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)

An evening with travel writer Tomislav Perko

100 days of spring cover It is with great pleasure that Wellington City Libraries will be hosting an evening with travel writer Tomislav Perko on Thursday 12th February 2015 at 6.00pm on the ground floor at the Central Library.

Originally from Croatia, Tomislav Perko left a career as a stockbroker in the aftermath of the financial crisis, and decided to follow his dream to travel the world.

He hitchhiked, slept in parks, volunteered, played the guitar on the street, worked odd jobs, sailed across the Indian ocean on a 13-meter boat, hung out with Maasai warriors in Kenya and shamans in the Amazon jungle. Five years later, he published a book “1000 Days of Spring” and continues travelling to talk about his adventures. Having recently arrived in New Zealand, we are happy to welcome Tomislav to the Central Library where he will share his amazing experience with a captive audience.

Tomislav will be in conversation about his book and will be available for questions.
This is a free event, and his book will be available for purchase and signing.

Whether you are thinking of setting off on an adventure of your own or just enjoy listening and reading about other people’s, this is an evening sure to inspire.

Tomislav Perko

New Travel books for December

Feel like travelling in the summer holidays? Here are some places and ideas for you to peruse!

Syndetics book coverPlaces to go, people to see / Kate Spade New York.
Places to go, people to see” focuses on the how, where and why of travel through the lens of the always-inspired Kate Spade New York girl. this new volume features vibrant photography, old-world glamour, a dash of charm and inspirational quotes, tips and words of wisdom that every Kate Spade New York girl should know. …showcases chic destinations such as paris, new york city, the amalfi coast, marrakech, tokyo, and st moritz, along with ways to incorporate those things seen, heard and experienced into life back home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAn innocent abroad : life-changing trips from 35 great writers / edited by Don George.
“The title is, of course, a play upon the Mark Twain classic… Sloane Crosley, a first-time visitor to Australia, learns that discretion outranks valor when she decides not to jump off a cliff into the ocean in winter. Tim Cahill describes his sense of awe and wonder when, as a young college student on spring break, he witnessed a sunrise over a high-desert mountain range in Utah. The great Jan Morris was a 20-year-old lieutenant when enchanted with the celestial beauty of Venice. Lloyd Jones learned a life lesson when he tried, unsuccessfully, to con a stranger by creating a false identity while in a Zurich bar…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMountain to mountain : a journey of adventure and activism for the women of Afghanistan / Shannon Galpin.
“Focusing on the war-torn country of Afghanistan, Galpin and her organization, Mountain2Mountain, have touched the lives of hundreds of men, women and children. In addition to launching the non-profit, in 2009 Galpin became the first woman to ride a mountain bike in Afghanistan. Now she’s using that initial bike ride to gain awareness around the country, encouraging people to use their bikes “as a vehicle for social change and justice to support a country where women don’t have the right to ride a bike.” Galpin describes her first forays into fundraising, her deep desire to help women and girls halfway across the world, her love for adventure and sports, and her own inspiration to be so much more than just another rape victim.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoof explorer’s guide : 101 New York City rooftops / by Leslie Adatto ; photographs, Heather Shimmin and Ari Burling.
Roof explorer’s guide : 101 New York City rooftops by Leslie Adatto is the first and ultimate guide to an urban treasure trove of rooftop gems. This complete guide showcases a dazzling array of surprising rooftop escapes in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, Staten Island and the Bronx, from hotel rooftop bars and restaurants to elevated parks to museums, theaters, green roofs and elevated farms. (It) even features rooftop classes, entertainment and sports…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe White Nile diaries / John Hopkins.
“…It all began at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central Station, New York, in 1961. Two Princeton graduates, John Hopkins and Joe McPhillips, have returned from Peru, where they dreamed of buying a coffee plantation in the jungle. Hatching a plan to ride a motorbike across North Africa, they buy a sleek, white R50 BMW and paint her name–‘The White Nile’–on the fuel tank, in honor of the route they plan to follow. In clear, elegant prose, Hopkins describes deadly salt deserts and fig-laden oases, disappeared travelers and the funerals of young Tunisians killed in the battle for independence. …They encounter armed vigilantes in the Tunisian desert and outrun Libyan border patrols, barely escaping with their lives. They climb the pyramids of Giza at dawn and ride the ‘Desert Express’ across the wastelands of the Nubian Desert, but their final adventure, at Sam Small’s Impala Ranch, is perhaps the most surreal of all.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMr Snack and the lady water : travel tales from my lost years / Brendan Shanahan.
“After a decade spent on the road, renowned travel writer Brendan Shanahan is back with Mr Snack and the Lady Water, a collection of darkly funny and unexpected travel writing. In the title piece, Shanahan embarks on what is supposed to be a luxury cruise down the Yangtze River, only to find himself on a three-day endurance test aboard a leaking barge in the company of a mysterious roommate, a pair of neurotic American spinsters and a thousand baseball-capped tourists. Other stories include his sight-unseen, online purchase of a house in Las Vegas, his brief career in Bollywood and a mediation on white guilt in post-apartheid South Africa.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLonely Planet’s best ever travel tips : get the best travel secrets & advice from the experts / by Tom Hall.
“This illustrated and fully updated edition of Lonely Planet’s pocket-sized bestseller contains our best-ever tips, tricks and trade secrets for stress-free travelling, all brought to life and made easy to understand with stylish, witty illustrations. Find out where the best seats are on a plane, how to avoid bug bites and which essential gadgets you should never leave home without. Featuring contributions from a range of travel writers, industry experts and staff, this book contains the ultimate insider secrets for travellers and ensures you stay safe and happy on the road.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover50 water adventures to do before you die / Lia Ditton.
“From paddle-boarding the Mississippi to big game fishing off Mexico, from floating in the Dead Sea to swimming with jellyfish in Palau, from iceboating in Russia to sailing non-stop round the world, this book promises to inspire dreamers to become doers. Featuring experiences in every corner of the globe and accompanied by stunning photography and bite-sized practical information, this book accommodates every mood, budget, timespan and level of challenge. Diverse and utterly captivating, this book is guaranteed to enthral thrill-seekers, water lovers and armchair readers alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThailand / contributors, Philip Cornwel-Smith… [and others].
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Thailand will lead you straight to the best attractions the country has to offer, whether you’re traveling to major destinations such as Bangkok and Phuket or want to experience diving in Ko Tao, elephant riding in Chang Mai, or the monuments in Wat Si Chum. (This book) explores the culture, history, and architecture of this country, accompanied by full-color photographs, 3-D cutaway illustrations, and floor plans of all the must-see sights. …detailed maps, as well as listings of hotels, restaurants, shops, entertainment, tours, scenic walks and more. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that brighten every page…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Here’s a suggestion for those contemplating a trip to Thailand:

