Billy Connolly's Tracks Across America
By Billy Connolly
Billy Connolly - raconteur, comedian, and irrepressible wanderer - has spent much of his life in the United States. It's a country he knows and loves a great deal, but even someone as well-travelled as Billy can always discover knew things about such a vast nation. So he's off on the move again, this time via the tracks of the great railroads that helped to build the country.Billy's latest adventure takes him on an epic trip through the backyard of America, tracing the routes taken by the first European settlers westwards from Chicago to California, then back down south and eastwards through Arizona, Texas, Alabama and finally New York, over 6,000 miles and 26 states later. It's a journey through a country you don't get to see from 30,000 feet in the air - the real America of friendly people with fascinating tales to tell which not only give us an insight into their lives, but also into the life of their great homeland. And it's a journey that couldn't be shared with a more entertaining companion. Hope aboard and join Billy on a trip you'll never forget.
Beyond the Black Stump
By Andrew Stevenson
A seasoned traveller, travel writer Andrew Stevenson is unafraid of the unconventional. Whilst most people visiting Australia tread the well worn path from the Sydney Opera House to Cairns up the East Coast, Andrew disappeared into the Australian outback in search of the original Australians - the Aboriginal People."If you want to meet them nowadays, you've got to go beyond the black stump!" He was told. Going where few have gone before, Andrew delves into the Outback without fear. Drinking in bars with people even the locals avoid, asking questions that we all want to hear the answers to.Written with humour and compassion his powers of observation and enquiring mind draw out a frankness that is sometimes shocking but something from which we can all learn. Beyond the Black Stump: Travels around Australia is no ordinary tale of an intrepid traveller, it is an extraordinary account of an Australia that we have not seen before.
The Bookshop That Floated Away
By Sarah Henshaw
In early 2009 a strange sort of business plan landed on the desk of a pinstriped bank manager. It had pictures of rats and moles in rowing boats and archaic quotes about Cleopatra's barge. It asked for a £30,000 loan to buy a black-and-cream narrowboat and a small hoard of books. The manager said no. Nevertheless The Book Barge opened six months later and enjoyed the happy patronage of local readers, a growing number of eccentrics and the odd moorhen.Business wasn't always easy, so one May morning owner Sarah Henshaw set off for six months chugging the length and breadth of the country. Books were bartered for food, accommodation, bathroom facilities and cake. During the journey, the barge suffered a flooded engine, went out to sea, got banned from Bristol and, on several occasions, floated away altogether. This account follows the ebbs and flows of Sarah's journey as she sought to make her vision of a floating bookshop a reality.
By Nancy K. Miller
In the early 1960s, most middle-class American women in their twenties had their lives laid out for them: marriage, children, and life in the suburbs. Most, but not all. Breathless is the story of a girl who represents those who rebelled against conventional expectations. Paris was a magnet for those eager to resist domesticity, and like many young women of the decade, Nancy K. Miller was enamored of everything French,from perfume and Hermès scarves to the writing of Simone de Beauvoir and the New Wave films of Jeanne Moreau. After graduating from Barnard College in 1961, Miller set out for a year in Paris, with a plan to take classes at the Sorbonne and live out a great romantic life inspired by the movies. After a string of sexual misadventures, she gave up her short-lived freedom and married an American expatriate who promised her a lifetime of three-star meals and five-star hotels. But her husband wasn't who he said he was, and she eventually had to leave Paris and her dreams behind. This stunning memoir chronicles a young woman's coming-of-age tale, and offers a glimpse into the intimate lives of girls before feminism.
Billy Connolly's Route 66
By Billy Connolly
Britain's best-loved comedian hits the most famous highway in the world on an unforgettable journey.Billy Connolly, music-lover, biker, and scourge of the beige and bland the world over, has dreamed about taking a trip on the legendary Route 66 since he heard Chuck Berry belting out one of the greatest rock 'n' roll records of all time. And now he's finally had the chance to do it, travelling every mile on his custom-made trike in search of the real America that can still be found beyond the nation's freeways.Taking in both the essential icons and the hidden gems of the 'Mother Road', Billy also meets up with plenty of the memorable characters who call it home. With his instinct for a good story, and the infectious enthusiasm that has made him our most engaging national treasures, Billy Connolly is the ultimate guide to the ultimate road trip.
By Richard Grant
There are many ways to die in the Sierra Madre, a notorious nine-hundred-mile mountain range in northern Mexico where AK-47s are fetish objects, the law is almost non-existent and power lies in the hands of brutal drug mafias. Thousands of tons of opium and marijuana are produced there every year. Richard Grant thought it would be a good idea to travel the length of the Sierra Madre and write a book about it. He was warned before he left that he would be killed. But driven by what he calls 'an unfortunate fascination' for this mysterious region, Grant sets off anyway. In a remarkable piece of investigative writing, he evokes a sinister, surreal landscape of lonely mesas, canyons sometimes deeper than the Grand Canyon, hostile villages and an outlaw culture where homicide is the most common cause of death and grandmothers sell cocaine. Finally his luck runs out and he finds himself fleeing for his life, pursued by men who would murder a stranger in their territory 'to please the trigger finger'.
