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Feeling the desire to 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.
Ten years after walking across Central Asia and through Afghanistan, Rory Stewart returns to Britain. He walks a thousand miles, crossing and recrossing the English-Scottish Border. A referendum is coming on whether Scotland will become independent country; he is a Scot living in England, and the Member of Parliament for the only constituency with 'Border' in its name. He paces back and forth between his family house in Scotland and his own home in Cumbria. He discovers that, buried beneath England and Scotland, is another country, now lost, a Middleland with its own history, its own civilisation: a vanished kingdom. Stewart sleeps on mountain ridges and in housing estates, in motels and in farmhouses. Following lines of neolithic standing stones and the wilderness created by farming subsidies; wading through floods and ruined fields, he traces Hadrian's Wall with soldiers who have fought in Afghanistan. He interviews Buddhist and Christian monks, investigates arson attacks and heritage websites, and tries to get to grips with his tartan-clad father. His book becomes a history of the Middleland, or The Marches , what is now the frontier zone between two contemporary nations. Britain, he argues, is an island whose natural boundaries are the sea, a nation split by a colonial empire that drew a line on a map, separating tribes and families. The book is defined by a profound love of landscape, and walking, an unusual erudition, and an instinct for the most eccentric local histories. It draws on contemporary politics, and long years working in rural Asia, and on troubled borders, to illuminate the pattern of forgetting and remembrance that makes a very modern border and a very modern nationalism.
Hearing of this title my heart sunk a little, a book filled with (mostly) Victorian moustache twiddling tales of derring do – or so I thought - how wrong can you be? Instead the word journey has been interpreted in its broadest sense. Undersea and above, the distant past to the present, space and sky exploration, up mountains and down chasms. Adventurers and explorers are in groups or alone, escaping, seeking, migrating and just plain discovering, well known tales sit aside litle known travels with heroic stories on every page. Among accounts of tragedy, cruelty and desperation sit many records of men – and women striving to discover and add to the sum of human knowledge. ~ Sue Baker October 2016 Non-Fiction Book of the Month. Like for Like ReadingThe Seventy Great Journeys in History, Robin Hanbury-TenisonThe Faber Book of Exploration, Benedict Allen (Editor)
Sir Ranulph Fiennes has climbed the Eiger and Mount Everest. He's crossed both Poles on foot. He's been a member of the SAS and fought a bloody guerrilla war in Oman. And yet he confesses that his fear of heights is so great that he'd rather send his wife up a ladder to clean the gutters than do it himself. In this fascinating book he explores the concept of fear, and shows us through his own experiences how we can push our boundaries in everyday life.
Sir Ranulph Fiennes is arguably the UK's greatest polar explorer and adventurer, whose never-say-die approach to life has enabled him to endure conditions most of us could never handle. His many successes of exploring the vastness of the icy southern hemisphere, and the polar ice cap, as well as scientifically monitoring how the human body copes in such extreme conditions has pushed him to the forefront of his field. Equally he has taken on several challenges purely for raising vast amounts of money, such as scaling Mount Everest. These adventures were thrillingly captured in his bestselling narrative memoir Cold. Colder is the fully illustrated edition of Fiennes' memoirs, compete with personal photographs, maps and diary notes of his adventures. New narrative is supported with personal photography from his many polar expeditions. Detailed maps showcasing his routes across the various landscapes he has traversed, as well as extended captions provide perfect analysis of what he has achieved.
Compact, yet containing all the information needed to enjoy a short break in beautiful, vibrant Vienna, this covers all the city’s top sights in an easy-to-use, area-by-area structure, and also covers excellent out-of-town day trips to beautiful Baden, and the Danube Valley. The pull-out map is extremely useful – it includes a lot of detail of the Old Town area, plus a map of the transport system – and the menu reader will come in very handy when ordering food and drinks in many a fine Viennese café. Talking of which, the “Places to Eat” recommendations are great, with top tips for every budget.
Alpha hopes that his wife and little son are in Paris and he’s desperate to see them. Denied a visa to travel he must make the long, long journey from his home in the Cote D’Ivoire to Europe as an illegal immigrant, or as he says ‘adventurer’. The story is told through striking images, mostly black and white, colour is used sparingly; sophisticated yet childlike too they vividly depict the people and places of his journey and each one has the power to bring the reader up short. The text too equally demands and holds our attention. Though this is very much one man’s journey it’s one undertaken by many thousands of others and, as Michael Morpurgo says in his introduction, it’s a story we all need to hear and to understand. ~ Andrea Reece Other books for young readers that sensitively but honestly explain the situation facing refugee or immigrant children include Kiss the Dust by Elizabeth Laird, Refugee Boy by Benjamin Zephaniah and The Unforgotten Coat by Frank Cottrell Boyce.
