Welcome everyone to this last post for 2019!! I hope everyone had a year filled with moments that left them with awe, happiness and fulfilled as mine did for me. This last post features a collection of travel books for adult readers that I am happy to call my favourites. I hope you enjoy travelling the world with these authors as I did.
This first book took me from one corner of Britain to the other, at a slower pace than the norm.
Title: Move along, please – Land’s End to John O’Groat by bus
Author: Mark Mason
Genre: NF – Travel
Publication details: Random House; London; 2013
What this book is about: At 10.41am, on a Tuesday morning in September, Mark Mason boards the number 1A bus at Land’s End in Cornwall. 46 buses and 11 days later he disembarks at John O’Groats in Scotland. Move Along, Please is his account of that gruelling 1100 mile odyssey; a paint-by-bus-numbers portrait of Britain. Along the way he visits everywhere from Porthcurno, the village where the internet enters Britain, to the urban sprawl of Birmingham (inspiration for The Two Towers in The Lord of the Rings), samples staples of the British diet from curry to deep-fried Mars bar, and uncovers countless fascinating facts about his native land. Set against the backdrop of 2000 years of history and with a full supporting cast drawn from the most unusual of species, the Great British Public, this is the unmissable story of a man rediscovering his nation in all its idiosyncratic glory.
My review: I really enjoyed this book. Being the closet Anglophile that I am, this book spoke to my inner realm and took me on a sedate trip from one corner of Britain to the other. Mark Mason’s description of the physical landscape complemented the quirky and interesting facts he included in every chapter. With each town and village he passed, the more I learned about Britain. I hope one day to do the same as Mark!! The perfect read for budding Anglophiles like me!!
My rating: 4 ⭐
This next book reads more like a history text and travelogue rolled into one. Mark Adams is fast becoming one of my favourite travel authors next to Bill Bryson and Paul Theroux.
Title: Meet me in Atlantis: my obsessive quest to find the sunken city
Author: Mark Adams
Genre: NF – Travel/Mythology
Publication details: Dutton; NY, 2015
What this book is about: A few years ago, Mark Adams made a strange discovery. Everything we know about the legendary lost city of Atlantis comes from the work of one man, the Greek philosopher Plato. Then he made a second, stronger discovery. Amateur explorers are still actively searching for this lost city all around the world, based entirely on the clues Plato left behind. Using his frequent-flier mile, Adams tracks down these explorers and scientists, and tries to determine if any of their theories could prove or disprove the existence of Atlantis. Meet me in Atlantis is Adams’ enthralling account of his quest to solve one of history’s greatest mysteries; a travelogue that takes readers to fascinating locations and meet irresistible characters; and a deep, often humorous look at the human longing to rediscover a lost world.
My review: An exceptional read. Some chapters were a bit too technical for me, but Adams’ description of each of the places he visits were excellent. This book got me thinking about the whole question that still has people asking about Atlantis. With the experts he interviews, Adams dissects their theories and presents his findings in this awesome read. For me each one was as equally fascinating as the other. From one Mark gleams nuggets of information which he analyses and comes to his own conclusions. Mark concludes, by using everything he discovers and reads, that Plato took elements of stories heard in Egypt, combined them with stories about ancient Athens that has been passed down orally, and blended that with accounts he’d heard of a lost city beyond the Pillar of Heracles. Plato’s Atlantis story, Mark believes is a fictional account based on some true events with some made-up stuff and mathematical codes mixed in. I know, mind blowing stuff!! For those who need something meatier to get into, this is perfect!!
My rating: 4 ⭐
And finally, an amazing travel read of the country I call home. Make sure you google the places so you can see a picture of it while you read!
Title: Wild Journeys
Author: Bruce Ansley
Genre: NF – Travelogue
Publication details: HarperCollins Publishers; Auckland, 2018
What this book is about: In Wild Journeys Bruce Ansley retraces the path of doomed surveyor John Whitcombe across the Southern Alps, follows the raiding party of northern chief Te Puoho along the West Coast, sails around New Zealand’s North and South capes, walks through the valley under the Two Thumb Range to Mesopotamia, drives from Waiheke to Wanaka (in a hurry), sets off on a hunt for the South Island’s ‘Grey Ghost’, looks deep into the heart of volcanic New Zealand and tracks the escape route of our most unlikely hero, jail-breaker George Wilder. These are stories about New Zealand, of wild journeys and strange ones, of exhilaration, joy, frailty and fear.
My review: An awesome read!! I felt as if I was riding shotgun with Bruce or plodding along with him as I read this book!! Some scenes have very funny description and the language he uses is quite vivid and colourful. I also enjoyed the historical accounts he’s written as if he’d been there!! An awesome travelogue that took me from one end of New Zealand to another!! A great read!!
My rating: 5 ⭐
I hope you all have an awesome New Year ahead!! I’ll be taking a short break during the beginning of January 2020 as I’m moving house. See you all in the new decade!!