Golden Books: Travelling Through Words
Landscapes don’t get much bigger than the Himalaya. Robert Twigger’s new tome, White Mountain (Weidenfeld & Nicholson, £20), sees him tackle not only the Abode of the Gods but the prickly history and myths that continue to draw visitors to these impenetrable peaks. Wales’ pinnacles might not match up to Nepal’s in size, but they can punch their weight in legends and literature. Jim Perrin’s The Hills of Wales (Gomer, £15) compiles three decades of his ruminations into a passionate endorsement of Welsh walking, folklore and writing. You’ll be Cymru-bound in no time. There’s more epic scenery and history in Forty Shades of White (Explore Books, £12).
Here, ‘grandmum-next-door’ Ginni Bazlinton blends the minutia of her voyage around the White Continent – wildlife, islands, fellow passengers – with a generous overview of the region and its storied and often tragic past. Speaking of stories: Ethiopia has had nearly two millennia of literary tourists. Yves-Marie Stranger collates their wisdom and writings in Ethiopia: Through Writers’ Eyes (Han d, £15), starting with Greek historian Herodotus in 440BC and finishing with Wanderlust’s rather fractious cycle through the area, in the modern day, with the likes of Poe, Waugh, Coleridge and Dervla Murphy all chipping in. But often it’s the little details that make a journey great. Atlas Obscura (Workman, £25), a compendium of the arcane, the hidden and the most eccentric travel spots, has over 700 ft m ideas to brighten nearly any journey on the planet. At winkle-eyed gem.