Tuesday, 31 January 2017

Monthy Muse

A New Year always offers new possibilities with regards to books, and this year was no exception with the release of the Stanford Dolman Travel Book of the Year shortlist. They have expanded the scope of the whole awards and the Stanford Dolman is the premier prize with six other shortlists highlighting different aspects of travel writing.

Specsavers Fiction (with a sense of place)
Wanderlust Adventure Travel Book of the Year
National Book Tokens Children’s Travel Book of the Year
Food and Travel magazine Food and Travel Book of the Year
Destinations Show Illustrated Travel Book of the Year
London Book Fair Innovation in Travel Publishing

Having promised to read them for Nudge I found that there were six books on there that I hadn’t read (!) and a couple I hadn’t heard of either. I had read some from the Wanderlust prize though so started with the ones on there. The ten books I ended up reading were all good, but there were some outstanding ones too; in particular Deep South for the Dolman and my money is on that one to win. The Wanderlust prizes is a little harder to pick. I really liked Climbing Days by Dan Richards and was fortunate to meet him last October. Bravest, or most foolhardy prize, should go to Mike Martin and his battle to drive a Landrover across the Congo. but I think that Sarah Outen may just pip them all with her account of circumnavigating the world by bike, kayak and rowing boat.

Faber were kind enough to send me a review copy of The Disappearance of Emile Zola. It is a fascinating story of his flight from Paris after writing a letter criticising the Government and the military after the Dreyfus affair. It was a fascinating story of Emile Zola and his enforced stay in London, Weybridge and Addlestone. Strangely enough, I walked past a hotel where he stayed a day or so before I started the book. Nicholas Brealey kindly sent me the Evolutionary Ride by Lois Pryce of her motorcycle trip around Iran. An excellent travel book, and a bold trip around a country that has strict Muslim ideology and a liberal sector of the population. Great stuff.

No real duffers this month, but was not overly enamoured with the Sparrow; shame really, as the first book was excellent. Managed to finish 18 books, so overall a good month of reading.

Received eight books last week and a few in the first couple of weeks of January. As I was finishing the shortlists for the deadline I am so behind with my review copies!! My TBR in February has scared me a little.


  1. I think I'll add the books by the dare-devil ladies Sarah Outen and Lois Pryce to my #WorldFromMyArmchair list for February! I want something different from sheep in the Lake District and camels in Marrakesh!