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Book Review: Watch Out For Pirates

Today I’m delighted to be sharing my book review of Watch Out For Pirates, the latest travel anthology from travel writer Jules Brown. Having read two of the authors previous travel books, I was thrilled to be invited to review his latest book.

Where Are We Touring To?

In Watch Out For Pirates the author takes readers on a tour to various locations around the world. From far away adventures in Ghana, Luxor, Sicily and Portugal, as well as an Outlander tour around Scotland.

Book Cover Notes

When Jules reads his grandfather’s diary, he discovers he’s not the first in his family with travel stories to tell.

Looking for his own adventures, Jules crosses continents while learning the ropes as a Rough Guide writer. And because travel is unpredictable, there’s no knowing what his next trip will bring.

Surviving the outback, drunk by breakfast time in Montenegro, asked to sing at a Sicilian wedding, appearing as Santa in a Portuguese school – the life of a travel writer can take a wrong turn now and again.

From scary lizards to Highland warriors, it seems that pirates are not the only things to worry about when you’re born to travel.

Share Your Own Adventures

My Thoughts

What can I say, he’s done it again! Another cracking collection of stories from travel writer Jules Brown. Following on from ‘Don’t eat the Puffin‘, and ‘Never Pack an Ice Axe‘, Watch out for Pirates is the 3rd book in the ‘Born to Travel’ series. The author shares more fascinating and honest tales of what it’s really like to be a travel writer. From anxious beginnings in Bangkok airport to concerns about the safety record of a hot-air balloon whilst soaring over the temples of Karnak in Luxor, Watch out for Pirates is a captivating read.

For me, ‘Behind The Scenes In Blackpool’ was one of my favourite chapters in the book. Jules was spot on with his observations of this weird and wonderful Lancashire town.

‘A vast sand carpet for picnic-blanket families, sunburned drunks, Speedo dads, disdainful teens, languid couples and determined pensioners.”

Having lived and worked in Blackpool for 18 months in my late teens, reading the authors experiences whilst visiting Blackpool had me laughing out loud and took me right back to my teens. Taking the Tram from Fleetwood to work each morning, running along the piers, watching the donkeys trek up and down along the beach, were all part of my daily routine when I worked as an Office Junior 🙂 at The Winter Gardens.

“Entire counties or even countries used to descend for a week of cheerful high-jinks, as the accents of Yorkshire, Scotland and Wales flooded the so-called ‘Golden Mile’ along the seafront for fish and chips, donkey rides, candy floss, amusement arcades, souvenir stalls, kiss-me-quick hats and smutty postcards.’

Throughout the chapter I interrupted my husband several times with ‘listen to this….’. as I read out Jules’ witty observations. Just brilliant, thanks for the memories Jules.

I was fascinated to read the author’s diary entries written by his father and grandfather. What a great insight into family life through previous generations. The author’s travel bug has clearly been inherited from an adventurous family, having covered most of the globe by the sound of things. Although Jules definitely has the edge on the travel writing skills, he shares a lot more in his books than simply “Navrongo (Ghana) – naked arrest!’ and “Left Hong Kong, arrived at Singapore”, “Left at 11am to go pirate-hunting.” I mean seriously, so many questions! 🙂

Thankfully the authors writing style is more descriptive, witty and very entertaining. I enjoyed reading the travel tips near the end of the book. The Cliches had me chuckling and then grimacing as I’m probably using most of them in my blog posts. By the way, here in Swindon we have a Mecca AND an Oasis but I’m not sure I would call my hometown a paradise. I don’t think there’s a call for a Rough Guide to Swindon either 🙂

“The one thing at least that travel should do is open our minds to the common humanity of others. Travelling with an open mind means looking beyond walls, borders and languages, and seeing people and places with a genuine interest and curiosity.”


A unique, awesome, hidden gem of a Travel Book Series (Read the book and you’ll understand…).

Although this is the 3rd book in a series, Watch Out For Pirates can be read as a stand-alone. But once you’ve read this latest book I would highly recommend reading the other books in the series too.

I’m always rather sad when I get to the end of a Jules Brown travel anthology. I can only hope the author shares more of his real-life, travel stories soon. I shall be putting in my pre-order with Alex at Bert’s Books, my local book shop (I know, I’m a lucky book blogger right).

Where To Buy

Amazon UK

Further book info

  • Publication date: May 2022
  • Publisher: Independent
  • Page count: 206

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About The Author

Jules Brown Travel Writer
Author Jules Brown

Jules Brown took his first solo trip around Europe when he was seventeen, and he’s been travelling and writing professionally ever since, publishing his first travel guide – to Scandinavia – in 1988.

An experienced Travel Writer, Jules Brown wrote Rough Guide travel books for over thirty years. He has eaten a puffin in Iceland, got stuck up a mountain in the Lake District, crash-landed in Iran, fallen off a husky sled in Canada, and got stranded on a Mediterranean island. Not all of those things were his fault.

Where To Find Jules Online

Website | Twitter | Facebook | YouTube

Finally, I hope you’ve enjoyed my book review of Watch Out For Pirates by Jules Brown. Don’t miss the authors other books including:

Never Pack an Ice-Axe. Tales From a Travel Writer’s Life

You’d think a long-time travel writer would have some great travel tips. You’d think.

Jules learns about travel the hard way, whether it’s setting out on his first European hitch-hiking adventure, writing about offbeat destinations for Rough Guides, or braving the shouty waiters of Naples on the hunt for the world’s best pizza.

Not everything goes according to plan – what happened in Bali stays in Bali – but during a life in travel, Jules has racked up enough useful tips to fill a book. Just not this book.

Hit the road with Jules – from Scotland to the South Pacific – and you’re guaranteed a great story, a good laugh and an occasional heartfelt sob. As long as you don’t listen to his advice, you’ll be absolutely fine.

Order Now: Amazon UK

Don’t Eat the Puffin: Tales From a Travel Writer’s Life: 1

It’s the job of his dreams. Get paid to travel and write about it.

Only no one told Jules that it would mean eating oily seabirds, repeatedly falling off a husky sled, getting stranded on a Mediterranean island, and crash-landing in Iran.

The exotic destinations come thick and fast – Hong Kong, Hawaii, Huddersfield – as Jules navigates what it means to be a travel writer in a world with endless surprises up its sleeve.

Add in a cast of larger-than-life characters – Elvis, Captain Cook, his own travel-mad Dad – and an eye for the ridiculous, and this journey with Jules is one you won’t want to miss.

Order Now: Amazon UK

Not Cool: Europe by Train in a Heatwave

Inspired by the budget InterRail trips of his youth, veteran travel writer Jules Brown thought he’d try and visit 9 cities in 9 countries in 9 days. Sadly, that wasn’t his only mistake.

It soon turned into a hot and steamy adventure (no, steady on, not that kind) by rail across Europe, taking in Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Bratislava, Ljubljana, Zagreb, Liechtenstein, Zürich and Milan.

A tale of relaxing train rides to famous tourist destinations and guidebook sights? Not so much. All aboard for an offbeat travel adventure with a very funny writer seriously in danger of losing his cool.

Order Now: Amazon UK

Many Thanks To Jules Brown

Many thanks to Jules Brown for my digital copy of the book in exchange for an honest book review. All opinions in this review are my own.

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