A Simple Brazilian Song
By James Woodall
In 1992, James Woodall was asked to write an article about a Brazilian musician he'd never heard of, called Chico Buarque. He discovered that Buarque was a national hero in his native country and that interviewing him was a bit like a Latin American interviewing Paul McCartney. Woodall fell under Buarque's spell and began an affair with Brazilian pop music which has lasted to this day. His new passion took him to Brazil and in particular to Rio de Janeiro, world capital of Carnival and samba. Over several visits, he met with Chico Buarque, discovered the city's immodest beach culture and took part in Carnival. He met Chico Buarque's great contemporary, Caetano Veloso and other stars. Picking up Portuguese on the hop, he learnt a great deal about Chico Buarque's life and about the strange and dangerous city where he lives. This book is as much a hymn to Rio de Janeiro as it is to the music that beats at its heart.
Rolling Through The Isles
By Ted Simon
From the bestselling author of Jupiter's Travels and Dreaming of Jupiter comes an entertaining and inspiring new journey round Britain.Having crisscrossed the globe twice, Ted returns to the British Isles to rediscover the country of his youth. The result is a revealing portrait of modern Britain and a witty and affectionate journey back to the past, when Ted would hitchhike across the country visiting friends (and girlfriends).He returns to the site of his old school with its astonishing war time history and visits familiar haunts where he did his National Service and got his first job in newspapers. He also visits less-familiar places. Some inspire him (Winchester Cathedral). Others defeat him (a tax office in Nottingham). As he rolls through the Isles, he discovers that a great deal has changed: busier roads, bureaucracy and, worst of all, the dreaded 'Sat Nav'. But there is also much to celebrate and enjoy along the way.Packed with fascinating stories, extraordinary encounters and glorious depictions of the British countryside, Rolling through the Isles takes the reader on an unforgettable trip with a celebrated adventurer and writer.
By Nick Thorpe
Hunched exhausted at his computer one ordinary Monday morning, world-class workaholic Nick Thorpe has reached the end of his tether. Fearing for his health and family life, he knows something has to change. But where to start when trying too hard is part of the problem? Nick makes a bold resolution: he will spend a year learning to let go. Beginning with a plunge off a Cornish cliff, he soon graduates to wing-walking on a bi-plane, city-centre clowning and a revealing weekend at a naturist convention. But the more he tries to relax, the bigger the questions: can you be happy if you're not in control? Is true contentment all in the mind? And what does his small, brown dog know that Nick doesn't?From a school where pupils make the rules, to meditation and rafting in Sweden; from the chaos of a Durban street shelter to a silent monastery in New Mexico, URBAN WORRIER charts a humorous and often moving quest for the ultimate modern grail: how to find balance and fulfilment in today's high-speed world.
By Richard Grant
No-one travels like the renowned writer-adventurer Richard Grant and, really, no-one should. Having narrowly escaped death at the hands of Mexican drug barons in Bandit Roads, he now plunges with his trademark recklessness and curiosity into Africa. Setting out to make the first descent of a previously unexplored river in Tanzania, he gets waylaid by thieves, whores and a degenerate former golf pro in Zanzibar, then crosses the Indian Ocean in a cargo dhow before the real adventure begins on the Malagarasi river. Travelling by raft, dodging bullets, hippos, lions and crocodiles, hacking through swamps and succumbing to fevers, Grant's gripping, illuminating and often hilarious book will thrill his devoted readers and bring him to an even broader audience.
High Season In Nice
By Robert Kanigel
Nice is the queen of the Côte d'Azur. Founded by the Greeks some time after the sixth century BC, it has borne the tread of Roman legionnaires and Italy-bound Englishmen on the Grand Tour as well as Lost Generation literati from Hemingway to Fitzgerald. Since the late nineteenth century it has been known as a 'pleasure capital', and now tourism is its beating heart. But how did this happen? What was it that changed not just Nice or the French Riviera, but our leisure habits as a whole?HIGH SEASON is a book about pleasure and escape - about what five months or five days in a strikingly beautiful, foreign place, wrested from lives choked with stress and toil back home, meant to a few wealthy people 250 years ago, and mean to millions more of more modest means today. It is about how modern tourism got the way it did. It is about how Nice and the Riviera became what they are; and about the price they paid to do so.
A Mountain In Tibet
By Charles Allen
Throughout the East there runs a legend of a great mountain at the centre of the world, where four rivers have their source. Charles Allen traces this legend to Western Tibet where there stands Kailas, worshipped by Hindus and Buddhists alike as the home of their gods and the navel of the world. Close by are the sources of four mighty rivers: the sacred Ganges, the Indus, the Sutlej and Tsangpo-Brahmaputra.For centuries Kailas remained an enigma to the outside world. Then a succession of remarkable men took up the challenge of penetrating the hostile, frozen wastelands beyond the Western Himalayas, culminating in the great age of discovery, the final years of the Victorian era.A Mountain in Tibet is an extraordinary story of exploration and high adventure, full of the excitement and colour expected from the author of Plain Tales from the Raj.
