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      Something Wicked This Way Comes...   10/09/2019

      The Autumn Supporter Giveaway!       Welcome to the very first of the seasonal BCF supporter giveaways! This month also marks one year since I took on the forum, so I want to say an extra huge thank you to all of you for keeping this place going. I have a little bit more to say about that later but, for now, let's get to the giveaway!     The Autumn Giveaway winner will be getting two Penguin Little Black Classics, The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe and To Be Read At Dusk by Charles Dickens. Both of these little books contain three atmospheric short stories, perfect for autumnal evenings. The winner will also get Mary Shelley tea (a lavender and vanilla black tea) from Rosie Lea Tea's Literary Tea Collection (https://www.rosieleatea.co.uk/collections/literary-tea-collection) and a chocolate skull, to really get that spooky atmosphere .   and...   A special treat for a special month. The winner will choose one of the following recent paperback releases from the independent bookshop Big Green Bookshop:       The Wych Elm by Tana French A House of Ghosts by W.C. Ryan Melmoth by Sarah Perry The Familiars by Stacey Halls  The Dark Descent of Elizabeth Frankenstein by Kiersten White   The winner will be chosen via the usual random selection process in one week. Patreon supporters are entered automatically. If you aren't a patreon supporter but you'd like to join in with this giveaway, you can support here: https://www.patreon.com/bookclubforum.   I really hope you're all going to like this introduction to the seasonal giveaways. It's been a lot of fun to put together. Other chocolate skulls may have been harmed during the selection process…     

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I have recently been working my way through a few travel books and I am finding that I am really enjoying them. Turning to the Internet for inspiration I have so far been unable to find anything new to tempt me in. That is I hope until now when I chance apon this forum.

 

What I have been enjoying so far is travel accounts form mostly around the UK with one exception. They have all captivated me from very early on with either the authers wit or by creating a nostalgic sense of pride for the country I live in and making me want to head out and travel to all the same places.

 

So far my favourites have been 500 mile walkies by Mark Wallington, Notes from a small island by Bill Bryson also A walk in the woods by the same author, Attention all shipping by Charlie Connelly and Adrift in Caledonia: Boat-hitching for the Unenlightened by Nick Thorpe.

 

If anyone has any recommendations for what I could read next then I would be most thankful.

 

I have just started Penguins Stopped Play: Eleven Village Cricketers Take on the World by Harry Thompson and I can already see this is going to be another good read. So add this to my list above.

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If you're interested in animals and endangered species, I'd recommend Douglas Adams' "Last Chance To See", where he does a tour of rare places to look for rare animals and tell anecdotes about it as he carries on.

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This is one of my favourite genres!

 

Not set in the UK, but I can't recommend highly enough Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals - it's gorgeous (and probably due for a re-read on my part)!

 

A bit dated, but I loved Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie which is set in Gloucestershire. I loved As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by the same author (set in Spain) and I have A Rose for Winter by him on my to read pile. As I said, they're a bit dated but the writing is lovely. :)

 

Again, a bit dated, but Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell is one of my favourite titles by him (he's probably my favourite author).

 

Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks is pretty good, as is McCarthy's Bar by Pete McCarthy - both set in Ireland.

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I would second Round Ireland with a Fridge. Another one I would recommend, which is in a similar vein, is Three Men in a Float (as in milk float) by Dan Kieran and Ian Vince.

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I would recommend Pies and Prejudice and Adventures on the High Teas both by Stuart Maconie, a perfect combination of travel, nostalgia, warmth and wit.

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Though not set in the UK, a book I really enjoyed and highly recommend is 'Along the Enchanted Way' by William Blacker about his travels in Romania, such an endearing book.

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Another one I would recommend, which is in a similar vein, is Three Men in a Float (as in milk float) by Dan Kieran and Ian Vince.

 

Just read on amazon that these guys come from Lowestoft. 10 miles up the road.

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This is one of my favourite genres!

 

Not set in the UK, but I can't recommend highly enough Gerald Durrell's My Family and Other Animals - it's gorgeous (and probably due for a re-read on my part)!