Syndetics book coverGet talking Thai in ten days [sound recording] : audio course / David Smyth.
“When travelling, do you want to journey off the English-speaking path? Meet people and communicate easily? Avoid misunderstandings and have fun? …Then you need to Get Talking! Through 10 common scenarios plus culture and travel advice, this beginner level audio course will give you the skills for understanding and the confidence to speak – in just 10 days. Through our interactive Discovery Method, you’ll: Practise the most frequent words and expressions for: greeting people, checking into a hotel, asking for directions, ordering food and more… ” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Travel books for September

Some favourites this month: a gap year travelling around the world in the 1970s; New York, Delhi, the Camino de Santiago and London in the 17th Century!

Syndetics book coverUnruly places : lost spaces, secret cities, and other inscrutable geographies / Alastair Bonnett.
“In an era when “global communities” are often formed in cyberspace and personal possessions are frequently irrelevant, -Bonnett’s (What Is Geography?) latest work poses the question as to whether the pursuit of “topophilia” (“a special love for peculiar places”) is an archaic activity. He provides the answer by showing in 47 entries that there is a constant human need for escape, freedom, and creativity. A residential ship that sails the seven seas, remotely located festivals, micronations, and a male-only -religious community may be unusual, but they all address this need. The author’s fascinating descriptions of lost spaces, enclaves and breakaway nations, floating islands and ephemeral places, hidden geographies, no man’s lands, dead cities, and spaces of exception complement Italo Calvino’s fabricated tales of 55 places in Invisible Cities and serve to prove that “fact is stranger than fiction”.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverStrangers like angels : with a devil or two to boot / Alec & Jan Forman.
Strangers Like Angels chronicles the journeys of Alec and Jan Forman to far and distant lands as they embrace their pioneering spirit. Following adventures in Canada, Antarctica and the Sultanate of Oman they set off on the original gap year in the seventies. Travelling in their Land Rover, they use only a map and compass to navigate through the Sahara Desert and tropical rainforests in Africa, back to Europe and out to Asia via the Hindu Kush, and on to the Himalayas. They grapple with the realities of poverty and yet experience surprising hospitality and welcome from unlikely sources…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Hunt : New York City / writer: JoAnna Kang ; illustrator: Abigail Daker.
“Instead of indiscriminately featuring everything and the kitchen sink, The HUNT team has donned our curatorial coloured glasses and carefully selected 100 or so unique, authentic local New York businesses that range from eye-popping and brand spankin’ new to deeply patinated and WAY off the beaten path, funky and unexpected to chic and shiny. Over the last decade, our guides have become the go-to source for a worldwide community of locals and travellers who seek out genuine, intriguing independent businesses.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLove Delhi : a hand-book for the luxury vagabond / Fiona Caulfield.
“This must-have guide series to India is packed with savvy insider knowledge. The best experiences in India are hidden in the narrow lanes of the old city where the five-star chef eats on his day off. They are in the home studios of designers and the workshops of seventh generation craftsmen. The highly successful Love Travel Guides series is the only luxury travel guide series dedicated to India. Entries are personally sourced from in-the-know locals including chefs and fishermen, artists and architects, writers and taxi drivers, before being personally tested. All information presented made it there under one simple criterion: if it makes you fall in love with the city, it is included in this book; otherwise it’s out…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalking in Umbria / by Gillian Price.
“Umbria – the ‘green heart’ of Italy – is a region of rolling hills and woodlands that lies just north of Rome and south-east of Florence, bordering Tuscany and the Sibillini. Providing inspiration to writers and painters over the centuries, this area also offers walkers hundreds of kilometres of waymarked paths to enjoy from the spring right through the autumn.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverTracks : a woman’s solo trek across 1700 miles of Australian outback / Robyn Davidson.Tracks
