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*SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDWARD STANFORD TRAVEL WRITING AWARD 2020* There is a literal Russian landscape, and there is its emotional, literary counterpart. In Mud and Stars, award-winning writer Sara Wheeler sets out to explore both. With the writers of the Golden Age as her guides - Pushkin, Tolstoy, Gogol and Turgenev, among others - Wheeler travels across eight time zones, from rinsed north-western beetroot fields and far-eastern Arctic tundra to the cauldron of ethnic soup that is the Caucasus. She follows nineteenth-century footsteps to make connections between then and now: between the places where flashing-epauletted Lermontov died in the aromatic air of Pyatigorsk, and sheaves of corn still stand like soldiers on a blazing afternoon, just like in Gogol's stories. On the Trans-Siberian railway in winter she crunches across snowy platforms to buy dried fish from babushki, and in summer she sails the Black Sea where dolphins leapt in front of violet Abkhazian peaks. She also spends months in fourth-floor 1950s apartments, watching television with her hosts, her new friends bent over devices and moaning about Ukraine. At a time of deteriorating relations between Russia and the West, Wheeler searches for a Russia not in the news - a Russia of humanity and daily struggles. She gives voice to the 'ordinary' people of Russia, and discovers how the writers of the Golden Age continue to represent their country today. 'A superlative tour of modern-day Russia and the nation's great writers, subjects Wheeler combines with panache.' Claire Lowdon, Sunday Times
AS SEEN ON BBC FOOTBALL FOCUS AND BT SPORT 'Excellent and thoroughly enjoyable' Sunday Sport 'One man and his quest to see a game in every UEFA nation in one season' Paul Doyle, Guardian EUROPE UNITED follows Matt Walker's unprecedented challenge to experience top-division football in all 55 UEFA countries in a single season. In June 2017, Matt said farewell to his job, surrendered his Fulham FC season ticket and set off for Georgia, the first stop on his mission. He would end his adventure eleven months later in Montenegro, having conquered the continent and captured the imagination of its sporting media. His epic journey would pose its challenges. Yet no amount of airport confusion in Iceland, unusual betting activity in Latvia, spectator bans in Albania, disturbances in Kosovo or ropey breakfast buffets in Moldova would make Matt miss a matchday. And then there were the games themselves: showcasing the full spectrum of footballing theatre, from the truly sublime to the utterly ridiculous. Matt's trip would also bequeath him footballing wisdom beyond his imagination. Not only would he learn that Liechtenstein had its very own 'golden generation', but also why one football club in Gibraltar is benefitting from a television gameshow, who in La Liga's mascot is a giant anchovy, how Tony Adams fared in his managerial spell in Azerbaijan, and just what Bosko Balaban is up to these days. This is the story of one fan on a once-in-a-lifetime experience: travelling to Europe's unseen corners, talking with its unsung supporters, and tracing the beautiful game across the breadth of our brilliant, bizarre continent.
After her husband died of cancer, 57-year-old Rosie set off to run around the world, raising money in memory of the man she loved. Followed by wolves, knocked down by a bus, confronted by bears, chased by a naked man with a gun and stranded with severe frostbite, Rosie's breathtaking 20,000-mile solo journey is as gripping as it is inspiring.
Rosie's solo run around the world started out of sorrow and heartache and a wish to turn something around.
Heartbroken when she lost her husband to cancer, Rosie set off from Wales with nothing but a small backpack of food and equipment, and funded by the rent from her little cottage. So began her epic 5-year journey that would take her 20,000 miles around the world, crossing Europe, Russia, Asia, Alaska, North America, Greenland, Iceland, and back into the UK.
On a good day she'd run 30 miles, on a bad day she'd only manage 500 yards, digging herself out of the snow at -62 degrees C, moving her cart inches at a time. Every inch, every mile, was a triumph, a celebration of life, and 53 pairs of shoes later Rosie arrived home to jubilant crowds in Tenby, Wales.
Rosie's incredible story is a mesmerizing page-turner of the run of her life. It will wake up the sleeping adventurer in you; it will inspire hope, courage and determination in you; but most of all it will convince you to live your life to the full and make every day count.
