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

3.48  ·  Rating details ·  904 ratings  ·  144 reviews
A wise, passionate account of the pleasures of travelling 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 travelling. Through on-the-ground reporting and recounting the experiences of artists, writers, and innovators who cherished solitude, Stephanie
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published June 5th 2018 by Viking
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3.48  · 
Rating details
 ·  904 ratings  ·  144 reviews

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Miriam Smith
Jun 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Alone Time - Four seasons, four cities and the pleasures of solitude" written by New York Times columnist Stephanie Rosenbloom explores the sensory experience of solitude.
I found this book extremely informative, entertaining and quite compelling and very different from my normal reads which was a refreshing change.
The amount of references to support the authors comments is phenomenal and equally the amount of research that must have been carried out is truly amazing.
I particularly liked readin
Jenny (Reading Envy)
(Although I did read this in egalley form, I verified quotations with the final version.)

"Alone, there's no need for an itinerary. Walk, and the day arranges itself."

Stephanie Rosenbloom takes on four cities to try to (re)discover the pleasure of solo travel - Paris, Istanbul, Florence, and New York City (where she lives.) I truly loved her ruminations and observations along the way, and feel like buying this for every friend who travels solo, whether that is a luxury of retirement or a necessit
Randal White
An interesting, light read. The author explores four different cities in four different seasons. She does it alone, to experience the benefits of solitude that can disappear when you are with someone else or with a group. Basically, slow down, open your eyes (and ears, and nose), and let your mind make it's own memories. It's a great idea.
Dec 30, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Netiesa, kad tik raganoms ir šamanams patinka leisti laiką vieniems. Daugeliui patinka. Ir jie nėra kitokie, tik siekiantys gyventi savo ritmu. Keliauti, skaityti, klausytis, žiūrėti, ragauti ir jausti. A. H. Maslow nuomone “vienumą ypač mėgsta brandūs, aukšta savimone pasižymintys žmonės, nes taip gali atsiriboti nuo kitų ir likti su savo mintimis”. Ir visiškai nėra baisu vienam eiti į kiną ar teatrą, užsukti išgerti kavos ar tiesiog vaikštinėti. Laukia daug mielų atradimų.
Įkvepianti ir jauki
"And if you happen to be a woman dining alone, you also happen to be exercising a hard-won right, one that still doesn't exist everywhere." (46)

Journalist Stephanie Rosenbloom expounds lyrically about four one-week solo travel vacations to Paris (spring), Istanbul (summer), Florence (fall), and home in New York (winter) with every art, architecture, and literary reference she can. Quick read if not a little highfalutin and for the socioeconomically unchallenged. Includes tools and tips for Going
Aug 11, 2018 rated it did not like it
As someone who is very introverted, doesn't mind spending lots of time alone, avoids crowds, etc. this title sounded super intriguing. Being "alone" is an increasingly precious commodity and her book sounded very interesting. Being alone in four cities, and the experience of being alone in her travels with her solo spaces and solitude.

Unfortunately, the negative reviews are on point. If you've done any reading of relatively recent articles urging people to do more things by themselves or taking
Kyle Lane
Aug 08, 2018 rated it did not like it
Couldn't finish it. It's like she wanted to write about a trip she had and made up a reason for it and tried to find supporting arguments after the fact. I get it, you like Paris, we all like Paris.
Aug 19, 2018 rated it liked it
I didn’t like this book that much , I thought I would get an insight into what being alone means and some musings to go along with it , what I got was basically a traveling guide for people that want to travel alone , helpful but that what I wanted to read .
Joanna Park
Jun 24, 2018 rated it really liked it
As a mother of three I must admit alone time seems like a distance memory and one that i’d have no problem filling! However I very much enjoyed the journey to the four countries that the author takes us on.  I don’t think I’d ever dare to travel to a foreign country on my own, to a place where I knew no one, but I admire Stephanie for having the courage to do it.

The four cities (Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York) are vividly described by the author so that the reader feels like they are the
Jun 15, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Stephanie Rosenbloom has done a thing that I'm dreaming about - she's travelled alone to four different cities. I don't actually have to travel around the world but being alone is high on my list of priorities. You know, I'm actually never alone, there is always someone around me, be it at work or at home, and a solitary minute is like a Utopia Island. I think I wouldn't be afraid of travelling alone, I'd enjoy every single minute and use it in exactly the same way Stephanie Rosenbloom did.

I usu
Heather Nixon
May 16, 2018 rated it liked it
As someone who definitely values alone time, likes time on my own and is interested in solo travelling, it made for an interesting, eye opening and somewhat relatable read. To me it's a mix between an intimate, detailed account of solo travelling as well as a travel guide and mindfulness/self help guide with quotes, studies and statistics.

The main negative was the repetition, especially the phrases: 'slipped my finger into the handle of my coffee cup', 'slid my finger through the tasseled keycha
Pam Cipkowski
Sep 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: travel
I’ve always liked Stephanie Rosenbloom’s writing in the travel section of the New York Times, so I looked forward to the release of this book. It was everything I wanted it to be—pensive, insightful, evocative, thought-provoking—so I’m surprised at some of the less than stellar reviews.