“A cult classic with an ever-growing audience, Tracks is the brilliantly written and frequently hilarious account of a young woman’s odyssey through the deserts of Australia, with no one but her dog and four camels as companions. Davidson emerges as a heroine who combines extraordinary courage with exquisite sensitivity.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCamino de Santiago : the ancient Way of Saint James pilgrimage route from the French Pyrenees to Santiago de Compostela / Sergi Ramis ; translated by Peter Barraclough.
“With the rise in adventure travel and long-distance hiking, it makes sense that the Camino de Santiago is experiencing a renaissance. What started as a pilgrimage across Spain over a thousand years ago has become a route for hikers and cyclists wishing to explore the history and culture of Spain as well as those on a spiritual quest. This revised and updated version of the 2012 publication details the “French Way,” which the author, a travel book editor and author of other Camino de Santiago guides, has broken into 34 days, or stages. Each is detailed with places to eat, hostels to stay in, interesting sights, maps, elevation profiles, and, generally, how to approach that day’s hike.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAussie loos with views! : scenic loos across Australia / Red Nomad Oz aka Marion Halliday.
“Australia is an amazing place, but did you know that some of its most stunning views can be experienced from the loo? After a life-changing trip to Kata Tjuta — well, to the loo at Kata Tjuta — Marion Halliday (aka Red Nomad OZ) discovered this fact and became a true-blue Aussie-loo lover. Enjoy this uniquely Aussie journey across Australia in search of its amazing amenities, off-beat outhouses, daring dunnies and loos with simply stunning views. From the Thargo Thunderbox to the Lyrical Loo, answering nature’s call has never been so much fun!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA-Z of hell : Ross Kemp’s how not to travel the world.
“Ross Kemp’s fascinating guide of the 101 worst places in the world. Want to know where to discover the perfect sunset in Fiji? How about a tropical paradise in St Lucia, or one of the world’s beautiful natural wonders in the Alps? Well this is NOT the guide for you. But if you want to know about being set on fire by neo-Nazis in Russia, or being attacked for a can of tuna in the Congo, buying crack cocaine in a Venezuelan prison for $1.20 or getting run over by a tank in Colombia, then look no further. Ross Kemp has visited the worst places in the world, and here they are — all 101 of them. This is not one hell of a travel guide. This is a travel guide to hell.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMemories of London / Edmondo De Amicis ; translated by Stephen Parkin. Followed by An excursion to the poor districts of London / Louis Laurent Simonin ; translated by Adam Elgar.
“And all around me a cacophony – the iron bridges groaning under the weight of the long trains sounding their whistles and breathlessly whooshing out steam, above and below me, near and far, on the ground, in the air, along the water; a furious race of departures and arrivals, continuous meetings, escapes, pursuits, accompanied by the sounds of cracks and squeaks and thuds and bangs; the confusion of a vast battlefield together with the clockwork order of an immense factory; and then the darkness of the sky, the gloomy buildings, the silent crowd and their serious faces…” (Book jacket)

New books on Travel for August

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.

Syndetics book coverMicroadventures : 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)

Syndetics book coverThe 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)

Syndetics book coverFragrant 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)

Syndetics book coverSouthern 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)

Syndetics book coverSwimming 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)`

Syndetics book coverFrommer’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)

Syndetics book coverAfrica, 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)

Syndetics book coverFrom 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)

Syndetics book coverLife 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

Syndetics book coverWalking 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)

New, Popular Travel books for June

Have you ever felt like selling up and journeying around the world, no ties, no responsibilities, as free as the air? Our first book is by a couple of people who did just that:

