Transformative Journeys – New Travel Titles for January

Take a look at the power of travel to enable personal transformation in titles such as Boots to Bliss by Claude Tranchant and Junkie Buddha by Diane Esguerra. Experience the often out-of-sight in Abandoned Places by Richard Happer and Hidden Treasures of London by Stephanie Wolff.

Syndetics book coverAbandoned places : 60 stories of places where time has stopped / Richard Happer.
“Ghost towns, empty streets, crumbling ruins and lost empires this book reveals these and other deserted places. Many places featured were once populated and now sit unoccupied, modern day ruins, sitting in decay. Stories, facts and photographs of 60 beautiful and eerie abandoned places from throughout the world. Time has stopped and nature is taking resident in these places mainly due to natural disasters, war or economic reasons.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSouth of the Clouds : travels in southwest China / Bill Porter.
“While flipping through the atlas of Chang Ch’i-yun, one of China’s most famous geographers, distinguished translator Bill Porter (Red Pine) developed a curiosity about the southwestern province of China. Dubbed Yun-nan, “South of the Clouds,” this was the last area modern China to come under Chinese control. Originally conquered by the Mongols and eventually introduced to foreigners as a vibrant setting for trade, Yun-nan became a critical crossroad connecting East and West.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoots to bliss : the intriguing story of a 21st century pilgrim who walked The way of Saint James / Claude Tranchant.
“Follow the incredible journey and transformation of a 64 year old woman who walked nearly 2500 kilometres alone for 100 days through France and Spain along The Way of Saint James. You will learn about her inner thoughts, her self-discovery, her internal growth and how she was empowered. This is a story of immense courage and resilience.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlanes, canes, and automobiles : connecting with your aging parents through travel / Valerie M. Grubb.
“If the thought of vacationing with your parents makes you cringe, fear no more! Help is here! Planes, Canes, and Automobiles: Connecting with Your Aging Parents through Travel is a gold mine of practical advice, funny anecdotes, and tales of triumphs and travails from Val Grubb, who has traveled more than 300,000 miles (and counting!) with her 84-year old mother over the past twenty years.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParisian chic city guide / Ines de la Fressange with Sophie Gachet.
“Ines de la Fressange embodies the iconic Parisienne , combining elegance and chic, effortlessly. With her fashion savvy and her inspired home interiors, Ines demonstrates an eye for the details that characterize the best in Gallic style, from wardrobe accessories to home furnishings. In this exquisite new pocket volume―the perfect accompaniment to her best-selling book Parisian Chic ―Ines divulges her new favorite locations for shopping, dining, and hanging out in Paris with style.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreat walks of New Zealand / Craig Potton ; with Shaun Barnett.
Great Walks of New Zealand is a tribute to New Zealand’s eight finest walking tracks, by renowned wilderness photographer Craig Potton.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWine trails : plan 52 perfect weekends in wine country.
“Detailed itineraries recommending the most interesting wineries and the best places to stay and eat in 52 wine regions near major cities make this perfect for travel enthusiasts who enjoy wine. Winemakers offer personal insights into what wines to taste and why they’re special and help you to understand a place, its people and their traditions through the wine that is made there. Gorgeous photography, maps and in-the-know authors complete the package.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHidden treasures of London / Michael McNay with photographs by Stephanie Wolff.
“A beautifully illustrated guide to over 400 of London’s lesser-known cultural gems. Nobody could deny that London is one of the most culturally and architecturally rich places in the world. But such glories can make us overlook some of the other, less obvious wonders that the city has to offer.  However well you may think you know the capital, Hidden Treasures of London is certain to unlock more of its secrets to you, leading you away from well-trodden tourist destinations to explore the amazing secret history of this great city.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverJunkie Buddha : a journey of discovery in Peru / Diane Esguerra.
“This is the story of one woman’s journey from her son’s revelation that he had been sexually abused in childhood through to the scattering of his ashes at Machu Picchu in Peru. Sacha had died of a heroin overdose. A journal Diane kept while traveling around Peru and her experiences, encounters and reflections form the basis of her gut-wrenching and gripping book that reconnected her to life. Diane once asked “Why me?” and now asks “Why not me?”–a shift that now underlines her healing.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGus & Wallsy’s French revelation : a dog’s point of view / Gus & Robert Walls.
“Following the sad passing of his first wife, Robert had met someone new. Her name was Julie and for his birthday she had bought him a boxer puppy named Gus. Sensing a need to shake life up a bit, Robert and Julie decided they would leave Australia behind and fulfil a dream of spending a year living in southern France in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. And they would be taking Gus with them. Gus & Wallsy’s French Revelation is the story of that French experience, and it’s all told from Gus’ point of view.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

In Search of Connection – New Travel Picks for December

This month’s travel stories, whether documenting a family canoe trip across North America, the hazy boundaries of unrecognised nations, or the trek of a lifetime with a beloved dog or donkey, are all epic and life-affirming portraits of living beings and their connection to place.

