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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.
Brazil is one of the four new global super powers with its vast natural resources and burgeoning industries. Half a continent in size and a potent mix of races, religions and cultures, of unexplored wildernesses and bustling modern cities, it is also one of the few countries Michael Palin has never fully travelled. With the next Olympics to be held in Rio in 2016 and the World Cup in Brazil in 2014, international attention will be on the country as never before. Michael Palin's timely book and series take a closer look at a remarkable new force on the world scene.
Celia Fiennes travelled the length and breadth of England, riding side-saddle, at the dawn of the eighteenth century. o Discover the multiple journeys around the world undertaken in the 1840s by the Austrian Ida Pfeiffer. Dora d'Istria, a mountain-climbing duchess and polymath, travelled widely through Europe but her account of ascending Mont Blanc in 1860 is perhaps the most striking. Read about Isabel Burton's adventures as a government employee's wife stationed all over the world. Explore the writing of Isabella Bird who travelled around the world on doctor's orders - until finally retraining as a doctor and missionary in her sixties for a trip to India and its surrounding countries. Find out what motivated Marie Kingsley to travel solo to the deepest parts of West Africa and how her journeys shaped not only her own way of thinking but that of Europe as whole. Learn how May Kellogg Sullivan undertook her journey to Alaska and the Yukon to seek her fortune in the gold-mining world. Astonish yourself by finding out that, on a trip to Burma, India, Ceylon and Indonesia with her husband, Fanny Bullock Workman cycled 15,000 miles (as a welcome break from glacier-climbing in the Himalayas). Follow investigative journalist Nellie Bly as she takes up Jules Verne's gauntlet to travel around the world in eighty days. Or find out how Ella Sykes once rode on horseback from the Caspian Sea all the way to India.
I could just write something like gorgeous or sumptuous and leave it at that but perhaps I should elaborate on this paen of praise showcasing the best Railway architecture in Britain. It’s not all high Victorian, the book also includes the new – and glad I am to see we have some new architecture worthy of inclusion. And not all has been saved – think of the Euston Arch for one but there is enough here to spur thoughts of instant visits and appreciation of such gems as Glasgow and the unusual Art Deco Leamington Spa. Good linking text as ever from Simon Jenkins and I’d praise the photographer(s) too if only their names were included. ~ Sue Baker Like for Like Reading London’s Historical Railway Stations Through Time by John Christopher Paul Atterbury’s Railway Collection by Paul Atterbury
December 2012 Travel Book of the Month. In Britain's Last Frontier best-selling author Alistair Moffat makes a journey of the imagination, tracing the route of the Line from the River Clyde through Perthshire and the North-east. With an introduction from Aberdeenshire born Radio 4 Today presenter James Naughtie it is a fascinating book, full of history and anecdote and a lovely gift for any 'Scotophile'.
What is the shape of Britain? The country's outline, looking a little like a wingless dragon, is instantly recognisable on any map or globe. But jostling within that familiar profile are countless vying maps of the country. Some of these are founded on rock - or on the natural features of the land. But far more are built on dreams - on human activity, effort, and aspiration. Britannia Obscura is an exploration of just a few of these surprising hidden Britains. Through a series of meetings with figures such as the retired army colonel and ley-hunter John Christian, the horse-boater Sue Day, and the cave-explorer Dave Nixon, each of the book's five chapters focuses on how a different group or community imagines the land and our relationship with it. On the megalith-hunter's map of Britain, the teeming metropolis of the country lies not in the South East, but rather amid the moors of its South West corner. The canal map of Britain reveals a land that takes four or five days to cross, and in which major transport routes lie forgotten beneath willowherb and litter. And on the ever-shifting and growing caver's map of Britain there are unknown regions still waiting to be discovered. Together, the book's chapters reveal that Britain is a country with countless competing centres and ceaselessly shifting borders - a land where one person's sleepy, remote and unexceptional province will always be the busy heart of another's map. The book also demonstrates that when viewed through the right lenses, Britain is a surprisingly large small island, which a lifetime of exploration could never exhaust. Ultimately, Britannia Obscura is a book that aims to make its readers more familiar with Britain but also excited about the endless possibilities for surprise that lie just around familiar corners.
September 2012 Debut of the Month. Adventure, escape, raunchy romance and second chances in a steamy, vividly described, Caribbean setting.A holiday to Cuba leaves middle-aged Chris Hilton in love with the island and people, and a second visit in love with Yamilia, a beautiful but unstable woman 20 years his junior. Back in the UK help and advice from an ex-con sees him planning a new life in Cuba - but living in a country is never the same as a holiday.An honest and compelling cautionary tale of escaping a mundane dead-end life in England for love, freedom and a second chance in Cuba.
