Hitching for Hope : A Journey into the Heart and Soul of Ireland
by Ruairi McKiernan (Author)
Perfect for fans of Bill Bryson
McKiernan embarks on a hitchhiking odyssey with no money, no itinerary and no idea where he might end up each night. His mission: to give voice to those emerging from one of the most painful periods of economic and social turmoil in Ireland's history. Engaging, provocative and sincere, Hitching for Hope is a testimony to the spirit of Ireland.
It is an inspirational manifesto for hope and healing in troubled times.
£16.99Exploring the gardens, monuments, museums, and churches with walks both urban and rural, from the Bronte parsonage in Haworth to Zadie Smith's North London and Shakespeare's Stratford, The Book Lover's Bucket List takes you through some 100 wonderfully described literary sites and landscapes, complete with colour destination photographs and illustrations from the British Library collections. Start with Chaucer, Dickens and Larkin in Westminster Abbey. Spend an afternoon at Colliers Wood Nature Reserve in Nottinghamshire and take in the lake D.
H. Lawrence described as 'all grey and visionary, stretching into the moist, translucent vista of trees and meadow'. Venture south to Cornwall and work your way up to the Scottish Highlands, taking detours to Northern Ireland in the west and Norfolk in the east - or simply drop in on the place nearest to you.
Wherever you are in the United Kingdom, you're never far from something associated with a good book.
In August 1939 the Irish travel writer Richard Hayward set out on a road trip to explore the Shannon region just two weeks before the Second World War broke out. His evocative account of that trip, Where the River Shannon Flows, became a bestseller. The book, still sought after by lovers of the river, captures an Ireland of small shops and barefoot street urchins that has long since disappeared.
Eighty years on, inspired by his work, Paul Clements retraces Hayward's journey along the river, following - if not strictly in his footsteps - then within the spirit of his trip. From the Shannon Pot in Cavan, 344 kilometres south to the Shannon estuary, his meandering odyssey takes him by car, on foot, and by bike and boat, discovering how the riverscape has changed but is still powerful in symbolism. While he recreates Hayward's trip, Clements also paints a compelling portrait of twenty-first century Ireland, mingling travel and anecdote with an eye for the natural world.
He sails to remote islands, spends times in rural backwaters and secluded riverside villages where the pub is the hub, and attempts a quest for the Shannon connection behind the title of Flann O'Brien's novel At Swim-Two-Birds. On a quixotic journey by foot, boat, bike and car, Paul Clements produces an intimate portrait of the hidden countryside, its people, topography and wildlife, creating a collective memory map, looking at what has been lost and what has changed. Beyond the motorways and cities, you can still catch the pulse of an older, quieter Ireland of hay meadows and bogs, uninhabited islands and remote towpaths. This is the country of the River Shannon that runs through literature, art, cultural history and mythology with a riptide pull on our imagination.
* signed copies available *
Nala's World : One man, his rescue cat and a bike ride around the globe
by Dean Nicholson (Author)
£12.99Seven years after her mother's death, Leonie Charlton is still gripped by memories of their fraught relationship. In May 2017, Leonie trekked through the Outer Hebrides in the company of a friend and their Highland Ponies in search of closure. When Leonie's pony has a serious accident, she begins to realise that finding peace with her mother is less important than letting go.
Leonie Charlton blends travel and nature writing with intimate memoir in this beautifully written account of grief and acceptance.
£14.99The British Library has one of the largest and most impressive cartographic collections in the world, including manuscript maps and atlases, administrative records and plans, large-scale surveys, and digital maps. From this rich resource, 100 fascinating examples ranging from world and city maps, celestial and sea charts, literary and statistical maps, curiosities and fake maps have been selected as the basis for this puzzle book. Each map is faithfully reproduced with a description of its creation and use, followed by details showing areas of particular interest.
Readers are asked to scrutinize the maps to answer a series of historical and geographical questions, all the while enjoying new perspectives on the world we live in provided by our eclectic and extensive archive.
£8.99Bundook. Gun. A common word, but one which turns Deen Datta's world upside down.
A dealer of rare books, Deen is used to a quiet life spent indoors, but as his once-solid beliefs begin to shift, he is forced to set out on an extraordinary journey; one that takes him from India to Los Angeles and Venice via a tangled route through the memories and experiences of those he meets along the way. There is Piya, a fellow Bengali-American who sets his journey in motion; Tipu, an entrepreneurial young man who opens Deen's eyes to the realities of growing up in today's world; Rafi, with his desperate attempt to help someone in need; and Cinta, an old friend who provides the missing link in the story they are all a part of. It is a journey which will upend everything he thought he knew about himself, about the Bengali legends of his childhood and about the world around him.
Gun Island is a beautifully realised novel which effortlessly spans space and time. It is the story of a world on the brink, of increasing displacement and unstoppable transition. But it is also a story of hope, of a man whose faith in the world and the future is restored by two remarkable women.
A gripping true story of a young American Yemeni man, raised in San Francisco. He travels to Yemen with an idea of using their coffee, but in the midst of his entrepreneurial endeavours he is caught up in civil war. An uplifting and exciting ‘factional’ story - great for discussion