Nala’s World, Dean Nicholson, ( paperback August 2021)
You might also like
£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 *
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.
'One of Africa's greatest living writers' Giles Foden
'Effortlessly compelling storytelling ... You forget that you are reading fiction, it feels so real' Leila Aboulela
Restless, ambitious Ilyas was stolen from his parents by the Schutzruppe askari, the German colonial troops; after years away, he returns to his village to find his parents gone, and his sister Afiya given away.
Hamza was not stolen, but was sold; he has come of age in the army, at the right hand of an officer whose control has ensured his protection but marked him for life. Hamza does not have words for how the war ended for him. Returning to the town of his childhood, all he wants is work, however humble, and security - and the beautiful Afiya.
The century is young. The Germans and the British and the French and the Belgians and whoever else have drawn their maps and signed their treaties and divided up Africa. As they seek complete dominion they are forced to extinguish revolt after revolt by the colonised.
The conflict in Europe opens another arena in east Africa where a brutal war devastates the landscape. As these interlinked friends and survivors come and go, live and work and fall in love, the shadow of a new war lengthens and darkens, ready to snatch them up and carry them away.