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In 2016 Scottish writer Iain Maloney and his Japanese wife Minori moved to a village in rural Japan. This is the story of his attempt to fit in, be accepted and fulfil his duties as a member of the community, despite being the only foreigner in the village. Even after more than a decade living in Japan and learning the language, life in the countryside was a culture shock. Due to increasing numbers of young people moving to the cities in search of work, there are fewer rural residents under the retirement age - and they have two things in abundance: time and curiosity. Iain's attempts at amateur farming, basic gardening and DIY are conducted under the watchful eye of his neighbours and wife. But curtain twitching is the least of his problems. The threat of potential missile strikes and earthquakes is nothing compared to the venomous snakes, terrifying centipedes and bees the size of small birds that stalk Iain's garden. Told with self-deprecating humour, this memoir gives a fascinating insight into a side of Japan rarely seen and affirms the positive benefits of immigration for the individual and the community. It's not always easy being the only gaijin in the village.
A gripping account of an under-reported island' Spectator, Book of the Year '[A] brilliant new book about an island that has a geography from heaven and a history from hell' Daily Telegraph 'A brilliant work of travel, history and psychological insight . . . astute and sympathetic . . . very funny' Wall Street Journal Everyone has wanted a piece of paradise John Gimlette - winner of the Dolman Prize and the Shiva Naipaul Prize for Travel Writing - is the kind of traveller you'd want by your side. Whether hacking a centuries-old path through the jungle, interrogating the surviving members of the Tamil Tigers or observing the stranger social mores of Colombo's city life, he brings his own unique insight to the page: a treasure-chest of research and a gift for wry amusement. Through him, Sri Lanka - all at once dazzling, strange, conflicted and beautiful - comes to life as never before.
'Sixty Degrees North is a story that we tell, both to ourselves and to others. It is a story about where - and perhaps also who - we are.'The sixtieth parallel marks a kind of borderland. It wraps itself around the lower reaches of Finland, Sweden and Norway; it crosses the tip of Greenland and of South-central Alaska; it cuts the great spaces of Russia and Canada in half. The parallel also passes through Shetland, at the very top of the British Isles. In Sixty Degrees North, Malachy Tallack explores the places that share this latitude, beginning and ending in Shetland, where he has spent most of his life. The book focuses on the landscapes and natural environments of the parallel, and the way that people have interacted with those landscapes. It explores themes of wildness and community, of isolation and engagement, of exile and memory.In addition, Sixty Degrees North is also a deeply personal book, which begins with the author's loss of his father and his troubled relationship with Shetland. Informed by the journeys described, it moves towards a kind of resolution: an acceptance of loss, and ultimately a love of the place Tallack calls 'home'.
NOW AVAILABLE: Michael Palin's North Korea Journal THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER In the early years of Queen Victoria's reign, HMS Erebus undertook two of the most ambitious naval expeditions of all time. On the first, she ventured further south than any human had ever been. On the second, she vanished with her 129-strong crew in the wastes of the Canadian Arctic. Her fate remained a mystery for over 160 years. Then, in 2014, she was found. This is her story. _______________ BBC RADIO 4 BOOK OF THE WEEK 'Beyond terrific . . . I didn't want it to end.' Bill Bryson 'Illuminated by flashes of gentle wit . . . It's a fascinating story that [Palin] brings full-bloodedly to life.' Guardian 'This is an incredible book . . . The Erebus story is the Arctic epic we've all been waiting for.' Nicholas Crane 'Thoroughly absorbs the reader. . . Carefully researched and well-crafted, it brings the story of a ship vividly to life.' Sunday Times 'A great story . . . Told in a very relaxed and sometimes - as you might expect - very funny Palin style.' David Baddiel, Daily Mail 'Magisterial . . . Brings energy, wit and humanity to a story that has never ceased to tantalise people since the 1840s.' The Times
On the same day that his wife gave birth to twins, Anthony Doerr received the Rome Prize, an award that gave him a year-long stipend and studio in Rome... `Four Seasons in Rome' charts the repercussions of that day, describing Doerr's varied adventures in one of the most enchanting cities in the world, and the first year of parenthood. He reads Pliny, Dante, and Keats - the chroniclers of Rome who came before him - and visits the piazzas, temples, and ancient cisterns they describe. He attends the vigil of a dying Pope John Paul II and takes his twins to the Pantheon in December to wait for snow to fall through the oculus. He and his family are embraced by the butchers, grocers, and bakers of the neighbourhood, whose clamour of stories and idiosyncratic child-rearing advice is as compelling as the city itself. This intimate and revelatory book is a celebration of Rome, a wondrous look at new parenthood and a fascinating account of the alchemy of writers.