 

A bit dated, but I loved Laurie Lee's Cider with Rosie which is set in Gloucestershire. I loved As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by the same author (set in Spain) and I have A Rose for Winter by him on my to read pile. As I said, they're a bit dated but the writing is lovely. :)

 

 

My Family and Other Animals is probably my most favourite book and I really enjoyed Laurie Lee's books too.

Three Men in a Boat by Jerome K Jerome is a classic, very funny, about their travels down the Thames in the late 1800's.

 

You might enjoy Michael Palin's Hemingway Adventure, retracing the different places Hemingway lived.

 

Another book I enjoyed was Ticket to Ride. Lost and Found in America by Sarah Darmody. This is her account of travelling right round the US by Greyhound bus (quite an experience in itself).

 

Anything else you can get your hands on by Bill Bryson is always worth reading. My favourite of his is Down Under (or in the US titled as In a Sunburned Country). About Australia and side splittingly funny. Not recommended to read in public or when consuming beverages :lol:

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I have read all of Brysons books and had many instances of uncontrollable laughing out loud in public. Sadly he seems to be moving away from travel writing. His new books although very entertaining as well as informative they just seem to lack something from his earlier days.

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Stuart Maconie? Isn't he the djay from BBC 6music? Should be a good read.

 

Yep, that's the one. He's also written a memoir about his love of music in Cider With Roadies, so if you get on with the UK travel books, you could give that one a go too :smile2:

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Though not set in the UK, a book I really enjoyed and highly recommend is 'Along the Enchanted Way' by William Blacker about his travels in Romania, such an endearing book.

 

I've got that one on the pile. It was well reviewed when it came out, so I'm looking forward to reading it.

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Sticking to UK travel (the list could get very long if spread further abroad!), books I've read and thoroughly enjoyed include:

 

Hamish's Mountain Walk and Hamish's Groats End Walkboth by Hamish Brown. The former is an account of his walk over the Scottish Munroes (the first continuous expedition to complete them), the second his walk from Land's End to John o' Groats.

 

Another great walker was John Hillaby, whose Journey through Britain is an account of another Groats End walk. It's interesting to compare the two, by a Scotsman and Englishman, equally biased in terms of the country they are most interested in, but both superb writers.

 

Paul Gogarty's The Water Road is a fascinating account of his journey by narrowboat through the English waterways, forming a figure of eight route from London, up to Liverpool, across to Leeds, then back down to Oxford and the Thames. More a contemplation of the state of England than a pure account of a journey, I found this one of the most interesting books on comtemporary England.

 

One of my favourite travel writers is Jonathan Raban. He travelled round the coast of England, which he wrote about in Coasting. Knocks so many 'popular' travel writers into a cocked hat.

 

Travelling a bit further back in time, I inherited Coming Down The Wye from my grandfather. Robert Gibbings was a sculptor and engraver, and this artistic viewpoint permeates his books. I've since also read Sweet Thames Run Softly - an equally lyrical read, and a pre-war view of the Thames that is all the harder to come by nowadays.

 

On a more historical note, JB Priestley's English Journey is a sharp and entertaining account of England in 1933 - a classic. So (as a classic) is HV Morton's In Search of England, a view from the 1920s.

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On a more historical note, JB Priestley's English Journey is a sharp and entertaining account of England in 1933 - a classic. So (as a classic) is HV Morton's In Search of England, a view from the 1920s.

 

Both excellent books, those two.

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Hi Mr. Lifeboat

Not sure if you have any interest in Ameican travel writing (although a Walk in the Woods definitely fits that category) .

Bill Bryson's funniest I've ever read is The Lost Continent which is a trip around our country. I think it might be his first book,but don't quote me on that. Then he has one called Neither Here Nor There which was a travel book throughout several countries that he went through ...

 

There were ones popular here many years ago, but I think they are still available. I know they are ,used,because I found one awhile back .

A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins . A boy who graduates college and doesnt quite know what he wants to do next,so he takes a "road trip",although on foot .The first book starts in NY, I believe is where he lived,then wanders down through the southern states .

His second was a part 2,so to speak,from Louisiana to California . Both VERY interesting .Not funny, though . He stayed with people all along his trip,so he told all about the kindness of strangers . Something much safer back in the 70's than now .

