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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.
Always engaging and illuminating, Laura Galloway’s Dálvi is an uplifting ode to doing something different. A testament to how a person can flourish after fleeing the monotony of the work, spend, socialise, show-off-on-social-media cycle of modern life to live by an entirely different kind of cycle - the kind that’s directed by nature’s shifting seasons in a unique environmental and cultural setting. Threaded with themes of flourishing through adversity, and finding home and love in unexpected places, this remarkable memoir is as stirring as it is gripping. The author’s journey began when a genetic test revealed that she shares DNA with the indigenous Sámi people of the Arctic tundra. Having endured a disastrous marriage, and growing increasingly dissatisfied with her life in NYC, Galloway ventures to the Norwegian town of Kautokeino, ostensibly to discover her roots, but in actuality discovering herself and her future way of life. Here, in this remote reindeer-herding region she meets and falls for a herder and decides to stay - even after he leaves her just six months later. With only very limited knowledge of the Sámi language, Galloway lives a largely solitary life with little money, and yet this life is so much better for her: “Now it is simple. There is no noise and no distraction. I have to be with myself, whatever that means, in the silence, listening to nature, being still.” In contrast, “When I left New York, I was exhausted – emotionally, financially and physically, as if I had been on a giant rat wheel.” Galloway is an amiable, amusing companion - never self-indulgent and always honest, not least when writing about her traumatic childhood (the death of her mother when she was only three, and the unrelenting vindictiveness of her father’s second wife). In time, little by little through her six years in the Arctic, she realises, “I’ve moved between two worlds.” And, at the heart of this transition, and a consequence of living in nature, her “endlessly fascinating companion”, is the realisation that “home is inside you and all around you.” Home whispers, “’I am here’, when you are most alone.” What a joyous life-affirming read.
Beautifully presented, packed with puns, and shot-through with an environmental ethos, Heather Buttivant’s Beach Explorer is the perfect companion for days at the beach, with fifty activities and oceans of facts that are sure to inspire and astound children and adults alike. Highlights of the practical projects include finding fossils, starfish bums and mermaid purses (yes, you read that right!), and the step-by-step instructions for pressing seaweed and making your own plankton net. What’s more, alongside all the “how to make and find” activities, Beach Explorer is packed with facts that are sure to enliven even the most dedicated of beach bums, from finding out about the world’s largest poo (which, by the way, is the “bright-orange rancid-smelling poo” of the mighty blue whale), to discovering how fish camouflage themselves. The book ends with an excellent chapter on how to “Be a Wildlife Champion” that highlights how “humans are creating environmental problems”. Importantly, the author shares lots of ways young eco-minded explorers can help combat these problems through the likes of picking litter and planning climate-friendly beach trips.
In 1938, as Europe prepared for war. Roland Penrose and Lee Miller made a journey together through the Balkans. Penrose was a painter, author and curator, Miller, previously a model, had had succesful photographic studios in Paris and New York, and was a brilliant photographer. As they travelled Penrose created pictures and took notes. On their return Penrose produced a charming handmade photobook for Miller, a surrealist love poem, drawn from his own memories and records. A limited edition of the book was soon printed and Penrose embellished a small number with a series of Imaginative tipped in colour motifs. The first of which he personalised for Lee Miller.
In 1938, as Europe prepared for war. Roland Penrose and Lee Miller made a journey together through the Balkans. Penrose was a painter, author and curator, Miller, previously a model, had had succesful photographic studios in Paris and New York, and was a brilliant photographer. As they travelled Penrose created pictures and took notes. On their return Penrose produced a charming handmade photobook for Miller, a surrealist love poem, drawn from his own memories and records. A limited edition of the book was soon printed. The first of which he personalised for Lee Miller.
Greenery recounts how Tim Dee tries to follow the season and its migratory birds, making remarkable journeys in the Sahara, the Straits of Gibraltar, Sicily, Britain, and finally by the shores of the Arctic Ocean in northern Scandinavia. On each adventure, he is in step with the very best days of the year - the time of song and nests and eggs, of buds and blossoms and leafing.
How many times have novice walkers like me found ourselves somewhere in the UK with time to spare and a desire to get out in the fresh air, to exercise and to experience our wonderful landscape? Oh, for a simple to use reference book that will tell you where to park, provide a map, explain the terrain (and distance), and maybe give you a little insight as to what to expect to see on the route. Here it is! This isn’t a book about the ‘best’ walks in Britain – that being a subjective argument, of course – but it is a list of easy-to-find, easy-to-follow walks that will take you into areas of outstanding natural beauty, where there is great architecture, history and heritage. So often have I found a recommended walk, only to be frustrated to find the suggested route doesn’t bring you back to your vehicle. Not so with this little gem, they even think of that. The walks vary in length from 2 miles to 14 miles and show both GPS and walk directions. They also include elevation – slopes to us novices – so you can assess and prepare. Bring on the dry weather!
February 2012 Travel Book of the Month. Presents the 1,000 most astonishing destinations in the world and brings them to life in lively, evocative prose that reveals why the place is so wonderful. This title offers a greater variety of hotel and restaurant choices, including more budget-conscious options. Click here to read a Q & A with Patricia Schultz about this book.
50 Ways encapsulates fifty unique cycling projects accomplished by 75 cyclists from 23 countries. It serves as the ultimate visual guide and encyclopedia to traveling by bicycle no matter what your personal situation is. You'll find impressive, powerful, emotional and incredibly fun stories on almost every page, accompanied by the beautiful and inspiring photography shot all over our planet by the many cyclists who've shared their cycling stories.
