15 finest journey books for Christmas 2020 — specialists advocate good presents for pissed off travellers
Jude Brosnan, Stanfords Marketing Manager, recommends …
Bookstore tours of the UK
Louise Boland, £ 16.99, Fairlight Books
An illustrated, slow-moving guide book that pays homage to the eclectic bookstores of Britain, from Hardy Country in Dorset to the Highlands to the Norfolk Broads, Whitby and Wales. Boland offers 18 tours that deal with historic houses, castles, coal mines, distilleries and of course bookstores.
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The Globetrotter’s Guide to Happiness
Kate Morgan, £ 15, Hardie Grant
Perhaps more relevant in a year when travel was restricted, this book examines how different parts of the world seek happiness. Among the 20 philosophies there is Ikigai (the meaning of life) from Japan, Gezellig (cosiness) in the Netherlands and a simple fika coffee break in Sweden, and – if traveling is a little easier – how and where to experience Quelle.
Clanlands: whiskey, warfare and a Scottish adventure like no other
Graham McTavish & Sam Heughan, £ 20, Hodder & Stoughton
The Outlander co-stars and friends Heughan and McTavish take readers on a journey through Scotland to explore the country’s traditions, history, natural assets and culture.
The traveler’s coloring book
Varvara Fomina, £ 9.99, Bradt
This calming coloring book is a wonderful winter companion and invites you to bring people, landscapes, buildings and wild animals from all over the world to life with over 50 illustrations. Each is labeled by one of Bradt Guides’ experienced writers.
Gavin Francis explores the attraction of islands and isolation
Signs of life: With a doctor to the end of the world
Stephen Fabes, £ 18.99, Profile Books
When Fabes left his job as a junior doctor in London to cycle around the world, he found it harder to leave medicine behind than he expected. His six-year adventure is marked by a series of eye-opening encounters, including the frozen body of a monk in the Himalayas, refugee camps and war-torn hospital wards.
Kate McHale Travel Buyer at Waterstones recommends …
Island dreams: depicting an obsession
Gavin Francis, £ 17.99, Canongate
Shortlisted for Waterstones Book of the Year, Gavin Francis examines the attraction of islands and isolation through psychology, philosophy and historical travel, interspersed with finely illustrated maps.
Nala’s world: a man, his rescue cat and a bike tour around the globe
Dean Nicholson, £ 18.99, Hodder & Stoughton
A heartwarming and compelling travelogue in which Nicholson
He rides his bike around the world from Scotland – and three months after his trip he picks up an unexpected companion somewhere between Bosnia and Montenegro.
Accidentally Wes Anderson: The Story Behind The New Book And Where To Check It In Your Travels
Accidentally Wes Anderson
Wally Koval, £ 25, trapeze
This coffee table band collects goals from the popular Instagram account of the same name. Photography is inspired by the unique aesthetic of Wes Anderson’s films, all of its symmetry, vintage style, and pastel colors – and Koval reveals the fascinating stories behind each location.
The photography is inspired by the unique aesthetic of Wes Anderson’s films
Around the world in 80 trains: an adventure in 45,000 miles
Monisha Rajesh, £ 9.99, Bloomsbury
From London’s Kings Cross, Rajesh and her fiancé embark on an epic adventure that takes them to Tibet and North Korea. As an ode to traveling by locomotives, it is associated with heartwarming human encounters, dizzying chaos and impressive views.
Magdalena: river of dreams
Wade Davis, £ 25, vintage
Navigating Colombia’s mighty Rio Magdalena, Davis chronicles the history of its breathtaking natural wonders and recent battles, from the wetlands to ice-covered Andean peaks, encountering music, literature, poetry and religion along the way.
Brett Wolstencroft Manager of Daunt Books recommends …
Venice – The lion, the city and the water
Cees Nooteboom, £ 20, MacLehose Press
The great Dutch writer turns to travel writing at the highest level. His five decades of visiting La Serenissima and his natural curiosity make him the perfect companion, and the book is beautifully illustrated throughout.
The snow leopard
Peter Matthiessen, £ 16.99, vintage
The story of Matthiessen’s trip to the Tibetan plateau in 1973 in search of a glimpse of the rare and almost mythical snow leopard feels as fresh now as it did 40 years ago. His journey of the heart and search for personal comfort on a tough and dangerous 250 mile hike became a model for modern travel writing that never got better, and it is a pleasure to see it reprinted as a hardcover book.
The Virago Book of Female Travelers
Issued by Mary Morris, £ 14.99, Virago
A wonderful collection of the great female travelers. This is a delicious tasting menu from authors such as Mary McCarthy, Isabella Bird, Willa Cather, Beryl Markham, MFK Fisher, and Joan Didion. Great travel writing has never felt so important, and here it is tied to a rich number of characters who refused to be restricted by social norms.
An ode to traveling by locomotives
The nine lives of Pakistan
Declan Walsh, £ 20, Bloomsbury
For a decade of coverage, Declan Walsh traveled all over this complex and broken nation, from the heat and bustle of Karachi to the wild frontier of Waziristan. His gift is to listen, and in his conversations with Pakistanis, from crusade lawyers to imperial chiefs, the soul of this fascinating and fragile land is revealed.
Green – travel in spring
Tim Dee, £ 18.99, Jonathan Cape
These dark winter days were the inspiration for Tim Dee’s journey, which traced the arrival of spring in Europe and the natural migrations that heralded its arrival. Between the winter and summer solstices, spring moves north at the speed of the swallow’s flight or human walking pace. Dee follows, his erudition and passion for nature pouring in from every side.
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