• Travel writing
      May 2000

      Riding the Mountains Down

      by Bettina Selby

      Bettina Selby, mother of three grown-up children, decided at the age of 47 to undertake an adventurous project and cycle alone from Karachi to Khatmandu. The journey took five months and was full of hazards. Although she enjoyed much kindness and hospitality, the reaction of some local men to an unaccompanied Western woman on their roads was intensely curious, at times brusque, sometimes escalating to dangerous violence Bettina Selby also had to face the intense physical stresses of keeping going in broiling heat on dust blown and treacherous roads shared with ancient busses, speeding trucks driven by maniacs, farm carts and herds of quadrupeds. In the mountains the ride became even more dangerous (avalanches, floods, dacoits, stone throwing children), but Bettina survived it all, logging some 5000 miles in the process. She had no backup, and no possibility of being in touch with home for weeks at a time. This book is a remarkable account of her journey and gives a very different picture of the Indian sub-continent from what today’s tourist sees. A travel book of extraordinary fascination and charm. Richard West Sunday Telegraph

    • Travel writing
      January 2003

      Riding the Desert Trail

      By Bicycle to the Source of the Nile

      by Bettina Selby

      One wet and windy day in the British Museum, Bettina Selby decided, almost on an impulse, to travel the length of the Nile Valley, from the Mediterranean Sea to the mysterious Mountains of the Moon and the great lakes of central Africa. She designed a special ‘all terrain’ bicycle for the journey; and suitably equipped with insect repellants, sun hat and an invaluable filter pump for purifying the waters of the Nile, a Swiss army penknife and an impractical aerosol spray for keeping rabid dogs at bay, she set off on her 4500-mile adventure. It took her from the Pyramids, the great temples of Luxor, the Valley of the Kings and all the magnificence of Egypt, to the empty burning sands of the Nubian Desert; from Cairo’s congenial bustle, and the hospitality of remote Nile-side villages, to the starving refugee camps of war-torn southern Sudan; from the world of international aid (about which she has very mixed feelings) to the terrifying child-soldiers of Uganda - the ruined paradise where her journey ends. Vivid, moving and observant, alive with the encounters that befall a solitary traveller in remote and often dangerous countries,Riding the Desert Trail is travel writing at its most exciting and exhilarating. Bettina Selby writes as well as she travels TLS

    • Travel writing
      May 2000

      Beyond Ararat

      A Journey Through Eastern Turkey

      by Bettina Selby

      Beyond Ararat is a journey to the cradle of civilization, where the Tigris and the Euphrates rise. Along the corridor of ancient invasion fought over by Persians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Turks, Arabs, Mongols, Kurds nd Armenians, Bettina Selby follows by bicycle, travelling among today’s survivors living uneasily together under Turkish rule. An enthusiastic, perceptive and sympathetic traveller Irish Independent The journey begins along the strange and beautiful Black Sea coast of Turkey, the poath of Xenoophon and the Ten Thousand, of Jason and the Golden Fleece. From the Russian border her route swings south over vast plains and rugged mountains to the ghost town of Ani and to Ararat, the legendary resting place of Noah’s ark. It was a hard journey through some of the most magnificent scenery in the world - and some of the least predictable people, where a lone female cyclist never knew whether to expect kindness and hospitality, or stones and bullets and attacks from savage dogs. Travelling alone and by bicycle offers unique relationships with both land and people. Bettina Selby interweaves her account with insights into the problems of an area re-establishing its position as the bridge between East and West. She brings alive the rich historical background so vital for understanding this troubled part of the world. An enthusiastic, perceptive and sympathetic traveller Irish Independent

    • General cookery & recipes
      March 2016

      Picnic Crumbs

      A Gathering of Picnics, Packed Lunches and Provisons at Home and Abroad

      by Anabel Loyd

      Picnic Crumbs is a collection of stories, from all sorts of people over several centuries, of food produced or eaten in a way that may, even when it is a banquet, just about be defined as a picnic. Writers, travellers and gastronomes of all persuasions describe picnics past, present, perfect and imperfect, in this delightfully eclectic anthology collected by Anabel Loyd, herself the daughter of a family whose picnics have been eaten by a mix of guests from prime ministers to Pekingeses.