From the tiny island that shaped the entire English language, to the island that terrified Dylan Thomas, there's more to Britain's tiny islands than you might think! Have your own tiny adventure by visiting any of the 60 remarkable little islands around Britain featured here. Although Britain boasts hundreds of tiny islands, Dixe Wills has selected just the very best of them for this book. Found around the coast, in lakes, in lochs and on rivers, these little worlds are waiting for you to discover them - whether you swim to them, walk to them at low tide, row to them, or catch a dinky little ferry.
Fifty-five piers. Two weeks. One eccentric road trip. Before the seaside of their youth disappears forever, two friends from the landlocked Midlands embark on a peculiar journey to see all the surviving pleasure piers in England and Wales. With a clapped-out car and not enough cash, Jon and Danny recruit Midge, a man they barely know, to be their driver, even though he has to be back in a fortnight to sign on... Join Jon and Danny as they take a funny and nostalgic look at Britishness at the beach, amusement in the arcades and friendship on the road.
Op 40 voel Gerard Scholtz onfiks, vet en verveeld. Hy koop ’n tweedehandse fiets en trap saam met sy vrou Anuta die Argus tot hulle gereed is om verder te reis.
Van St Petersburg tot Moskou; die lengte en breedte van Frankryk; oor die Alpe, oor die groot riviere van Europa, Ierland en Wallis reis hulle. Later is dit twee skoeters waarmee hulle elke jaar tot 10 000 kilometer deur Europa aflê. Hulle reis ook per trein, per motor, boot en soms te voet.
In hierdie bundel spreek Gerard se vertellings van sy kennis en liefde vir geskiedenis, kuns, musiek, letterkunde … Hy word veel meer as net reisiger en verteller. Gerard neem die leser ook ’n op metafisiese avontuur …
Obie encompasses a decades-long sweep of his life’s work and covers the globe. It is part coffee-table book, part travelogue, part autobiography and part storybook, with a bit of philosophy thrown in for good measure. It’s a great photographer, documenter and character looking back through his ever-increasing archive (built up over 60 years) and choosing the images that resonate the most, and which have a story to tell. Obie captures the rare, the human, the wonderful, the cosmic even. And he doesn’t just take pictures; he also meticulously records it all in words. His descriptions are often as intriguing, as beautiful or as crazy as his photographs.
Tom Kitching is one of England's leading traditional fiddle players. He has worked as a solo performer, band member, dance caller, violin teacher, and street busker. That last element - the busking - was an afterthought, something to be phased out as he built a career in music. But the busking bug wouldn't go away. Beyond the music and the collecting hat, perhaps fiddling through the streets of England could be a key to finding out who the English really are, how they view themselves and how they deal with change. Is there anything that ties together people across England's many cultural divides, from neat Cotswold villages hugging village greens to former mining villages huddled beside abandoned pits, from multicultural city to Anglo-Saxon market town? Armed with a violin, a Northern sensibility and a love of life in all its troubling richness, Tom took an 18-month journey through England to find out. This isn't really a book about busking, though. It's about people, place, and that elusive beast - Englishness. On Tom's street-level odyssey, the lines between friend and stranger blur, informality reigns, and chance encounters make a mockery of careful planning. As the seasons change and the tally of busking towns grows, the complex mosaic called England confronts its fly-on-the-wall observer with the challenge - define me if you dare.
AN ODE TO WALKING FROM ONE OF THE WORLD'S LEADING EXPLORERS AND THE BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF SILENCE 'Erling Kagge is a philosophical adventurer - or perhaps an adventurous philosopher' New York Times ____________________________________ 'After having put my shoes on and let my thoughts wander, I am sure of one thing - to put one foot in front of the other is one of the most important things we do.' From those perilous first steps as a toddler, to great expeditions, from walking to work to trekking to the North Pole, Erling Kagge explains that he who walks goes further and lives better. Walking is a book about the love of exploration, the delight of discovery and the equilibrium that can be found in this most simple of activities. ____________________________________ 'If you are a walker this book will resonate with you, if you have seldom or never walked this book should be compulsory reading' Rosamund Young 'A thought-proving and enjoyable book that revels in seeing the global in the local. Erling Kagge reveals new ways to view home and homo sapiens, and, as he travels leisurely, we grow slowly wiser' Tristan Gooley 'Part rumination, part walking coach and companion . . . and one that might just do more for your health and happiness than your treadmill alone ever could' New York Journal of Books 'A thoughtful book-length essay on a taken-for-granted human activity' Kirkus '[Walking is] much more subtle than a typical self-help . . . Erling Kagge uses his acquaintance with extreme environments to reflect on the mental and physical benefits of walking' Economist
I had no life experience, zero common sense and had never eaten rice. I suffered from debilitating anxiety, was battling an eating disorder and had just had my heart broken. I hoped by leaving to travel the world I would be able to heal myself. Instead, Lauren's travels were full of bad luck and near-death experiences. Over the space of a year, she was scammed and assaulted; lost teeth and swallowed a cockroach. She fell into leech-infested rice paddies, was caught up in a tsunami, had the brakes of her motorbike fail and experienced a very unhappy ending during a massage in Thailand. It was just as she was about to give up on travel when she stumbled across a handsome New Zealander with a love of challenges...
