Travel from your armchair with new popular Travel books for August. In this month’s recent picks you’ll go to Jerusalem, Washington D.C., London, Nairobi and St Petersburg, all from the comfort of your own home. If you really want to get out and do something, check out Microadventures which teaches you to explore the place you already live in.
Microadventures : local discoveries for great escapes / Alastair Humphreys.
“Adventure is a loose word, a spirit of trying something new, trying something difficult. Going somewhere different, leaving your comfort zone. Above all, adventure is about enthusiasm, ambition, open-mindedness and curiosity. Adventure is all around us, at all times. Even during hard financial times such as these. Times when getting out into the wild is more enjoyable, invigorating and important than ever. It is in this inspirational spirit that Alastair Humphreys introduces us to the exciting world of microadventures — adventures that are close to home, cheap, simple, short, and yet very effective.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)
The light of Jerusalem / Jean-Michel Berts ; introduction from A beggar in Jerusalem by Elie Wiesel.
“Moving, dreamlike excerpts from Nobel Prize#150; winning writer and humanitarian Elie Wiesel’s acclaimed 1968 novel “A Beggar in Jerusalem” introduce this latest volume in Assouline’s The Light of collection. Showcasing Jean-Michel Berts’s textural black-and-white photographs taken on the cusp of daybreak, The Light of Jerusalem captures the poignancy and the poetry of this ancient crossroads. Modern Jerusalem is a multicultural metropolis, a complex layering of the historic and the timeless; this marvelous volume expresses the power and mystery of Jerusalem’s monuments, gardens, and panoramas. Introduction excerpted from “A Beggar in Jerusalem” by Elie Wiesel.” (Syndetics summary)
Fragrant heart : a tale of love, life and food in Asia / Miranda Emmerson.
“We buy food we can point to. We stalk the streets until rush hour and wait for the little hatches to open in the sides of restaurants. From the steamy openings, cooks in overalls sell jiaozi (dumplings) and bowls of thick, sticky, white congee – an unholy cross between soup and porridge. Baozi, steamed white buns, are light as air. I buy them filled with waterspinach and nettle – delicious dipped in sharp, black Chinese vinegar. In 2008, Miranda and her partner set off for one last big adventure before settling down. They chose to travel through South-East Asia. All did not go to plan: Asianflu, falling off boats and the general chaos of a life abroad challenged them at everystep, and yet, in the midst of it all, they fell in love with the culture and culinary delights of China, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand and Malaysia.” (Syndetics summary)
Southern Cross to Pole Star : Tschiffely’s ride : 10,000 miles in the saddle from Argentina to Washington D.C. / Aimé Tschiffely.
“Aimé Tschiffely had an unlikely dream: to ride 10,000 miles from Buenos Aires to New York City. On 23 April 1925 this quiet, unassuming schoolteacher, with little equestrian experience, set out on his epic journey. His only companions were two native Argentine horses called Mancha and Gato. Together the trio traversed the Pampas, scaled the Andes and swam across the crocodile-infested rivers of Colombia. Along the way they were assailed by vampire bats, mistaken for gods and stalked by hostile revolutionaries. After two harrowing years, the man who had originally been labelled ‘a lunatic’ by the press was accorded a ticker-tape parade when he rode triumphantly through the streets of New York. Southern Cross to Pole Star is a classic of the travelwriting genre, ready to reawaken the spirit of adventure in all those who dare to dream big.” (Syndetics summary)
Swimming London : the 50 best pools, lidos, lakes and rivers from around the Capital / Jenny Landreth.