Syndetics book coverPortage : a family, a canoe, and the search for the good life / Sue Leaf.
“When as a child she first saw a canoe gliding on Lake Alexander in central Minnesota, Sue Leaf was mesmerized. The enchantment stayed with her and shimmers throughout this book as we join Leaf and her family in canoeing the waterways of North America, always on the lookout for the good life amid the splendors and surprises of the natural world. […] exploring the river means encountering life–good decisions and missed chances, risks and surprises, and the inevitable changes that occur as a family canoes through time and learns what it means to be human in this natural world.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn atlas of countries that don’t exist : a compendium of fifty unrecognized and largely unnoticed states / Nick Middleton.
“Acclaimed travel writer and Oxford geography don Nick Middleton takes us on a magical tour of countries that, lacking diplomatic recognition or UN membership, inhabit a world of shifting borders, visionary leaders and forgotten peoples. […] Alongside stories, facts and figures, this Atlas brings to life a dreamlike world of nations that exist only in the minds of the people who live there.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCrossing the plains with Bruno / Annick Smith.
“Dogs, like humans, have memories, instincts, fears, and loyalties. But, as far as we know, dogs do not get swept up in nostalgia, speculation, or self-analysis. Although they have hopes, they are not driven by regrets. Annick Smith weaves together a memoir of travel and relationship, western history and family history, human love and animal love centering around a two week road trip across the Great Plains she and her 95 pound chocolate lab, Bruno, took in the summer of 2003.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMoment & memory / Craig Potton.
“Craig Potton rose to prominence as a photographer in the late 1980s, with a distinct and original view of the landscape of New Zealand. He has become one of New Zealand’s most distinguished landscape photographers, famous for his moody, often dramatic images that signal a deeply felt connection with the wild places of New Zealand. This revised edition of Moment and Memory contains a collection of Craig’s finest photographs, personally selected to give a unique view of the New Zealand wilderness.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMountains and a shore : a journey through southern Turkey / Michael Pereira ; foreword by David Mason.
“As David Mason writes in his new foreword, “The Turkish word for the Mediterranean is Akdeniz , the White Sea, but the land between the Black and White Seas is polychromatic, swirlingly complex, contradictory, challenging, and often heart-stoppingly beautiful. Getting to know Turkey is not always easy, even now. Time travel with Michael Pereira is an excellent way to begin.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalking the Kiso Road : a modern-day exploration of old Japan / William Scott Wilson.
“Take a trip to old Japan with William Scott Wilson as he travels the ancient Kiso Road, a legendary route that remains much the same today as it was hundreds of years ago. […] Wilson, esteemed translator of samurai philosophy, has walked the road several times and is a delightful and expert guide to this popular tourist destination; he shares its rich history and lore, literary and artistic significance, cuisine and architecture, as well as his own experiences.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZen and the art of donkey maintenance / Robert Crisp.
“Through twenty columns filed from abroad over years of rustic living and travel, Crisp, as Peter White, shared his experiences of hitch-hiking through Yugoslavia, settling in a beach shack in Greece where he attempted to cultivate the stubborn land, and a nearly fatal solo boat trip around Corfu. As the first year of his dream life came to a close, he found out that the stomach pain he had been suffering was not a side effect of too much Greek wine, but cancer. With a prediction of only one year to live, he set off on a trek around Crete, his only companion a donkey with plenty of personality.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMail obsession : a journey round Britain by postcode / Mark Mason.
“Mark Mason has embarked on a tour of the country, immersing himself in Britain’s history on a roundabout journey from AB to ZE. […] his travels offer the perfect opportunity to delve into the history of the Royal Mail, complete with pillar boxes, posties and Penny Reds – plus Oscar Wilde’s unconventional method of posting a letter. A charming mix of fact, anecdote and overheard conversation, Mail Obsession pays homage to Britain’s wonderful past and its curious present.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew York : an inspired wander through Manhattan and the Brooklyn boroughs / Alexandra Carroll.
“New York is an extraordinary city. A place of pilgrimage for world travelers, it’s a dream destination for the serious culture buff, style hunter and aesthetically minded wanderer. In this inspiring guide, Alexandra Carroll takes you beyond the well-known facades and into the depths of Manhattan and Brooklyn, seeking out the very best the city has to offer. […] Stunningly photographed and designed, New York will help you to navigate the grid and discover the aesthetic pleasures that make this city endlessly enticing and fascinating.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMadrid.
“Monocle knows about the hidden gems in all the great cities. The series launched in spring 2015 with editions for London, New York, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. This autumn they will be joined by Singapore, Istanbul Madrid, and Portland, Oregon. Each book also contains a series of city essays and perspectives. Created by the Monocle design team, these authoritative guides are trim enough to drop into your pocket and wise enough to stay by your side throughout your travels” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

To Row, Hike, Cycle, Glide or Teleport? New Travel Picks for October

However you prefer to travel there is a new book here to satisfy. From tramping in Maine, cycling in London, strutting through Paris, gliding with albatrosses, or rowing across the Indian Ocean, this month is a reminder that traveling is a diverse and complicated act, beckoning us to imagine and challenge the possibilities of our next escape.

Syndetics book coverDeep South : four seasons on back roads / Paul Theroux ; photographs by Steve McCurry.
“For the past fifty years, Paul Theroux has travelled to the far corners of the earth – to China, India, Africa, the Pacific Islands, South America, Russia, and elsewhere – and brought them to life in his cool, exacting prose. In Deep South he turns his gaze to a region much closer to his home. Travelling through North and South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama and Arkansas, Paul Theroux writes of the stunning landscapes he discovers – the deserts, the mountains, the Mississippi – and above all, the lives of the people he meets.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon on two wheels : 25 handpicked rides to make the most of the city / project editor: Victoria Marshallsay.
“This charming yet practical pocket guide to cycling in London will treat you to 25 leisure routes across the city, allowing you to get the most out of London and the TFL ‘Bike for Hire’ scheme […] With a range of rides taking cyclists through London’s parks, along the River Thames and through much-loved cultural highlights, this book is packed with suggestions to discover the hidden gems of the city from the comfort of your bike.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Silk Roads : a new history of the world / Peter Frankopan.
“The sun is setting on the Western world. Slowly but surely, the direction in which the world spins has reversed: where for the last five centuries the globe turned westwards on its axis, it now turns to the east. For centuries, fame and fortune was to be found in the west – in the New World of the Americas. […] As a new era emerges, the patterns of exchange are mirroring those that have criss-crossed Asia for millennia. The Silk Roads are rising again.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe London Thames Path : a guide to the Thames Path from Putney Bridge to the Barrier / written & illustrated by David Fathers.
“David Fathers presents a unique and richly illustrated guide to the London section of the Thames Path, which runs along both banks of the river from Putney Bridge to the Thames Barrier.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe 500 hidden secrets of Amsterdam / Saskia Naafs & Guido van Eijck ; photography, Joram Van Holen and Tino van den Berg.
“Written by born and bred Amsterdammers, the book includes lists such as the 5 best vintage markets, the 5 best small museums and the 5 best concert venues, with a total 500 addresses and facts that few people know. Includes extensive maps and a comprehensive index.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRowing after the white whale : a crossing of the Indian Ocean by hand / James Adair.
“Over a boozy Sunday lunch, flatmates James Adair and Ben Stenning made a promise to row across the ocean. At first they considered the Pacific, then the Atlantic, but once James Cracknell and Ben Fogle completed the high-profile Atlantic Rowing Race, their thoughts turned to the Indian Ocean, longer and tougher than the Atlantic and having seen fewer people row across its waters than have walked on the Moon. […] This was a challenge that neither man should have ever considered.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParis in style : a guide to the city’s fashion, style and design destinations / written and photographed by Janelle McCulloch.
“Janelle McCulloch thought she knew most of the best places in which to stay, wander and explore. But the more time she spent in Paris, the more she realised how much there was still to discover. Paris in Style reveals this city’s most surprising and fascinating fashion, design and style destinations. It is the ultimate insider’s guide for travellers seeking style, creative inspiration and unforgettable experiences.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe shark and the albatross : travels with a camera to the ends of the earth / John Aitchison.
“For twenty years John Aitchison has been travelling the world to film wildlife for the BBC and other broadcasters, taking him to far-away places on every continent. The Shark and the Albatross is the story of these journeys of discovery, of his encounters with animals and occasional enterprising individuals in remote and sometimes dangerous places. He reveals what happens behind the scenes and beyond the camera.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGap year girl : a baby boomer adventure across 21 countries / Marianne C. Bohr.
“In the 1960s and ’70s, thousands of baby boomers strapped packs to their backs and flocked to Europe, wandering the continent on missions of self-discovery. Many of these boomers still dream of “going back” – of once again cutting themselves free and revisiting the places they encountered in their youth, recapturing what was, and creating fresh memories along the way. Marianne Bohr and her husband, Joe, did just that. Touching on universal themes of escape, adventure, freedom, discovery, and life reimagined, Gap Year Girl is an exciting account of a couple’s experiences on an unconventional, past the-blush-of-youth journey.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaine outdoor adventure guide / John Christie and Josh Christie.
“With nearly fifty recommended trips, this guide presents a broad-based discovery of the entire state of Maine. Trip Suggestions include: Biking the Acadia Carriage Roads, Hiking Bigelow Mountain, Canoeing the Magalloway River, Exploring Maine waterfalls, Sea kayaking in Penobscot bay.” (Syndetics summary)

List-Writing Time – New Travel Picks for September

Check out lushly illustrated Hemingway’s Paris and Safari for vivid escapes into the wild ecosystems of both city and savannah. Also keep an eye out for the slick debut of Monocle travel guides, starting here with Hong Kong and London, perfect for the discerning traveller with an eye for design.