Syndetics book coverHome sweet anywhere : how we sold our house, created a new life, and saw the world / Lynne Martin.
“Reunited after thirty-five years and wrestling a serious case of wanderlust, Lynne and Tim Martin decided to sell their house and possessions and live abroad full-time. They’ve never looked back. With just two suitcases, two computers, and each other, the Martins embark on a global adventure, taking readers from sky-high pyramids in Mexico to Turkish bazaars to learning the contact sport of Italian grocery shopping. But even as they embrace their new home-free lifestyle, the Martins grapple with its challenges, including hilarious language barriers, finding financial stability, and missing the family they left behind. Together, they learn how to live a life–and love–without borders. From glittering Georgian mansions in Ireland to the windswept coasts of Portugal, this euphoric, inspiring memoir is more than a tale of second chances. Home Sweet Anywhere is a road map for anyone who dreams of turning the idea of life abroad into a reality.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGironimo! : riding the very terrible 1914 Tour of Italy / Tim Moore.
“The Giro is arguably the most brutal of the Grand Tours, and it began in style. At midnight on May 24, 1914 eighty-one starters were waved off by 10,000 spectators for this first circuit of Italy. Two weeks later, after enduring cataclysmic storms, roads strewn with nails, even the loss of an eye by one competitor, eight cyclists finished.
Tim hadn’t done any significant cycling for twelve years, but taking on the 1914 Giro was a compelling challenge. To make it more authentic, he decided to do it on a 1914 bike, which, unburdened by relevant experience, he needed to assemble from a stack of rusty parts in a Breton farmer’s barn.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOff the map : lost spaces, invisible cities, forgotten islands, feral places, and what they tell us about the world / Alastair Bonnett.
“Whether it is Sealand, an abandoned gun platform off the English coast that a British citizen claimed as his own sovereign nation, making his wife his princess, or Baarle, a patchwork of Dutch and Flemish enclaves where crossing the road can involve traversing multiple national borders; or moving villages, unclaimed deserts, secret cities or underground labyrinths, fully illustrated with original maps and drawing Off the Map shows the modern world from surprising new vantage points that will inspire urban explorers, and armchair travellers alike to consider a new way of understanding the world we live in.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHello, NY : an illustrated love letter to the five boroughs / Julia Rothman.
“From beloved author, illustrator, and New Yorker Julia Rothman comes this visual homage to the city she calls home. With humor and tenderness, Rothman offers an eclectic assortment of quirky historical tidbits (how the lion sculptures in front of the New York Public Library got their names), expertise on idiosyncratic places to visit (where to find the tennis courts at Grand Central Station), interviews with locals (thoughts on love and life from a Hasidic Jewish landlord), and personal recollections from growing up in the Bronx (eating fried fish at Johnny’s Reef)–all illustrated in her signature whimsical, hand-drawn style. An illustrated city guide that’s as entertaining as it is informative, this is a treasure for anyone who hearts New York.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKansai cool : a journey into the cultural heartland of Japan / Christal Whelan.
“Writer and filmmaker Christal Whelan offers deep insights into the clash of old and new, traditional and modern that plays out on a daily basis in Japan’s ancient heartland. The western region of Japan is known as Kansai–centering around the ancient capitals of Kyoto and Nara, and the sprawling, modern port cities of Osaka and Kobe. Kansai is Japan’s “second region” after Tokyo–and is at once home to Japan’s most traditional cultural centers and its most modern culture.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVietnam / John Hoskin and Carol Howland.
“The highly successful Globetrotter Travel Series… presently covers more than 90 destinations worldwide. The Packs are excellent value, including both a guidebook and a paperback version of the foldout Globetrotter map of the region, in a printed plastic wallet… The fold-out map of Vietnam is ideal for tourists and visitors.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA short ride in the jungle : the Ho Chi Minh Trail by motorcycle / Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent.
“It was Sunday morning and the pavements were splashed with colour: piles of fuchsia dragon fruit, ripe green mangoes, scented white lilies, juicy yellow pineapples. Women strolling in floral pyjamas added to the kaleidoscopic effect. Amidst it all, people slurped their morning bowls of pho and drank gritty black coffee. No one took the slightest bit of notice of a foreigner on a pink moped.
In spring 2013, adventurer Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent saddled up alone on her pink Honda C90 moped and set off from the cacophonous streets of Hanoi. From there she rode an epic 3,000 km through mud, deep sand, rivers and jungle on the Ho Chi Minh Trail through Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia. Travelling with very little mechanical know-how, Antonia visited lost pre-Khmer ruins, met remote tribes in Laos, battled along Cambodia’s Mondulkiri Death Highway, and encountered some of the countless unexploded bombs that remain from the Vietnam War, seeing both the beauty and the great danger of the Ho Cho Minh Trail.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSkidoo : a journey through the ghost towns of the American West / by Alex Capus ; translated by John Brownjohn.
“Originally published in German under the title ‘Skidoo : meine reise durch die geisterstadte des wilden western’ in 2012.” (notes from catalogue)
“Packed with period detail, and told with a verve and enthusiasm to rival Pecos Bill, the stories in Skidoo are sure to enchant any lover of Western tales or America’s wild history.” (

Syndetics book coverLife is a wheel : love, death, etc., and a bike ride across America / Bruce Weber.
“Reprising a similar trip he took from California to New York City in 1993, in 2011 New York Times obituary writer and author Weber (As They See ‘Em) bicycled from Oregon to Manhattan. Weber documented the trip for Times Web site, but here he has expanded on those posts to create a lengthier form that allows him to explore deeper themes while still maintaining the conversational style that makes his writing a breeze to read. …Weber never fails to entertain, and his compulsion to always move forward despite the weight of the past is as inspiring as his astounding cycling achievement.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHiking and biking Peru’s Inca trails / by KB (Will) Janecek.
“This guide describes a range of half-, full- and multi-day mountainbiking and hiking routes, including 7 different routes with access to Machu Picchu via quiet Inca roads and trails which reveal the spectacular scenery and archaeological richness of the Valley. The guide includes many previously unpublished routes.” (Syndetics summary)

New Travel Books for May

Join us from your armchair to voyage around the world from Hebrides in the north to France (bicycling), Italy, Istanbul (walking), Goa (in luxury), New York (walking), Peru (walking) and finally for some R&R on a tropical island in Belize… We’ve earned it!

