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The Wrong Shade of Yellow

3.81  ·  Rating details ·  185 ratings  ·  36 reviews
I was middle aged and homeless, soon to be penniless, and really and truly no different from that bag lady sitting on the bench over there. I couldn’t jack it in and go home, because I didn’t have a home to go to anymore. The bicycle and the tent were now home. Wherever I found myself on any given night was now home. And that meant, for tonight, Genoa Piazza Principe Railw ...more
Kindle Edition, 167 pages
Published July 2014
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Average rating 3.81  · 
Rating details
 ·  185 ratings  ·  36 reviews

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Jean Coleman
Aug 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book that I came across on Goodreads. I can't remember a time when I actually laughed out loud while reading a book, but some parts of the author's travel experiences were so funny that I couldn't control myself. This is certainly not a novel, but rather a travelogue about a middle-aged woman traveling across Europe on a bicycle with a tent and an old computer. The book didn't make me to want to go out and buy a bicycle, but it did cause me to realize I was reading a book by ...more
Noor Olinad
Jul 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
I was a little hesitant when I started reading this book about a huge mid life crisis that sends the author in search of utopia in Greece....on a bike...sleeping in a tent. I wondered if it would be a sad tale or too personal but I found myself quickly drawn into the story. I finished it in two days. On the second day, I stayed up until 1 am to finish reading it. I just had to know what happened next, and how the story ended. I found myself laughing out loud while reading it, not little giggle b ...more
Scott Spotson
Jul 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Well, the best way to know what to write in a review is to be absorbed in a book. It's not a work of fiction. There is no plot. There is no romance, no kidnapping, and no thrills. There is no devious villain. But I found myself wanting to read more, and then more, and then some more... and it's only a travel book!

So I am happy to leave a maximum rating.

Handled by a less talented author, this book could have been a tale of whining, turning the impatient reader off. But wit
Caryl Williams
Feb 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book so much that I didn't want it to end and was quite sad when it did. One of those where you actually forget that you're reading a book and are right there with the writer. The book is so well written, witty, funny and descriptive that it was a joy to read.

For someone who doesn't cycle, I'm often drawn to travel memoirs of the long cycle ride variety. Cyclists, who of course travel at a slower pace than those journeying by any other road or rail vehicle, see a lot more of the
Oct 02, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle, read-2014
Most travel memoirs have several common qualities. Some adventure. An educational aspect as the author discovers new things about the part of the world where they’re traveling. There are times when everything goes according to plan and those where nothing does. In retrospect, those challenging times turn out to be opportunities for growth, where the author learns something about the world and their place in it. Lessons we might be able to apply to our own lives.

The Wrong Shade of Yel
Laurie Buchanan
Feb 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Margaret Eleanor Leigh’s shoot from the hip, no holds barred, saucy style had me in stitches as she pedaled across Europe; struggling up one side of a mountain, only to hurtle down the other, white-knuckled at breakneck speed. Having vowed not to “cheat” (use alternate methods of transportation), she manages to sneak in good solid “cheats” as often as her finances will allow (and sometimes when they won’t). One thing’s for certain—you can’t afford to miss this witty, tongue-in-cheek read!
Elsayed Elsayed
May 27, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A relentless pursuit of utopia! A wonderful read!

These are the masterfully written accounts of a middle-aged woman who decides to drop everything and pursue her dream destination, Greece, on a bicycle in Europe. Without spoiling the plot, this is why I stated in the title that this book is a wonderful read:
The writing is masterful, I enjoyed reading the author's descriptions of her surroundings, the characters she interacted with and her own deep emotions. It was such a pleasur
Sarah Butfield
Feb 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
No excuses, just do it!
A story of an extraordinary cycle ride in pursuit of a personal utopia, added to which the woman undertaking this journey is in a self-confessed mid-life crisis. What better scenario could there be for an entertaining travel memoir which depicts the escapades of a woman travelling alone through Europe? Not only does she embark on a great adventure, which she eloquently portrays, but the structure of the book in terms of the pacing, flow and use of descriptive narrati
J.R. Biery
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Just throw away the maps and head south - to Greece.