Syndetics book coverHemingway’s Paris : a writer’s city in words and images / Robert Wheeler.
“Walk through the streets of Paris with Ernest Hemingway. In gorgeous black and white images, Hemingway’s Paris depicts a story of remarkable passion–for a city, a woman, and a time. […] Through his journal and photographs, Wheeler portrays the intimate connection Hemingway had with the woman he never stopped loving, Hadley, and with the city he loved most, Paris.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSafari : a memoir of a worldwide travel pioneer / Geoffrey Kent with Kristine Gasbarre.
“It’s here, in nature, that we are completely unified with all of life.” Geoffrey Kent had nothing but an East African shilling and an old Land Rover when he launched a safari business in 1962 with his parents in Nairobi. Today he is the chairman and CEO of Abercrombie & Kent, a pioneering internationally renowned luxury travel company that takes thousands of trekkers to the planet’s wildest frontiers. […] Packed with gorgeous photographs and unbelievable memories from the larger-than-life explorer, Safari lets readers indulge their spirit of adventure.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon : a travel guide through time / Matthew Green.
“The year is 1603, early May. . . Step back in time and discover the sights, sounds and smells of London through the ages in this enthralling journey into the capital’s rich, teeming and occasionally hazardous past. Let time traveler Dr Matthew Green be your guide to six extraordinary periods in London’s history – the age of Shakespeare, medieval city life, the plague, coffee houses, the reign of Victoria and the post-Blitz recovery.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreat escapes : enjoy the world at your leisure / written by Ann Abel [and 43 others].
“Beach paradises. Luxury hideaways. Cultural thrills. The perfect getaway. Great Escapes showcases the world’s most enjoyable escapes celebrates the sheer pleasure of travel. Take time out to indulge in romantic getaways, culinary adventures, musical journeys and family holidays. Or simply revel in pure relaxation. You deserve it!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUltimate travelist : the 500 best places on the planet… ranked / editors: Karyn Noble, Ross Taylor, Nick Mee.
“This compilation of the 500 most unmissable sights and attractions in the world has been ranked by Lonely Planet’s global community of travel experts, so big name mega-sights such as the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal battle it out with lesser-known hidden gems for a prized place in the top 10, making this the only bucket list you’ll ever need.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhich way is starboard again? : overcoming fears & facing challenges sailing the South Pacific / Anna Kirtlan.
“Many New Zealanders sail the South Pacific but not many do it with as little boating experience as ‘uncoordinated, impractical, directionally challenged, desk-bound type’ Anna Kirtlan, who says that until she met Captain Paddy and Wildflower II, her idea of rough sailing was ‘taking the Cook Strait ferry with a hangover’. Not only does she have to learn to sail, and navigate, from scratch, she also has to overcome recurrences of the anxiety and panic attacks that plagued her teen and early adult years…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFamous graves to visit before you die / SK Cooper.
“There are some living legends that are so big, that even dead, they’re larger than life. […] Compiled by former history teacher and author Steve Cooper, this eclectic list features potted biographies of each subject, the stories behind their often fascinating lives and spectacular deaths, and maps and images of their gravesites around the world. Covering the varying forms of the famous, whether a political powerhouse, an infamous troublemaker, or a film and TV legend, details of their famous lives, demise and final resting place is laid out for the reader to explore.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHong Kong.
“The definitive travel guides that make you feel like a local wherever you go. […] Aimed at people who do not want to be tourists but rather feel like locals when they travel, these are books for those who want to mix the classic with the contemporary, want to get beyond the cliches, and know they can get a feel for a city even if they only have a few days…” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon.
“Launching this spring with editions for London and Tokyo, followed by New York and Hong Kong, these beautiful books reveal the Monocle team’s favourite places, from the ideal route for an early morning run to the best spots for independent retail […] And they are full of surprises and quirks: the books will guide you to a grand hotel but also to a cozy two-star, and will leave you drinking in a local corner bar or being served by a great waiter who knows his craft-while being wary of pushing you into the newest, hippest, soulless bar […]” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Nooks and crannies – New Travel Picks for August

Look out this month for new instalments of the 111 Places In … That You Must Not Miss series, fill in the blank for hidden gems that would surprise even locals. For more contemplative armchair travel follow two very different trails through past and present in Iain Sinclair’s London Overground and Mallachy Tallack’s Sixty Degrees North.