As a journalist for the Independent, Emma Bamford is swept along with the London rat race, lost amongst the egos of Fleet Street. Surrounded by budget cuts and bullies, the thrill of a breaking news story is no longer enough. And at 31, still struggling to get to a fourth date and surrounded by friends settling down to married life and babies, Emma decides to grasp her life by the roots and reclaim her freedom...by running away to sea and joining a complete stranger (and his cat) on a yacht in Borneo. Reflective yet humorous and self-deprecating, we share Emma's excitement and fear at leaving a good job for an unknown adventure, and join her as she travels to some of the most exotic places in the world and starts to realise what really matters in life. She discovers the supreme awkwardness of sharing a tiny space with total strangers, the unimaginable beauty of paradise islands and secret jungle rivers, glimpses lost tribes, works all hours for demanding superyacht owners, and has a terrifyingly near miss with pirates. Fending off romantic propositions from a Moldovan pig farmer and a Sri Lanken village chief amongst others, Emma finds adventure and happiness in the most unlikely places.
A satirical spoof on air travel from this fantastic writer. Just think Gulliverâ€™s travels meets Hitchhikerâ€™s Guide to the Galaxy
November 2009 Book of the Month. Berlin is a fascinating city with an extraordinary history which gives plenty of fodder for the writer. Dip in to this wonderful guide to Berlin as seen through the eyes of writers through the ages of scenes imagined, perceived and witnessed.
June 2009 Book of the Month. Whether you are visiting or simply want to read interesting literature about one of the greatest cities in the world pick up a city-lit guide and be transported away. Let Will Self take you in to the mind of a London cabby or experience a shopping trip on Oxford Street with Virginia Woolf, Dostoyevsky takes a stroll down the Haymarket and Joseph Conrad takes a look at the Thames. See London as you have never seen it before with the help of some truly great writers.
April 2009 Book of the Month. The perfect book for the armchair traveller as well as those of you visiting cities around the globe. With extracts from over 60 authors such as Joanne Harris talking about chocolate in Montmartre or Victor Hugo describing the view from the top of Notre Dame. Whether it be fiction, non-fiction, blogs or journalism, lose yourself in the Paris discovered by others and be inspired to visit and indulge in the city as never before. These guides are perfect for dipping in to and will transport you to the city of your choice through the wonderful writings of those who have been before. A few words about Paris from Stephen Clarke... 'Paris is not entirely unique. You can sit in cafés, wear designer clothes and even have sex in lots of other towns. It just feels unique, as if everything you do, from buying underwear to chewing a hunk of baguette, is somehow more stylish because you’re doing it in Paris. Certainly Parisians act as if they’re unique – not as a community but each individual one of them. It is the city of moi. As they walk down the street they’re thinking, look at moi. Even when they’re kissing a friend on the cheeks, they’re saying it – moi, moi. And the obsession driving each moi is its lifestyle. Parisians have elevated lifestyle to an art – no, more than an art, it is (as only the French can say properly) a raison d’être.' City-Lit Paris is Introduced by Stephen Clarke, bestselling author of A Year in the Merde. To read more of Stephen Clarke's introduction download the extract. A 'piece of passion' from Heather Reyes, series editor of the Cit-Lit series: 'I’ve been in love with Paris since my very first visit as a teenager. In those pre-Eurostar days, it seemed an adventure just getting there — the slow, musty train down through Kent, struggling your luggage onto the ferry at Dover, the worry about the weather for ‘the crossing’ (would I need the Kwells?), watching the white cliffs recede and searching the horizon for the first glimpse of the French coast, the wind pulling your hair and putting salt on your lips. Then those magical letters, SNCF, on the side of the oddly high-up train from Calais, the long stop at Amiens and finally … finally …(the excitement overcoming the fatigue of the journey)…PARIS. But, oh the relief of that first, fast, simple Eurostar journey! The exhilaration of knowing you could get THERE so quickly and easily. But still the same feeling, stepping onto the platform at Gare du Nord, of life moving into higher gear. That’s what Paris is to me — life lived more intensely, more vividly, both in the senses (that smell of strawberries from the stall at the foot of rue Moufftard) and in the mind (favourite bookshops … La Hune, Gibert Jeune, Shakespeare and Company, … the streets haunted by the ghosts of writers and philosophers past … Abelard, Montaigne, Diderot, Voltaire, Hugo, Balzac, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Camus …)So, to have the opportunity of choosing and editing material for a collection of writing about the city was a dream come true, and I had the time of my life.' To read more of Heather Reyes' 'piece of passion' download the extract. You can also visit the Twitter page for this title by clicking here.
June 2010 Book of the Month. Not a travel guide but a literary flavour of a city. The series has done Paris, London, Berlin and Dublin. They are anthologies of extracts from living and dead authors, some 60 in each volume, here with the likes of Camus and Voltaire to Irvine Welsh and Ian McEwan, each perfect gems. Going Dutch in Amsterdam from George Miller on Vimeo.
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