Not the type of book I would ordinarily pick up, but so glad to get a copy from the author. Wonderful, funny, full of surprises. To imagine a mid-life crisis woman buying a bike to pedal across Europe alone to see Greece, well I couldn't. Read the book straight through. The writing is crisp, witty, and keeps you puffing over the next hill to see what the adventurous heroine is going to discover next, and more to the point, what insi
Kanwal Jit
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
An excellent travel book.

Read it for entertainment, humor,honesty and motivation. A book, which surprises you with its honesty and literary content.A real page turner.
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
A nice and diverting little memoir of a woman's mid-life crisis bicycle ride to Greece. It was amusing and touching.
Patricia Walker
Oct 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a brilliant read about one woman's solitary cycle trip through Europe to Greece in search of her 'Utopia' and under the illusion that everyone, everywhere speaks English. After becoming very quickly disillusioned on that one aspect she perseveres through many adventures both amusing and otherwise until she reaches her goal and invites her mother and son to move there with her...

This is a definite must read for fans of travel memoirs everywhere and for everyone that need
Dec 05, 2017 rated it it was ok
Somewhat entertaining story of a woman sharing trials and tribulations of her bicycle trek to Greece, alone and often with very little cash to her name. I sympathized with the financial situations she faced and feared for the dangerous situations she encountered. Better research and planning could have prevented some problems, yet these difficulties are probably what people NEED to read in order to prevent them in their own undertakings. I have done work and personal travels alone as well, so I ...more
Jeffrey Fritts
Jun 02, 2017 rated it did not like it
Dark attitude towards the whole thing...

The author just has a bad outlook on everything, it seems. To much of the story is spent complaining. If I want negative energy in my life I can just turn to the media. I read as far as her traveling in north east France, and put the book down. I hope she found what she was looking for in Greece.
Merv Duffy
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
A quirky and hilarious travel book. A very bright, very eccentric middle-aged woman lately from New Zealand decides to cycle across Europe by herself living on 15 Euro a day. Screamingly funny and heart-warming.
Christy Olesen
Dec 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Christy by: BookBub
I enjoyed Ms Leigh's sarcastic sense of humor and took her criticisms of the countries she visited as part of that. I applaud her for taking on such an adventure and enjoyed reading about her experiences and the characters she met along the way.
Sandra Burns
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it
Not what I expected.

Just not the book I thought it would be. Thought it would be more of a memoir. Like a homeless person on the street with no options, survives & is sucessful in turning their life around.
Jun 05, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bailed
Can't do it. Never read anything else by her and not criticising her work, but this is so boring. Only 30% in and can't go on. Bailed
Julie Haigh
Feb 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Lovers of memoirs, travel books, humour
Recommended to Julie by: Won as a competition prize
Great book, I really enjoyed it-I love her humour!

I won this book as a competition prize quite some time ago and kept meaning to read it. Now I wish I had got to it sooner! On the strength of this, her next memoir will be a must read for me! This was a brilliant book, I really enjoyed it. I liked that the title kept me wondering, it was intriguing what it could mean, you don't find out until the last chapter and it wasn't predictable at all. I really get the sarcastic humour-I actual
Andrew Kelliher
Jul 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
The author, a self-described middle-aged woman of some dignity, sets out alone to ride her bike from Holland to Greece. The story starts some weeks into the journey on Genoa railway station in the early hours, where after various catastrophes she is spending the night on an uncomfortable platform bench in company of a bag lady, a Romanian guest worker and a woman in a blanket. We then move back in time to pick up the events that led her to this point, including vivid bicycle journeys through Hol ...more
G.J. Griffiths
Jul 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: my-reviews
When I began reading this book I was under the mistaken impression that it was a new novel. Only after reading a couple of chapters did I realise that it was some kind of travel memoir, and so feel that it would be of great benefit to prospective readers if the author could have included an introduction that made that much clearer. The last time that I persisted with a book of this type was several years ago when I read R L Stevenson’s “Travels With My Donkey”, which I enjoyed but the joy only b ...more
Ronesa Aveela
Jul 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
After reading “It was my big, fat, Greek midlife crisis.” in the opening paragraph, I was expecting a humorous book along the lines of the movie “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” and I wasn’t disappointed. “The Wrong Shade of Yellow” is most certainly tongue-in-cheek, but it’s unfortunate the author has to specify that. I guess that’s what makes the world of writing so fabulous—and frustrating. We are all different and have various opinions about the books we read. Some we understand; others we don’t. ...more
Hock Tjoa
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it