From stalwart little locomotives of topographic necessity, to the maverick engines of one man's whimsy, Britain's narrow-gauge steam trains run on tracks a world apart from its regimented mainlines. In Small Island by Little Train, eccentricity enthusiast Chris Arnot sets out to discover their stories. Stories include miniature railway on the Kent coast, used for Home Guard military trains during World War II, and now the school commute for dozens of local school children. The UK's only Alpine-style rack-and-pinion railway, scaling one of Britain's highest mountains. The five different gauges of railway circling one man's landscaped garden, and the team building their own trains to run on it.Far more than mere relics of the nation's industrial past, or battered veterans of wartime Britain, these are also stories of epic feats of preservation, volunteerism, tourism, and local history. They are an exploration of idiosyncrasy, enthusiasm and eccentricity. Or, to put it another way, a tale of Britishness.
When Jet McDonald cycled four thousand miles to India and back, he didn't want to write a straightforward account. He wanted to go on an imaginative journey. The age of the travelogue is over: today we need to travel inwardly to see the world with fresh eyes. Mind is the Ride is that journey, a pedal-powered antidote to the petrol-driven philosophies of the past. The book takes the reader on a physical and intellectual adventure from West to East using the components of the bike as a metaphor for philosophy, which is woven into the cyclist's experience. Each chapter is based around a single component, and as Jet travels he adds new parts and new philosophies until the bike is 'built'; the ride to India is completed; and the relationship between mind, body and bicycle made apparent.
A hilarious field guide to the world's most remarkable and unusual creatures: the English. Thanks to television documentaries by Bruce Parry and David Attenborough, we are better acquainted with the hunting rituals of the San bushmen and the mating habits of Papua New Guinean tribes than we are with the everyday lives of that most peculiar of species - the English. In `The English: A Field Guide', Sunday Times journalist Matt Rudd, sets out to uncover what makes us, the English, tick. He will examine us in our natural habitats, starting with the living room and moving out to the kitchen, the garden, the commuter train, the office, the motorway, the high street, the sports stadium, the pub, club, bingo hall, balti house, beach and ending up in the bedroom. Hilarious, warm-hearted and surprisingly enlightening, `The English' shines a strong searchlight on us all.
In 1938, with the Japanese army approaching from Nanking, Huan Hsu's great-great grandfather, Liu, and his five granddaughters, were forced to flee their hometown on the banks of the Yangtze River. But before they left a hole was dug as deep as a man, and as wide as a bedroom, in which was stowed the family heirlooms. The longer I looked at that red chrysanthemum plate, the more I wanted to touch it, feel its weight, and run my fingers over its edge, which, like its country's - and my family's - history, was anything but smooth. 1938. The Japanese army were fast approaching Xingang, the Yangtze River hometown of Huan Hsu's great-great-grandfather, Liu. Along with his five granddaughters, Liu prepares to flee. Before they leave, they dig a hole and fill it to the brim with family heirlooms. Amongst their antique furniture, jade and scrolls, was Liu's vast collection of prized antique porcelain. A decades-long flight across war-torn China splintered the family over thousands of miles. Grandfather Liu's treasure remained buried along with a time that no one wished to speak of. And no one returned to find it - until now. Huan Hsu, a journalist raised in America and armed only with curiosity, returned to China many years later. Wanting to learn more about not only his lost ancestral heirlooms but also porcelain itself, Hsu set out to separate the layers of fact and fiction that have obscured both China and his heritage and finally completed his family's long march back home. Melding memoir and travelogue with social and political history, The Porcelain Thief is an intimate and unforgettable way to understand the bloody, tragic and largely forgotten events that defined Chinese history in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
The Road of Bonesis the story of Russia's greatest road. For over 200 years, the route of the Vladimirka Road has been at the centre of the nation's history, having witnessed everything from the first human footsteps to the rise of Putin and his oil-rich oligarchy. Tsars, wars, famine and wealth: all have crossed and travelled this road, but no-one has ever told its story. In pursuit of the sights, sounds and voices both past and present, Jeremy Poolman travels the Vladimirka. Both epic and intimate, The Road of Bones is a record of his travels - but much more. It looks into the hearts and reveals the histories of those whose lives have been changed by what is known by many as simply The Greatest of Roads. This is a book about life and about death and about the strength of will it takes to celebrate the former while living in the shadow of the latter. Anecdotal and epic, The Road of Bones follows the author's journey along this road, into the past and back again. The book takes as its compass both the voices of history and those of today and draws a map of the cities and steppes of the Russian people's battered but ultimately indefatigable spirit.
