Goodreads Monday: Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude

Goodreads Monday is a weekly meme where we randomly select a book from our Goodreads To Be Read list and share it with the world. It’s hosted by Lauren’s Page Turners, so be sure to link back to her site so that we can all see what everyone plans to read!

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Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude
by Stephanie Rosenbloom
Travel/Memoir
272 pages
Published June 2018 by Viking

From Goodreads: A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of traveling solo

In our increasingly frantic daily lives, many people are genuinely fearful of the prospect of solitude, but time alone can be both rich and restorative, especially when traveling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie Rosenbloom considers how being alone as a traveller–and even in one’s own city–is conducive to becoming acutely aware of the sensual details of the world–patterns, textures, colors, tastes, sounds–in ways that are difficult to do in the company of others.

Alone Time is divided into four parts, each set in a different city, in a different season, in a single year. The destinations–Paris, Istanbul, Florence, New York–are all pedestrian-friendly, allowing travelers to slow down and appreciate casual pleasures instead of hurtling through museums and posting photos to Instagram. Each section spotlights a different theme associated with the joys and benefits of time alone and how it can enable people to enrich their lives–facilitating creativity, learning, self-reliance, as well as the ability to experiment and change. Rosenbloom incorporates insights from psychologists and sociologists who have studied solitude and happiness, and explores such topics as dining alone, learning to savor, discovering interests and passions, and finding or creating silent spaces. Her engaging and elegant prose makes Alone Time as warmly intimate an account as the details of a trip shared by a beloved friend–and will have its many readers eager to set off on their own solo adventures.

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As both a single woman and a woman who travels alone, I appreciate it when other single female travelers are able to put into words the joys of traveling by yourself when so many news outlets harp on the “dire loneliness” of the modern young American, as though we can only find happiness and contentment in the midst of a group, or with at least one other person with us at all times. Some of my happiest moments have been spent, alone, on mountainsides, beaches, or browsing bookshops on the other side of the ocean.


9 thoughts on “Goodreads Monday: Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities, and the Pleasures of Solitude

  1. I know! There’s something liberating about it, even though someone else is doing the traveling.

    Cheryl Strayed’s book, Wild, is the same way, and it’s what inspired me to travel on my own. Four countries later, I’m so happy I read it!

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