Travel books for January

As well as other delightful (the Kindness Diaries) and interesting (Inside Tracks) Travel books and guides, this month’s selection celebrates travel to the great Southern Continent Antarctica.

Syndetics book coverSpirit of the South / Andris Apse.
“…The South Island of New Zealand is unlike any other place on earth, celebrated for its majestic landscapes, picturesque lakes and rivers, and epic mountain ranges. Spirit of the South, a stunning tribute to the mainland, showcases its visual grandeur like never before – all through the extraordinary scenic photography of Andris Apse. Arguably New Zealand’s most acclaimed landscape photographer, Apse has honed his craft over an illustrious career spanning more than three decades… Complemented by essays from Alison Ballance, Anton Oliver, Fiona Farrell and Kennedy Warne, Spirit of the South’s photography is drawn from a wide body of Apse’s work.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInside Tracks / created by Rick Smolan.
Inside Tracks is the retelling of Robyn Davidson’s journey from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, seen through the eyes of world renowned photographer, Rick Smolan, and now reimagined in the major motion picture, “Tracks”. In the late 1970s Robyn Davidson undertook an epic adventure – to travel solo across the Australian outback from Alice Springs to the Indian Ocean, armed only with a few camels and her dog for company. Rick Smolan, a National Geographic photographer at the time, was employed to document Robyn’s journey, by accompanying her along sections of her route, the result of which formed a long-lasting relationship between the two and a visually stunning account of one woman’s dream of solitude, captured against the backdrop of the Australian outback… ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe kindness diaries : one man’s quest to ignite goodwill and transform lives around the world / Leon Logothetis.
“Follow the inspirational journey of a former stockbroker who leaves his unfulfilling desk job in search of a meaningful life. He sets out from Los Angeles on a vintage motorbike, determined to circumnavigate the globe surviving only on the kindness of strangers. Incredibly, he makes his way across the U.S., through Europe, India, Cambodia, and Vietnam, and finally to Canada and back to the Hollywood sign, by asking strangers for shelter, food, and gas. Again and again, he’s won over by the generosity of humanity, and at each stop, he finds a way to give back to these unsuspecting Good Samaritans in life-changing ways.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAlone in Antarctica : the first woman to ski solo across the southern ice / Felicity Aston ; with a foreword by Joanna Lumley.
“…Felicity Aston, physicist and meteorologist, took two months off from all human contact as she became the first woman — and only the third person in history – to ski across the entire continent of Antarctica alone. …Aston’s journey across the ice at the bottom of the world asked of her the extremes in terms of mental and physical bravery, as she faced the risks of unseen cracks buried in the snow so large they might engulf her and hypothermia due to brutalizing weather. She had to deal, too, with her emotional vulnerability in face of the constant bombardment of hallucinations brought on by the vast sea of whiteness, the lack of stimulation to her senses as she faced what is tantamount to a form of solitary confinement…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFlaws in the ice : in search of Douglas Mawson / David Day.
“In Flaws in the Ice, prize-winning historian David Day searches for the real Douglas Mawson. After travelling south on his own six-week odyssey to the Antarctic, the author answers the difficult questions about Mawson that have hitherto lain buried – from questions about his intimate relationship with Lady Scott, and his leadership of the ill-fated Australiasian Antarctic Expedition of 1911-14, to his conduct during the legendary trek that led to the death of his two companions. He also explores how Mawson subsequently concealed his failures and deficiencies as an expedition leader, and created for himself a heroic image that has persisted for a century… ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFifty South : the wreck of the Dundonald / by Margaret Beames.
“It is 1907. A ship is wrecked on a lonely island in the sub-Antarctic Ocean. Fifty South is an inspiring story of courage, and endurance. Fifteen men, given up for lost, struggle to survive through a bitter winter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRick Steves’ Italy 2015.
“You can count on Rick Steves to tell you what you really need to know when traveling in Italy. From the beaches to the Alps, from fine art to fine pasta, Italy has it all. With this book, you’ll trace Italian culture from Rome’s Colosseum to Michelangelo’s David to the bustling elegance of Milan. Experience the art-drenched cities of Venice and Florence, explore the ancient ruins of the Roman Forum, and learn how to avoid the lines at the most popular museums. Discover the villages of Tuscany and Umbria and the lazy rhythms of the Cinque Terre. Shop at local market stalls, sip a cappuccino at an outdoor café, and pick up a picnic lunch at an allimentari. Relax and enjoy the life of Bella Italia!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe irresponsible traveller : tales of scrapes and narrow escapes / compiled and edited by Jennifer Barclay and Adrian Phillips.
“Publishing to coincide with Bradt’s 40th anniversary, The Irresponsible Traveller is a light but edgy collection of travellers’ tales. Travel writers and celebrities alike recount their exciting, and often dangerous, adventures which include being chased by a sea lion, accosted by Brazilian kidnappers and a midnight raid to free turtles on the Amazon. Over 40 years Bradt has built a reputation for publishing books covering the road less travelled, and this collection celebrates exactly the sort of writing and storytelling about ‘unusual’ travel experiences that has helped to establish the company as a firm favourite amongst adventurous travellers. Featuring contributions from Hilary Bradt, Michael Palin, Ben Fogle and Jonathan Scott, the title is a perfect tome to dip in and out of.” (Syndetics summary)