Between Germany and Russia is a region strewn with monuments to the horrors of war, genocide and disaster - the bloodlands where the murderous regimes of Hitler and Stalin unleashed the violence that scarred the twentieth century and shaped so much of the world we know today. In September 2016 the German-Iranian writer Navid Kermani set out to discover this land and to travel along the trenches that are now re-emerging in Europe, from his home in Cologne through eastern Germany to the Baltics, and from there south to the Caucasus and to Isfahan in Iran, the home of his parents. This beautifully written travel diary, enlivened by conversations with the people Kermani meets along the way, brings to life the tragic history of these troubled lands and shows how this history leaves its traces in the present. It will be of great interest to anyone concerned with current affairs and with the events that have shaped, and continue to shape, the world in which we live today.
`Glass Half Full is a love story poured beautifully onto the pages by Caro Feely. If you love wine or someone who loves wine, you will drink in every page of this beautiful book.' Robyn O'Brien, bestselling author Hand harvesting was a different process to machine harvesting. It was convivial and slow. We started at dawn and slowly proceeded across the vineyards. It was better for us and for the grapes, the human scale and pace of it more peaceful and joyful. But this rose-tinted glimpse of life is only part of the story - with it come long hours, uncertainty and their associated stress. For Sean and Caro Feely, the rollercoaster ride of managing a growing business is as challenging as making natural wine in harmony with the environment. Will the previous six years of hard work that created a flourishing organic vineyard in France prove worthwhile? Join Caro on her search for balance in life and wine. Does yoga hold the secret? And will she make it through this growth phase with marriage, farm and sanity intact?
Shortlisted for the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year 2020 In Epic Continent, Nicholas Jubber is proposing a compelling and wonderful idea - that it is story that binds us together, that the great tales of Europe are not only far older than the nation-state but offer a more resilient understanding of our diverse and troubled continent. It is a masterly book, adventurous and wise' Philip Marsden 'The prose is colourful and vigorous ... Jubber's journeying has indeed been epic, in scale and in ambition. In this thoughtful travelogue he has woven together colourful ancient and modern threads into a European tapestry that combines the sombre and the sparkling' Spectator 'Compelling, thought-provoking, and courageous, this epic-poetic journey peels back layers of collective emotional and imaginative inheritance. Jubber gets under the skin of our complicated continent and his timing is dead right' Kapka Kassabova 'A genuine epic' Wanderlust Award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber journeys across Europe exploring Europe's epic poems, from the Odyssey to Beowulf, the Song of Roland to the Nibelungenlied, and their impact on European identity in these turbulent times. These are the stories that made Europe. Journeying from Turkey to Iceland, award-winning travel writer Nicholas Jubber takes us on a fascinating adventure through our continent's most enduring epic poems to learn how they were shaped by their times, and how they have since shaped us. The great European epics were all inspired by moments of seismic change: The Odyssey tells of the aftermath of the Trojan War, the primal conflict from which much of European civilisation was spawned. The Song of the Nibelungen tracks the collapse of a Germanic kingdom on the edge of the Roman Empire. Both the French Song of Roland and the Serbian Kosovo Cycle emerged from devastating conflicts between Christian and Muslim powers. Beowulf, the only surviving Old English epic, and the great Icelandic Saga of Burnt Njal, respond to times of great religious struggle - the shift from paganism to Christianity. These stories have stirred passions ever since they were composed, motivating armies and revolutionaries, and they continue to do so today. Reaching back into the ancient and medieval eras in which these defining works were produced, and investigating their continuing influence today, Epic Continent explores how matters of honour, fundamentalism, fate, nationhood, sex, class and politics have preoccupied the people of Europe across the millennia. In these tales soaked in blood and fire, Nicholas Jubber discovers how the world of gods and emperors, dragons and water-maidens, knights and princesses made our own: their deep impact on European identity, and their resonance in our turbulent times.
