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  • gt3
    replied
    Originally posted by Lang Spoon View Post
    To the Holy Mountain by Dalrymple is a great book, maybe the only one of his I can reread with pleasure.
    A great book Lang Spoon. What is it about his others that displeasure you?

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  • gt3
    replied
    Originally posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
    no gt3 there's a third book - The Peregrine by JA Baker. Macdonald sets up a dichotomy between the two authors and trashes The Goshawk which i would like to read. Always vividly remembered the falconry section in White's Once and Future King
    Oh that's interesting N2. I Haven't started wither yet, they are my Christmas reading... I'll let you know. But this conversation belongs over on the other thread not here hey?

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  • Lang Spoon
    replied
    To the Holy Mountain by Dalrymple is a great book, maybe the only one of his I can reread with pleasure.

    Leave a comment:


  • jameswba
    replied
    Also on old travel writing, Robert Louis Stevenson is great. In particular his accounts of travelling in the Cevennes with a donkey and of taking migrant trains from New York to the Great Plains.

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  • Lang Spoon
    replied
    All that lyrical British countryside stuff like the goshawk book, Robert McFarlane etc seems a bit parochial twee and politically suspect. Or maybe just boring to me.
    Last edited by Lang Spoon; 17-12-2018, 19:16.

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    My neighborhood is becoming a hawk hotspot. I assume they're eating squirrels, voles, chimpmunks, and maybe rabbits. I've never seen them do that, thankfully, but those are plentiful. I've also seen crows mobbing them to keep them away from their nests. Crows are hardcore.

    Leave a comment:


  • Nefertiti2
    replied
    no gt3 there's a third book - The Peregrine by JA Baker. Macdonald sets up a dichotomy between the two authors and trashes The Goshawk which i would like to read. Always vividly remembered the falconry section in White's Once and Future King

    Leave a comment:


  • ursus arctos
    replied
    If one is into hawks and the people who watch (and count) them, I highly recommend A Season at the Point by Thomas Connor, which is a collective portrait of the bird and birdwatching communities of Cape May, New Jersey (visited by hundreds of hawks a day in season).

    Leave a comment:


  • gt3
    replied
    Originally posted by Nefertiti2 View Post
    I've read "H is for Hawk" - I found it a bit disappointing. She quotes great swathes of a book by someone else on hawks which I found more interersting - and it seemed to follow a literary formular which i felt I'd encountered before. Many love it though
    N2- the book you're referring to is The Goshawk by TH White, which is the other book I was given by my friend when he gave me H Is For Hawk. Apparently it is better than HIFH but reading the latter first gives one a better understanding of the former...i.e. read HIFH then read TG...

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Talking of old travel writing, I got into H V Morton when my mother-in-law gave me "In the Steps of the Master" which was a book he wrote in 1934 travelling around Pre-Israel Palestine. It was bittersweet reading about places that probably don't exist any more certainly not in the form that they did then. I then went onto read "In search of Wales" by him which wrote about a fair few places I know well but from a different historical perspective - Cardiff, Port Talbot etc. Unfortunately, I may not read any more of his and he was a bit of a fantasist (exampled by him 'happening' upon David Lloyd George sitting on a fence in Criccieth - as it goes, my grandfather's home town) and a racist anti-Semite. However, the former especially was a wonderful read which isn't besmirched by that.

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  • imp
    replied
    I bought Eric Newby's 'Love and War in the Apennines' the other day, remembering how much I loved his account of the Trans-Siberian Express years ago - Blackwell's in Edinburgh (a fine bookshop) had several of his books on display, and I wanted to buy them all.

    Mark Twain's travel writing is generally entertaining. In fact I prefer travel writing from another era, just as I prefer old maps and newspapers. Last year I read Gaziel's First World War travel account of trips to Thessaloniki and Serbia. Could be that the time distance makes it easier to deal with anything distressing that comes up.

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  • Sam
    replied
    I've mentioned it many times before, but on the Shackleton topic, South by the man himself is well worth a read.

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Big fan of Palin and Bryson and would also commend to the house both Pete McCarthy books - Road to McCarthy and McCarthy's Bar. I also absolutely adore Hank Wangford's book on South American cowboys Lost Cowboys.I am not sure whether it counts as travel writing or journalism but "Holidays in Hell" by PJ O-rourke is a great book that I must reread.
    Last edited by Bordeaux Education; 16-12-2018, 22:16.

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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Originally posted by ad hoc View Post
    Some great books in this thread. And some I need to track down.

    I liked Thubron's book along the Silk Road (not sure if that was the title). I'd recommend Blue River, Black Sea by Andrew Eames following the course of the Danube, and for more Hungary/Romania action my favourite Patrick Leigh Fermor book Between the Woods and the Water.
    I had automatically assumed Between The Woods And The Water would have been your Leigh Fermor book, ad hoc, all things considered. I think I found the first book marginally more interesting to me because it traveled through territory slightly more familiar to me, and also had the excitement of departure and the astonishing stuff of walking through Germany in 1933. But really they belong together as a pair.

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  • Nefertiti2
    replied
    I've read "H is for Hawk" - I found it a bit disappointing. She quotes great swathes of a book by someone else on hawks which I found more interersting - and it seemed to follow a literary formular which i felt I'd encountered before. Many love it though

    Leave a comment:


  • ad hoc
    replied
    Some great books in this thread. And some I need to track down.

    I liked Thubron's book along the Silk Road (not sure if that was the title). I'd recommend Blue River, Black Sea by Andrew Eames following the course of the Danube, and for more Hungary/Romania action my favourite Patrick Leigh Fermor book Between the Woods and the Water.

