Greg Hackett - Editorial Expert

About Greg Hackett

I’ve always loved to read, but also loved to collect, store, stack and deposit books on every available shelf, table and unoccupied seat in my home. Earlier in my life I was most interested in crime and thrillers, but as time has done its thing I’ve become more drawn to non-fiction and in particular to books which explain the natural world and our relationship with it, quite often through the biographies of extraordinary people. Most of my working life has been dedicated to creating live events and in particular curating programmes of (I hope!) fun and informative content. I’m currently Festival Director for the London Mountain Film Festival where I am privileged to be involved with London’s thriving adventure and outdoor communities and with documentary filmmakers on every continent.

www.londonmountainfestival.com    @londonmountain1

Latest Reviews By Greg Hackett

How to Survive Family Holidays
Award-winning actor, writer and comedian Jack Whitehall is the author of this very funny “How to.." book about the trials of family holidays - a natural follow-on to the five Netflix series Travels with My Father he made with his dad, retired theatrical agent Michael Whitehall. Jack has written most of the book packed with so many one-liners that it could be delivered direct from stage. His parents Hilary and Michael's contributions are written with less pace, as though penning an amusing letter to a friend, but are no less hilarious and appear as testimony against the accusations made ... View Full Review
Lost & Found
Lost & Found is a memoir by Kathryn Schulz and a rich exploration of what it is to live in a complex world where we both delight in the joy of ‘finding’ while simultaneously dealing with the despair of loss. On the Loss side of the equation Schulz delves into everything from the frustration of losing everyday objects to the devastation of grief, and on the Found side she reflects on love and marriage and moments where ‘things’ are either recovered having vanished or are discovered anew. In the space of eighteen months two life-changing things ... View Full Review
Otherlands
Otherlands succeeds in covering millions of years of paleobiological history and life on earth in a way that is more accessible and enlightening than any previous written attempt to do this that I can think of. That is a remarkable achievement when you consider that if the entire 4.5 billion years of our geological history were condensed into just one hour, then human history would only last two thousandths of a second. Halliday’s approach is to drop in on specific moments in time on this planet and then create a reconstruction of what that would have looked like. Each ... View Full Review
The Last Days of Roger Federer
In reading The Last Days of Roger Federer I found myself wondering if I was in a puzzle rather than a book. The theme is ‘endings', or more often ‘giving up’ in which Geoff Dyer explores his many passions - one of which is tennis - by studying how those people whose work he has devoted so much time to have gone about the business of bringing their careers to a conclusion. Federer, Dylan, Turner, Coltrane.. and so on, a fabulous list of iconic figures from the worlds of sport and art (which seem to merge here) ... View Full Review
The Hedgerow Apothecary Forager's Handbook
Before picking up the Forager’s Handbook, the practice of ‘foraging’ seemed to me something of a dark art or perhaps even an act of desperation. Having spent a few evenings with this book, I now find myself planning trips out of town to hunt for beech nuts that I can make coffee with, or elderflower to create my own cordial. It’s so obvious, of course, that the countryside is packed with wild plants that provide remedies, health foods, and hold secrets that can be put to other uses in the home. We're just not ... View Full Review
Gardening for Mind, Body and Soul
This is a joyful and handy book which focuses on guidance for finding happiness and living in tune with your own personal piece of the great outdoors. Over the past few years we’ve found ourselves at home more than we might normally wish to be, and for those of us lucky enough to have them, we have grown to love our gardens even more. Gardening for Mind, Body and Soul cuts to the chase, zooming in on anything and everything in the garden that can bring you fulfilment, calm and well-being. Turning the traditional gardening book on its ... View Full Review
Riding Out
Simon Parker’s 3,400 mile bike ride which begins and ends at Muckle Flugga in Shetland would have been remarkable at any time. Instead he ventures out into the murky throes of a pandemic, pursued by his own troubles which are then further exacerbated by news of a close friend’s death. His journey, like all journeys, is a metaphor for life, a journey of self discovery interwoven with observation and the freedom granted by just ‘passing through’. This metaphor is brought into sharp focus when he is unable to attend the funeral of his friend but ... View Full Review
The Best British Travel Writing of the 21st Century
This is an impressive collection of travel writing taken from British media which finds untold stories in all corners of the world. Night trains, diving, pilgrimages, coastal walks … the Congo, Iraq, Kent, the Ganges… this single volume hits you hard with the overwhelming possibilities of travel with no less than thirty brilliant writers assembled. This century brought fresh challenges for these journalists in a world well-explored and now widely reported by visitors with bucket lists and armed with social media. But good writing is good writing, and here it is in abundance seeking out characters landscapes and histories ... View Full Review
Go Camping
Go Camping is a celebration of the freedom that camping brings - the perfect gift either to yourself or for a friend who may be toying with the idea of taking the plunge into this world of wilderness, wonder and escapism. This is a book to keep close at hand, to pick up and put down between tasks and chores to remind yourself that there are big and small adventures out there just waiting for you to turn up and have them. The book is packed with inspiring tips, info, quotes and photographs which beckon to your inner explorer from ... View Full Review
The Slow Road to Tehran A Revelatory Bike Ride through Europe and the Middle East
This is a brilliant travel adventure that scratches so far beneath the surface it might have struck oil. Rebecca Lowe’s rich knowledge of the Middle East is fascinating enough in itself to keep the pages turning, but add to that a rookie cyclist going for a risk-filled 11,000km ride to Iran and the results are not only culturally enlightening but hilarious. The author has a wickedly witty style that weaves effortlessly between her day to day travails and the people, mosques and historical sites that she seeks out to bring Islamic history to life. A talented journalist, Lowe ... View Full Review
Himalaya
The mountains of the Himalaya, prised up by tectonic plates, emerged from the ocean ahead of any other land mass on our planet and are therefore not only the highest, but also the oldest in the world. No wonder then that the human stories to subsequently be written upon this landscape should be so unique, so extraordinary and so often full of remarkable bravery and endeavour. Ed Douglas, the author of Himalaya: A Human History has entwined these stories together in what will surely come to be regarded as the definitive account of this region. It is certainly difficult to ... View Full Review
Northern Lights
Tom Kerss is an astronomer, astrophotographer and night sky explorer who has previously worked at the Royal Observatory Greenwich and now runs world-class courses on astronomy. The more adventurous will want to avoid paying a premium to an aurora adventure travel business or resort, and find their own path. This book doesn’t simply list destinations and access, but offers scientifically-backed advice on timings with respect to lunar and solar cycles and practical tips such as how best to position yourself with respect to towns and cities. Not being a scientist myself, it was great to read the science ... View Full Review