There is much that is cute or droll in this travelog. Re Holland, for instance, the author in the first person remarks, "how can anyone be bored in a country with a village named Beek en Donk?" She refers to her job in New Zealand as a "briefing paper advisor at the Ministry of Human Misery." The specialist at the hospital is dismissed as one of those "prim and prissy young men ... who thought because he was a medical man he had the right to sit in moral judgement on an insane middle aged woman.
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: memoir
I actually won this book in a competition and I have to say it was a super prize. I was intrigued by the title but it wasn’t until nearly the end before the reason for it was revealed. It almost made me cry as I just had a funny feeling about what was going to happen by that point. Margaret Leigh gave up her job in New Zealand having decided that she would cycle across Europe with a view to ending up in Greece ‘in search of Utopia’ which she believed to be located in Greece. The book describes h ...more
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
At first I was not aware this was a memoir. I thought it was a fictional piece, but no matter, I enjoyed reading the book.

Margaret travels from New Zealand's Ministry of Misery to Holland, and from there she sets out to conquer Europe on her bicycle. Her ultimate goal is Greece, but first she travels through Belgium, France, and Italy.

Margaret's commentary is satirical, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the landscape is populated by rude and angry people who onl
Pat Ellis
Sep 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed reading this Memoir - The Author, Margaret Eleanor Leigh 'takes-off' on her bike for a trip via Europe to Greece where she hopes to indulge her mid-life crisis... In the wings you have the Author's mum who intends to join her daughter once she has 'found' the ideal place - somewhere she will know when it feels right! You are invited to travel along with the Author on a humerous if not at times testing trip. I do take my hat off to her for her tenacity - she wasn't exactly a bike/campin ...more
Aug 18, 2015 rated it it was amazing
One sitting

I read this book in one sitting, which suggests that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it and at times laughed out loud.
I loved the adventure and I loved the delightful if not a little cantankerous Polly.
Overall the idea that life is full of terrific unknowable and sometimes scary experiences is wonderfully expressed here. Life is meant to be exciting and full and this book is certainly full of life.
Kayla Tornello
Jun 30, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, adult
I enjoyed living vicariously through the author's midlife crisis bicycle trip from London to Greece. Her experiences were interesting, but the writing wasn't really that impressive. The whole thing just had a languid feel. Even though I know this is real life, I still wasn't fond of the way that the story ended. Overall, I liked reading this book, but I didn't feel quite satisfied at the end.
May 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Lovely funny read.

A story about a lady making a trip around Europe, her midlife crisis trip. It's entertaining, full of humour and well written. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and look forward to sitting down to the sequel very much, which is what I'm going to do once I've finished this..........
Jan 21, 2016 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book with the high points and the low/very low points of Margaret's journey from New Zealand via sundry countries to Greece. It was a very brave trip and I admire her fortitude. Her Mother's reaction to the great Greek plan made me quite upset at the end and my heart went out to Margaret for losing here dream. A terrificly good read. I felt I was on the journey too.
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Margaret Eleanor Leigh is a writer without roots. Born and raised in apartheid South Africa, she’s lived in Wales, New Zealand, England, Greece and Scotland. Now she’s back in Wales, the land of her fathers. Her working past is just as colourful: she’s been a journalist, a bureaucrat, a university tutor, a bookseller, and a proof-reader.
This unsettled and chaotic life has its drawbacks. The
“As I travelled south through Europe everything got bigger. This applied to nice things like fruit-the nectarines and tomatoes were about six times as large in Greece as they were in Britain for example. But the principle also applied to unpleasant things, like spiders, and worms, and all other nameless and horrifying insects and arachnids of Greece.” 0 likes
“I had always been enamoured with Vincent Van Gogh, which isn’t nearly as crazy as it might sound. Lots of women are in love with dead people. Take Elvis, for example, thousands of women are in love with him, and he’s also dead.” 0 likes
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