    • Travel writing
      December 2004

      Pilgrims Road

      A Journey to Santiago De Compostela

      by Bettina Selby

      Since the Tenth Century pilgrims have travelled the ancient roads through France and Spain that lead to the fabled town of Santiago de Compostela, the legendary shrine of St James the apostle. Travelling in groups for safety they braved the marauding Moorish armies, raging torrents and fearsome mountain passes, trusting in the protection afforded them by the emblem of St. James, a scallop shell. A thousand years later, Bettina Selby tackled the pilgrim’s trail alone and on a bicycle, finding the scallop shell still a powerful talisman, opening doors and providing shelter. This is the story of her journey through countries whose twentieth-century veneer barely conceals a wealth of history, from the magnificent architecture of the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages to the tiny hamlets that seem untouched by the present day, and the awe-inspiring and dangerous beauty of the Pyrenees. Like her predecessors, Bettina Selby had to deal with the natural hazards of the terrain, thieves and wild dogs, but she also encountered a host of fascinating characters along the route. Above all she found a vibrant tradition that lures more and more people to become pilgrims on the road to the ‘Field of the Star’ A real adventurer - brave, good humoured, modest and patient. She is also compassionate. TLS

    • Literary Fiction
      January 2012

      Best Paris Stories

      Anthology of the winners of the Paris Short Story Contest

      by Marie Houzelle

      For some, Paris is home, for others, merely a dream. By turns humorous, bittersweet, historical or surreal, each of these carefully selected stories invites us to explore a different facet of Paris. BEST PARIS STORIES brings together the winning short stories of the 2011 Paris Short Story Contest with works by Jeannine Alter, Bob Levy, Lisa Burkitt, Nafkote Tamirat, Marie Houzelle, Jo Nguyen, Julia Mary Lichtblau, Mary Byrne, Marie Houzelle, Jane M. Handel, and Jim Archibald. "Exciting new voices from the winners of the 2011 Paris Short Story Contest" - Paris Writers News

    • Teaching, Language & Reference
      January 2009

      Sorbonne Confidential

      by Laurel Zuckerman

      After losing her high tech job in Paris, Alice Wunderland dreams of a new, unemployment-proof career as English teacher and decides to dedicate a year to training for France's prestigious competitive exam; After all, she reasons, how hard can it be for an educated American to pass a test in English? She enrolls at the Sorbonne, but her Arizona English fails to impress. Even Shakespeare's English falls short. Only one English will do: Sorbonne English! Even while learning this new language, Alice vows to investigate: Why devise an English exam that few native speakers can pass ? Could this explain why French schoolchildren rank last for English skills in Europe? Is it true that Frenchness is a question of formatting? If so, can a foreigner even one with French nationality ever become truly French? As riots break out in France among the children of immigrants, Alice cannot help but wonder: could there be any connection between her bewildering experience and theirs? A hilarious, hair-raising insider's look at the esoteric world of French Education. (Harriet Welty Rochefort --author of French Toast).

    • Music

      Postcards From a Rock and Roll Tour

      by Gordy Marshall

      Postcards From a Rock & Roll Tour is drummer Gordy Marshall's witty and wry take on life on the road touring with legendary rock band The Moody Blues. Part memoir, part travelogue, it's a candid, unexpected and often hilarious account of just what it's like to travel around the world playing to sell-out audiences, living out of a suitcase and spending days and days on a tour bus. If you thought being in a rock band was all sex, drugs and rock and roll, then think again. Postcards From a Rock & Roll Tour gives a rare insight into the reality of life as a travelling musician. Includes a foreword by the legendary Graeme Edge of The Moody Blues.

    • Humour
      February 2016

      How to be an Alien in England

      A Guide to the English

      by Angela Kiss

      ‘In England everything is typical. If your train is late, it is typical. If there are no seats on the upper deck of a bus, it is typical. If it starts to rain at five o’clock just before you leave work, it is typical.’ ‘Never contradict The English during weather talk. If they say that 15 degrees is “quite unbearably hot” then either you just say “indeed, it is quite unbearably hot” or you shut up and nod.’ Ten years ago, Angela Kiss arrived in the UK without a word of English. All she brought with her was a small bag, a sense of adventure, a desire to work and a copy of George Mikes’ classic 1940s humour book about the peculiarities of the British, How to be an Alien. Through every dodgy flat share, low-paid waitressing job, awkward date and office mishap, Angela held tight to George’s wit and wisdom. With his help she began to understand how to live amongst the English – with their eccentricity, spirit and singing train drivers – and fell in love with a land rich in green spaces, pubs and puddings. A wry, often affectionate view on the English, and how to navigate our national personality.

