books of the week
Sunday 16 November 1997
This picture-packed, easy-to-read stocking filler, is Ms Lumley's account of her journey to Bhutan in her grandparents' footsteps. Sleeping in a tent and travelling by foot and pack pony, she visits Buddhist monasteries and villages like Wangdi-Phodrang, making friends with everyone she meets. However, having heard how she cheated on her Girl Friday programme, I'm not as ready to believe she really used earth latrines and washed her own clothes in icy streams along the way. It's bound to be a best-seller.
Travellers' Tales from Heaven and Hell (Travellers' Eye, pounds 6.99) by Dan Hiscocks (ed.).
There isn't a rotten apple in this barrel of laughs and sighs. Even the story titles, such as Five Go Mad in Paignton and Niet Way Out, raise a smile. My favourites include the nightmare story of a manic Egyptian doctor in the next seat on a long flight. Some stories seem just too good to be true. But I blame Joanna Lumley for my all my irrational cynicism.
The Travellers' Guide to Mars (Cadogan, pounds 4.99) by Michael Pauls & Dana Facaros.
This guide to the red planet is a marriage of scientific facts on climate and geography with tongue-in-cheek humour, such as how much it costs to get there ($3bn strapped to a Viking 2 space probe). I'm not sure to whom this book would appeal, but if you fancy a look, buy it in a discount book store for 20p in six months.
Russia & Central Asia by Road (Bradt, pounds 12.95) by Hazel Barker.
This guidebook can take you from Vyborg, in Finland, to Vladivostok, on the Manchurian Plain by 4WD, motorbike or bicycle. The planning section has lots of good advice on what to take, although the rest of the book is a different kettle of ribah (fish). For example, "What to see in Moscow" is covered in half a page; and the fact that "Russian bread is generally very good," isn't going to help when you're starving on the steppes! While the lack of information may provide a pioneering flavour, I'm not sure I'd trust the book to give me the most out of such a journey.
The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations
- 1 Cecil the lion: Dentist Walter Palmer blames local guides in Zimbabwe for the scandal
- 2 Kate Winslet thanked 'particularly horrible' girl who bullied her at school after Titanic success
- 3 Norwich paedophile ring: Woman at centre of gang who made children 'sexual play things' guilty of 23 offences
- 4 Black and ethnic minority people twice as likely to be hit by Tory cuts than white people, report finds
- 5 Walter Palmer: Cecil the lion killer revealed to be American dentist
Labour leadership contender Jeremy Corbyn says 'we can learn a great deal from Karl Marx'
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn – or a return to a Labour government
The last thing Labour needs is a leader like Jeremy Corbyn who people want to vote for
I am the Jeremy Corbyn supporter that many will tell you doesn't exist
Public anger after French sunbather beaten up by gang for wearing a bikini in Reims park
Labour leadership: New poll shows party is now even 'less electable' than under Ed Miliband
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