The book that has captivated millions of Chinese readers, translated into English for the very first time. 'Hypnotic . . . A record of one person's fierce refusal to follow a path laid down for her by the rest of the world' Tash Aw, Paris Review Books of the Year Sanmao: author, adventurer, pioneer. Born in China in 1943, she moved from Chongqing to Taiwan, Spain to Germany, the Canary Islands to Central America, and, for several years in the 1970s, to the Sahara. Stories of the Sahara invites us into Sanmao's extraordinary life in the desert: her experiences of love and loss, freedom and peril, all told with a voice as spirited as it is timeless. At a period when China was beginning to look beyond its borders, Sanmao fired the imagination of millions and inspired a new generation. With an introduction by Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti, this is an essential collection from one of the twentieth century's most iconic figures. 'Every story conveys Sanmao's infectious capacity for wonder' Sharlene Teo, author of Ponti 'Has endured for generations of young Taiwanese and Chinese women' New York Times 'Ground-breaking' Geographical 'A remarkable and brave book. Sanmao was a freewheeling feminist who broke all the rules and did so with a gleeful, mischievous smile' David Eimer, South China Morning Post
In this book, written in 1966, Bulpin writes about the hunters, settlers, the Bushmen, Dingane, Shaka, Cetshwayo, the colonial days, the Voortrekkers and the Republic of Natal. A very readable book where the characters and legends come to life as Bulpin tells more stories about the personalities and their adventures in the early days of the region.
"Plans are usually only good for one thing - laughing at in hindsight. So, armed with rudimentary Spanish, dangerous levels of curiosity and a record of poor judgement, I set off to tackle whatever South America could throw at me." On his nineteenth birthday, Peter Allison flipped a coin. One side would take him to Africa and the other to South America. He recounted his time spent as a safari guide in Africa to much acclaim in Don't Run, Whatever You do and Don't Look Behind You. Sixteen years later he makes his way to Chile, ready to seek out the continent's best, weirdest and wildest adventures - and to chase the elusive jaguar. From learning to walk a puma (or rather be bitten and dragged along by it) in Bolivia, to finding love in Patagonia and hunting naked with the remote Huaorani people in Ecuador, How to Walk a Puma is Peter's fascinating and often hilarious account of misadventures in South America. Ever the gifted storyteller and cultural observer, Allison makes many observations about life in humid climes, the nature of nomadism, and exactly what it is like to be nearly blasted off a mountain by the famous Patagonia wind. His self-deprecating humour is as delightful as his crazy stunts, and his love for animals - even when they bite - is infectious.
Hundreds of hardy people have tried to carve a living in the
Alaskan bush, but few have succeeded as consistently as Heimo
Korth. Originally from Wisconsin, Heimo traveled to the Arctic
wilderness in his feverous twenties. Now, more than three decades
later, Heimo lives with his wife and two daughters approximately
200 miles from civilization -- a sustainable, nomadic life bounded
by the migrating caribou, the dangers of swollen rivers, and by the
very exigencies of daily existence.
Kevin O'Hara's journey of self-discovery begins as a mad lark: who in their right mind would try to circle the entire coastline of Ireland on foot--and with a donkey and cart no less?""
But Kevin had promised his homesick Irish mother that he would explore the whole of the Old Country and bring back the sights and the stories to their home in Massachusetts. Determined to reach his grandmother's village by Christmas Eve, Kevin and his stubborn but endearing donkey, Missie, set off on 1800-mile trek along the entire jagged coast of a divided Ireland.
Their rollicking adventure takes them over mountains and dales, through smoky cities and sleepy villages, and into the farmhouses and hearts of Ireland's greatest resource--its people.
Along the way, Kevin would meet incredible characters, experience Ireland in all of its glory, and explore not only his Irish past, but find his future self.
The story of two brothers deeply bound by love and tragedy and an extraordinary chronicle of a life-affirming trip In January 2003 Nicholas Sparks and his brother Micah set off on a three-week trip around the world. An adventure by any measure, this trip was especially meaningful as it marked another milestone in the life journey of two brothers who, by their early thirties, were the only surviving members of their family. As Nicholas and Micah travel the globe, from the Taj Mahal to Machu Picchu, the story of their family slowly unfolds. Just before Nicholas' marriage he and Micah lost their mother in a horseriding accident; a week short of Nicholas' triumphant debut as a novelist with THE NOTEBOOK, the brothers lost their father to a car crash, and just a few short years later they were forced to say goodbye to their sister who died of brain cancer at the young age of 36. Against the backdrop of the main wonders of the world the brothers come together to heal the wounds of this tragic legacy and maintain their determination to live life to its fullest.