Syndetics book cover111 places in San Francisco that you must not miss / Floriana Petersen.
“Discover a stairway that transports you from the depths of the ocean to the heights of outer space; take a spin class amidst the grand elegance of a repurposed 1920s movie palace; or slide down a century-old sundial that sits at the center of what was once California’s first racetrack for cars. This is the real San Francisco. Strung together, the 111 experiences gathered here tell the B-side story of the city once romantically known as the Paris of the West.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBulls before breakfast : running with the bulls and celebrating Fiesta de San Fermín in Pamplona, Spain / Peter N. Milligan ; foreword by John Hemingway.
“[…] For millions, running with the bulls remains on their bucket list, and for Hemingway fans it is a lifelong dream. For Peter N. Milligan, it is a way of life […] Milligan has slowly pried open this trove of secrets over the past twelve years, all while refining the art of getting between the horns of a massive, perfect Spanish killing machine, el toro bravo, and running for his life.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStrolling through Rome : the definitive walking guide to the Eternal City / Mario Erasmo.
“How can one visit the monuments and sites of Rome and not feel overwhelmed? Strolling Through Rome guides visitors, first-time or returning, through the streets, museums, piazze, and parks of the Eternal City. […] This informative and lively book incorporates the latest archaeological and architectural research and is essential for anyone intending to explore the extraordinary sights and fascinating secrets of one of Europe’s most beguiling cities.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe trivia lover’s guide to even more of the world : geography for the global generation / Gary Fuller.
“Gary Fuller’s entertaining and informative guide uses geographic trivia questions as a springboard to learning about non-trivial aspects of our globe. […] An inveterate traveler and geographer extraordinaire, Fuller provides extensive background, engaging maps and photos, and thorough explanations for each intriguing trivia question. Challenging today’s global generation to truly get to know their world, his book is a delight to read and an essential antidote to our lack of geographical knowledge.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe family of Richard III / Michael Hicks.
“The Wars of the Roses were quarrels within the Plantagenet family. They were about family trees – the capacity of family relationships both to unite and to divide […] The house of York, the dynasty of Richard, Duke of York (the future Richard III), won the first war. […] Many thousands of descendants of Richard, Duke of York, survive, some more interested in their lineage than others, and this book concludes with an analysis of Richard’s DNA and his ‘family’ as it exists today.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover111 places in New York that you must not miss / Jo-Anne Elikann ; edited by Susan Lusk.
“New York City’s history and grand ambitions live in every street, park, and hidden alleyway. This unusual guidebook invites the adventurous and curious to explore a wildly diverse selection of little-known places […] Unexpected and quirky, most of these destinations are so under-the-radar they will astound even longtime New Yorkers who thought they knew it all.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLondon overground : a day’s walk around the Ginger Line / Iain Sinclair.
“The completion of the full circle of London Overground in December 2012 provides Iain Sinclair with a new path to walk the shifting territory of the capital. […] Here he encounters traces of writers gone or nearly forgotten, uncovers evidence of careless erasures and incongruous overlappings, follows signs of decay hijacked by official rejuvenation and generally slips between the cracks of the approved and over-capitalized.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSixty degrees north : around the world in search of home / Malachy Tallack.
“The sixtieth parallel marks a kind of borderland. […] Malachy Tallack explores the places that share this latitude, beginning and ending in Shetland, where he has spent most of his life. The book focuses on the landscapes and natural environments of the parallel, and the way that people have interacted with those landscapes. It explores themes of wildness and community, of isolation and engagement, of exile and memory.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTravel with children : family-friendly travel without the fuss.
“This updated version of Travel With Children offers you the most comprehensive advice for taking your family on the road, and now adds hundreds of destination ideas backed up by great photography and practical itineraries. Assembled by Lonely Planet’s team of travel-savvy parent experts, family travellers can rely on insights and advice on choosing the right trip, healthy travel, travelling with teens and much more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverIn the kingdom of ice : the grand and terrible polar voyage of the USS Jeannette / Hampton Sides.
“On July 8, 1879, Captain George Washington De Long and his team of thirty-two men set sail from San Francisco on the USS Jeanette. Heading deep into uncharted Arctic waters, they carried the aspirations of a young country burning to be the first nation to reach the North Pole. […] With thrilling twists and turns, In The Kingdom of Ice is a spellbinding tale of heroism and determination in the most brutal place on Earth.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Our pick of new Travel books in July

Travel books this month take us from New Zealand in Wildboy, to Patagonia, Chicago, Denmark, Sweden then back via Florence, Haiti, the U.S. and Sydney. Happy armchair travelling!

Syndetics book coverAll the buildings in Sydney : that I’ve drawn so far / by James Gulliver Hancock.
All the Buildings in Sydney is a love letter to author James Gulliver Hancock’s home town of Sydney, told through his unique and charming drawings of the city’s diverse architectural styles and cityscape. His buildings are colourful and full of fun and off-beat details, yet he successfully captures the technical elements and the essence of Sydney architecture that makes it such a unique and beautiful city.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDiscovering vintage Chicago : a guide to the city’s timeless shops, bars, delis & more / Amy Bizzarri.
“The Discovering Vintage series takes you back in time to all of the timeless classic spots each city has to offer. The books spotlight the charming stories that tell you what each place is like now and how it got that way from classic restaurants to shops to other establishments that still thrive today and evoke the unique character of the city. They’re all still around–but they won’t be around forever. Start reading, and start your discovering now!” (

Syndetics book coverUltimate record breaking destinations : the world’s largest, highest and most extreme places / Samantha Wilson.
“In a world bursting with incredible and alluring destinations, visiting the largest, oldest, highest or most extreme places provides us with a wonderful sense of achievement and helps us make sense of our place in this big old world. Take a unique journey of discovery to 100 of Earth’s record breaking places, from swimming in the deepest lake to stepping foot on the largest sand island or spending a night in the largest ice hotel. With a combination of easy-to-visit and off-the-beaten-track destinations it combines geographical intrigue and astonishing trivia to bring you the travel world’s answer to the Guinness Book of World Records.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChasing rumor : a season fly fishing in Patagonia / Cameron Chambers.
“A blip of prosperity at the turn of the 20th century brought American trout to Patagonia, then for a half-century they were forgotten to fight wars and build a nation. Rediscovered by fishermen a half-century later, the fish had grown to epic proportions. In Chasing Rumor, Cameron Chambers chronicles his modern-day pilgrimage to the rivers of Patagonia in pursuit of these legendary 20-pound trout. What started as a trip focused on catching fish became a love affair with the Patagonian landscape, environment and mostly, the people. From a business mogul turned B&B owner to a kid determined to save a local trout population, Chasing Rumor is at times the story of a handful of fishermen, and at other times a tale of enormous trout.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWildboy : an epic trek around the coast of New Zealand / Brando Yelavich with Nicola McCloy.
“Fast going off the rails and hanging out with the wrong crowd, Brando Yelavich, a plucky 20-year-old from Auckland’s North Shore, decided he needed to change his life. He needed a mission. He was going to walk around New Zealand. Brando reached Cape Reinga on 23 August 2014 after a gruelling journey of over 8000 kilometres, traversed almost completely on foot over 600 days – the first time it had ever been done. It was an outlandish odyssey of physical and mental fortitude. He slept under the stars and lived off the land. He almost drowned on several occasions and experienced near-hypothermia. He gained 20 kilograms. But the transformation ran much deeper. As much for fans of Bear Grylls or Cheryl Strayed’s Wild as it is for those of the off-the-grid outdoors Kiwi experience, Wildboy is a ripping adventure story with an inspiring life change at its heart.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to be Danish : a journey to the cultural heart of Denmark / Patrick Kingsley.
“Denmark is the country of the moment. Recently named the happiest nation in the world, it’s the home of The Killing and Noma, the world’s best (and most eccentric) restaurant. We wear their sweaters, watch their thrillers, and covet their cool modern design, but how much do we really know about the Danes themselves? Part reportage, part travelogue, How to Be Danish fills in the gaps — an introduction to contemporary Danish culture that spans politics, television, food, architecture, and design.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmile of a midsummer night : a picture of Sweden / by Lars Gustafsson and Agneta Blomqvist ; translated from the Swedish by Deborah Bragen-Turner.
“In Smile of the Midsummer Night , best-selling author Lars Gustafsson and Agneta Blomqvist present a very personal guide to their Swedish homeland. Setting off from the far South, their journey takes them up to Norrland, from the farms of Scania to Laponian, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But it is the idyllic fjord in Bohulän, located in the Västmanland region, as well as Mälar Lake and Stockholm that they call home. The first work of contemporary travel writing about Sweden by Swedish writers to have been translated into English, Smile of the Midsummer Night is a loving and poetic ode to this beautiful nation and a must-have for anyone interested in Scandinavia.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover111 places in Florence and Northern Tuscany that you must not miss / Beate C. Kirchner ; photographs by Francesco P. Carbone ; English translation, Alan Gentile.
“Michelangelo’s David, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the smooth cypress hills – these are among the celebrated must-see sights of Tuscany. Yet the cultural landscape of Florence and the surrounding countryside is an inexhaustible trove of visual and historical gems if you know where to look, that is. Where, for instance, can you find 1,000 Masonic objects and symbols? Where does the official championship in cheese-throwing take place? Where was a memorial dedicated to a king’s assassin, and where can you see a double-dawn? This book will lead you right inside the turbulent history, exciting stories, and unexpected sites and pleasures of Tuscany.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDispatches from dystopia : histories of places not yet forgotten / Kate Brown.
“The author wanders the Chernobyl Zone of Alienation, first on the Internet and then in person, to figure out which version — the real or the virtual — is the actual forgery. She also takes us to the basement of a hotel in Seattle to examine the personal possessions left in storage by Japanese Americans on their way to internment camps in 1942. In Uman, Ukraine, we hide with Brown in a tree in order to witness the male-only Rosh Hashanah celebration of Hasidic Jews. In the Russian southern Urals, she speaks with the citizens of the small city of Kyshtym, where invisible radioactive pollutants have mysteriously blighted lives. Finally, Brown returns home to Elgin, Illinois, in the industrial rust belt, to investigate the rise of “rustalgia” and the ways her formative experiences have inspired her obsession with modernist wastelands.” (Jacket flap)

