Green Volunteers: The World Guide to Voluntary Work in Nature Conservation (Green Volunteers, pounds 9.99) edited by Fabio Ausenda

Working as a volunteer for nature and wildlife-related projects provides an opportunity to become involved in serious worldwide conservation and to travel the world for anything from a few days to a year or more.

The aim of Fabio Ausenda's book is to fill in the communication gap between a growing number of people interested in volunteering for conservation work, with a growing number of projects - from wetlands in Wales to penguins in Peru - all in need of fresh recruits.

The book is a directory divided into two sections. The first is dedicated to organisations, covering a wide range of species, habitats and geographic locations.

The more useful second section on projects goes into greater detail. It covers essentials like type of work, age preferences, qualifications and qualities required, languages spoken, and cost to the volunteer (ranging from nothing to several thousand pounds).

Inroads into Burma: A Travellers' Anthology (Oxford University Press, pounds 13.99) compiled by Gerry Abbott

Since gaining independence in 1948, Myanmar (as Burma has called itself since 1989) has evolved into one of Asia's great enigmas. But as Gerry Abbott's anthology illustrates, this is nothing new to a country, which chose to remain aloof from the outside world for centuries.

It was only after the country was annexed into the British Empire during the 19th century that its doors were briefly flung open.

The anthology contains a series of snap-shots of the many different sides of the country as seen through the eyes of an eclectic mix of foreign travellers, who, like Ludovico di Varthema - a 16th century adventurer - came from a completely different world.

To his credit Abbott does not neglect the country's ongoing internal strife. Indeed, the section on Aung San Suu Kyi, the country's popular opposition leader, by her husband, Michael Aris, is just one of many highlights in a book that will appeal to academics and armchair travellers alike.

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