UPDATED EDITION WITH A NEW CHAPTER Intoxicated with dreams of a Greek paradise, John Mole inflicts upon his family a tumbledown ruin on a hillside with no water, no electricity, no roof, no floor, no doors, no windows and twenty years of goat dung... far away from the tourist resorts and posh hotels. Through hard work and comic misadventures a bond is formed with a vivid cast of village characters - from Elpida who cures back pain with raw eggs to beautiful Eleni yearning for Dusseldorf - over bottles of ouzo, whisky and wine. If only Hector the dog would calm down.
Chicago started life with a split personality. By the end of the Civil War wealthy Chicagoans and their wives were struggling to prove that their city was as affluent and civilized as its East Coast counterparts, New York, Philadelphia and Boston. Mansions rose, an art museum was founded, and music halls lured opera stars. Yet, all the while, stockyards, rowdy cowboys and slaughterhouses continued to brand Chicago as a western outpost. When the great fire of 1871 destroyed much of the city, Chicago emerged determined to take its place as a leading metropolis. The World's Columbian Exposition of 1893 changed American architecture and put Chicago on the international map. This trend continued in the twentieth century with architects like Louis B. Sullivan and Frank Lloyd Wright, and Chicago-based architectural movements such as the Prairie School and the Chicago Style. But impressive and important as Chicago's architectural and sculptural landmarks are, there is more to them than design and style. Seeking Chicago explores the human stories of the city's buildings. In these pages you will find a priest who dodged gangland bullets in the garden of his church; a socialite who complained to a judge that Prohibition had raised her husband's excessive drinking to intolerable levels; a millionaire whose search for privacy resulted in a mansion with its windowless back to the street; and much, much more. Intriguing and informative, Seeking Chicago is a must-read for those interested in Chicago and how it got that way.
WINNER: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC TRAVELLER READER AWARD FOR BEST TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR 2016 WINNER: BOOKS ARE MY BAG READER AWARD FOR BEST AUTOBIOGRAPHY OR BIOGRAPHY 2016 Twenty years ago, Bill Bryson went on a trip around Britain to celebrate the green and kindly island that had become his adopted country. The hilarious book that resulted, Notes from a Small Island, was taken to the nation's heart and became the bestselling travel book ever, and was also voted in a BBC poll the book that best represents Britain.Now, to mark the twentieth anniversary of that modern classic, Bryson makes a brand-new journey round Britain to see what has changed. Following (but not too closely) a route he dubs the Bryson Line, from Bognor Regis to Cape Wrath, by way of places that many people never get to at all, Bryson sets out to rediscover the wondrously beautiful, magnificently eccentric, endearingly unique country that he thought he knew but doesn't altogether recognize any more. Yet, despite Britain's occasional failings and more or less eternal bewilderments, Bill Bryson is still pleased to call our rainy island home. And not just because of the cream teas, a noble history, and an extra day off at Christmas. Once again, with his matchless homing instinct for the funniest and quirkiest, his unerring eye for the idiotic, the endearing, the ridiculous and the scandalous, Bryson gives us an acute and perceptive insight into all that is best and worst about Britain today.
For fans of Arthur and Marley and Me, this is an unlifting and unforgettable true story about how the love of a good dog can save your life. 'Teaches the reader a wealth about the value of making human connections.' FORBES Rob Kugler adopted his chocolate Lab Bella as a puppy - a bundle of fun and love to keep his girlfriend company as he headed off to war. But when Rob's brother died and his relationship fell apart, it was Bella who was there to help heal the wounds, and make Rob's life worth living again. So when Rob was told Bella had cancer - first in her leg, which had to be amputated, and then in her lungs - he was devastated. With only months of Bella's life left, he knew just what he had to do for his furry best friend. Determined to show her the same unconditional love she had always shown him, Rob decided to give Bella the farewell adventure of her doggy dreams. Criss-crossing the USA from coast to coast, making many new friends along the way, Bella taught Rob never to give up and to live each day as though it's your last. A heartbreaking but ultimately uplifiting true tale, A Dog Named Beautiful is full of hope, love, tears and laughter. Enjoy the journey.
This is the second and final leg of Graham Wilson's 1,000-km high level walk linking County Tops (old and new) of northern England. From Carlisle to The Cheviot and the Northumberland coast, from the Durham moors to the Yorkshire Dales and the Peak District, his entertainingly roundabout route finally returns to the moorland near Buxton where it began. The diverse tour takes in Hadrian's Wall and Northumbrian castles, saintly Ways and long distance footpaths. In passing, Wilson discusses knitting miners and the Geordie language, Ted Hughes and the Venerable Bede, bogs, plagues and George I - and much more.
