Category Archives: travel

Travels with Myself and Another, Five Journeys from Hell by Martha Gellhorn

“What has politics to do with real daily life, as real people live it?” Why have I never heard of Martha Gellhorn before? I’ve taken a short break from Ideal Reading having become a little worn out after the epic … Continue reading

Posted in Eland, non-fiction, travel | 9 Comments

The Ideal Reader book 3: The Snow Leopard by Peter Matthiessen

“Amazingly,we take for granted that instinct for survival, fear of death, must separate us from the happiness of pure and uninterrupted experience, in which body, mind, and nature are the same. And this debasement of our vision, the retreat from … Continue reading

Posted in philosophy, religion, The Ideal Reader, travel | 8 Comments

Lost Paradise by Cees Nooteboom (translated by Susan Massotty)

“That is what everyone has always been looking for, isn’t it? A lost paradise?” Several years ago before they refurbished and made soulless Manchester’s Central Library, pulping a significant proportion of what was an eclectic and varied collection, I happened across this slender, unassuming little book and unwittingly opened a door I didn’t expect to. […]

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Posted in re-read, translation, travel | 4 Comments

Farthest North by Dr. Fridjof Nansen

Fridtjof Nansen is a name which should trip off the tongue as easily as that of Scott and Shackleton, though perhaps more so because his polar exploration activity was more successful if less dramatic. Nansen was a scientist, a biologist … Continue reading

Posted in Arctic, exploration, non-fiction, polar, science, travel | 5 Comments

On Trying to Keep Still by Jenny Diski

As I approached the end of 2016 I wanted to read something familiar, something to put me in the mood, the right frame of mind, for my plan to read less in 2017. As I scanned my shelves, running my … Continue reading

Posted in non-fiction, re-read, travel | 4 Comments

Known and Strange Things by Teju Cole

There are moments in reading which elevate the experience beyond mere enjoyment to something more. I find in such moments a suspension, a feeling as though I am levitating above a great, vast plain of possibility and I know that … Continue reading

Posted in Art, essays, politics, travel, writers | 2 Comments

Looking for Transwonderland: travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa

In Looking for Transwonderland, Noo Saro-Wiwa returns to Nigeria as a tourist, determined to explore her unpopular and little visited country to discover its charms. Saro-Wiwa is a British-Nigerian national, raised and educated in UK but subjected to annual unwelcome … Continue reading

Posted in history, non-fiction, travel | 6 Comments