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Feeling the desire to explore closer to home or travel to far flung places? We have a selection of titles to satisfy your wanderlust. Whether you’re planning a great adventure or reading about your favourite parts of the world, have a browse of our Travel selection.
When eighty-one-year-old Jay Mendelsohn decides to enrol in the undergraduate seminar on the Odyssey that his son Daniel teaches at Bard College, the two find themselves on an adventure as profoundly emotional as it is intellectual. For Jay, a retired research scientist who sees the world through a mathematician's unforgiving eyes, this return to the classroom is his `one last chance' to learn about the great literature he'd neglected in his youth - and, even more, a final opportunity to understand his son. But through the sometimes-uncomfortable months that follow, as the two men explore Homer's great work together - first in the classroom, where Jay persistently challenges his son's interpretations, and then during a surprise-filled Mediterranean journey retracing Odysseus' legendary voyages - it becomes clear that Daniel has much to learn, too: for Jay's responses to both the text and the travels gradually uncover long-buried secrets that allow the son to understand his difficult father at last. As this intricately woven memoir builds to its wrenching climax, Mendelsohn's narrative comes to echo The Odyssey itself, with its timeless themes of deception and recognition, marriage and children, the pleasures of travel and the meaning of home.
If you’re heading to Oslo to soak up some seasonal Scandi atmosphere, then do yourself a favour and get yourself a copy of this compact guidebook before you go! It’s a clearly laid-out, quick reference tool that gets to the heart of the city’s top attractions, including the Viking Ship Museum, the Opera House, the Nobel Peace Center and fabulous Frogner Park. Of particular interest to winter travellers is the excellent coverage of Marka, the spectacular forested hills that surround the city. This guide tells you how to get there, and what to do when you reach this true winter wonderland, from walking and hiking, to cycling and skiing. If you have time to travel further even afield, you might also like to check out the Insight Pocket Guide to Norway.
Hugh Thomson's previous journeys have resulted in acclaimed books on Peru, Mexico and the Indian Himalaya, and more recently on southern England for the prize-winning The Green Road into the Trees. As he crosses the north, he combines his trademark wit and insight with a lyrical intensity about the history and the landscape; and it is his encounters with the people he meets along the way which bring that landscape to life in a manner few other contemporary travel writers attempt.
This practical pocket-sized guidebook is perfectfor discovering all York has to offer on foot, with eleven walking routes covering the historic heart of the city, must-see markets and museums, an excursion to the Yorkshire Coast, and an excursion to James Herriot country, to name a few. There’s also a steam train and dinosaur tour! Each is accompanied by a map and clear directions with key landmarks highlighted along the way, which makes it super simple to spot local gems. The eating out suggestions are excellent with a focus on restaurants and pubs serving delicious local dishes you can sample on your stroll stop-offs. In addition to these detailed walks, the book also offers excellent features on the North York Moors National Park, the local art scene and the area’s rich Roman and Viking history, alongside plenty of practical tips on how to get around.
From its opening overview and highlighted Top Ten attractions (including ancient St Peter Port, Castle Cornet, Hautville House and car-free Herm), to the eight wonderful walking tours, this guidebook makes a superb travelling companion to those seeking to explore gorgeous Guernsey independently. The detailed tours section covers St Peter Port, St Peter Port to Moulin Huet Bay, Southern Guernsey, Central Guernsey, Northern Guernsey, Herm, Sark and Alderney, which means travellers will never be short of something to do or see, with must-see sights clearly highlighted, and suggested places to stop off for food and drink along the way. Talking of which, the Food and Drink feature highlights the island’s Gallic-flavoured gastronomic delights and also provides an excellent overview of Guernsey’s great craft ale offerings.
June 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. A book to put a great big beaming (and somewhat tearful) smile on your face. ‘Finding Gobi’ documents the quite amazing story of one man’s quest to find the little dog who had stolen his heart. Dion Leonard was a serious ultra marathon competitor in a race through the Gobi Desert, when a little street dog joined him, running by his side. We hear about Dion’s childhood, why he started running, what it takes to be an ultra competitor, and we meet Gobi, the dog with eyes that appear to see into your soul. You may already be aware of this story, as it took social media by storm, if like me, you weren’t, then the prologue sets your mind at ease before you start this simply sensational story. ‘Finding Gobi’ joins man and dog in a story to warm the cockles of your heart, I absolutely adored it. It is worth noting that a children’s version of the story is also available. Explore our '80+ Books That Deliver a Hug' listicle for more feel-good or uplifting books.