Rosenbloom recounts her travels alone in four different cities around the world: Paris, Istanbul, Florence, and New York City. She describes what it is to walk, dine, and go to a museum alone, among other singula
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was ok
Preaching to the choir for me... I don’t really see the question to which this book was supposed to be an answer to... it’s not enough information for a travel guide and not enough emotion and reflection for a memoir. And it’s a hard case of tell not show...
Liz Pardey
Jul 24, 2018 rated it did not like it
Totally boring -- it is written like a magazine article -- a teaser personal reminiscence followed by 'tips for travellers' I had expected a memoir and ended up skim skipping through which I something I rarely do.
Sep 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio
I've recently figured out that I really enjoy traveling alone and I'm a sucker for any book that gives me ideas for how to have even more fun doing so. I'll need to check out the resources/ideas she mentions at the end of the book before my next trip. It'd be worth reading that chunk of the book if you're thinking of traveling alone (or even if you're just traveling).
Jul 07, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-books
Solo travel and the pleasures of solitude in general are topics that I heartily endorse. All of my trips to Italy so far have been solo adventures. I have learned more about the country and also myself through these opportunities precisely because I traveled on my own.

With that in mind, initially, I was very excited to read this book. And, parts of it I enjoyed. The author's chapter on her market experience to organize a picnic for herself in the Luxembourg Gardens was equally entertaining and
Miko Lee
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was ok
A solo woman’s travelogue through parts of Europe. Bits of research and history are added to the tales but overall a bit dry.
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
I wanted this to feel more like a memoir or narrative than it actually did.
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
Enjoyable audiobook. I like to travel and fine with going alone so this was a perfect read.
Hanan AL-Raddadi
Jan 26, 2019 rated it liked it
I knew about this book from another book talking about solitude and had so much hope for it. A journalist writing about traveling alone, what could go wrong?Everything,apparently.
The book is divided into 4 sections. Each section represents a place/season in which the author spent some alone there. That’s the only thing the author knows about organizing. There is detailed descriptions of places, weather, tips but very little about the person who is traveling. The book reads too much like a textb
Feb 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Stephanie Rosenbloom is a well read and talented American travel writer, who has examined the idea of travelling alone from both a research perspective and her own experiences. The overall goal is something many of us strive for: how to bring the joy of travel into our lives at home in our own cities. She delves into and quotes from an interesting mix of writers and research as she tries to figure out how to enjoy the process of travelling alone and then how to get that same feeling into her hom ...more
Kate Schwarz
Aug 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobooks, memoir
3 1/2 stars.

I liked this book. I liked living vicariously through Rosenbloom's travels as she visited four cities for about a week each: Istanbul, Florence, Paris, and New York City. I liked listening to the results of her research on the benefits of being alone--such as how solo museum-goers appreciated the art more when alone. The statistics on the rise of solo travel and solo dining surprised me, and encouraged me to try it sometime, albeit on a smaller scale.

I was surprised that there was on
Lisa  Carlson
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Recommended to Lisa by: Burnsville, MN library
Shelves: travel-adventure
NY Times staff columnist(Travel section) and writer Stephanie Rosenbloom superbly stimulates the senses in her terrifically written book Alone Time: Four Seasons, Four Cities and the Pleasures of Solitude. When I recently browsed the library shelves of new releases librarians had put this one out on display and for good reason. Indeed this is a book to "savor" as I enjoyed each page. As I turned the pages I was immediately taken in by her seemingly "old soul" approach and even more surprised whe ...more
Have you ever come home from a vacation and needed a vacation to recover from your vacation? Rosenbloom preaches the joys of an unscheduled holiday, were you are in complete control of your itinerary and time. She encourages readers to anticipate and savor the experiences of walking thru strange cities and spending time in the now.

Why I started this book: Eye catching title... and who wouldn't want to learn more about Paris, Istanbul, Florence and New York City.

Why I finished it: In addition to
Sreeraag Mohan
Feb 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When do you pause? When do you paint or pant? When write family, loll on moss, hear Mozart and watch the glitter of the sea? When you're alone.

There is a certain pleasure in doing things alone: to savour the moment the universe has arranged just for you, to disconnect from our increasingly frantic lives and enjoy the present moment, completely mindful of your emotions. Stephanie Rosenbloom’s travelogue is an ode to this feeling, and it is beautiful.

Travelling through four cities in four differen
3.5 stars. This book is a reflection on traveling alone, and I love that it exists. Author also discusses “what makes us happy” to some degree — both when traveling alone, and also in general. It was a good book, and there were ways that I hoped it would be more than it is—but at the end of the day, I’m delighted it exists.
Sammy Lawnchair
Feb 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
A nice bougie book. Thoroughly enjoyed.
Rosie Amber
Jun 07, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5 stars

Alone Time is a non-fiction memoir of self-discovery. The author believes that the single person, as a commodity, is a growing market particularly for travel and dining alone, whilst time alone is good for the soul: it can reduce stress, lessen anger and provide the opportunity to be reflective.

With this in mind Stephanie Rosenbloom travelled to four cities to explore and experience them through solo travel. Paris in June, Istanbul in summer, Florence in autumn and New York in winter. S
Sep 29, 2018 rated it liked it
I wanted to like this book so much, but it fell a little bit flat for me. I am a big fan of solo travel and actually read this while I was on a solo leg of a recent trip to Europe. The book spent a large amount of time describing Paris, and felt a little lighter on the other trips she took. It mixed in some good details about benefits of solo travel, but in general it didn't really do it for me. It's not horrible by any means, but could be so much more.
May 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
A light to read and enjoyable travel book with a lot of reflections on solitude.
Even if it's a light read it's full of food for thought.
Many thanks to Viking and Edelweiss for this ARC
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Stephanie Rosenbloom is a travel writer with The New York Times.

Each week she aims to help travelers get the most out of their vacations with reviews, tips and trends in her Getaway column. She also writes features and essays about solo travel (like this and this), as well as slow travel, design, and the ways technology may be helping or hurting our experiences.
“The researchers found that joyful and fulfilled people seem to intuitively know “that sustained happiness is not just about doing things that you like. It also requires growth and adventuring beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone.” 3 likes
“There’s only one very good life, and that’s the life that you know you want, and you make it yourself.” 2 likes
More quotes…