 

Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon,I believe he is a Native American who drives all over the back roads of America, meeting people along the way . I just bought another if his,which is a trip down the Mississippi River down to the gulf ,called River Horse .

 

I have several more on my travel shelf if you wanna hear any more . I think some are from here, but others are in other countries. I love reading travel books,since I rarely go any further than the next town over ,5 miles away .

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Hi Mr. Lifeboat

Not sure if you have any interest in Ameican travel writing (although a Walk in the Woods definitely fits that category) .

Bill Bryson's funniest I've ever read is The Lost Continent which is a trip around our country. I think it might be his first book,but don't quote me on that. Then he has one called Neither Here Nor There which was a travel book throughout several countries that he went through ...

 

There were ones popular here many years ago, but I think they are still available. I know they are ,used,because I found one awhile back .

A Walk Across America by Peter Jenkins . A boy who graduates college and doesnt quite know what he wants to do next,so he takes a "road trip",although on foot .The first book starts in NY, I believe is where he lived,then wanders down through the southern states .

His second was a part 2,so to speak,from Louisiana to California . Both VERY interesting .Not funny, though . He stayed with people all along his trip,so he told all about the kindness of strangers . Something much safer back in the 70's than now .

 

Blue Highways by William Least Heat Moon,I believe he is a Native American who drives all over the back roads of America, meeting people along the way . I just bought another if his,which is a trip down the Mississippi River down to the gulf ,called River Horse .

 

I have several more on my travel shelf if you wanna hear any more . I think some are from here, but others are in other countries. I love reading travel books,since I rarely go any further than the next town over ,5 miles away .

 

I have read all of Brysons books and they never fail to make me laugh rather loudly in public places. I would be interested to hear of any books you might want to recommend. They don't just have to be from UK.

 

I am starting to get through some of the other folks recommendations and I can add all of them to my library list.

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Okie dokie

Here's the travel books I currently have on my shelf :

 

Miles From Nowhere : A Round the World Bicycle Adventure --by Barbara Savage

 

River Horse -Across America by Boat--William Least Heat Moon

 

Without Reservations -the travels of an independent woman--Alice Steinbach

 

Away-Amy Bloom

 

Tales of a Female Nomad -Rita Golden Gelman

 

Metal Cowboy (another bicycle trip ) - Joe Kurmaskie

 

The New Roadsie America--Mike Wilkins

 

Ghost Train to the Eastern Star --Theroux

 

Mystery of the Nile -Richard Bangs

 

Down the Great Unknown --Edward Dolnick

 

That's what I have as of right now ... Hope you can find some that you enjoy .

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On a more historical note, JB Priestley's English Journey is a sharp and entertaining account of England in 1933 - a classic. So (as a classic) is HV Morton's In Search of England, a view from the 1920s.

 

I couldn't agree more regarding JP Priestley's book. I was fortunate to find a beautiful copy of this book complete with photographs and is one I treasure . His writing is just wonderful.

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Hi Roland

I hope some of the books are interesting to you . I have only read the Peter Jenkins one, the rest are new to me . I'll drop in and note how they are whenever I read them !

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I love anything from Rick Steves, and I highly recommend his Travel as a Political Act, but it may not be the kind of thing you're looking for. I also really loved One Man's Wilderness by Dick Proenneke. The book consists of his journals from his first year at Twin Lakes in Alaska. Here are some of the travel books on my wishlist:

 

Looking for the Lost: Journey's Through a Vanishing Japan by Alan Booth

 

Hitching Rides with Buddha by Will Ferguson

 

The Forester's Log: Musings from the Woods by Mary Stuever

 

The Far Traveler: Voyages of a Viking Woman by Nancy Marie Brown

 

A Fortune Teller Told Me: Eartbound Travels in the Far East by Tiziano Terzani

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That is some great recommendations. I have just finished reading mark wallingtons 'boogie up the river'. Not bad but not as good as his '500 mile walkies'.

 

Most of your recommendations are either on my library reservation list or on order from amazon. I look forward to a winter of reading them all.

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