'My favourite debut of 2017 ...as funny as it is poignant' Lena Dunham When Nell Stevens was given the opportunity to spend three months in a location of her choice in order to write her novel, she was determined to rid herself of all distractions. So Nell decided to travel to Bleaker Island (official population: two) in the Falklands where she would write 2,500 words a day. But Bleaker House is not that novel. Instead this is a book about a young woman realising that the way to writing fiction doesn't necessarily lie in total solitude and a clear plan. Nor does it lie in a daily ration of 1085 calories, no means of contacting the outside world and a slow descent towards something that feels worryingly like madness ...
The first known inhabitant of St Helena - long before Napoleon - was a 16th-century Portuguese renegade. In 1506 Fernao Lopes, a member of his country's minor nobility, travelled to Goa in search of honour and wealth. There he converted to Islam, married a Muslim, fought his former countrymen, and was eventually captured - his nose and hands publicly cut off for treachery. Eventually sailing for home, he jumped ship at St. Helena, becoming the island's first inhabitant, with only a black cockerel for company. News of Lopes reached the King of Portugal. Picked up by a ship sent especially for him, Lopes so impressed the King, and the Pope in Rome, that he was granted one wish. He requested his return to St Helena.
Simon Nye's TV series, The Durrells, is based loosely on Gerald Durrell's Corfu Trilogy and in particular his much-loved bestseller, My Family and Other Animals. These books in turn are based somewhat loosely on actual events. The real-life Durrells went to Corfu at the urging of Lawrence Durrell, who was already living on the island with his wife, Nancy Myers. Their intent was to keep the family together as his mother, Louisa, was drinking heavily and recovering from a breakdown; 'We can be proud of the way we brought her up,' Larry said, only half-jokingly, of the family's subsequent Corfu sojourn.
We have lived in villages a long time. The village was the first model for communal living. Towns came much later, then cities. Later still came suburbs, neighbourhoods, townships, communes, kibbutzes. But the village has endured. Across England, modernity creeps up to the boundaries of many, breaking the connection the village has with the land. With others, they can be as quiet as the graveyard as their housing is bought up by city 'weekenders', or commuters. The ideal chocolate box image many holidaying to our Sceptred Isle have in their minds eye may be true in some cases, but across the country the heartbeat of the real English village is still beating strongly - if you can find it. To this mission our intrepid historian and travel writer Tom Fort willingly gets on his trusty bicycle and covers the length and breadth of England to discover the essence of village life. His journeys will travel over six thousand years of communal existence for the peoples that eventually became the English.
Ordinary women doing the extraordinary. This book is testament to following your dreams and that you can do anything you put your mind too if you work hard enough. Four middle aged friends who met at a local Saturday morning rowing club decide to take on The Talisker Whiskey Challenge – also known as ‘The World's Toughest Row’ - across 3,000 miles of treacherous ocean. All four are mothers, wives and professional women but athletes? No, not athletes, yet they had a dream to follow and follow it they did. This is a story of determination, of pushing past the overwhelming feeling of failing, letting everyone down and of course of silencing the doubters, the people who say ‘You can’t do this’. This is an incredible story about an amazing experience by four amazing women. There were moments that sent shivers down my spine as I followed their journey from the very beginning when even getting to the start line was a massive undertaking. The story is told by all four women, all four friends and it feels like that too. Their warmth and love for each other shines through as they share ever moment, every fear, every failure and ultimately their success. By the end I felt so proud of the achievement and so emotionally engaged with these four ordinary mums who just happened to row an ocean. April 2017 Non-Fiction Book of the Month.
This compact guide is perfect for long weekends in Reykjavik, and longer stays in/tours around the whole country, with excellent information about which out-of-town attractions are in easily reach of the capital, including Arbær Open-Air Museum, Fjörukráin Viking Village and an unforgettable trip to the amazing Blue Lagoon (pre-booking essential!). The “What to do” section is really useful for families, split as it is into interest areas (including outdoor activities like horse-riding, hiking, swimming and whale-watching) so plans can be made to keep everyone happy. If you’re travelling solo or as a couple, it’s also strong on nightlife and shopping recommendations, with plenty of how-to-get-there information throughout.
We all love to travel. We all love escape. Granted, some are more adventurous than others, hankering to cross vast plains of unchartered territory, while the rest of us just want to find a nice hotel somewhere by a crystal blue sea. Whatever your level of wanderlust, there’s something here to inspire, inform and invade your senses. Follow in the footsteps of pioneers, heroes or trusted raconteurs; visit the real settings of favourite works of fiction (See our Reading on Location guide and read great novels set in the place you’re sitting in!); discover off the beaten track getaways; ponder the history of travel itself, laugh at anecdotes of the hapless. In short, by using our Book of the Month recommendations and taking a little stroll around the section, you can discover the world without leaving your fireside chair. Free your mind, they say, and the rest will follow.
“We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.” T.S. Elliot