Syndetics book coverThe New York nobody knows : walking 6,000 miles in the city / William B. Helmreich.
“As a kid growing up in Manhattan, William Helmreich played a game with his father they called “Last Stop.” They would pick a subway line and ride it to its final destination, and explore the neighborhood there. Decades later, Helmreich teaches university courses about New York, and his love for exploring the city is as strong as ever.
Putting his feet to the test, he decided that the only way to truly understand New York was to walk virtually every block of all five boroughs–an astonishing 6,000 miles. His epic journey lasted four years and took him to every corner of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Helmreich spoke with hundreds of New Yorkers from every part of the globe and from every walk of life… Their stories and his are the subject of this captivating and highly original book.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWalking the woods and the water : in Patrick Leigh Fermor’s footsteps from the Hook of Holland to the Golden Horn / Nick Hunt.
“In 1933, the eighteen-year-old Patrick Leigh Fermor set out in a pair of hobnailed boots to chance and charm his way across Europe ‘like a tramp, a pilgrim or a wandering scholar’. Aged eighteen, Nick Hunt read A Time of Gifts (Fermor) and dreamed of following in Fermor’s footsteps. In 2011 he began his own ‘great trudge’ – on foot all the way to Istanbul. With only Fermor’s books to guide him, he trekked some 2,500 miles… His aims? to have an old-fashioned adventure. To discover for himself what remained of hospitality, kindness to strangers, freedom, wildness, adventure, the mysterious, the unknown, the deeper currents of myth and story that still flow beneath Europe’s surface.” (adapted from book jacket)

Syndetics book coverLove Goa : a hand-book for the luxury vagabond / Fiona Caulfield.
“The highly successful Love Travel Guides series is the only luxury travel guide series dedicated to India. Entries are personally sourced from in-the-know locals including chefs and fishermen, artists and architects, writers and taxi drivers, before being personally tested. All information presented made it there under one simple criterion: if it makes you fall in love with the city, it is included in this book; otherwise it’s out. Each book is divided into various sections such as: Musts; Delicious; Fabulous; Gorgeous; Adventurous; Wildly Adventurous; Essential; and Share With Love. Completely hand-made, each guide is lovingly bound using old Indian paper making techniques and covered with khadi, the fabric of India’s independence. Truly unique in its presentation and style, these are beautifully presented guides for the independent-minded traveller with time to spare and money to spend.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMeanwhile, in San Francisco : the city in its own words / Wendy MacNaughton.
“Take a stroll through the City by the Bay with renowned artist Wendy MacNaughton in this illustrated collection of everyday observations. With her beloved city as a backdrop, a sketchbook in hand, and a natural sense of curiosity, MacNaughton set out to capture locals in their own words. This street-smart collection of intimate explorations is as diverse and beautiful as San Francisco itself, ranging from the vendors at the farmers’ market to people combing the shelves at the public library, from MUNI drivers to the bison of Golden Gate Park, and much more. Meanwhile in San Francisco offers both lifelong residents and those just blowing through with the fog an opportunity to see the city with new eyes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFreeways to flip-flops : a family’s year of gutsy living on a tropical island / Sonia Marsh.
“What do you do when life in sunny Southern California starts to seem plastic, materialistic and just plain hellish? for Sonia and Duke Marsh, the answer was to sell their worldly goods and move to an unspoiled, simpler life with their three sons in Belize, Central America, a third-world country without all the comforts and distractions of life in the developed world. Sonia hopes the move will bring her shattered family back together. She feels her sons slipping away from her, and her overworked husband never has time for her or the boys.” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe valley of heaven and hell: cycling in the shadow of Marie Antoinette / Susie Kelly.
“In three weeks Susie cycles 500 kilometres through a little-documented area of France that is idyllic cycling territory, dining sometimes in luxury and often on weird makeshift meals in her tent. Along the way there are traumas, tantrums, epiphanies, occasional matrimonial disagreements and more than one glass of champagne. Susie and Terry follow the identical route of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI when they tried to escape the Revolution, and their journey back to their grisly executions. From Versailles, across Paris and through the Marne valley, Susie wobbles along behind her husband, visiting battlefields of WW1 and the vineyards and cellars of the Champagne region. Tens of thousands of readers have already discovered the joys of accompanying Susie on her past adventures.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHebrides / Peter May ; photographs by David Wilson.
“A photographic journey through the Hebridean Islands by the bestselling author of the Lewis trilogy.
The landscape of the Outer Hebrides, with its stark cliffs, ghostly mists and lonely beaches, has become a definitive character of Peter May’s Lewis trilogy. In Hebrides, readers will accompany him on an odyssey in prose and images, through a history of the Vikings’ ‘Long Island’ and his own deep personal connection with the islands that influenced his bestselling work. Travelling as if alongside his protagonist Fin Macleod, he describes the island life – as bewitching as it is treacherous – his encounter with the bird-hunters of Sula Sgeir, the savage seas of Ness and the churches of Eriskay. With extracts from the trilogy and specially commissioned photographs, this book places his writing and characters within the land that gave them form.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverTrekking in Peru : 50 best walks and hikes / Hilary Bradt ; updated by Kathy Jarvis and Mark Smith.
“This is the most comprehensive, user-friendly trekking guide to Peru available. Peru’s mountains offer the most varied and dramatic treks in South America with the added attraction of Pre-Columbian ruins along the way. Celebrating 40 years of Bradt, this unique guidebook is based on the Peru section of the very first Bradt guide. All the original treks have been re-walked and new off-the-beaten-track routes added. Ideal for both backpackers and those in an organized group, it describes over 50 mountain treks and day walks with background information and travelers’ tales. Special boxes throughout the text cover topics from guinea pigs to trekking with children.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe global suitcase : inspiring stories of adventure from 25 interpid travel writers / [compiled by] Mary J Dinan.
“A compilation of interviews with everyday people and well-known personalities who have travelled extraordinary journeys or lived unusual lives, often guided by a cause, in the name of work, or in pursuit of adventure. It also includes interviews with people who have risked their lives for a cause or found a new cause through their travels.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 places in Italy : a private grand tour / Francis Russell.
“This personal and wonderfully well informed selection of the most rewarding towns, cities, villages and individual monuments in Italy is the definitive guide for the discerning traveller. As well as comprehensively covering the finest sights in the major tourist destinations… Russell selects, discusses and describes dozens of the less known, and often neglected, masterpieces of art and architecture that are still to be found the length and breadth of the Italian peninsula.” (Book jacket)

