The outdoor world has gone a bit bookish recently with the blogfather (Andy Howell) posting two excellent pieces, one on what is on his bookshelves and the second on “The Wild Places” by Robert McFarlane. Thanks, Andy, I’ll track some of these books down. I’ve had a bit of a mixed experience with travel books, so some recommendations are welcome. In the latest edition of TGO magazine, Chris Townsend also writes about his favourite “wilderness” authors.
Chris Townsend wrote two of my favourite travel books: “Walking the Yukon” and “Crossing Arizona”. Part of the joy of reading is the vicarious pleasure of imagining being there, which is crucially dependent on the author’s narrative skill. Chris may blush, but for me, he succeeded admirably in transporting me to landscapes I’d never been to.
My other favourite is “Clear Waters Rising” by Nicholas Crane, which is more of a classic travelogue, albeit one written from a walker’s perspective. If anyone is looking for a challenge, try following Crane’s route from north-west Spain through the Pyrenees, the Alps and Carpathians to Istanbul!
However, additions to my book collection will have to wait until I’ve read The Children of Hurin by Tolkien (half way through), Kublai Khan by John Man (just started), His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman (not started yet). I’ve also got to read Colossus by Niall Ferguson. Lucky the Christmas holiday’s near, I’ve got a lot of reading to do!