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Genre Challenge 2013-15 > August 2014: Travel / Exploration

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message 1: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
So it's travel and exploration for August.
I'm not a great fan of travel writing, but I do enjoy a tale of intrepid explorers.

I highly recommend Beryl Bainbridge's Birthday Boys about Scott's ill-fated Antarctic expedition - one of my favourites.

I've been meaning to read Touching The Void for a while, which might fit, although I'd need to get it from the library. And I heard Coronation Everest praised recently.

I do have a couple sitting on my shelves, so I should probably start there... On the Shores of the Mediterranean by Eric Newby. A few years ago I read his Love and War in the Apennines, which was good and I saw this one on my parents' book shelves when we were having a clear out. Perhaps it's time to give it a go.

Birthday Boys by Beryl Bainbridge Touching The Void by Joe Simpson Coronation Everest by Jan Morris On the Shores of the Mediterranean by Eric Newby Love and War in the Apennines by Eric Newby


message 2: by Danielle (new)

Danielle (daniellecobbaertbe) | 374 comments I like travel writing. Currently reading the lastest book by a Flemish writer of travel stories: Lieve Joris. Some of her books are translated in English: The Rebels' Hour, The Gates of Damascus and Mali Blues: Traveling to an African Beat.


message 3: by Laura (new)

Laura | 26 comments I'm planning on reading In Siberia by Colin Thubron.


message 4: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments I thought perhaps Wild From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.

Not so much travel, but definitely exploration... I recently read and very much enjoyed Moondust In Search Of The Men Who Fell To Earth by Andrew Smith Moondust: In Search Of The Men Who Fell To Earth by Andrew Smith.


message 5: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2733 comments I'll either read one of Bill Bryson's travel books or maybe Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater, if that qualifies as travel/ exploration...


message 6: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I'm a big fan of travel writing. I'm thinking about reading some of the following from my collection:

Arabian Sands or Skeletons on the Zahara or A Time of Gifts (my husband has read the trilogy and loved it) or The Lost Continent .


message 7: by Paulfozz (new)

Paulfozz Have just finished reading Nathaniel's Nutmeg: How One Man's Courage Changed the Course of History by Giles Milton and it was excellent. Lots of exploration involved as various routes to the Spice Islands were being sought in the 16th century, including the seas across the north of Russia!


message 8: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
My first book for this challenge will be Bergerac's Jersey
I'm hoping to clock up a few countries for Around the World this month.


message 9: by Laura (new)

Laura Just finished reading Arabian Sands. Gives a pretty interesting description of a portion of desert life which still exists now but is slowly fading away.


message 10: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
I found it hard to get into On the Shores of the Mediterranean and almost gave up at 50 pages. Too many lists of dates, names, places etc; the facts were getting in the way of a good story.

But I ploughed on and now I think I'm enjoying it more. My head has got into the right space.

I don't think it helps that it was the first week of the new academic year and I could have done with some escapist fiction to distract me from lesson-prep madness!

Exhausting week! Glad to be lounging once again on the sofa with a well-deserved Tiger beer - cheers!


message 11: by Ian, Moderator (last edited Aug 09, 2014 08:28AM) (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Not keen on travel writing but as the Around the World Challenge is about exploring different cultures, have just bought 5 books to get my travels going again:

Sudan - The Orchard of Lost Souls A Novel by Nadifa Mohamed by Nadifa Mohamed
Angola - Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuściński by Ryszard Kapuściński
Gabon - Tropic Moon  by Georges Simenon by Georges Simenon
Honduras - The Mosquito Coast by Paul Theroux by Paul Theroux
Nicaragua - Tooth Man Stories from Nicaragua's Mosquito Coast by Eric Timar by Eric Timar


message 12: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2733 comments Ian wrote: "Not keen on travel writing but as the Around the World Challenge is about exploring different cultures, have just bought 5 books to get my travels going again:

Sudan - [bookcover:The Orchard of L..."


I'm pretty sure I read The Mosquito Coast many years ago. Let me know what you think about it.


message 13: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
I liked 'The Mosquito Coast' too. (I have a couple of other Paul Theroux's on my bookshelves, that I must get on with at some point.....)


message 14: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Just back from hol when mainly went for crime read, so dug around in my big pile of unread books and decided that this is perfect for this month Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks although won't get me a new country, still hope to find in library if lucky Behind the Beautiful Forevers by Katherine Boo for India poss!


message 15: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2733 comments I finished Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater by Carol Drinkwater, telling the story of her move to southern France and the adventures in trying to renovate and maintain and live at the estate and olive plantation she and her partner purchase. So well-written and interesting. Loved it. Trying another story that I hope fits this category, Down and Out in Paris and London (Penguin Modern Classics) by George Orwell by George Orwell.


message 16: by Liz, Moderator (new)

Liz | 3456 comments Mod
I've finally finished On the Shores of the Mediterranean by Eric Newby. I'm always slower on non-fiction and this was no exception.