New books on Travel for April

New Zealanders love to travel. Read the history of the OE, then travel vicariously through Europe, Africa, South America, and the whole world with our picks for April.

Syndetics book coverFlying Kiwis : a history of the OE / Jude Wilson.
“Leaving home to see the world is something that succeeding generations of young New Zealanders have done in ever-increasing numbers. The ‘overseas experience,’ or the ‘OE,’ has been the topic of countless individual travel accounts, and has provided subject matter for plays, films, and novels. …Based on the oral accounts of several hundred travelers across all seven decades of the OE, this vibrant history shows how the OE has changed over time. Well illustrated with the ephemera of popular culture surrounding youth travel, Flying Kiwis traces the emergence of the OE, as well as the transport, media, and other networks that have supported it. Laced with humor and entertaining anecdotes, Flying Kiwis is an essential read for anyone who has arrived in a foreign city with only a few dollars and the address of a friend’s cousin.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverHow to travel the world for free : one man, 150 days, eleven countries, no money! / Michael Wigge.
“Wigge, a journalist and anchor for the German television program “London Calling”, has produced a hilarious and touching account of his 25,000-mile trip in 150 days, starting in Berlin and ending in Antarctica, without bringing along any money. He first agreed to work on a cargo ship from Argentina to his destination and then set out from Berlin to meet the ship by bartering, bargaining, hitchhiking, and depending on the kindness of strangers. Wigge learned how to eat by dumpster diving and convincing restaurant owners to fund his travel project with handouts. He found places to sleep on the computer site and earned money by working various jobs.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Danube : a journey upriver from the Black Sea to the Black Forest / Nick Thorpe.
“Thorpe traveled up the Danube, exploring the river that both separates and connects so many countries that Westerners generally know so little about: Romania, Ukraine, Moldova, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Croatia are some of the countries with a rich history on the banks and in the waters of the Danube, which flows from the Black Forest of Germany to the Black Sea. …Today, fishermen are still relying on the Danube, though fish populations are threatened, and shepherds still move their sheep among pastures, but many villages have lost their younger people. Like the sturgeon moving upriver, many leave the eastern Danube region to find work in the West. Balkan wars and the Iron Curtain have left their mark on the Danube and its people, and Thorpe explores the conflicts and the scars that remain.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRound the bend / Alistair McGuinness.
“I thought that the opportunity to backpack around the world had passed me by. I was not brave enough to give up a good job. Then came the shock news that the car plant was closing and I realised that my moment had come. In Ecuador we tried to save the Amazon and in Tanzania we tried saving ourselves from psychotic taxi drivers. In Zimbabwe we were chased by wildlife, in Zanzibar we were chasing sunsets. In Bolivia we searched for the remains of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and ended our trip finding miners searching for silver deep underground. Getting lost in Stone Town and trekking through Peru was all part of the adventure. In Africa we slept under the Milky Way and had a wake up call on the Zambezi. In the South Pacific we slept metres from the beach and, after a night flight, we woke in Australia to start a new life.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDelicious days in Paris : walking tours to explore the city’s food and culture / Jane Paech.
“Beautiful, romantic Paris, with its endless layers of history and cornucopia of shops filled with exquisite clothes and delicious food — where do you even start? Delicious Days in Paris is a day-by-day guided tour of this spectacular city, with fourteen themed walks through some of her favourite areas. … This book is a clear, practical guide to the very best that Paris has to offer, with addresses and useful information to help you find every place that has been mentioned, written in Jane Paech’s warm, friendly, personal style.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEncircle Africa : around Africa by public transport / [Ian M. Packham].