“London is a city built on water and ideal for swimmers. Whether you are looking for an early morning dip on Hampstead Heath, want to join the Christmas Day Club at Hyde Park’s Serpentine or are searching for a Lido in Tooting, wherever you are in the Capital, you are rarely more than a paddle away from somewhere to swim. Swimming London is a guide, celebration and history of the 50 best swimming spots in London. From the regal baths at the RAC club to the super-chic rooftop pools at the Berkeley Hotel and Shoreditch House; from the open-water havens at Ham Lake and even the River Thames, to the grand old lidos at London Fields and Parliament Hill there is something for the casual swimmer, the long-distance athlete and the family day out.” (book jacket)`
Frommer’s easyguide to the Virgin Islands / by Alexis Lipsitz Flippin.
“Quick to read, light to carry with expert advice in all price ranges, Frommer’s EasyGuide to the Virgin Islands is the complete up-to-date reference for travelers who want to maximize their stay in the smartest, most efficient way. With Frommer’s trademark candid and accessible expertise, this invaluable guide offers reviews in a wide array of choices available including lodging, sightseeing, shopping, dining and entertainment. It includes insider tips based on time constraints and interests, complete with practical advice and suggested itineraries. With user-friendly features it offers tips on excellent values, special moments, honeymoons or traveling with kids along with overrated experiences. Also featuring the best seafood, people-watching and the best places to connect with nature, snorkeling and diving. Frommer’s EasyGuide to the Virgin Islands is the must-have guide for any traveler.” (Syndetics summary)
Africa, my passion / Corinne Hofmann ; translated from the German by Peter Millar.
“In an exquisite personal pilgrimage, Corinne Hofmann, author of the global bestseller The White Masai, delves into the slums of Nairobi to uncover the heart-warming and heart-breaking stories of unforgettable people and places. Joined by her half-Kenyan daughter, Napirai, and traveling Kenya together for the first time, they discover Napirai’s roots and finally meet her father and half-siblings. Hofmann then treks 500 miles across the Namibian desert to discover the lives of the nomadic Himba people.” (Syndetics summary)
From Crystal Palace to Red Square : a hapless biker’s road to Russia / [Kevin Turner].
“This hilarious travel guide follows critically acclaimed author Kevin Turner (Bonjour! Is This Italy? A Hapless Biker’s Guide to Europe) on another ill-thought out adventure, as he aims his heavily laden Kawasaki northwards towards the towering waterfalls of Norway. Waterfalls done, Turner heads east on a long and treacherous 1700km journey towards St. Petersburg, passing through Sweden and Finland on route. With his sights firmly set on the Nürburgring at the end of his journey, Turner then heads westwards, crossing most of Poland and much of Germany on the long ride home. The author’s observations and anecdotes transform this motorcycle guidebook into a laugh-a-minute page turner, which inspires and entertains in equal measure.” (Syndetics summary)
Life cycles : a London bike courier decided to cycle around the globe, 169 days later, he came back with a world record / Julian Sayarer.
“Julian Sayarer is an author, journalist, and is often called an adventurer, although normally by other people. He has cycled six times across Europe, and in 2009 broke the 18,000-mile world record for a circumnavigation by bicycle. He has spent three years working as a cycle courier on the streets of London, hitchhiked from New York to San Francisco, and worked on books and documentary projects along the way. A politics graduate, Julian’s writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, New Statesman, Aeon Magazine, and many others, including a host of cycling publications. He writes slow travel, his writing from the roadside a 12mph view of the world in passing.” (Product description from Amazon.co.uk)
Walking the literary landscape : 20 classic walks for book-lovers in Northern England / Ian Hamilton, Diane Roberts.
“Literature and a love of the English countryside are natural companions. Walking the Literary Landscape brings the two together in a collection of 20 circular routes in the north of England, all between 3 and 9 miles (5 and 15 kilometres) in length. …Walk in the footsteps of writers like Arthur Ransome, who drew inspiration from the Lake District for his classic children’s adventure Swallows and Amazons, or the Brontë sisters whose love of the moors around Haworth echoes through the centuries. See Chatsworth, the Peak District house that thrilled Jane Austen, and tread carefully in Whitby, the Yorkshire seaside town where Bram Stoker set his most famous creation Dracula.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)