I had really enjoyed his memoir Love & War in the Apennines which was all about his time travelling secretly through Italy, during the latter part of WW2, trying to make it back to rejoin his battalion and evade capture by the German army (the Italians having given up at this point, and let all their POW's free).

Sadly, the Mediterranean book is patchy. Some sections (Libya) were very good: interesting, entertaining, well written & amusing. Others became merely lists of facts and dates. *yawn* Disappointing.


message 17: by Em (new)

Em (emmap) | 2929 comments Bill wrote: "I finished Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater by Carol Drinkwater, telling the story of her move to southern France and the adventures in trying to renovate and maintain and live at the ..."

I thought Down and Out in Paris and London was good Bill, very vivid descriptions of abject poverty.


message 18: by Robert (last edited Aug 19, 2014 11:22PM) (new)

Robert (bobhe) | 785 comments I have had really bad August at work so not had chance to be on here
Then just had time for proper look and almost missed one of my favourite genre
Hoped got in with Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks but read that in July
I have loved all Bill Bryson and Pete McCarthy.
Then realised had charity shop pick up on shelf I Came, I Saw, I Lost My Luggage Et Tu, Royal Swazi Airlines? by Peter Biddlecombe
Which looks like story travelling first class
Will be next book which hope to get in before September


message 19: by Robert (new)

Robert (bobhe) | 785 comments Bill wrote: "I'll either read one of Bill Bryson's travel books or maybe Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater, if that qualifies as travel/ exploration..."
Who remembers Carol Drinkwater from James Herriot?
Read all shouldn't happen to a vet series as a child.


message 20: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain Banks Finished today and even though its a very self indulgent tour of the whisky distilleries of Scotland I enjoyed it although whether that is because Banks seemed like the sort of person I would love to share a dram with and the book is really extolling the joys of life friends and food and drink but the poignancy is that he has died so prematurely I am not certain. Makes me want to a)max out my credit card buying single malts and b)get my rucksack out and get straight on train to scotland!


message 21: by Bill (new)

Bill | 2733 comments Em wrote: "Bill wrote: "I finished Olive Farm by Carol Drinkwater by Carol Drinkwater, telling the story of her move to southern France and the adventures in trying to renovate and maintain and..."

I finished this morning, Em, you've described to a tee or is that tea?? :0).. Interesting to read his first published novel.


message 22: by Robyn (new)

Robyn I haven't read anything yet this month! Still hoping to get something in this week, though. Both Olive Farm and Raw Spirit look good to me, the latter especially since we're going to up to Islay in a few weeks.


message 23: by Kate, Moderator (new)

Kate | 1358 comments Mod
I finished Bergerac's Jersey and thoroughly enjoyed it.
I've now moved on to a little hard back book I picked up in a second-hand bookshop called Nepal, Land of Mystery which is written in the early 1940s by Hassoldt Davis About 40 pages in and its a really good writing style with humour, enjoying it so far.


message 24: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: "Raw Spirit In Search of the Perfect Dram by Iain BanksFinished today and even though its a very self indulgent tour of the whisky distilleries of Scotland I enjoyed it although whether that i..."

c.25 years ago, once bought 12 single malts in one go just cos a mate had done it. Daft extravagance but loved having them on my drinks shelf, looking at them longingly and of course gradually drinking them. Took several years. My fave was and is a peaty malt like Laphroiag or perhaps The Balvenie....but then again Lagavulin. Just go for it Andrew, you know it makes sense. Drink responsibly lol.


message 25: by Robyn (new)

Robyn We're on Islay RIGHT NOW and I can say that you should definitely get the rucksack out and head straight here. It's magnificent!


message 26: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Perhaps I should add it to my bucket list as I would be grounded as soon as I mention such a trip , I will content myself with adding those whiskies to my birthday and christmas list Ian and hope Santa is listening.


message 27: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Robyn wrote: "We're on Islay RIGHT NOW and I can say that you should definitely get the rucksack out and head straight here. It's magnificent!"

Just googled and now know that there are 11 distilleries on Islay of which I have only sampled 3 - 2 of 3 mentioned above and the delicious Bowmore. Magnificent indeed Robyn and more direct research needed methinks lol.


message 28: by Robyn (new)

Robyn Once we go to Lagavulin and Laphroaig tomorrow, we will officially have visited all the distilleries .... and our collection of whisky has expanded, and expanded. Plus, it's just beautiful - went over to Jura today and I think I could spend ages wandering about. (Plus, to tie it back to books, George Orwell wrote 1984 there!)


message 29: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments I'd recommend the banks book Robyn will probably cover places you've been. Like the idea of direct research Ian and a glass of peaty laphroaig would do very nicely just now.


message 30: by Andrew (new)

Andrew | 1010 comments Guess Ian you can now toast Mr balotelli!!


message 31: by Robyn (new)

Robyn There's a nice quote from Banks on the wall in Bowmore's tasting room (which has a great harbour view). I definitely want to pick the book up.


message 32: by Ian, Moderator (new)

Ian (pepecan) | 5528 comments Mod
Andrew wrote: "Guess Ian you can now toast Mr balotelli!!"

Yuk


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