Book Review: The Risks of Sunbathing Topless


I picked this book up from the free counter at work – how could I resist that title! I had no idea what it was about…

The book is actually a collection of short stories written by women about their travels. They are shocking, irreverent, and downright hilarious. From the woman trying to navigate the complexities of setting up her home in a foreign country, to the woman looking for a bit of nooky while getting over the heartache of her failed relationship, to the woman trying to earn some money to resume her travels by working as a table dancer in a German beer hall, all have seen their best laid plans go horribly awry.

The Risks of Sunbathing Topless, various authors, edited by Kate Chynoweth

The Risks of Sunbathing Topless, various authors, edited by Kate Chynoweth

They get themselves into all kinds of tight spots, and casually bare all (often literally) for their readers, so we get to enjoy the awkward situations they find themselves in. The book is not for the faint of heart, going way over the boundaries of decency with stories of boils, funky toe parasites, inappropriately deposited spearmint gum, and other unusual travel predicaments.

The book certainly reaffirmed that I lead a pretty boring life. I think the most exciting predicaments Jon and I have gotten ourselves into are a not-so-nice hotel, going the wrong direction on the elevated train, and trying to pick up a rental car on the wrong day! I guess I need to work harder!

If nothing more, the stories serve as a reminder to get out and see the world, and perhaps not worry so much about the method. After all, all these women lived to tell their tale – and seem none the worse for the wear. If you are looking for a light-hearted, easy read with a lot of humor, you’ll find it here.

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4 thoughts on “Book Review: The Risks of Sunbathing Topless

  1. This made me think about the most exciting, unexpected consequence of a travel experience that I’ve had. Like you, though, my trips are mostly of the tightly controlled variety. And definitely of the fully clothed in public variety. My most exciting unexpected adventure had to do with getting theater tickets in London, which ended up with us being taken through the backstage and over the fully setted stage of a West End theater, to see Miss Saigon for free from a lighting box.

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