Top 10 Expat Books for 2017

I am a book lover, and I love that there is a growing genre of books by expats, for expats and about expats! So I again asked our friends at Expat Bookshop to share their top ten expat titles for the year – it’s becoming a wonderful annual tradition and something to really look forward to. There’s something here for everyone – the movers and the shakers, the workers and the drifters, the dreamers and the doubters, the kids and the parents. Enjoy this round-up of great reads, which are in no particular order!


#1 Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds
David C Pollock, Ruth E Van Reken, Michael V Pollock (Nicholas Brealey Publishing, 2017)

In this 3rd edition of the ground-breaking, global classic, Ruth Van Reken and Michael V. Pollock, son of the late original co-author, David C. Pollock, have significantly updated what is widely recognized as The TCK Bible. Emphasis is on the modern TCK and addressing the impact of technology, cultural complexity, diversity and inclusion, and transitions. Includes new advice for parents and others for how to support TCKs.

Recommended reading for all third culture kids and their parents.



#2 Unpack: A Guide to Life as an Expat Spouse
Lana Wimmer and Tanya Arler (Springtime Books, 2017)

How do you choose the right home for your family, transition your kids to a new country and school, adjust to a new culture, and build a whole new network of friends? Expat spouses face many questions like this. This book, written by two expats with over 15 international moves between them, offers straightforward answers. You’ll find inspiration and wisdom to handle your expat dilemmas, and to transform your expat experience into a truly amazing adventure.

No-nonsense tips from expats who know.



#3 Choose Life: The Tools, Tricks, and Hacks of Long-Term Family Travellers, Worldschoolers and Digital Nomads
Daniel Prince (independently published, 2017)

This book is proof that, by thinking just a little differently and taking what you perceive to be a risk, you can forge a better, fuller life for yourself and your family. Author Daniel Prince shares his family’s epic journey and life transformation since quitting the rat race. In his quest to share his message with other young families, he also goes to great lengths to share valuable knowledge, tips and coping mechanisms. This is how one family made it possible, and how you can do it too.

Succinct and thought-provoking.


How to Live in a Van and Travel: Live Everywhere, Be Free and Have Adventures in a Campervan or Motorhome
Mike Hudson (Bluedog Books, 2017)

Imagine being able to live wherever you want, travelling the world with everything you need in your own cosy home on wheels. “Three years ago I was miserable. I’d sit at my desk every day thinking ‘this can’t be it’,” says author Mike Hudson. This brave book shares Hudson’s story since he took the leap and chose a lifestyle that allows him to explore the world.

Indispensable advice spiced with anecdotes.



#5 Life After My Saucepans: Lifting the Lid on Living in the Dominican Republic
Lindsay de Feliz (Springtime Books, 2017)

In What About Your Saucepans? Lindsay de Feliz gave up marriage and a successful career in the UK to follow her dreams as a scuba diving instructor in the Dominican Republic. She met and married her Dominican man and went on an incredible adventure involving political corruption and being shot in her own home. In this sequel, we find Lindsay and Danilo living in hiding in the mountainous, remote north-west of the country. Will Danilo return to politics and will they turn their lives around? Full of adventure, laughter and tears, Lindsay describes her day-to-day life with her indomitable husband, as she comes to realise this is where she was always meant to be.

Honest, gutsy and packed with warmth.


#6 Work Your Way Around the World
Susan Griffith (Trotman, 2017: 17th Ed)

Travelling the world is something most of us dream of doing. If you don’t want to wait years saving, then this is the book for you. For summer jobs, volunteering or jobs abroad, this is the number one guide for the self-funded world traveller, providing all the information you need to successfully find work abroad. Choose from hundreds of potential job opportunities, from the everyday to the utterly extraordinary. Also includes essential, practical tips for safely travelling the globe, on issues like work visas and medical care.

The essential handbook for wannabe globetrotters.



#7 Living in Italy: The Real Deal – How to Survive the Good Life
Stef Smulders (Babelcube Inc, 2017)

In 2008 Stef Smulders, his partner Nico and their dog Saar immigrated to Italy to start a new life and set up a B&B. They sold their home, left their friends and family behind, and took a leap into the unknown. Now Stef shares his experiences in a collection of witty short stories about the trials and tribulations of immigration: what it was like to buy and renovate a house, to import a car, to gain residency, and more.

Charming and light-hearted.


#8 Moscow Calling: Memoirs of a Foreign Correspondent
Angus Roxburgh (Birlinn Ltd, 2017)

Angus Roxburgh has translated Tolstoy, met four successive Russian presidents and been jinxed by a Siberian shaman. He has come under fire in war zones, been arrested by Chechen thugs, and wooed by the KGB, who then decided he would make a lousy spy. In his memoir, Roxburgh presents his Russia – a quirky, crazy, exasperating, beautiful, tumultuous world that in four decades has changed completely, and yet in some ways not at all.

Illuminating and accessible.

#9 Bernard the Wombat of Ugly Gully
Judyth Gregory-Smith (Springtime Books, 2017)

Meet Bernard, the only upwardly mobile wombat in Australia. He has a well-equipped caravan to sleep in and a deck on which he can sip Wombat Ginger Beer while reading The Wombat’s Guide to Successful Tunnelling. But when his garden pond is damaged, Bernard must find the culprit… and deal with the fearsome Crushbone the Dingo. In this fantastical yet believable tale, expat and skilled storyteller Judyth Gregory-Smith shows us that things are not always as they seem and that they can have surprisingly happy endings.

Perfect for kids aged 8 to 12, though parents will love it too.

#10 Glass Half Full: The Ups and Downs of Vineyard Life in France
Caro Feely (Summersdale Publishers Ltd, 2017)

“Hand harvesting was a different process to machine harvesting. It was convivial and slow. We started at dawn and slowly proceeded across the vineyards. It was better for us and for the grapes, the human scale and pace of it more peaceful and joyful.” But this rose-tinted glimpse of life is only part of the story – there are also long hours and uncertainty. For Seán and Caro Feely, the rollercoaster ride of managing a growing business is as challenging as making natural wine in harmony with the environment. Will the previous six years of hard work that created a flourishing organic vineyard in France prove worthwhile? Join Caro on her search for balance in life and wine.

Honest, brave and hopeful.



What are you reading at the moment? What expat books are on your must-read list? There are lots of people who come to this blog for inspiration. Do add your recommended reads in the comments below!


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© Vivian Chiona