By Foster Huntington
More and more people are taking a break from conventional life for the freedom and adventure of being on the road and living in a converted vintage truck, camper, or van.One of these vandwellers, Foster Huntington, created the #vanlife hashtag as he chronicled his adventures living in a van while driving across country. He tapped into a community of like-minded individuals looking to explore nature at their own pace.VAN LIFE showcases the best crowd-sourced photographs of stunning beaches, misty forests, and rocky mountains from Foster's tumblr account, many of which have never been posted.
By John Julius Norwich
Henry James wrote of Venice: 'You desire to embrace it, to caress it, to possess it . . .' whereas Mark Twain found St Mark's 'so ugly . . . propped on its long row of thick-legged columns, its back knobbed with domes, it seems like a vast, warty bug taking a meditative walk'. Reactions to Venice have been, throughout the ages, astonishingly different. John Julius Norwich has put together a dazzling anthology, drawing on the writings of Byron, Goethe, Wagner, Casanova, Jan Morris, Robert Browning and Horace Walpole, among many others. The pieces range from the sixth century, when the early lagoon-dwellers lived 'like sea-birds in huts, built on heaps of osiers' to the exquisite city of eighteenth-century revellers and nineteenth-century art lovers. The city's many diferent guises are shown as both its citizens and visitors saw them. This wonderful volume from the Traveller's Reader series also contains maps, engravings and notes on history, art, architecture and everyday city life.
Valley Of The Casbahs
By Jeffrey Tayler
The four-hundred-and-fifty-mile long Draa River Valley in the Moroccan Sahara contains some of the most sumptuous oases and searing desert of the Arab world, starting in the moonscape gorges of the Anti Atlas Mountains through to a green sea of date palms over which rise the many-towered casbahs of ochre coloured clay, medieval in aspect and sheltering a life medieval in character. It is a region richer historically and ethnically than anywhere else in North Africa. The river stretches to the mosaic of dunes and parched land known as hammada - the domain of Bedouin and Blue Men and isolated Berber tribes - and pours through the desert into the Atlantic, where it ends its course. Jeffrey Tayler follows the Draa by foot and on camel, recounting stays in casbah homes, weddings, visits to mosques and marabouts and nights in hashish dens. It is a journey marked with extremes - of weather, as Tayler survives intense heat and sandstorms and potentially lethal local tribesmen - and one which he only narrowly escapes to tell this tale.
The Virago Book Of Women Travellers
By Mary Morris
Some of the extraordinary women whose writings are including in this collection are observers of the world in which they wander; their prose rich in description, remarkable in detail. Mary McCarthy conveys the vitality of Florence while Willa Cather's essay on Lavandou foreshadows her descriptions of the French countryside in later novels. Others are more active participants in the culture they are visiting, such as Leila Philip, as she harvests rice with chiding Japanese women, or Emily Carr, as she wins the respect and trust of the female chieftain of an Indian village in Northern Canada. Whether it is curiosity about the world, a thirst for adventure or escape from personal tragedy, all of these women are united in that they approached their journeys with wit, intelligence, compassion and empathy for the lives of those they encountered along the way. Features writing from Gertrude Bell, Edith Wharton, Isabella Bird, Kate O'Brien, Lady Mary Wortley Montagu and many others.