Related to: 'Dervla Murphy'

Two Roads

Can you hear me?

Elena Varvello
Authors:
Elena Varvello

'A beautiful, stark, poignant account of fear, love and loss' Emma Flint, author of Little Deaths'A novel that you long to savour because there won't be another one this rich, this compelling, this extraordinarily satisfying for a long, long time' Bret Anthony Johnston, author of Remember Me Like This and a Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award finalist 2017'Readers will devour this novel in one sitting as I did, then chew over it long after the book is done' Karen Dionne, author of The Marsh King's Daughter1978. Ponte, a small community in Northern Italy: peaceful woods, discarded rubbish, a closed-down factory. An unbearably hot summer like many others, wilted flowers and trips to the waterfalls.Elia Furenti is sixteen, living in a secluded house with his parents, a life so unremarkable that even its moderate unhappiness has been accepted as normal. That is until the day the beautiful, damaged Anna returns to Ponte and firmly propels Elia to the edge of adulthood. But then everything starts to unravel.Elia's father, Ettore, is let go from his job and loses himself in the darkest corners of his mind.A young boy is murdered, shaking the small community to its core.And a girl climbs into a van and vanishes in the deep, dark woods...Translated from Italian by Alex Valente.

Nicholas Brealey Publishing

Revolutionary Ride

Lois Pryce
Authors:
Lois Pryce
Two Roads

Blackout

Sarah Hepola
Authors:
Sarah Hepola

A raw, vivid and ultimately uplifting memoir of addiction and recovery from the Salon.com personal essays editor, in the spirit of Drinking: A Love Story and Wild.For Sarah Hepola, alcohol was 'the gasoline of all adventure'. She spent her evenings at cocktail parties and dark bars where she proudly stayed till last call. Drinking felt like freedom, part of her birthright as a strong, enlightened twenty-first-century woman.But there was a price. She often blacked out, waking up with a blank space where four hours should be. Mornings became detective work on her own life. What did I say last night? How did I meet that guy? She apologized for things she couldn't remember doing, as though she were cleaning up after an evil twin. Publicly, she covered her shame with self-deprecating jokes, and her career flourished, but as the blackouts accumulated, she could no longer avoid a sinking truth. The fuel she thought she needed was draining her spirit instead.A memoir of unblinking honesty and poignant, laugh-out-loud humor, BLACKOUT is the story of a woman stumbling into a new kind of adventure-the sober life she never wanted. Shining a light into her blackouts, she discovers the person she buried, as well as the confidence, intimacy, and creativity she once believed came only from a bottle. Her tale will resonate with anyone who has been forced to reinvent themselves or struggled in the face of necessary change. It's about giving up the thing you cherish most-but getting yourself back in return.

John Murray

Death is a Welcome Guest

Louise Welsh
Authors:
Louise Welsh
Hodder & Stoughton

Walking the Himalayas

Levison Wood
Authors:
Levison Wood

WINNER OF THE 2016 EDWARD STANFORD ADVENTURE TRAVEL BOOK OF THE YEAR AWARD'Levison Wood has breathed new life into adventure travel.' Michael Palin'Levison Wood is a great adventurer and a wonderful storyteller' Sir Ranulph FiennesBestselling author of Walking the Nile 'Levison Wood is "bewildered" by being called a sex symbol, as a death-defying trek through the Himalayas is set to have fans' pulses racing.' Daily Mail'Britain's best-loved adventurer... he looks like a man who will stare danger in the face and soak up a lot of pain without complaint.' The TimesLevison Wood's most challenging expedition yet begins along the Silk Road route of Afghanistan and travels through five countries. Following in the footsteps of the great explorers, Levison walks the entire length of the Himalayas in an adventure of survival and endurance. A personal story of discovery, Levison forges strong bonds with local guides, porters, mountain men, soldiers, farmers, smugglers and shepherds. By travelling on foot, and following the same footpaths that locals use, he uncovers stories that might otherwise remain hidden. Along the way he also reveals the history of the Himalayas and two millennia of exploration, and examines a continent in crisis in the 21st century.Packed with action and emotion, more than anything Walking the Himalayas is a story of personal adventure and striving beyond the limits of convention.

John Murray

The Invention of Nature

Andrea Wulf
Authors:
Andrea Wulf
Hodder & Stoughton

Jakob's Colours

Lindsay Hawdon
Authors:
Lindsay Hawdon
Hodder & Stoughton

Walking Home From Mongolia

Rob Lilwall
Authors:
Rob Lilwall

Starting in the Gobi desert in winter, adventurer Rob Lilwall sets out on an extraordinary six month journey, walking 3,000 miles across China. Along the way he and cameraman Leon brave the toxic insides of China's longest road tunnel, explore desolate stretches of the Great Wall and endure interrogation by the Chinese police. As they walk on through the heart of China, the exuberant hospitality of cave dwellers, coal miners and desert nomads keeps them going despite sub-zero blizzards and treacherous terrain. Rob writes with humour and honesty about the hardships of the walk, reflecting on the nature of pilgrimage and the uncertainties of an adventuring career, while also giving insight into life on the road amid the epic landscapes and rapidly industrialising cities of backwater China.