Syndetics book coverAfter the dance : a walk through carnival in Jacmel, Haiti / Edwidge Danticat.
“Here she chronicles her journey to the coastal town of Jacmel, where she meets with the performers, artists, and organizers who re-create the myths and legends that bring the festival to life. In the process, Danticat traces the heroic and tragic history of their home island, from French plantation colony to the Haitian revolution, American invasions to homegrown dictatorships. Part travelogue, part memoir, part historical analysis, this is the deeply personal story of a writer rediscovering her country – along with a part of herself – and a wonderful introduction to Haiti’s southern coast and to the beauty and passions of Carnival.” (Back cover)

Interesting new travel books in June

This month features two books about walking journeys; one is Down the Nile, and the other is Walking New Orleans. Other books describe the delights of escaping to the ‘Med.’, how to have an entertaining family trip to London, and a delightful book about the weekly dinner shared between four Italian women… with author Marlena de Blasi.

Syndetics book coverBetween East and West : across the borderlands of Europe / Anne Applebaum.
“A vivid and human glimpse into Europe’s borderlands as they emerged from Soviet rule – back in print after nearly 20 years.
As Europe’s borderlands emerged from Soviet rule, Anne Applebaum travelled from the Baltic to the Black Sea, through Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine and the Carpathian mountains. Rich in vivid characters and stories of tragedy and survival, Between East and West illuminates the soul of a place, and the secret history of its people. Anne Applebaum is a historian and journalist, a regular columnist for the Washington Post and Slate, and the author of several books… She is the Director of Political Studies at the Legatum Institute in London, and she divides her time between Britain and Poland, where her husband, Radek Sikorski, serves as Foreign Minister.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalking New Orleans : 30 tours exploring historic neighborhoods, waterfront districts, culinary and music corridors, and recreational wonderlands / Barri Bronston.
“From neighborhoods such as Lakeview and Mid-City to landmarks including the Saenger Theater and Mercedes Benz Superdome, from its restaurants and music clubs to its parks and museums, the Big Easy has regained the title of one of the world’s most fascinating cities. In Walking New Orleans , lifelong resident and writer Barri Bronston shares the love of her hometown through 30 self-guided tours that range from majestic St. Charles Avenue and funky Magazine Street to Bywater and Faubourg Marigny, two of the city’s “it” neighborhoods. Within each tour, she offers tips on where to eat, drink, dance, and play, for in addition to all the history, culture, and charm that New Orleans has to offer…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLet’s take the kids to London / David Stewart White and Deb Hosey White.
“…Not everyone travels the same way, and traveling with children entails a unique set of priorities. The culture and colorful history of London come to life in this guide to enjoying an exceptionally entertaining family vacation. Written specifically for families, this book is the antidote to the inevitable tribulations faced by traveling parents and children. With a focus on family-friendly adventures, it describes such classic destinations as the Tower of London and Buckingham Palace, lesserknown attractions such as the Florence Nightingale Museum and the Churchill War Rooms. Key information about each attraction-such as locations, hours, and prices-is included, allowing families to plan itineraries with confidence.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreat escapes : Mediterranean / compiled and edited by Angelika Taschen ; texts by Christiane Reiter.
“…Flanked by three continents and offering coastline to 21 countries, the Mediterranean is a mythical place, blessed with its fine climate, luxuriant fauna and flora, and the intense blues of its sea. In this revised edition, Angelika Taschen catalogs the best of this legendary region, scouring the most beautiful gardens, the most enchanting beaches, the little-known islands, the finest architecture, and the most gorgeous rooms, with the most breathtaking, and soul-soothing views. From the glamorous Eden-Roc on the Côte d’Azur to the tiny hotel on the small Croatian island of Lopud, this is the ultimate reference for any discerning traveller of the Med. Text in English, French, and German” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Umbrian Thursday night supper club / Marlena de Blasi.
“Every week on a Thursday evening, a group of four Italian rural women gather in a derelict stone house in the hills above Italy’s Orvieto. There—along with their friend, Marlena—they cook together, sit down to a beautiful supper, drink their beloved local wines, and talk. Here, surrounded by candle light, good food and friendship, Miranda, Ninucia, Paolina, and Gilda tell their life stories of loves lost and found, of ageing and abandonment, of mafia grudges and family feuds, and of cherished ingredients and recipes whose secrets have been passed down through the generations. Around this table, these five friends share their food and all that life has offered them—the good and the bad.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverPostcards from the Middle East / Chris Naylor.
“An easy, engaging, and often funny introduction to Arab culture–its richness, humanity, and challenges–through the experiences of an English family. The Middle East features regularly on our television screens, in ways that often lead to a simplistic and stereotyped view of the land and the people that live there. Having moved to the Middle East, Chris Naylor and his wife set up a pioneering branch of the environmental agency A Rocha in Lebanon. Over the years they found their prejudices and assumptions utterly overthrown. Their story is an insightful and informed introduction to Arab culture through the experience of an English family. Engaging and often funny, it explores themes of cross-cultural communication and environmental vision.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSaturnalia : traveling from Cape Town to Kampala in search of an African utopia / Justin Chapman.
“In the Spring of 2012, reporter and travel junkie Justin Chapman threw his cares to the wind and, by himself, set off on an epic journey across eight countries in Africa — from Cape Town, South Africa, to Mityana, Uganda — by bus, train, and boat. Along the way, he narrowly escaped being locked away in a mental institution, visited an impoverished township that is changing its future with the help of an art-based nonprofit, got into a life-threatening car crash, dropped acid on the mystical island of Zanzibar, lived with a group of Catholic priests, witnessed a witchcraft healing ceremony, discovered a pygmy opium den, and chased down riveting stories with a local journalist…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe story of the Jews : finding the words : 1000 BCE – 1492 CE / Simon Schama.
“A history of the Jews is possibly the greatest story that can be told. It is the story of mankind – at its most noble and at its most barbaric. From the invention of a single deity and the killing of his embodied Son through to the production of urban modernity, so much of supreme importance for humanity bears the imprint of Jewish thinking and culture.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalking the Nile / Levison Wood.
“His journey is 4,250 miles long. He is walking every step of the way, camping in the wild, foraging for food, fending for himself against multiple dangers. He is passing through rainforest, savannah, swamp, desert and lush delta oasis. He will cross seven, very different countries. No one has ever made this journey on foot. In this detailed, thoughtful, inspiring and dramatic book, recounting Levison Wood’s walk the length of the Nile, he will come face to face with the great story of a modern Africa emerging out of the past. Exploration and Africa are two of his great passions – they drive him on and motivate his inquisitiveness and resolution not to fail, yet the challenges of the terrain, the climate, the animals, the people and his own psychological resolution will throw at him are immense. The dangers are very real, but so is the motivation for this ex-army officer.” (adapted from