“In this solo 25,000 mile by any means journey through 31 countries, Ian travels through Africa at its most raw and real. Attempting to complete the first solo and unassisted circumnavigation of Africa by public transport, equivalent to circling the Earth at the equator, Ian experiences life without schedules. He rides beaten-up bush taxis, flatbed trucks, dugout canoes, and a van delivering freshly-made meat pies in order to traverse the continent. Entirely reliant on local populations for more than 13 months, Ian fights off thieves in Senegal, is mistaken for an undercover UN official during Liberia’s presidential election, refused entry into Congo, and while in Sudan becomes perhaps the only person tear-gassed trying to visit a museum.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSpartacus international gay guide 2014/2015.
“Universally recognised as the best gay travel guide, 2014 Spartacus International Gay Guide has everything gay men need to know when visiting any country in the world. Includes maps, transport, accommodation, beaches, cruising areas, restaurants and nightlife. Now in its 43rd edition, this is the longest running gay guide in print. Spartacus is the benchmark for gay travel and the most authoritative, up-to-date guide available. Meticulously researched and fully revised, the all-new Spartacus takes the stress out of travel.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoads to Santiago / Cees Nooteboom ; translated from the Dutch by Ina Rilke.
Roads to Santiago is an evocative travelogue through the sights, sounds, and smells of a little known Spain-its architecture, art, history, landscapes, villages, and people. And as much as it is the story of his travels, it is an elegant and detailed chronicle of Cees Nooteboom’s thirty-five-year love affair with his adopted second country. He presents a world not visible to the casual tourist, by invoking the great spirits of Spain’s past-El Cid, Cervantes, Alfonso the Chaste and Alfonso the Wise, the ill-fated Hapsburgs, and Velazquez.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeaches : 100 ultimate escapes / edited by Sabrina Talarico with Stefano Passaquindici.
“Ranging across all the coasts of the world–the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, the quaintness of Love Beach in the Bahamas, and the metropolitan shoreline of Copacabana in Brazil–this beautifully illustrated volume offers an exclusive tour of 100 of the most beautiful beaches in the world; each one a trip of a lifetime. …unique perspective for travelers everywhere by introducing far-off destinations that are not necessarily on the more familiar tourist itineraries. “Beaches: 100 Ultimate Escapes” includes useful maps and website references, making this an indispensable reference as well as a sumptuous book for the armchair traveler.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWomen travelers in Egypt : from the eighteenth to the twenty-first century / edited by Deborah Manley.
“Until late in the nineteenth century, few guidebooks acknowledged the presence of women as travelers–although women had been traveling around the world for centuries. Women’s accounts of their journeys, distinct from those of male travelers, began to appear more frequently in the early nineteenth century, and Egypt was a popular destination. Women had more time to watch and describe; they were more dependent on the Egyptian staff; they spent time both in the harems of Cairo and with the women they met along the Nile. Some of them, like Sarah Belzoni, Sophia Poole, and Ellen Chennells, spoke Arabic. Others wrote engagingly of their experiences as observers of an exotic culture, with special access to some places no man could ever go. From Eliza Fay’s description of arriving in Egypt in 1779 to Rosemary Mahoney’s daring trip down the Nile in a rowboat in 2006, this lively collection of writing by over forty women travelers includes Lady Evelyn Cobbold, Isabella Bird, Winifred Blackman, Norma Lorimer, Harriet Martineau, Florence Nightingale, Amelia Edwards, and Lucie Duff Gordon.” (Dust jacket)

Syndetics book coverTravels with Tinkerbelle : 6,000 miles around France in a mechanical wreck / Susie Kelly.
“The author and her husband devised a simple plan – to take a tent and the dog and drive around the perimeter of France. Like many simple plans it went wrong before it started and they ended up with two dogs and a campervan named Tinkerbelle.On the second day of their journey Tinkerbelle begins to self-destruct, helped by the new dog who does his best to eat her from the inside out. This is their story, as they travel from sandy beaches to snow-topped mountains exploring the diverse cultures, cuisines and countryside making up the country called France. Their journey takes them to places out of the ordinary, meeting interesting characters and witnessing ancient traditions. While the dogs rejoice in the freedom they find running on the beaches, Susie and Terry spend a lot of time holding their breath, wondering whether Tinkerbelle will manage to negotiate impossible mountain routes and get them home before she completely disintegrates.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

New Books on Travel for March

Travel books this month include Nick Griffith’s Dr Who location guide to England and Wales Who Goes There.

