Back in late 2011 I heard a BBC Radio 4 programme in which Edward Stourton joined an annual walk, Le Chemin de la Liberté, across the Pyrennees which celebrates the Second World War route used by Allied soldiers, Jews, French resistance fighters, spies and many other groups of people who were trying to escape Nazi [...]
I don’t usually publish articles at weekend but wanted to recognise two items which don’t fit into my normal review schedule.
The first is this week’s announcement that the Literature Prize has gained sponsorship from The Folio Society and is now to be known as The Folio Prize. The Literature Prize was first announced last [...]
I’ve read some strange books in my time, but this one certainly pushes the boundaries. At first glance it seems to be a typical travel book in Bryson-esque style. But with its title, I Sleep in Hitler’s Room – An American Jew Visits Germany, you know from the start that this is not going [...]
In my last post I mentioned three books about men on extended walks. This time, rather than fiction, I am writing about a real-life walk, during which Terry Cudbird retired from work and decided to walk the coast of France, an epic journey by anyone’s standards.
Just before his retirement, Terry was on holiday with [...]
This week we are expecting the first gales of autumn with heavy rain forecast for many areas of Britain. Children have been back at school for a week or two and huge tins of chocolates are appearing in the supermarkets ready for Christmas. I had a sort of writer’s block for most of the summer, [...]
Travel writer Harry Bucknall is an experienced wanderer with a background in both the military and in theatre production – an interesting mix of talents which has enabled him to write a distinctive travel book in which he describes his travels through the major (and many of the lesser) Greek Islands. The book has received [...]
I enjoy reading about the adventures of lone travellers, particularly when they are travelling under their own steam. In the middle of winter, its particularly good to read of someone setting off on a spring morning to see where their journey is going to take them.
I’ve already reviewed Susie Kelly’s book The Valley [...]
Elif Batuman’s book of essays, The Possessed, loosely based on the joys of reading classic Russian literature, turns out to be a bit of a hodge-podge of travel-writing, literary criticism and a personal reading history, enlivened by a butterfly mind that flutters from one subject to another without really landing for too long on any [...]
To the River is an unusual book, combining local and literary history, a walking journal, meditations on the topic of rivers and water, and a hefty amount of biographical material about Virginia Woolf. The author, Olivia Laing, walked the Ouse Path during a time of great personal sadness, soon after she had broken up with [...]
In Forgotten Land, Max Egremont describes his travels among the old lands of East Prussia, bringing to the task a deep knowledge of modern history and the proficiency of an experienced writer. The book is a mixture of history, travel-writing and personal interviews, a fascinating mix which builds up a compelling picture of these lands [...]