5 Must-Reads for Your Next Train Journey

Uncategorized | February 2, 2018

There’s no better way to travel the world than by train, and there’s no better companion for an incredible rail vacation than a good book. Take the scenic route and lose yourself between the pages of these five must-read novels aboard your next Railbookers journey.

For the Traveling Duo

Mr Norris Changes Trains by Christopher Isherwood

Cover art for the book Mr Norris Changes trains, and a view of Berlin from the Spree RiverFirst published in 1933, Mr Norris Changes Trains is a warm and engaging story set in Berlin during the final years of the Weimar Republic. Despite the troubled times of its setting, Isherwood spins a warm and engaging tale surrounding the peculiar friendship that develops between two men following a chance encounter on a train.

Discover the grit and glamour of Berlin on a tailor made vacation—just for you.


For the History Buff

Austerlitz by W.G. Sebald

Cover art for the book Austerlitz, plus an exterior view of Antwerp Centraal train station

Over the course of a thirty-year conversation unfolding in train stations and travelers’ stops across England and Europe, Austerlitz recounts the story of a Jewish man sent to England in 1939 as a child through the Kindertransporte—an organized rescue effort that took place prior to the Second World War. Antwerp Centraal station features prominently in the novel, and is one of the most eclectic, captivating rail stations in Europe. Learn more about it on our Beautiful Trains Stations blog, and see it for yourself on our Brussels, Antwerp and Amsterdam vacation.

Learn more about this vacation. 


For the Armchair Sleuth

Murder on the Orient Express by Agatha Christie

Cover art for the book Murder on the Orient Express, plus a view of St. Mark's Square in Venice at sunset.

What more can you ask of a classic whodunit than a murder, thirteen likely suspects, a brilliant detective, and the most ingenious crime ever conceived? Plus, it all takes place on the iconic Orient Express. Relive the golden age of rail travel on and off the page on one of our Venice Simplon-Orient-Express vacations.

Find your Venice Simplon-Orient-Express rail vacation.


For the Globetrotter

The Great Railway Bazaar by Paul Theroux

Cover art for the book The Great Railway Bazaar, plus a city view of Singapore.

First published over thirty years ago, The Great Railway Bazaar recounts Theroux’s four-month journey by train in 1973 from London through Europe, the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and his return via the Trans-Siberian Railway. Follow in his footsteps (at least partially) on our breathtaking Eastern and Oriental Express from Bangkok to Singapore vacation.

Learn more about this vacation.


For the Window Gazer

The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

Cover art for the book The Girl on the Train, plus a city view of London from the Thames River

Rachel can’t stop thinking about Jason and Jess, but she doesn’t know them. She sees them through the windows of a train, one she takes everyday on her commute to and from London. One day she sees something shocking that changes everything. Intrigued? We don’t blame you. Paula Hawkins’ bestselling thriller held the number one spot on The New York Times bestseller list for 13 consecutive weeks.

Experience the beauty and mystery of London for yourself on one of our exciting rail vacations.