By Any Means
By Charley Boorman
Bikes have always been Charley's first love, but he also enjoys a challenge. So when the chance comes to travel across three continents 'by any means', he jumps right in.Grabbing whatever local transport he can get his hands on, Charley travels from his home town in County Wicklow all the way to Australia - a trip of over 20,000 miles through twenty-five countries. Testing Charley's skills and stamina to the limit, this new journey offers him a unique opportunity to meet people and learn firsthand all about their countries. He drives a lorry through northern Iran, rides a tuk-tuk through the chaotic and colourful city of Varanasi, and becomes the first person ever to wakeboard across the Malay/Singapore border. He sets up his own bus service in Turkey, takes a slow boat down the Mekong, and a very fast one through Borneo to deliver vaccines for UNICEF. And of course he jumps on a bike whenever he can, even if there's a monsoon on the way . . .
The Britannica Guide to Russia
Russia is a land of superlatives, it is also a country of extremes. By far the world's largest country, it extends across the whole of northern Asia and the eastern third of Europe, spanning eleven time zones. The Britannica Guide to Russia offers a panoramic view of Russia, telling the history of the nation since 1917 as well as the story of its culture, religion, arts, and literature in the twentieth century and beyond.Particular focus is made on the contemporary nation since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Out of the ashes of the cold war, a new super power has emerged including the rise of the Oligarchs, the presidency of Vladimir Putin, and the role of Russia in the new world order. The guide also covers the major places to visit such as Moscow, St Petersburg, and Kiev.
By Will Randall
Will Randall travels with a purpose, as well as an outrageous sense of fortune. In INDIAN SUMMER he found himself, by chance, having the extraordinary experience of helping slum schoolchildren put on a play to help save their school. In Botswana he was taken up by a headmaster to teach a class of six year olds at The River of Life school. They are football crazy and one of Will's jobs is to take them to play neighbouring (sometimes as much as 100 miles away) schools. Camping en-route or staying in farms and rural villages, often travelling by foot or dug-out punts, thousands of antelope, elephant, buffalo and zebra follow their progress. The sound of lions, leopards and hyenas become the soundtrack of their dreams. Against all the odds they find themselves preparing for the Grand Final of the season - the titanic clash with arch rivals, Victoria Falls Primary school.Both an endearing personal story and a travel book about a little-known but highly successful country, BOTSWANA TIME will win new fans for both Will Randall and the extraordinary country of Botswana.
By Anthony Holden
BIG DEAL is the mesmerising story of a year spent by bestselling biographer Anthony Holden in the tough world of the professional poker player. He spent days and nights in the poker paradise of Las Vegas, in Malta and Morocco, even shipboard, mingling with the legendary greats, sharpening his game, perfecting his repartee, and learning a great deal about himself in the process.Poker, Holden would insist, is not gambling. Like chess it is a paradigm of life at its most intense, a gladiatorial contest that brings out the best as well as the worst in people. Its heroes, its eccentrics and is comedians stalk the pages of this remarkable book, along with all the hair-raising, nail-biting excitement of the games themselves.A classic of the genre, BIG DEAL is here reissued with a new introduction by the author.
By Peter Mayle
Gastronomy is a wonderful starting point to study France and the French. As the retired schoolmaster from Provence says 'The religion of France is food. And wine, of course.' And they put their money where their mouth is, spending a greater proportion of their income on food and drink than any other nation in the world. Literally hundreds of gastronomic fairs and festivals take place throughout the year all over France - a frog fair, an hommage to the sausage, to the turnip, to the quiche and the noble Camembert. What kind of person is a snail-fancier? Is there a brotherhood of sausage connoisseurs? How can you devote an entire weekend to the French fry? Peter Mayle finds out and brings hilariously and affectionately to life the people who can get passionate about a frog's leg or a well-turned omelette. Over ten years ago he transformed our feelings about Provence, now he captures the irresistible essence of France herself - and her food.
By Rosie Thomas
On 6th September 1997, Rosie Thomas, mother of two, bestselling author of a dozen novels, nearing fifty years of age, stepped into a Volvo Amazon in Beijing that was to take her half-way across the world. She and her co-driver - nearly twenty years her junior - Phil Bowen, a pearl diver, charter boat skipper and photographer, were set to retrace the run of the first ever international motor rally.The excitement of the daily time challenge, the strange camaraderie, the bickering over who should drive, the dangerous endurance test of miles on dirt roads, up mountains and through deserts, followed by nights spent sleeping outdoors or in flea pit hotels, is more than matched by Rosie's own internal journey, including a near-death experience at the top of the Himalayas.
Beyond The Pyramids
By Douglas Kennedy
BEYOND THE PYRAMIDS is a delightfully wry chronicle of travels through a country of incongruity - an Egypt encompassing a diversity of cultural influences which often belies its image of 'archaeological theme park'.With an acute eye for the unusual, the interesting or the plain absurd, Douglas Kennedy takes us on a continually surprising tour beyond the pyramids, to a place where Bedouin watch American television in an oasis; where monks in the desert are computer-literate; and where an entire community of Cairo's poor have set up home in a cemetary.'BEYOND THE PYRAMIDS seems to me to have the satisfying insights of a Paul Theroux' Maeve Binchy