By Laurence Kelly
Istanbul, A Traveller's Reader is an wide-ranging and carefully chosen selection of writings, offering a richly layered view of Byzantine Constantinople and Turkish Istanbul. During the thousand-year Byzantine empire that followed its founding by Constantine the Great, Istanbul became a city of fabled riches; after falling to the Turks in 1453, its glories continued, maintained by the strength and wealth of the Ottomans.Drawing on diaries, letters, biographies, travelogues and poems from the sixth century AD onwards, this evocative anthology recreates for contemporary visitors the vanished glories of Constantinople. It provides vivid eyewitness accounts of the coronation of a Byzantine emperor; the funeral of a sultan; the triumphal entry of Mehmet the Conqueror; the building of the Süleymaniye, the most magnificent of the city's moques; and the death of Atatürk in 1938.It also describes the rampant sexual exploits of the Byzantine empress-to-be Theodora; the public execution of a Turkish wife and her young, Christian lover; the near execution of an envoy given the unenviable task of transporting a large organ from England to Constantinople in 1599, a gift from Queen Elizabeth to Sultan Mehmet III, who was caught admiring the sultan's personal harem; and the unfortunate Frenchman caught drinking wine and eating a pork sausage while sketching in Hagia Sophia in the 1680s.
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.
In Search Of Elvis
By Charlie Connelly
Since his death in 1977 Elvis Presley has become an even greater cultural icon than when he was making records and consuming deep-fried peanut-butter-and-banana sandwiches. IN SEARCH OF ELVIS sees Charlie Connelly set off on a journey to discover what makes Elvis so significant today and how his spirit is being kept alive more than half a century after he changed popular culture for ever. Charlie's odyssey takes him to Finland to meet an academic who performs Elvis songs in long-dead languages - while wearing a kilt; to Canada to find the orthodox Jewish Elvis tribute artist, Schmelvis; to Scotland to get fitted out with the Presley tartan; and culminates in Memphis, where Charlie stays at the Heartbreak Hotel (which is at the end of Lonely Street) and records a song in Sun Studio, the very room where Elvis arguably invented rock'n'roll. Hilarious yet informative, and written with Charlie Connelly's customary wit and charm, this book will appeal to Elvis fans of all ages, plus the many travel-book aficionados who delighted in ATTENTION ALL SHIPPING.
The Illustrated Virago Book Of Women Travellers
By Mary Morris
Women move through the world differently from men. The constraints and perils, the perceptions and complex emotions women journey with are different. For many women, the inner landscape is as important as the outer. This does not mean that the woman traveller is not politically aware, historically astute or in touch with the customs and language of the place, but it does mean that a woman cannot travel and not be aware of her body and the limitations her sex presents. This illustrated edition of The Virago Book of Women Travellers captures 300 years of wanderlust. Some of the women are observers of the world in which they wander and others are more active. Often they are storytellers, weaving tales about the people they encounter. Whether it is curiosity about the world or escape from personal tragedy, these women approached their journeys with wit, intelligence, compassion and empathy for the lives of others.
By Barbara Sjoholm
Barbara Sjoholm arrived in London in the winter of 1970 at the age of twenty. Like countless young Americans in that tumultuous time, she wanted to leave a country at war and explore Europe a small inheritance from her grandmother gave her the opportunity. Over the next three years, she lived in Barcelona, hitchhiked around Spain, and studied at the University of Granada. She managed a sourvenir shop in the Norwegian mountains and worked as a dishwasher on the Norwegian Coastal Steamer. Set on becoming a writer, she read everything from Colette to Dickens to Borges, changing her style and her subject every few weeks, and gradually found her voice. Incognito Street is the story of a young woman's search for artistic, political, and sexual identity while digesting the changing world around her. As she sheds the ghosts of her childhood, we come to know her quiet yet adventurous spirit. In moments that are tender, funny, bewildering, and suspenseful, we see an evocative look at Europe through the blossoming writer's maturing eyes.
Ireland: In A Glass Of Its Own
By Peter Biddlecombe
Peter Biddlecombe has dragged his beleaguered expense account around no fewer than 170 countries of variable merit, which puts him literally miles ahead of every other travel writer. Wittily and informatively he brings a unique businessman's perspective to his destinations - Biddlecombe has to land running in order to survive. IRELAND: IN A GLASS OF ITS OWN - in many ways the perfect marriage of author and subject - marks a departure, as it focuses upon one comparatively small country. In this book Biddlecombe argues - in inimitable fashion - that the thirty-two counties can be said to represent the constituent parts of a pint of the black stuff. (Happily, the author has lost none of his famed thirst.) The roasted, malted barley, for example, comes from the farming counties: Wicklow, Kilkenny and Meath. This is Biddlecombe's hilarious account of Ireland - not just the coastal areas beloved of normal (I.e. lesser) travel writers but the bits in between. Particularly those bits with pubs on them. Well, just to save you the embarrassment of drinking on your own ... Cheers.
By Paul Richardson
Everybody loves chocolate. From Willy Wonka to Ferrero Rocher, the Cadbury's Flake girl to the man from Milk Tray, it is embedded in our culture like no other foodstuff. The 'Prozac of Candy' produces the same chemicals in your brain as when you fall in love.Paul Richardson has had a sweet tooth ever since his grandmother fed him Lindt milk chocolate animals as a boy. Now, in this fascinating new book, he satisfies a lifelong craving by travelling the world to find out the history of this most popular of foodstuffs. It is a journey that begins in the cacao groves of Guatemala and Mexico, and takes him from the old world to the new, to mainland Europe and the chocolatiers of Paris and Zurich, to Britain and America, and the homes of Cadbury and Hershey.For chocolate lovers everywhere - and let's face it, that's most of us - INDULGENCE is a treat. Witty, insightful and wonderfully readable, this is the tastiest book you'll devour all year, bar none.