Hodder & Stoughton

Tell Me Who I Am: Sometimes it's Safer Not to Know

Alex And Marcus Lewis
Authors:
Alex And Marcus Lewis
Sceptre

The Natural Explorer: Understanding Your Landscape

Tristan Gooley
Authors:
Tristan Gooley

**From the bestselling author of THE WALKER'S GUIDE TO OUTDOOR CLUES AND SIGNS and HOW TO READ WATER, The Sunday Times Book Of The Year**Tristan Gooley, author of THE NATURAL NAVIGATOR demonstrates how it is possible to connect profoundly with the lands we travel through. In THE NATURAL EXPLORER he combines the work of the some of the most insightful travellers of the past two thousand years with his own experience.The most rewarding travel experiences do not depend on our destination or the length of our journey, but on our levels of awareness. A short walk can compare with an epic journey, when we take the time to focus on the things that dramatically enrich each journey.Exploration is no longer about hardship or long distances, it is about celebrating the sense of connection and discovery that is possible in all our travels.

John Murray

Silverland

Dervla Murphy
Authors:
Dervla Murphy

Silverland charts Dervla Murphy's extraordinary expedition through the snowscapes of Far Eastern Russia. No stranger to adventure, the intrepid septuagenarian's mid-winter journey takes her beyond Siberia to the furthest corners of Russia - areas proximate to Japan, Mongolia and the Arctic Circle. Here she discovers a strange world of lynx and elks, indigenous tribes and shamanism, reindeer broth and taiga-berry pie. She takes the coal-fuelled slow-train around regions hardly exposed to tourism and there she meets a host of colourful and generous characters. They invite this unconventional Irish Babushka into their homes where she enjoys fascinating fireside debate bolstered by steaming samovars of sweet tea. Just like its author, Silverland is insightful, warm and truly original.

John Murray

Through Siberia by Accident

Dervla Murphy
Authors:
Dervla Murphy

Through Siberia by Accident is a book about a journey that didn't happen - and what happened instead.Dervla Murphy never had any intention of spending three months in the vast territories of Siberia. Instead she had planned to go to Ussuriland, because it appealed to her as a place free from tourism. But by accident, or rather because she had an accident - a painful leg injury -, she found herself stymied in Eastern Siberia, a place she knew very little about. Although hardly able to walk, her subsequent experiences, in an unexpected place, and in an incapacitated state, provided many pleasant surprises. Above all she was struck by the extraordinary hospitality, generosity and helpfulness of the Siberians who made this strange phenomenon - a maimed Irish babushka - so welcome in their towns and homes.This book is an extraordinary story of fortitude and resourcefulness as Dervla Murphy finds friendship and culture in a seemingly monotonous, bleak and inhospitable place far from what we know as 'civilised'. Through Siberia by Accident is a voyage of Siberian self-discovery.

John Murray

Eight Feet in the Andes

Dervla Murphy
Authors:
Dervla Murphy
John Murray

In Ethiopia with a Mule

Dervla Murphy
Authors:
Dervla Murphy
Sceptre

McCarthy's Bar

Pete Mccarthy
Authors:
Pete Mccarthy
Chapter One

RIVER OF SMOKE, by Amitav Ghosh

Read the first chapter of Amitav Ghosh's RIVER OF SMOKE, the second book of his Ibis trilogy.

Chapter One: The House of Punk Sleep

WIDE AWAKE, by Patricia Morrisroe

Read an excerpt of the first chapter of Patricia Morrisroe's brilliant memoir about insomnia, WIDE AWAKE.