Much ado about Melbourne : from maps to movies — the creativity that makes a city / Jenny Sinclair.
“What shapes the character of Melbourne, and from where does it get its x-factor? Jenny Sinclair goes in search of the answers and discovers that it’s all in our head – or at least our collective imagination. Much Ado About Melbourne is a whimsical and absorbing survey of the city’s creativity, from Hoddle’s Grid to the cultural achievements that help put us on the world map. Celebrating the tales, spirit and sensibilities that make this metropolis, it charts the evolution of Melbourne through its music, art, literature, film, stories, transport, maps and people.”

New travel books picked for you in May

Top of our picks this month is “The Fault Line”, written about the author’s 2008 journey from Finland along where the Iron Curtain divided Europe. Second is James A. Michener’s 1968 classic “Iberia”, recently reprinted, with an introduction by Steve Berry. And a couple of books for light reading are “What I was doing while you were breeding”, and “Vagabonding through Retirement”.

Syndetics book coverThe fault line : traveling the other Europe, from Finland to Ukraine / Paolo Rumiz ; translated from the Italian by Gregory Conti.
“In his first book translated into English, “La Repubblica” correspondent Rumiz vents his anger at the European Union’s “rhetoric of globalization,” which homogenizes ethnic distinctions and threatens to obliterate traditional communities. His nostalgic, engaging search for the heart of European identity takes him from the Arctic to the Mediterranean, through present-day Finland, Latvia, Ukraine and Poland. In these regions, the author finds depopulated villages, survivors of mass deportations and exterminations that continued long after World War II. A richly detailed journey into Europe’s dark past and vulnerable present.” (”

Syndetics book coverIberia : Spanish travels and reflections / James A. Michener ; photographs by Robert Vavra ; introduction by Steve Berry.
“Spain is an immemorial land like no other, one that James A. Michener, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author and celebrated citizen of the world, came to love as his own. Iberia is Michener’s enduring nonfiction tribute to his cherished second home. In the fresh and vivid prose that is his trademark, he not only reveals the celebrated history of bullfighters and warrior kings, painters and processions, cathedrals and olive orchards, he also shares the intimate, often hidden country he came to know, where the congeniality of living souls is thrust against the dark weight of history…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFindings / Kathleen Jamie.
“It’s surprising what you can find by simply stepping out to look. Award-winning poet Kathleen Jamie has an eye and an ease with the nature and landscapes of Scotland as well as an incisive sense of our domestic realities. In Findings she draws together these themes to describe travels like no other contemporary writer. Whether she is following the call of a peregrine in the hills above her home in Fife, sailing into a dark winter solstice on the Orkney islands, or pacing around the carcass of a whale on a rain-swept Hebridean beach, she creates a subtle and modern narrative, peculiarly alive to her connections and surroundings.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat I was doing while you were breeding : a memoir / Kristin Newman.
“A funny, sexy, and ultimately poignant memoir about mastering the art of the “vacationship.” Kristin Newman spent much of her twenties and thirties buying dresses to wear to her friends’ weddings and baby showers. Not ready to settle down and in need of an escape from her fast-paced job as a sitcom writer, Kristin instead traveled the world, often alone, for several weeks each year. In addition to falling madly in love with the planet, Kristin fell for many attractive locals, men who could provide the emotional connection she wanted without costing her the freedom she desperately needed. Kristin introduces readers to the Israeli bartenders, Finnish poker players, sexy Bedouins, and Argentinean priests who helped her transform into “Kristin-Adjacent” on the road-a slower, softer, and, yes, sluttier version of herself at home…” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLandmarks / Robert Macfarlane.
“Haze-fire, smeuse, tarn, ghyll, hoarhusk, gruffy ground, af’rug… for years now, Robert Macfarlane has been collecting place-words: terms for aspects of landscape, nature and weather, drawn from dozens of languages and dialects of Britain and Ireland… In this, his fifth book, Macfarlane brilliantly explores the linguistic and literary terrain of our archipelago, from the Shetlands to Cornwall, and from Cumbria to Suffolk. Landmarks is a book about the power of language – ‘strong style, single words’ – to shape our sense of place…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVagabonding through retirement : unusual wanders far from our Paris houseboat / by Bill Mahoney and Ina Garrison Mahoney.
“Bill Mahoney has been a vagabond since he began hitchhiking across the United States at thirteen, so finding a Dutch houseboat called Zwerver -Dutch for wanderer -is a perfect fit for him. Narrated by both Bill and Ina, Vagabonding through Retirement takes you on many entertaining travel adventures of a couple who love interacting with people and having unusual experiences. They spend five days on a leaky salt barge up the Mekong in Laos and travel for three days on a bamboo raft in Thailand. In Bolivia, they go down the world’s most dangerous roads and take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Beijing to Moscow. And they set out in their camping van for Prague and Bucharest before the fall of the Berlin Wall, and travel to the Ukraine just after the Soviet Union breaks apart…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