By Will Randall
While attempting to teach at an inner London comprehensive Will Randall is taken up by an elderly German woman who asks him to accompany her to India. Nothing ventured, he agrees and so begins a wonderful life-changing adventure. Set down in Puna (3 hours from Bombay) he begins work teaching English at a slum school. Most of the children are orphans or parentless (one lost his parents four years previously when his mother had let go of his hand at a railway station and he 'd boarded the wrong train ). When zamidars -slum barons - arrive and threaten to pull down the school Randall has to put on a fund-raising performance of the Indian epic The Ramayana in order to help the slum dwellers buy their own land. Meanwhile he's also been spotted by a Bollywood Director who persuades him to take the role of leading man in his new film.Will Randall is 'the teacher who travels' and, as in SOLOMON TIME, this is a funny and heart-warming account of how one man's enthusiasm and old-fashioned desire to do good have helped to preserve a community.
In Search Of London
By H.V. Morton
H. V. Morton turns his traveller's intuition and his reporter's eye for detail to the city that has fascinated him since childhood,London past, present, and timeless. He explores the City and the Temple, Covent Garden, SoHo, and all the "submerged villages beneath the flood of bricks and mortar," uncovering layer upon layer of London's history. Morton follows the thread of imagination back and forth across the city, tracing unforgettable scenes: the Emperor Claudius leading his war elephants across the Thames. . .the grisly executions at the Tower. . .the world of Shakespeare, Dickens, and Queen Victoria. . .and the shattered yet defiant city of the Blitz as well as the postwar London of "ruins and hatless crowds." Morton's quest for London's heart reveals how its daily life is rooted in a past that is closer and more familiar than we might think, making the book as informative, entertaining, and rich in human colour today as when it was written fifty years ago.
By Thurston Clarke
ISLOMANIA is not really about the famous fictional castaway at all - it is more about the place he was forced to make his temporary home, and other places like it. Renowned travel writer Thurston Clarke has long been obsessed with islands, an affliction he calls 'islomania', and his new book is a kind of love letter to these little (and not so little) worlds surrounded by sea.Beginning with the accepted model for Robinson Crusoe's remote abode, Mas à Tierra in the Pacific, Clarke then takes us on a hugely enjoyable tour of his favourite islands, exploring their geography, history and culture. From George Orwell's Jura, where he wrote '1984', to the beautiful (but slowly sinking) Maldives in the Indian Ocean, this is a book about some of the most curious and evocative places on earth. And over every island falls the shadow of Crusoe, persuading us that islands are more liberating than confining, more contemplative than lonely, more holy than barbaric . . .
In The Steps Of The Master
By H.V. Morton
Here, in the spirit of Bruce Feiler's beloved bestseller Walking the Bible , is a portrait of the Holy Land as a physical embodiment of faith. Dramatically conjuring the beauty of Israel's countryside, In the Steps of the Master also evokes the all-consuming passions and deep-rooted mysteries of Jerusalem,and while much has changed, as Morton says, the essential nature of the sites he visits has not.
In The Footsteps Of Adam
By Thor Heyerdahl
Thor Heyerdahl is one of the greatest explorers of our day. At the age of 84 he has chosen to take a journey through his memories. This is not a chronological autobiography but rather an epic exploration of the world and the amazing events that Heyerdahl has pioneered, participated in and observed. IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF ADAM is an account of life where personal experiences of a dramatic and emotional nature - secret missions during the war and near-fatal accidents - are woven together with his views on religious fatih politics and ecology. It is a book that focuses on the author's own remarkable life, and also brings us back to the dawn of civilization and out into the future. Thor Heyerdahl has spent a long lifetime wandering in the footsteps of mankind. He invites the reader to participate in that journey by sharing generously the details of his private and public life, his accumulated wisdom, and his friendships with a wide range of influential world leaders such as Fidel Castro and Mikhail Gorbachev.
I Came, I Saw, I Lost My Luggage
By Peter Biddlecombe
In the time it takes to get through Atlanta airport's luggage system, Peter Biddlecombe negotiates the perils of business life in twenty cities from Beirut to Budapest, all courtesy of another awe-inspiring expense account.This volume finds the first-class hero at his hilarious and thoughtful best; ostensibly developing contacts, striking deals and attending foreign delegations, he is an astute, informed commentator everywhere he goes, bringing a businessman's eye to bear on the economic and political challenges faced by both post-cold war Europe and the developing nations of Asia and Africa - while simultaneously over-testing the theory that a nation's culture is contained within its bars and restaurants.Whether power-shopping in Miami, attending a Finnish masterclass in the art of vodka-drinking, or simply lamenting the disappearance of the Trabant, Peter Biddlecombe is the perfect bon viveur in a hugely entertaining series of trips across the world.
In God's Country
By Douglas Kennedy
Though much has been written about the political implications of the religious revival which has engulfed America in recent years, a question remains unanswered: what pushes its people into 'declaring for Jesus'?Douglas Kennedy spent a long hot summer cruising through that expanse of the American South known as 'The Bible Belt' exploring that question. In a remarkable journey into one of the strangest corners of the United States, Kennedy finds himself spending time in Miami with a one-time member of the Mafia turned charismatic preacher, discovering Christian heavy metal music in Nashville, and visiting Death Row in South Carolina with an evangelist who ministers to the condemned.Repeatedly discovering the extraordinary within the ordinary, IN GOD'S COUNTRY is a profound, yet brilliantly entertaining exploration of life in late twentieth century America.