    Leave a comment:


  • via vicaria
    replied
    Originally posted by Third rate Leszno View Post
    Wendell Steavenson has written a couple of excellent books: "Stories I Stole: From Georgia"
    Ack, have been after that for a while. Bread and Ashes by Tony Stevenson is still the best travel book I've read about Georgia, but I've got a feeling Steavenson's book would be better.

    TrL - Kassabova's first book (the one you mention) was what convinced me to buy the second. If you liked the first I'm quite sure you'll like Border. Given it's in the same department (of sorts) I'll also throw in a mention for Slavenka Drakulic's Cafe Europa.

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  • Third rate Leszno
    replied
    Aha, I have “Into the silence” sitting amongst my unread pile, have been looking forward to it for a while...

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  • gt3
    replied
    TrL this was my post on the current reading thread(and yes, I know it's a bit non-u to quote yourself...):

    I've found myself reading several books about mountains recently. It started last year when I went trekking in Nepal (I know that makes me sound like Henry Blowfeld - "it reminds me of that night in Karachi dear boy..."). I read Maurice Herzog's Annapurna. A controversial book - apparently some of the others in the team felt it overplayed Herzog's role in the expedition. Whatever the truth of that, the account of the descent still gives me goosebumps!

    That then led a friend of mine to give me a copy of the Ascent of Rum Doodle. Which of course is an absolute hoot after reading Annapurna. One of my favourite lines in it when describing members of the fictional team is "Humphrey Jungle, radio expert and route-finder.Had been nearly as high as most..."

    Then earlier this year I was given a copy of Into The Silence by Wade Davis. It's the history of the Mallory expeditions to Everest. The early chapters dealing with the First World War are some of the most harrowing and lump in throat stuff I've read about it. It remains at that pitch throughout and has pretty much become my book of the decade so far. Can't recommend it enough.

    i'm coming down from the heights of the Himalayas - next up are H is for Hawk by Helen Macdonald and its counterpart The Goshawk by TH White. Has anyone read either? they were given to me as a pair by a good friend of mine.

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  • gt3
    replied
    "My opinion of Colin Thubron isn't great. I read "In Siberia" which I should have found utterly fascinating, but I found his writing to be just swamped under an avalanche of adjectives that hid the lack of content".

    SB - Give To A Mountain In Tibet a go. I know what you mean about his writing, but there's something about this one which makes it special.

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  • Third rate Leszno
    replied
    Another one with a decent collection of travel writing here.

    Love Paul Theroux, enjoy Thubron, Tim Moore makes me howl and I'm quite fond of Bryson, although he does try a bit too hard at times in his more recent stuff.

    Only read one Dervla Murphy, never touched Leigh Fermor or Dalrymple - I probably should. Not read Old Glory by Raban, though I did enjoy A Passage to Juneau so I ought to seek that out.

    I've got the Jacek Hugo-Bader that vv mentions, but not yet read it - but did read his previous effort "White Fever: A Journey to the Frozen Heart of Siberia" which was very nicely written. I'm also aiming to get the Kapka Kassabova one as I thought the one she wrote about growing up in Bulgaria was lovely.

    Couple of others worth a mention - not strictly travel writing in the sense that some of the others are, but more a story collector from places that she visits, Wendell Steavenson has written a couple of excellent books: "Stories I Stole: From Georgia" and "The Weight of a Mustard Seed" (stories of Hussein-era and post-US invasion Iraq). In the Shackleton/Cherry-Garrard polar exploration genre, I'd highly recommend "In the Land of White Death" by Valerian Albanov.

    Final thought - for anyone who likes an old-fashioned exploration into the jungle kind of adventure, I still think Redmond O'Hanlon is hard to beat.

    Leave a comment:


  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Lots of shopping that needs to be done. I've already bought Endurance from Amazon thanks to the recommendation - it's a book I've heard about repeatedly but always forgot to buy.

    I saw Apsley Cherry-Gerrard give a very engaging talk at the RGS in London, but never bought the book. I guess that's going to be next up after Endurance.

    My opinion of Colin Thubron isn't great. I read "In Siberia" which I should have found utterly fascinating, but I found his writing to be just swamped under an avalanche of adjectives that hid the lack of content.

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  • Wouter D
    replied
    Originally posted by gt3 View Post
    Apsley Cherry-Gerrard's The Worst Journey is probably a good companion piece. Have you read that WD? certainly Endurance is on my list to read.
    Not yet, no. My copy of Endurance is MIA: I must have lend it out to someone, but completely forgot to whom.

    I do have Shackleton: The Heart Of The Antarctic. Not quite as good as Endurance, but still a very interesting read.

    Leave a comment:


  • Antepli Ejderha
    replied
    Excellent genre and thread. Dervla Murphy and her travels by bike are excellent.

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  • via vicaria
    replied
    I've really loved some of the books you mention in your original post, SB (particularly Jan Morris'). It's a genre I'm a bit in love with too!

    There's a couple of relatively recent finishes I'd highly recommend:

    Kolyma Diaries: A Journey into Russia's Haunted Hinterland by Jacek Hugo-Bader. A rather old skool Polish journalist takes a trip along the Kolyma highway in Siberia, retracing the history of the gulags and generally spending a lot of time having to get drunk with random characters he meets along the way.

    Land of the Turquoise Mountains by Cyrus Massoudi. Liked this a lot, mostly I think because I haven't read a lot about Iran, so it was all quite new to me.

    Border by Kapka Kassabova. While it's a bit of a travelogue, it's something more akin to Morris' book in that it's a general examination about how borders, borderlands and those who live in them are affected by the ebb and flow of politics and allegiances.

    Leave a comment:

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