cover imageWrong way round / by Lorna Hendry.
“When Lorna Hendry, her husband James and young kids left Melbourne on a one-year trip around Australia in a 4WD with a camper trailer (having only been camping once before they left), they ignored all advice and drove across the Nullarbor and up the west coast of Australia. Wrong Way Round is a story about four people who had to get out of the city to become a family.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo room for watermelons : a man, his 1910 motorcycle and an epic journey across the world / Ron & Lynne Fellowes.
“In 2012, while others his age were enjoying quiet retirement, Ron Fellowes set off on the challenge of a lifetime. His dream to ride a 102 year-old FN motorcycle across the world – to the Belgian factory where the bike originated – had all the hallmarks of an epic adventure: one that was never going to be easy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe great Central Canada bucket list : one-of-a-kind travel experiences / Robin Esrock.
“…The Great Central Canada Bucket List highlights the best travel experiences to be had in the heart of Canada. Renowned travel writer and TV host Robin Esrock explored every inch of central Canada to craft the definitive Bucket List for the region. Running the gamut of nature, food, culture, history, adrenaline rushes, and quirky Canadiana, Robin’s personal quest to tick off the very best of Ontario and Quebec packs in enough for a lifetime.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA spy’s London / Roy Berkeley ; foreword by Nigel West.
“In ‘this remarkable book’ (as intelligence historian Nigel West describes it in his Foreword), the reader will be struck by the vibrancy of history made real. Author Roy Berkeley has gone behind the facades of ordinary buildings, in the city that West calls ‘the espionage capital of the World’, to remind us that the history of intelligence has often been made in such mundane places. With his evocative photographs and compelling observations, Berkeley ensures that we will never see the streets of London – or these particular actors on the stage of history – in quite the same way again…” (Syndetics summary)

New Travel books for April

There are books of many different travel experiences this month, and with the 25th April coming up, our first choice is a study and guide to visiting Gallipoli.
There are two books which include visiting atolls, which mentions the possibility that one of these atolls may soon be flooded, one about the High Line in New York City, one about the peoples of Israel and Palestine, and many more!

Syndetics book coverGallipoli – 100 years : a comprehensive study and guide to visiting / Michael John Mathews.
“The comprehensive ‘one-stop shop’ to Gallipoli covering all aspects of the campaign and a guide to getting around. Low level aerial colour photographs, detailed colour maps and diagrams. Profile of military leaders, events leading to, submarines, aircraft, conditions, casualties, the three battlefield theatres and engagements in detail-Anzac, Helles, Suvla. Time line, VCs, six walks or challenges, measured guide covering all points of interest, how to get there, where to stay, being there.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOn the high line : exploring America’s most original urban park / by Annik La Farge ; preface, additional text, and photographs, Rick Darke ; principal photography, Scott Mlyn, Juan Valentin ; art direction and design, Lorraine Ferguson.
“…When the High Line opened in 2009 it was expected to attract around 300,000 visitors a year. In 2013, more than four million came. A survey by Travel & Leisure ranked it #10 on a list of the world’s most popular landmarks. On the High Line, first published in 2012, is an engaging guide to everything a visitor sees when strolling through the park: the innovative gardens and their thousands of native and exotic plant species; the architecture, both old and new, industrial and residential; and a neighborhood whose colorful history includes the birth of the railroad, the Manhattan Project, S&M clubs, and the legendary Tenth Avenue Cowboy.” (adapted from

Syndetics book coverBetween river and sea : encounters in Israel and Palestine / Dervla Murphy.
“…Dervla Murphy describes with passionate honesty the experience of living with and among Jewish Israelis and Palestinians in both Israel and Palestine. In cramped Haifa high-rises, in homes in the settlements and in a refugee camp on the West Bank, she talks with whomever she meets… Meeting the wise, the foolish and the frankly deluded, she gradually knits together a picture of the patchwork that constitutes both sides of the divide – Hamas and Fatah, rural and urban, refugee, indigenous inhabitant, Russian, Black Hebrew and Kabbalist to name but a fraction…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover#Followmeto : a journey around the world through the eyes of two ordinary travelers / Murad Osmann & Natalia Zakharova.
“The Follow Me project was created in 2012 based on the concept of showing the beauty and uniqueness of different locations around the world. It is a story told through the eyes of two ordinary travelers who attempt to portray local lifestyles and narratives by means of photography. Since the project’s launch on Instagram, it has become a worldwide Internet sensation, emerging as a leading news feature and gathering millions of views on social media and the news sites that covered it. In each stunning image, photographer Murad Osmann is led to a new location by his girlfriend, Nataly Zakharova.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMons : European capital of culture / Antony Mason.
“It’s no surprise that Mons was selected as a Europeoan Capital of Culture for 2015. The small, historic city, home to four UNESCO-listed treasures and within a short drive of four others, is the perfect short-stay destination. Wander through the streets of the old town, take a break in the Parc du Waux-Hall, and enjoy the new museums and art galleries being developed to celebrate Mons as European Capital of Culture” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverWeeds in the garden of eden / Barbara Unkovic.
“In 2005, author Barbara Unkovi visited Croatia where members of her family had been living for the last seven generations. On the island of Kor ula, the original home of her father’s family, she discovered her soul and began a new life in a peaceful, unspoiled paradise on the edge of the Adriatic Sea. Weeds in the Garden of Eden is a rich, absorbing account of her purchase of a 200 year old, uninhabited stone house in the timeless village of Ra i e; seasonal life amongst the lush vineyards and olive groves and her encounters with the tainted Croatian bureaucratic system… However, things are not always as romantic as they seem in the small traditional Croatian fishing village. Interfamilial feuds, superstition and long memories all create currents of unrest in this apparent paradise.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGatecrashing paradise : misadventures in the real Maldives / Tom Chesshyre.
“To many the Maldives not only symbolises “paradise”, but is paradise. It’s the dream destination: turquoise waters, white sands, palm trees, cocktails. Eyeing the drizzle through his office window one lunchtime, Tom Chesshyre impulsively bought a plane ticket. He had no hotel bookings, a long break from work, and a sense of “what the hell”. What better place to escape to than paradise? …he wanted to see the real Maldives… Until recently outsiders were banned from islands not officially endorsed as “tourist resorts”. But now 1,000 sandy shores had opened up in the Indian Ocean. Tom travels in a giant circle 600 miles around the many islands and atolls of the remote nation – the flattest on Earth – taking him to communities that haven’t seen an outsider for decades…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBritain from the rails : a window gazer’s guide / Benedict le Vay.
“A quirky and fascinating guide to Britain’s railways, Bradt’s Britain from the Rails is perfect not only as an entertaining armchair read but as a handy guidebook to help readers explore the country at a slower, more personal pace. This expanded and updated second edition has an attractive fresh design, clear maps and a new section on ‘Britain’s Secret Railways’. Full of fascinating titbits, weird accidents and odd characters, it is a thorough and humorous collection perfect for commuters and local history fans alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAround the world in 50 years : my adventure to every country on earth / Albert Podell.
“Podell first set his mind on traveling the world in 1964, when he quit his job at Argosy magazine and gave up his life as a bachelor in NYC… Invigorated by all the sights, experiences, and drama, Podell set his sights higher: to visit every country in the world before he dies. In this lively travelogue, Podell proves himself a worthy raconteur as he recounts his adventures… and visits the Pacific island of Tuvalu, a major arsenal during WWII that is all but abandoned and “will be the first country to disappear under the waves of the rising ocean.” Rounded out with the author’s frank advice for fellow travellers… as well as his solemn observations that climate change is very real and that “if the work ethic I observed in the Western world continues to weaken… we are history.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNepal trekking and the Great Himalaya Trail : a route & planning guide / Robin Boustead.
“With extensive sections to help choose a trekking region, this is a route and planning guide for anyone organising a trekking holiday in Nepal. It includes the most popular routes as well as the newest trekking areas plus the most extreme route of all, the 160-day Great Himalaya Trail. There are route guides to the following regions: Kanchenjunga, Makalu, Rolwaling, Solu-Khumbu (Everest Region), Helambu & Langtang, Ganesh & Manaslu, Annapurna, Naar & Phu, Mustang, Dolpo, The Far West.” (Syndetics summary)