Crossing class and color lines, and spanning the nation (Montana has its huckleberry, Pennsylvania its shoofly, and Mississippi its sweet potato), pie -- real, homemade pie -- has meaning for all of us. But in today's treadmill, take-out world -- our fast-food nation -- does pie still have a place?
As she traveled across the United States in an old Volvo named Betty, Pascale Le Draoulec discovered how merely mentioning homemade pie to strangers made faces soften, shoulders relax, and memories come wafting back. Rambling from town to town with Le Draoulec, you'll meet the famous, and sometimes infamous, pie makers who share their stories and recipes, and find out how a quest for pie can lead to something else entirely.
Melissa Walker set out on a journey that many women of her generation have mapped only in their dreams. 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. 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.
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 who, like Aldo Leopold, see wilderness as vital to the human community.
Melissa Walker is vice president of National Wilderness Watch, chair of the Georgia chapter of Wilderness Watch, serves on the Southern Appalachian Council of the Wilderness Society, and is the author of Reading the Environment and Down from the Mountaintop. She has been Professor of English at the University of New Orleans and Mercer University and a fellow of Women's Studies at Emory University. Walker lives with her husband in Atlanta, Georgia.
Rome is a great place to visit -- but imagine the delights of living there. Long in love with the Eternal City, Alan Epstein has been reveling in life as a resident since 1995. In As the Romans Do, he reveals the city and its people in all their facets and contradictions: their gregarious caffé culture, inborn artistic flair, passionate appreciation of good food, instinctive mistrust of technology, showy sex appeal, ingrained charm, and much more. He unveils a place alive with pleasure and paradox, both pagan and Christian, Western and Middle Eastern. Rome is where one can relax, reflect, revel, and rebel -- all between the morning's cappucino and the evening's grappa.
One grey dismal day, Janine Marsh was on a trip to northern France to pick up some cheap wine. She returned to England a few hours later having put in an offer on a rundown old barn in the rural Seven Valleys area of Pas de Calais. This was not something she'd expected or planned for. Janine eventually gave up her job in London to move with her husband to live the good life in France. Or so she hoped. While getting to grips with the locals and la vie Francaise, and renovating her dilapidated new house, a building lacking the comforts of mains drainage, heating or proper rooms, and with little money and less of a clue, she started to realize there was lot more to her new home than she could ever have imagined. These are the true tales of Janine's rollercoaster ride through a different culture - one that, to a Brit from the city, was in turns surprising, charming and not the least bit baffling.
Set along the cliffs between mountain and sea, Hermanus is one of the most popular holiday and travel destinations in South Africa. Initially it was the abundance of fish in Walker Bay, along which the village rapidly grew, that attracted holidaymakers. Today, the stars of the bay are undoubtedly the Southern Right Whales that migrate from Antarctica to mate and calve here during the winter months.
But it is not only the wonders of the sea that draw thousands of visitors to this picturesque village and surrounds year after year. Mountains, fynbos, culture, arts, crafts, country markets, adventure sports, scenic walks, golf courses, nature reserves, shark-cage diving, historical landmarks, and the vineyards and world-class wines of the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley are richly described and illustrated in this lavish volume. With chapters covering all aspects of the town’s diversity, the reader will learn more about all that is so generously on offer here, and also catch a rare glimpse of the heart that drives the town: the people and communities that have shaped this favoured destination.
A self-published edition of Hermanus appeared in 2010. Now republished as a new title the book features entirely rewritten text and fresh photographs throughout, many commissioned especially for this edition.
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