My South Africa

Deon Meyer on the new South Africa

If books are windows on the world,1 crime fiction mostly provides a view of the underbelly and back alleys of cities and countries. This is my only genuine regret writing as an author in this genre. Because the real South Africa, the one that I love so passionately, is very different from the narrow and dim view my books probably allow. It is also quite unlike the one you see in those pessimistic fifteen second television news reports in the UK, Europe or Australia. So let me try and set the record straight. My country is breathtakingly beautiful – from the lush, sub-tropical east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, to the serene semi-desert stretching along the Atlantic in the west (which blooms in inde- scribable colour and splendour in Spring). In between, there’s the magnificence of the Lowveld, the Bushveld, the Highveld, the towering Drakensberg mountains, the aching vastness of the Karoo and the dense silence of the Knysna forests . . . Diversity is everywhere. In the climate (mostly perfect sunshine and balmy weather, but we have extremes too, summer highs of more than 50°C in Upington, and winter lows of -15°C in Sutherland – both in the same Northern Cape province), and in the cities (Durban is an intoxicating fusion of Zulu, Indian and British colonial cultures, Cape Town is a heady mix of Malay, Dutch-Afrikaans and Xhosa, Johannesburg is . . . well, modern African-cosmopolitan, utterly unique, and always exciting). The biodiversity of South Africa is truly astonishing. “With a land surface area of 1.2 million square kilometres representing just 1% of the earth’s total land surface, South Africa boasts six biospheres, and contains almost 10% of the world’s total known bird, fish and plant species, and over 6% of the world’s mammal and reptile species.”2 Of course we are also world-famous for our huge collection of wildlife regions and game parks – both public and private – encompassing every possible landscape from deserts to forests, mountains to coast, teeming with wildlife species, including Africa’s Big Five: Leopard, Lion, Buffalo, Elephant and Rhinoceros.3 But most of all, the diversity is in the people who constitute the Rainbow Nation. Our black ethnic groups include the Zulu, Xhosa, Basotho, Bapedi, Venda, Tswana, Tsonga, Swazi and Ndebele.The so-called ‘coloured’ (no, it’s not a derogatory term over here) population is mainly concentrated in the Western Cape region, and come from a combination of ethnic backgrounds including Malay, White, Khoi, San, and Griqua. White South Africans are descendants of Dutch, German, French Huguenots, English and other European and Jewish settlers. And our Indian population came to South Africa as indentured labourers to work in the sugar plantations in the British colony of Natal in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The population of more than fifty million people is made up of African (40.2 million, or 79.5%),White (4.6 million, or 9.0%), Coloured (4.5 million, or 9.0%), and Indian/Asian (1.3 million, or 2.5%). And, having travelled most of the world, I can confidently say, you won’t find friendlier, more hospitable and accommodating people anywhere, irrespective of their race, culture, language or creed. We have nine provinces (Eastern Cape, Gauteng, KwaZulu- Natal, Mpumalanga, Northern Cape, Limpopo, North West, Free State, and Western Cape) and eleven official languages: Afrikaans (13%), English (8%), isiNdebele (1.6%), isiXhosa (18%), isiZulu (24%), Sesotho sa Leboa (9%), Sesotho (8%), Setswana (8%), siSwati (3%),Tshivenda (2%), and Xitsonga (4%).4 Throw all of this together in a democracy not quite twenty years old (a tempestuous teenager, if ever there was one), and you get an effervescent, energetic, dynamic, and often a little chaotic, melting pot – of cultures, people, views, politics, opinions, and circumstance. After the tragedy and oppression of Apartheid, we are still very much coming to terms with – and are sometimes a little overwhelmed by – all the facets of the freedom-diamond. Which means that we argue incessantly, shout, point fingers, blame, accuse, denounce, complain, and criticize, mostly loudly and publicly, like all enthusiastic democrats should. But when our beloved Bafana-Bafana (the national football team), Springboks (our twice World Cup-winning rugby team) or Proteas (the cricket guys) walk onto the field, we stand united, shoulder to shoulder. And mostly, in our day-to-day-lives, we get along rather well. We increasingly study and work and live and love and socialise together, in great harmony. Of course, we have our problems. Poverty is the major one. “There is a consensus amongst most economic and political analysts that approximately 40% of South Africans are living in poverty – with the poorest 15% in a desperate struggle to survive.” However, we are making steady progress. The percentage of the South African population with access to clean drinking water has increased from 62% in 1994, to 93% in 2011. Access to electricity has increased from 34% in 1994, to 84% in 2011.5 In 2010, 13.5 million South Africans benefited from access to social grants, 8.5 million of whom were children, 3.5 million pensioners and 1.5 million people with disabilities. In 1994, only 2.5 million people had access to social grants, the majority of whom were pensioners. And since 1994, 435 houses have been built every day for the poor.6 And you might have heard about our other challenge – South Africa has a bit of a reputation when it comes to crime. I am most definitely going out on a limb here, but having studied the statistics, and looked at the (often unfair) comparisons over the past five years, I