New Travel books in March

New travel books in March include a journey across the legendary Northwest Passage, a family who volunteered in Costa Rica, Thailand and India, and 20 things to do in Dublin… before you hit the Pubs!

cover imageTroubled pilgrimage : passage to Pakistan / Balwant Bhaneja.
Troubled Pilgrimage: A Passage to Pakistan is about a journey by the author, a retired Canadian diplomat, who is visiting his ancestral land of Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan, the first visit since he was five. Bhaneja’s Hindu family had to leave their homeland following the Partition of the Indian subcontinent in August 1947. …After revelations about his past, his nation and his people he returns to Delhi for an audience with the “Refugee” Prime Minister I.K. Gujral. The trans-cultural narrative deals with the universal theme of displacement and how it impacts mind and psyche of those involved. It is a thoughtful work about how our multiple identities shape and get played out in a globalized world.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTravels in Zanskar : a journey to a closed kingdom / Mark Boyden ; forward by Dervla Murphy.
“An exploration of the two western-most provinces in Tibet, Ladakh and Zanskar, which records the old traditions of these places before they were inexorably eroded by modernity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWide-open world : how volunteering around the globe changed one family’s lives forever / John Marshall.
Wide-Open World is the inspiring true story of the six months that changed the Marshall family forever. Once they’d made the pivotal decision to go, John and his wife, Traca, quit their jobs, pulled their kids out of school, and embarked on a journey that would take them far off the beaten path, and far out of their comfort zones. Here is the totally engaging, bluntly honest chronicle of the Marshalls’ life-altering adventure from Central America to East Asia. It was no fairy tale. The trip offered little rest, even less relaxation, and virtually no certainty of what was to come. But it did give the Marshalls something far more valuable: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to conquer personal fears, strengthen family bonds, and find their true selves by helping those in need.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe best women’s travel writing. Volume 10 : true stories from around the world / edited by Lavinia Spalding.
“…thirty celebrated and emerging writers invite you to ride shotgun as they travel the globe to discover new places, people, and facets of themselves. The essays are as diverse as the destinations, the common thread being fresh, compelling storytelling that will make you laugh, weep, wish you were there, or thank your lucky stars you weren’t. The Best Women’s Travel Writing speaks to the reasons why we travel-and how travel changes our lives.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe long hitch home / Jamie Maslin.
“Tasmania to London. One end of the globe to the other. 800 hitchhiking rides. 18 thousand miles. Four seasons. Three continents. 19 countries. How many rides does it take to hitch from Tasmania to London? Rogue wanderer Jamie Maslin decides to find out, propelling him into a high stakes adventure of a lifetime that sees him tackle searing desert, freezing mountains, tropical jungle and barren steppes on little more than a thumb and a prayer.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoundless : tracing land and dream in a new Northwest Passage / Kathleen Winter.
“In 2010, bestselling author Kathleen Winter took a journey across the legendary Northwest Passage – connecting the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans – alongside marine scientists, historians, archaeologists, anthropologists, and curious passengers. From Greenland to Baffin Island and all along this arctic passage, Winter witnesses the new mathematics of the melting North – where polar bears mate with grizzlies, creating a new hybrid species; where the earth is on the cusp of yielding so much buried treasure that five nations stand poised to claim sovereignty of the land; and where the local Inuit population struggles to navigate the tension between taking their part in the new global economy and defending their traditional way of life…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover20 things to do in Dublin before you go for a feckin’ pint / Colin Murphy, Donal O’Dea.
“Got some time on your hands before you hit Dublin’s famous pubs? Then you need this book, an invaluable guide to twenty of Dublin’s highlights for visitors and native alike. History, culture, strangeness and beauty are all here — along with a list of the local hostelries to visit and let the experience soak in. Sprinkled with the wit of Murphy and O’Dea, best known for the Feckin’ Collection. Key attractions include: Christ Church Cathedral; Dublin Castle; The Chester Beatty Library; The Guinness Storehouse; Trinity College; Temple Bar Royal Hospital, Kilmainham; IMMA; Old Jameson Distillery; O’Connell Street & The GPO And many more!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGoing gypsy : one couple’s adventure from empty nest to no nest at all / David and Veronica James.
“Almost every couple faces a “now what?” moment as their last kid moves out of the house. There’s a big empty nest looming over this new and uncertain stage in their lives. David and Veronica James chose to look at this next phase of life as a beginning instead of an ending. Rather than staying put and facing the constant reminders of empty bedrooms and backseats, a plan began to develop to sell the nest and hit the highway. But could a homebody helicopter mom learn to let go of her heartstrings and house keys all at once? Filled with a sense of adventure and humor, Going Gypsy is the story of a life after raising kids that is a celebration of new experiences. …Most importantly, they rediscover in themselves the fun-loving youngsters who fell in love three decades prior.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to travel the world on $50 a day : travel cheaper, longer, smarter / Matt Kepnes.
“…No money? No problem. You can start packing your bags for that trip you’ve been dreaming a lifetime about. For more than half a decade, Matt Kepnes (aka Nomadic Matt) has been showing readers of his enormously popular travel blog that traveling isn’t expensive and that it’s affordable to all. He proves that as long as you think out of the box and travel like locals, your trip doesn’t have to break your bank, nor do you need to give up luxury. …Offering a blend of advice ranging from travel hacking to smart banking, you’ll learn how to: * Avoid paying bank fees anywhere in the world * Earn thousands of free frequent flyer points * Find discount travel cards that can save on hostels, tours, and transportation * Get cheap (or free) plane tickets. Whether it’s a two-week, two-month, or two-year trip, Nomadic Matt shows you how to stretch your money further so you can travel cheaper, smarter, and longer.” (Syndetics summary)