The incredible and inspirational true story of one young man's struggle to find peace during war, and the power of music to bring hope to a desperate nation. 'Ahmad has created a moving and visceral account of conflict, hope and the power of music' Hannah Beckerman,Observer ____________ One morning in war-torn Damascus, a starving man drags a piano into a rubbled street. Everything he once knew has been destroyed by war. Amidst ruin and despair, he begins to play. He plays of love and hope, he plays for his family and his fellow Syrians. He plays even though he could be killed for doing so. As word of his defiance spreads around the world, he becomes a beacon of hope and even resistance. Yet he fears for his wife and children - the more he plays, the more he and his family are endangered until, finally, he must make a terrible choice . . . Aeham Ahmad's spellbinding and uplifting true story tells of the triumph of love and hope, the incredible bonds of family, and the healing power of music in even the very darkest of places. ___________ 'In amongst the wreckage scenes of hope. An amazing man - Ahmad played the piano just to spread love' Jeremy Vine, BBC Radio 2 'An extraordinary, beautiful book about a man who in the midst of utter terror wheeled his piano in to the street and played for Yarmouk. He is amazing' Nihal Arthanayake BBC 5 Live 'The music of Aeham Ahmad became a symbol of resistance' Today, BBC Radio 4 'So inspiring' ITV News 'Aeham Ahmad is a talented and brave man of peace. Please read his book and pass it on to anyone who doesn't know or understand the plight of today's refugees' Stanley Tucci BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week
Soon after her fiftieth birthday, Melissa Walker set out on a journey that many women of her generation have mapped only in their dreams. Having spent her adult life raising children and climbing the academic ladder, Walker decided to put some of the environmental theories she'd taught into practice. Leaving her suburban life, she ventured into the wilderness. Like many American chroniclers before her who have surrendered to the aimless pleasures of the road, Walker had no geographical destination in mind, but she did have two definite goals - one personal, one political - for her journey. She was looking for the peace and solitude of the backcountry, certainly, but she also wanted to learn the dynamics of preserving wild places and to devote herself to that cause. Walker took off on three extended solitary trips over the next two years, establishing a way of life for herself that continues to this day. In the Sky Islands of southern Arizona, on the banks of the Popo Agie River and the Wind River Mountains in Wyoming, in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Rocky Mountain, and Olympic National Park, in Gila and Glacier Peak Wilderness, she encountered the hazards of wild animals and extreme weather, and she began to reassess what parts of her life she could control. Her belief in the primacy of individual achievement changed as she confronted the hidden structures of life. And her understanding of her environment broadened when in addition to grizzly bears, bighorn sheep, and mountain lions, she also met ranchers, loggers, cowboys, and outfitters whose livelihoods depend on activities that may threaten wilderness. Living on Wilderness Time is a book for those who have visited wild places and want to return and for others whose overcommitted urban lives make them long for land where time is measured differently and human beings are scarce. Above all it is a call to join those, like Aldo Leopold, who see wilderness as vital to the human community.
After a decade of chasing stories around the globe, intrepid travel writer Stephanie Elizondo Griest followed the magnetic pull home-only to discover that her native South Texas had been radically transformed in her absence. Ravaged by drug wars and barricaded by an eighteen-foot steel wall, her ancestral land had become the nation's foremost crossing ground for undocumented workers, many of whom perished along the way. The frequency of these tragedies seemed like a terrible coincidence until Elizondo Griest moved to the New York-Canada borderlands. Once she began to meet Mohawks from the Akwesasne Nation, she recognized striking parallels to life on the southern border. Having lost their land through devious treaties, their mother tongues at English-only schools, and their traditional occupations through capitalist ventures, Tejanos and Mohawks alike struggle under the legacy of colonialism. Toxic industries surround their neighborhoods, while the U.S. Border Patrol militarizes them. Combating these forces are legions of artists and activists devoted to preserving their indigenous cultures. Complex belief systems, meanwhile, conjure miracles. In All the Agents and Saints, Elizondo Griest weaves seven years of stories into a meditation on the existential impact of international borderlines by illuminating the spaces in between and the people who live there. This edition features a new preface by the author.
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