Syndetics book coverWho goes there : (travels through strangest Britain, in search of the Doctor) / Nick Griffiths.
“NEW UPDATED EDITION celebrating 50 years of Dr Who. Who Goes There is the sequel to Nick’s hugely popular Doctor Who memoir, “Dalek I Loved You.” Nick travels England and Wales, seeking locations used in the show, both Classic (pre-relaunch) and New. Being an odd kind of show, its locations too are odd. This is no glamorous trip. Dungeness Nuclear Power Station, anyone? A flooded china clay pit in Cornwall? As he travels, so Nick discovers another side to our well-trodden country, which is no less evocative. Then he goes to the pub. As in “Dalek I Loved You”, the travel writing is backed up by Nick’s childhood reminiscences and contemporary musings. A companion website offers photographs from the trip, a Google map of the locations and details of the nearest pub. In this innovative way, readers are invited to follow in his footsteps. Who Goes There isn’t just for Who fans – it’s for anyone who fancies a trip off the beaten path. And a very funny book.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverAthens : the truth : searching for Mános just before the bubble burst / David Cade.
“Charmed for decades by the music of Oscar-winning Greek composer Manos Hadjidakis, David Cade explores Athens as news breaks at the end of 2009 that Greece is in serious financial difficulty. The author talks to Athenians, examines many of the city’s extraordinary attractions, and surveys key aspects of Greece’s modern history.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe day was made for walking : an Aussie’s search for meaning on the Camino de Santiago / Noel Braun.
“Noel Braun yearns to walk the Camino, the ancient pilgrimage route that leads across France and Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Since the suicide of Maris, his beloved wife of forty-two years, he has struggled to find himself. But is it pure madness? He’s an old bloke. At seventy-seven-years, he should be sensible, act his age and relax in a rocking chair. Can his body and spirit withstand the demands? Can he leave family and friends behind? Noel believes this is a journey he MUST undertake.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBottoms up in Belgium : seeking the high points of the Low Lands / Alec Le Sueur.
“Until 1993, Alec had never been to Belgium, so it came as some surprise when in August that year he found himself at the altar of a small church in Flanders, reciting wedding vows in Flemish. It was the start, for better or for worse, of a long relationship with this unassuming and much maligned little country. As he ordered yet another pint of Stella, it dawned on him that perhaps it was time to immerse himself in Belgian culture, especially when there were over a hundred locally produced beers on the menu. He vowed to put worldwide opinion to the test: just how boring can Belgium be?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFaraway places with strange sounding names : the Penn Overland story / Gerald Davis.
“With this book thousands of Australians will relive the thrill of overland travels through the Middle East, Central Asia, India and Africa. Until unrest and warfare shut them down in the late 70s, adventure bus journeys were all the rage with young travellers, headed to or from Europe and Britain. In this splendid illustrated book, Gerald Davis recreates a time that lives on in exciting memories.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gap-year guidebook 2014 / editor, Jonathan Barnes.
“Everything you need to know about taking a gap-year, year out or career break. The gap-year guidebook has comprehensive advice for career breakers & mature travellers on how to prepare for your time out and how to cope with life afterwards: travelling, volunteering in the UK and abroad, working around the world, including information about short courses in art, culture, language, music, photography and more.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to barter for paradise : my journey through 14 countries, trading up from an apple to a house in Hawaii / Michael Wigge ; translated by Tobi Haberstroh.
“The latest work by Berlin-based journalist and filmmaker Wigge, assuming his “Barterman” persona, chronicles his 200-day, six-continent journey as he barters his way into his childhood dream of staying in a house in Hawaii. A project put together with outlandish humor and outrageous gall, the book details how he starts with an apple and ends up in the 50th state. “Barterman” finds good-natured and eccentric barterers in his journey, making 42 trades in a trip filled with adventure. He climbs Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, feeds wild crocodiles in Australia, races a former Olympic runner in Kenya, tours the prohibited zone of Chernobyl, and wanders the urban blight of Mumbai.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWhat else is there for a boy like me? / Patrick Moon.
“Patrick Moon abandons a successful career as a city solicitor and heads for India. Where better, he thinks, to come to terms with the opportunity he has created for himself: the chance to reinvent his life. But how much of his old self and his old view of the world will survive this watershed? How should he best fill in the blank sheet of paper in front of him? And how will he deal with his other reason for travelling to India? He wants to try to reinvent another life: that of Mohamd, a talented young Indian from a primitive village in the Rajasthan desert, whose potential is blocked by the twin obstacles of poverty and caste. But Patrick underestimates how much of the weight of Indian society will be stacked against him, and how difficult it will be to pluck an individual out of India’s crowd.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHow to be a better traveller / Christopher L. Madden.
More of a ‘guide to travel’ than a ‘travel guide’, this book helps you to avoid the negative aspects of holidays and travel, providing you with practical tips on safety, saving money, avoiding hawkers and finding your way around unfamiliar places. How to be a Better Traveller is aimed at readers who want to improve their travel experiences. From package holiday tourists to business travellers, indie travellers to armchair travellers, everyone can learn to travel well.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)