honestly believe we don’t quite deserve it. “. . . in relation to the overall risk of victimisation, South Africans are not much more likely to become victims of crime than people in other parts of the world,” Anthony Altbeker recently wrote in a carefully considered and exhaustively researched contribution to the marvellous Opinion Pieces by South African Thought Leaders.7 To put the matter into further perspective: In the two years leading up to the FIFA World Cup held in South Africa in 2010, almost every British, French and German journalist who interviewed me, asked the same question, more or less: “How big a slaughter is it going to be for fans attending the games?” Some were downright accusatory: “How dare you host this magnificent event in such a hazardous country?” A British tabloid even predicted a ‘machete race war’ waiting for visitors.8 And how many soccer fans died during the tournament? None.9 Furthermore, the attendees who were affected by crime-related incidents represented a very meagre 0.009% of the fans. That is far, far less than, for instance, the crime rate in Wales. When World Cup tourists were asked if they would consider visiting South Africa again, 96% said ‘yes’. As a matter of fact, if you are a tourist from the Northern Hemisphere visiting my beautiful country, your chances of becoming a victim of violent crime is less than 0.67%.10 (Compare this to the fact that “the 2011 British Behaviour Abroad Report published by the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) noted that the death rate (including murder and natural causes) of Britons in Thailand was forty-one per 100,000 tourists and for those visiting Germany was twenty-four. Tourists from the UK are far safer visiting South Africa”11 – with just 14.6 per 100,000.12) South Africa’s murder rate dropped by 6.5% in 2010-2011, attempted murder by 12.2%, robbery with aggravating circumstances was down by 12%, and house robberies by 10%.13 Our police services are slowly but surely turning the tide. We struggle with inadequate service delivery, our politicians don’t always live up to our expectations, and our unemployment rate is too high. But our economy is robust, and easily out-performs first-world countries like Greece (no surprise there), Italy, and Spain. South African Tax Revenue has increased from R100 billion in 1994 to R640 billion in 2010. Our debt to GDP ratio is 32% (USA 100%, Japan 200%, UK 90%). (The World Bank recommends a ratio of 60%.) And we are ranked first out of 142 countries in respect of regulation of security exchanges by the World Economic Forum Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12.14 According to the Open Budget Index, South Africa has the most transparent budget in the world. We are the only African country that is a member of the G20. In the Economist Intelligence Unit’s Survey of Democratic Freedom, South Africa ranks 31st out of 184 countries. And according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2010/11, South Africa has the 34th most efficient government out of the 139 countries ranked.15 The number of tourists visiting South Africa has grown from 3.9 million in 1994 to 11.3 million in 2010. South Africa is ranked among the top five countries in the world in respect of tourism growth (growing at three times the global average).16 I could go on. South Africa’s learner-to-teacher ratio improved from 1:50 in 1994 to 1:31 in 2010. According to the Global Competitiveness Report 2011/12, South Africa is ranked 13th out of 142 countries for its quality of management schools. 61% of South African primary school children and 30% of high school children receive free meals as part of the school feeding scheme.17 But none of these facts and figures, as inspiring as they are, will reveal the real reason why I am so unwaveringly optimistic about my country’s future. It is one of the major reasons for the peaceful transition miracle of 1994, it is something woven into the texture of everyday South African life, hidden from the fleeting eyes of foreign journalists on a flying visit, mostly talking only to important folks: The goodwill of ordinary people. Every day, in cities, towns, and tiny villages, small acts of kindness happen between human beings. Individuals who extend a helping hand across racial, cultural, political and linguistic divides, who extend friendship and kindness and empathy. I have been witnessing this for more than forty years, and I absolutely believe it is this goodwill that will carry us through, no matter how challenging the future may be. 1 “Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill. They are engines of change, windows on the world, lighthouses erected in the sea of time.” - Barbara W. Tuchman, American popular historian and author, 1912-1989. 2 http://www.bcb.uwc.ac.za/envfacts/facts/biosa.htm 3 http://www.sa-venues.com/game_lodges_nationwide_south_afr.htm
 4 http://www.safrica.info/about/facts.htm (percentages rounded off)
 5 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html
 6 Ibid. 7 Penguin, 2011. p. 47.
 8 http://www.dailystar.co.uk/posts/view/129402/WORLD-CUP-MACHETE- THREAT/
 9 http://www.truecrimexpo.co.za/
 10 http://www.info.gov.za/issues/crime/crime_aprsept_ppt.pdf
 11 http://www.issafrica.org/iss_today.php?ID=1394
 12 Ibid.
 13 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/crime/crime_statistics_show_drop_in_ murder_rate.html
 14 http://www.sagoodnews.co.za/fast_facts_and_quick_stats/index.html 15 Ibid.
 16 Ibid. 17 Ibid.

Chapter One

COME SUNDAY, by Isla Morley

Read the first chapter of Isla Morley's COME SUNDAY.

Chapter One: A Morning in Vermillion

SHADES OF GREY, by Jasper Fforde

Read the first chapter of Jasper Fforde's brilliant SHADES OF GREY.