A uniquely personal account of the wonder of flight written by a commercial airline pilot who is also a self-confessed aeroplane romantic. The book is crammed with fascinating facts about aviation but also suffused with the poetry of a life lived largely in the air. Carolyn Kirby, from our Best Autobiographies Ever Blog.
Follow the latitude line from Malachy Tallack's home on Shetland and you voyage to Greenland, Canada, Siberia and Scandinavia before coming home, a wiser and more grounded person. We learn more of his troubled background as he travels West, troubles that include the very notion of the idea of home and surviving in often marginalised and alienating environments. You need to be strong and self-reliant to survive in such lands, some like Siberian political prisoners had no choice others have been drawn to live in these lands. This journey reveals how landscape shapes us – has shaped Malachy Tallack, that national boundaries are just sketch marks on a deeper more meaningful division of land and sea. Like for Like Reading The Magnetic North: Travels in the Arctic, Sara Wheeler True North: Travels in Arctic Europe, Gavin Francis
Absolutely adorable, this is an autobiography full of eccentricity, charm and a penguin called Juan Salvador. As a young man in the 1970’s Tom Michell travelled to Argentina to teach at a boarding school. While in Uruguay Tom rescued a penguin from an oil slick and found himself with an unexpected companion. Writing in a fresh, chatty and friendly style, Tom introduces his colleagues, students and the beautiful country of Argentina. With super little titbits and recollections of his time in South America this a beautifully written memoir, however, I have to confess, that it is Juan Salvador who truly enchanted me. This confident, sociable little penguin must have been a joy to get to know. ‘The Penguin Lessons’ has left me with a lovely warm glow of optimism, there’s far more to be gained from these lessons than you would originally suspect.
The world's walls are supposed to be coming down. We speak of globalization, international markets and global villages; barriers to trade keep falling, and it is now possible to communicate instantly from nearly anywhere in the world. But just as these virtual walls come down, real walls rise. In this evocative blend of travel writing, history and politics, Marcello Di Cintio visits the world's most disputed edges to meet those who live alongside the razor wire, concrete and steel. Along the way he shares tea with refugees on the wrong side of Morocco's desert wall; he encounters illegal immigrants circumventing high-tech fencing around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla; he walks Arizona's migrant trails, visits fenced-in villages in India, and stands with those who protest against Israel's security barrier to understand what these structures say about those who build them, and how they influence the cultures that they pen in. Venturing beyond politics, he encounters the infiltrators who circumvent the walls, the artists who transform them, and the fenced-in ignored and forgotten people who live in their shadow. The walls discussed are: 1. 'The Wall of Shame' in the Western Sahara, built by the Morrocans in 1987 following their defeat by the Spanish. 2. A high-tech 'fence' around the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Meilla. 3. The Indo Bangladesh 'fence', erected in 1947. 4. The West Bank Wall. 5. The 'green line' that separates the Greek from the Turkish-Cypriot quarters in Nicosia, the capital of Cypress, and Lefkosa, the capital of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. 6. The US-Mexico border. 7. The various barriers throughout Belfast. 8.The l'Acadie fence in Montreal, erected as a wall built of chains in 1960.
A practical, pocket-sized guidebook that’s perfect for discovering the delights of Devon and Cornwall, with thirteen fabulous walking routes covering the region, from East Devon and the English Riviera, to Dartmoor, North Devon and Lands End. It even includes an excellent walking tour around the stunning Isles of Scilly, with a lovely little overview of local legends and top tips on the main must-see sights. Each of the routes is accompanied by detailed maps, clear directions and gorgeous colour photos. The longer feature on the Eden Project is a great inclusion, and the accompanying eBook is a very welcome free extra.
Being such a large city, covering Paris in a pocket guide is no easy undertaking, and yet this Insight Guide manages to provide plenty of essential information for both rewarding weekend breaks and longer stays in the city. The book’s suggested “Perfect Day” itinerary comes highly recommended - it makes for a packed and pleasing tour, taking in as it does a boat trip, heaps of historical sights, shopping and bar hopping, ending on the scenic hill of Montmartre. The brief history section offers interesting background contexts, while the arrondissement by arrondissement structure means it’s easy to plan your own days out in and around Paris, with striking photography peppering the informative text.
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