Category: Recent picks

Cars and transport: recent titles

This time we have, amongst others, books about transport over the “Northwest Frontier of India”, on the sub-continent, and about the “Middle East Run”, the route “across Europe and deep into the Middle East to Kabul”.

Teak and tide : the ebbs and eddies of the Edwin Fox : from the Ganges to Picton, New Zealand : the changing fortunes of the last surviving 19th century merchantman / Nigel Costley ; with Roderick Glassford & Don Grady.

Syndetics book coverFrom fabric wings to supersonic fighters and drones : a history of military aviation on both sides of the North-West Frontier / Brian Cloughley, Lester W. Grau & Andrew M. Roe.
“The famed, and dangerous Northwest Frontier of India was a rocky, mountainous land between Afghanistan and the settled districts of the Punjab. Military aviation above the frontier has had little real attention, except for a number of lighthearted memoirs about the challenges of flying antiquated aircraft over precipitous terrain. The Pakistani Air Force has taken over the job with more modern aircraft, but it is only since 2004 that independent American activities in the ongoing fight against militancy in northern Pakistan have drawn widespread attention to air power over the frontier. But any wider study of the utility and challenges of air power in the region would be incomplete without a detailed look at the Soviet-Afghan War. The purpose of this book is to provide a compact, yet comprehensive history of air power in this region…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Powerhouse : inside the invention of a battery to save the world / Steve LeVine.
“Journalist LeVine (The Oil and the Glory) offers an inside look at the race among industrialized nations to develop a world-changing battery technology. The main players-Japan, China, South Korea, and the lagging United States – all aim to create a powerful, affordable battery to propel electric automobiles and challenge “the provenance of the internal combustion engine.” The book lays out a history of batteries, looking primarily at the period after 1977, when Exxon released the first rechargeable lithium battery. LeVine follows a number of scientists, entrepreneurs, and managers whose contributions slowly advance the technology, but it’s only when Chicago’s Argonne National Laboratory and a hopeful, venture capital-funded startup called Envia enter the picture that the race toward innovation gains momentum…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

cover imageLondon railway atlas: 4th edition / Joe Brown.
“A cartographic masterpiece which provides detailed mapping of the myriad lines which transverse the city, including both London Underground and national railway networks. The clear and detailed large format maps show all tracks and platforms across the network. The new edition has been updated with a massive amount of new detail ideal for enthusiasts and travellers.” (Syndetics summary)

cover imageIndia’s disappearing railways : a photographic journey / Angus McDonald ; foreword by Sir Mark Tully.
“A vibrant photo-essay by Australian photographer Angus McDonald, capturing the sub-continent’s unique narrow-gauge hill railways in all their vivid colour, character and chaos.” (Syndetics summary)

B00BMRTPEM_02___SCMZZZZZZZ_The long haul pioneers : a celebration of Astran, leaders in overland transport to the Middle East for over 45 years / Ashley Coghill.
“It all started in 1964 when two friends gave up promising medical careers to embark upon a journey which few hardened truckers would have considered. In so doing, they were solely responsible for creating the first long haul overland route, across Europe and deep into the Middle East to Kabul. This book is about the company founded by one of those men, from its fledgling days as Asian Transport to the thriving Astran Cargo Services Ltd that it is today. These early long haul drivers would think nothing of a 10,000 mile round trip to Iran or the Arabian Gulf and being stranded at 6,000 feet on a mountain pass with temperatures below -40 was just all in a day’s work. The end result is a detailed, comprehensive and fascinating account of an extraordinary company.” (Product description, Amazon.co.uk)

Top Gear and caravans… New transportation books

Yes, we know. Top Gear and caravans… Two things that don’t naturally go together, unless one is being blown up or otherwise destroyed. Nonetheless, our selection of the best car and transportation new books this month features both. From titles about aviation (mentioning Richard Pearse and Richard De Crespigny), to Top Gear’s coolest 500 cars and an homage to caravans, here are our latest picks of the new transportation books!

Syndetics book coverA passion for flight : New Zealand aviation before the Great War. Volume 1, Ideas, first flight attempts and the aeronauts 1868-1909 / Errol W. Martyn.
“Not only is the Richard Pearse controversy finally put to rest here, but readers will also be surprised to learn just how many New Zelanders were activley engaged in one field or another of aeronautical activity. By 1914 they had filed some 70 patents, built or begun the construction of over 30 gliders or aeroplanes, worked with airships or learned to fly, here and abroad, and even invented and operated (for entertainment ourposes) a prototype equlivalent of today’s virtual reality flight simulator.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverTop Gear : the cool 500 : the coolest cars ever made / Matt Master.
“Ever since Karl Benz first powered up his Patent-Motorwagen in 1885, man has salivated and swooned over automobiles. And none more so than the motoring fanatics at Top Gear Magazine, who have test-driven, critiqued and worshipped some of the finest cars in motoring history.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverEngineers : from the great pyramids to the pioneers of space travel / [editor-in-chief Adam Hart-Davis].
“An epic visual guide to the great engineers who have built our world. Full of great tales of achievement and ingenuity. Engineers celebrates 80 of the greatest engineers that ever lived and the stamp they have left on the world.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverMy cool caravan : an inspirational guide to retro-style caravans / Jane Field-Lewis + Chris Haddon ; photography by Hilary Walker.
“A weekend away in a stylish caravan provides the perfect antidote to 21st-century living, and more and more people are now breathing fresh “retro” vibes into the humble recreational vehicle. Old-style campers also tap into the nostalgia/retro market and the desire for a simpler lifestyle. “My Cool Caravan” aims to inspire a new generation of camper owners and provide an idiosyncratic sourcebook for the design conscious. The inspiration for the styling can come from many different sources–this book looks at 30 styled campers in detail, covering themes such as Country Cottage, Rustic, Romany, Funky 1970s, Airstream, Trailer Park Treasures, and Recycled.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverQF32 / Richard De Crespigny [with Mark Abernathy].
“On 4 November 2010, a flight from Singapore to Sydney came within a knife edge of being one of the world’s worst air disasters. Shortly after leaving Changi Airport, an explosion shattered Engine 2 of Qantas flight QF32 – an Airbus A380, the largest and most advanced passenger plane ever built. Hundreds of pieces of shrapnel ripped through the wing and fuselage, creating chaos as vital flight systems and back-ups were destroyed or degraded. In other hands, the plane might have been lost with all 469 people on board, but a supremely experienced flight crew, led by Captain Richard Champion de Crespigny, managed to land the crippled aircraft and safely disembark the passengers after hours of nerve-racking effort. Tracing Richard’s life and career up until that fateful flight, QF32 shows exactly what goes into the making of a top-level airline pilot, and the extraordinary skills and training needed to keep us safe in the air. Fascinating in its detail and vividly compelling in its narrative, QF32 is the riveting, blow-by-blow story of just what happens when things go badly wrong in the air, told by the captain himself.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverMechanics of flight / A.C. Kermode.
Mechanics of flight is an ideal introduction to the basic principles of flight for students embarking on courses in aerospace engineering, student pilots, apprentices in the industry and anyone who is simply interested in aircraft and space flight. Written in a straightforward and jargon-free style, this popular classic text makes the fascinating topic of aircraft flight engaging and easy to understand. Starting with an overview of the relevant asoects of mechanics, this book goes on to cover topics such as air and airflow, aerofoils, thrust, level flight, gliding, landing, performance, manoeuvres, stabilty and control” (Book jacket)

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