A sharply amusing and captivating memoir based on the attempt of the author to make a new life in France. Tommy Barnes and his girlfriend escape the 9-5 of the UK after being made redundant. Surrounded by animals, friendly locals, and stunning countryside, Tommy struggles to start a micro-brewery in the heart of the Loire Valley. The author is more than happy to poke fun at himself, he is also incredibly honest. His writing ensured I didn’t feel too badly as I chortled, smirked and raised my eyebrows as he somewhat stumbles through life. Rather stealing the show is Burt the dog, described by Tommy as squat, surly and defiant, Burt makes it his life mission to cause chaos wherever he is. I also just have to mention the gorgeous cover, which most definitely called out to me. ‘A Beer in the Loire’ is an engaging, ever so entertaining read, oh, and there are several recipes for beer too, how fabulous!
An anthology of 17th and 18th century travel writing that inspired the hugely popular Aubrey/Maturin series, collected and introduced by Patrick O'Brian, beautifully repackaged to mark the centenary of his birth. Patrick O'Brian has unearthed from obscurity the most dynamic travel writing of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. With his scholarly mind, editor's eye, and traveller's heart he brings together a series of thrilling seaward tales. Expertly chosen by O'Brian and prefaced with details that bring these extracts to vivid life, A Book of Voyages is a broad yet intimate portrait of what life was like at sea during a time of discovery. This rare collection sheds a glorious light onto these accounts of seaward adventure. From why eating rats is necessary and how to powder your hair in France to how to truly face fear and distress during a terrifying sea passage, this collection is rich in travellers' experiences. A Book of Voyages is a unique opportunity to not only accompany an adored nautical author as he digs up one gripping historical treasure after another, but to understand how he was inspired to write the Aubrey Maturin series for which he is so famous.
An evocation of a journey from Rome, the heart of Empire, to Hadrian's Wall during the reign of the emperor Hadrian. By AD 125 Britannia had come of age as a Roman colony. Her major cities had been established, and the building of the wall commissioned by the emperor Hadrian on the empire's Scottish frontier was almost complete. Bronwen Riley devotes a chapter to each stage of an epic journey, describing places visited and people and objects seen. Vivid and engaging, A JOURNEY TO BRITANNIA reveals the British corner of Roman civilization more arrestingly and more accurately than ever before.
Appeared on “Hay-on-Sky” 28 May. In this eloquent, passionate and easy to read book Sir Roy Strong tells the dramatic story of the English parish church, from Anglo-Saxon times to its uncertain future in the twenty-first century. Anyone with the slightest interest in the life or history of the English parish church will be intrigued, informed and perhaps enchanted by this book.
Continuing the tales of life in a the Spanish hills. Now with their young daughter Chloe they are very much part of the community. We also learn far more about the journey that brought Chris and his family to Andalucía. You’ll be wanting to pack your bags and move out there yourself!
Gideon Lewis-Kraus arrived in free-spirited Berlin from San Francisco as a young writer in search of a place to enjoy life to the fullest, and to forget the pain his father, a gay rabbi, had caused his family when he came out in middle age and emotionally abandoned his sons. But Berlin offers only unfocused dissipation, frustration and anxiety; to find what he is looking for (though he's not quite sure what it is), Gideon undertakes three separate ancient pilgrimages, travelling hundreds of miles: the thousand-year old Camino de Santiago in Spain with a friend, a solo circuit of eighty-eight Buddhist temples on the Japanese island of Shikoku, and finally, with his father and brother, a migration to the tomb of a famous Hassidic mystic in the Ukraine. It is on this last pilgrimage that Gideon reconnects with his father, and discovers that the most difficult and meaningful quest of all was the journey of his heart. A beautifully written, throught-provoking, and very moving meditation on what gives our lives a sense of purpose, and how we travel between past and present in search of hope for our future.
Part natural history book, part travel book this is informative, fascinating , funny and atmospheric. Horatio Clare takes the reader on his journey following migrating swallows, who travel from Wales to South Africa twice a year, although his journey is probably slightly more complicated and involves a few more mishaps than the birds he is trailing. A lovely book that will entertain and inform.
This was a wonderful and uplifting story of a traveller who went to climb a mountain but found it changed his life, and the local people he met. Due to the trials and tribulations of mountaineering, which itself makes a fascinating read, Mike and his wife Chantal meet and befriend a Nepalese family. This meeting changes both families lives and the future of a girl called Karma, so aptly named. A very interesting read, with fascinating pictures. Maureen Gourlay, A LoveReading Ambassador
A Strange Kind of Paradise is an exploration of India's past and present, from the perspective of a foreigner who has lived in India for many years. Sam Miller investigates how the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Chinese, Arabs, Africans, Europeans and Americans - everyone really, except for Indians themselves - came to imagine India. His account of the engagement between foreigners and India spans the centuries from Alexander the Great to Slumdog Millionaire. It features, among many others, Thomas the Apostle, the Chinese monk Xuanzang, Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta, Vasco da Gama, Babur, Clive of India, several Victorian pornographers, Mark Twain, E. M. Forster, Allen Ginsberg, the Beatles and Steve Jobs. Interspersed between these tales is the story of Sam Miller's own 25-year-long love affair with India. The result is a spellbinding, 2,500-year-long journey through Indian history, culture and society, in the company of an author who informs, educates and entertains in equal measure, as he travels in the footsteps of foreign chroniclers, exposes some of their fabulous fantasies and overturns long-held stereotypes about race, identity and migration. At once scholarly and thought-provoking, delightfully eccentric and laugh-out-loud funny, this book is destined to become a much-loved classic.
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