Alexander Rose,

What is this book about?

From the New York Times bestselling author of Washington's Spies, the thrilling story of the Confederate spy who came to Britain to turn the tide of the Civil War-and the Union agent resolved to stop him.

"Entertaining and deeply researched...with a rich cast of spies, crooks, bent businessmen and drunken sailors...Rose relates the tale with gusto." -The New York Times

In 1861, soon after the outbreak of the Civil War, two secret agents-one a Confederate, the other his Union rival-were dispatched to neutral Britain, each entrusted with a vital mission.

The South's James Bulloch, charming and devious, was to acquire…

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