A Place in Italy
By Simon Mawer
'You can't go and live there,' a despairing friend remarked, 'it's not even in Rome.' And it certainly wasn't, but still the author and his wife went to Avea, tucked away amongst the woods and gorges of the Lazio countryside.There they found no Colosseum, or Pantheon; there were no Ferraris racing around the Palazzi Navona, Venezia or Farnese. Instead they discovered the true agony and beauty of Italy: the instinctive warmth of the Avea villagers, the camorra, Little Tony - Italy's answer to Elvis - the elegant and sophisticated Colasanti family and a landlord like no other, Pippo, the self-styled Duca di Avea. This is not a story of the high culture of Italy's big cities, instead of how two foreigners learned to eat the Italian way, drive the Italian way, survive the Italian way - even to have a child the Italian way - and how in doing it they came to love this hidden corner of the most visited and least understood country in Europe.
Playing Cards In Cairo
By Hugh Miles
PLAYING CARDS IN CAIRO is a fly-on-the-wall account - like THE BOOKSELLER OF KABUL - of life (for western readers) in a strange and exotic environment. Hugh Miles lives in Cairo and is engaged to an Egyptian woman. Twice a week he plays cards with a small group of Arab, Muslim women and through this medium he explores their lives in modern Cairo, the greatest of Arab cities. It is a secretive, romantic, often deprived but always soulful existence for the women as they struggle with abusive husbands and philandering boyfriends. The book is a window onto a city - and a way of life - which is at a crucial juncture in its history. Hugh Miles, who knows the Arab world intimately, is the perfect guide.
In Search Of England
By Roy Hattersley
Passionate, affectionate and indefatigably curious, In Search of England makes a journey around the English countryside and character. England is the most various of countries; within its borders, life changes mile on mile. Roy Hattersley celebrates crumbling churches and serene Victorian architecture, magnificent hills and wind-whipped coast, our music, theatre and local customs, and, above all, the quirky good humour and resilience of England's denizens. In Search of England is an unapologetic love story, a paean of praise for all the fascinating variety and flavour of England's places and people.
By Stephen Smith
For Stephen Smith, author of UNDERGROUND LONDON, beneath the dales and downs of England's green and pleasant land there exists another country, its equal in beauty and fascination. On his underworld odyssey from Newcastle to Brighton, from the Welsh Marches to the Suffolk coast, Smith uncovers smugglers' tunnels and drowned cities, burial mounds and underground waterfalls, and investigates the errant nuns and secret societies, the eighteenth-century rakes and troglodyte communities who have made the netherworld their home. Erudite, curious and unfailingly entertaining, UNDERGROUND ENGLAND is at once subterranean ghost train, rollercoaster ride, and passport to a mysterious other world.
And Did Those Feet
By Charlie Connelly
The landscape of the British Isles is filled with history, much of which we miss as it flashes past the car window. Do we even realise that we're following the same path as the Tolpuddle Martyrs, or that we're driving past the exact spot where King Harold was killed, shot through the eye with an arrow? As a lover of both history and the British countryside, Charlie Connelly decided to rectify this, and set out on a series of walks that recreate famous historical journeys. En route he retells the story of the original trip while discovering who and what now inhabit these iconic routes. Walking in England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales, Charlie journeys alongside Boudicca's ghost in Norfolk, relives Bonnie Prince Charlie's flight to Skye disguised as Flora MacDonald's maid and takes the same 32-mile round trip as the starving Louisburgh famine walkers. He suffers broken toes, becomes trapped in the Scottish Parliament and encounters dead poets and a surprisingly high number of mad old women in woolly hats. Told with Charlie's customary charm and wit, And Did Those Feet will reveal the historical secrets hidden in the much-loved coastal, country and urban landscapes of Britain.
By Will Randall
House-sitting in Boston one winter, Will Randall picks up with one of his more disreputable travel buddies, Jack J. Makepeace, and life gets a great deal more exciting.Makepeace introduces Randall to his current employers, Chestnut Investigations, and soon Will finds himself appointed apprentice Private Investigator. He tails mongrels and errant husbands, attends a seminar on Blood Spatter and is recruited in a lapdancing club by an anti-government go-go girl. Then emotional stakes are suddenly raised when Will Randall, unlikely Limey Gumshoe, finds himself investigating the disappearance of a sixteen-year-old girl from her affluent home, and fighting to save a vulnerable boy from the housing projects from a miscarriage of justice.With his latest adventures in Limey Gumshoe, Will Randall gives us an often hilarious, sometimes scary, eye-opening perspective on the bizarre world of private investigation.
A Corkscrew Is Most Useful
By Nicholas Murray
In the early 19th century there was a huge surge forward in travel of all kinds. Queen Victoria's accession in 1837 came barely a year after John Murray's first guidebook was published. Then in 1838 Bradshaw's famous portable railway timetable appeared. In 1841 Thomas Cook, the world's first travel agent, organised its first tour (from London to Leicester and back by train). The age of mass tourism had arrived. Side by side with it another phenomenom began to develop: exploration to wilder shores and uncharted lands. This is the focus of Nicholas Murray's fascinating book which draws upon the extraordinary stories of Livingstone's journey across Africa; Burton and Speke reaching Lake Tanganyika; John Stuart crossing Australia from south to north; Livingstone reaching the Zambezi; Richard Burton's travels across Arabia, and countless others' extraordinary and brave expeditions.