    • Travel writing
      June 2016

      Gullible's Travels

      Confessions of an International Towel Thief

      by John Carter

      This new book from popular TV personality and journalist John Carter, presenter of ITV's Wish You Were Here from 1987 to 1997 and the BBC's Holiday from 1969 to 1987, lifts the lid on the stories that never made it to screen or press, sometimes because they had no bearing on the article or destination report he was compiling, but often because they could not be told for fear of the consequences, from behind-the-scenes mishaps to hilarious encounters with famous names.Having travelled the world for over half a century on behalf of newspapers and magazines, radio and television programmes - and, occasionally, just for the fun of it - John Carter has a vast store of tales to tell. Now he has put a selection of those stories down on paper. Of necessity, names have occasionally had to be changed not only to protect the innocent, but to save the blushes of the guilty.As well as those and other true stories, this book is laced with 'factions': tales that are based on real incidents and encounters - on cruise ships, as it happens - but which have been 'tweaked' to provide the neat ending that real life usually neglects. Though, as this collection proves, real life is far more unlikely than the strangest of fiction."During my work on television, people would often say they liked what I did because I seemed to be genuinely enjoying myself," he says. "The most frequent comment was that they hoped to get as much from their holiday as I did. Which is why I have finally set down my own rather unbelievable experiences."Whether evading Italian film companies in Yugoslavia - and accidentally encountering Sophia Loren - getting thrown out of a royal reception in Morocco or being press-ganged into acting as a tour guide on his very first trip to the USA, John Carter has enjoyed his travels and revels in the unexpected situations that he has faced along the way.

    • Travel & Transport
      February 2017

      Greetings from

      by Campbell Jefferys

      This collection of travel stories has been gathered over twenty years of travel and writing. They cover many places and themes, but all circle around the idea of being a stranger in a strange land. As a sample, the stories involve playing street basketball in New York, going underground in Berlin, pushing a boat in Indonesia, chasing ghosts in Vienna, and going back in time on Lanzarote.

    • Memoirs
      March 2012

      Dancing Through History

      In Search of the Stories That Define Canada

      by Lori Henry

      In Dancing Through History, Henry crosses Canada's vast physical and ethnic terrain to uncover how its various cultures have evolved through their dances. Her coast-to-coast journey takes her to Haida Gwaii in British Columbia, where she witnesses the seldom seen animist dances of the islands' First Nation people. In the Arctic, Henry partakes in Inuit drum dancing, kept alive by a new generation of Nunavut youth. And in CapeBreton, she uncovers the ancient "step dance" of the once culturally oppressed Gaels of Nova Scotia. During her travels, Henry discovers that dance helps to break down barriers and encourage cooperation between people with a history of injustice. Dance, she finds, can provide key insight into what people value most as a culture, which is often more similar than it seems. It is this kind of understanding that goes beyond our divisive histories and gives us compassion for one another. Unique to this book, Dancing Through History includes first person interviews with First Nations, Métis, and Inuit (Canada's Aboriginal groups) talking about their traditions and the effect colonisation has had on them, all through the lens of dance. Their voices are given ample space to speak for themselves – what is revealed is a beautiful worldview and many lessons to be learned in order to have a healthy planet and tolerant people as we move into the future. Book Details: This is an adult non-fiction book of Canadian content. The target market is curious travellers and those interested in culture beyond the typical tourist traps. Sales have ranged from junior high schools to retired baby boomers. Interested publishers can make an offer directly on the profile page to buy available rights.

    • Travel writing

      Vitali's Ireland

      Time Travels in the Celtic Tiger

      by Vitali Vitaliev

      Vitali’s Ireland offers a unique perspective on 21st century Irish cultural identity, delivered in a style rich with his typical sardonic wit. Ukrainian-born Vitali Vitaliev, an award-winning travel writer and journalist, uses his outsider’s perspective to recount his Irish adventures. A renowned cultural observer, he muses on the nation’s quirks and stereotypes, whilst his reference to mid-19th century guide books provides an insightful historical comparison. The result is an affectionate if slightly perplexed portrait of a nation in transition.

    • Travel writing
      November 2002

      Their Other Side

      Six American Women and the Lure of Italy

      by Helen Barolini

    • Prose: non-fiction

      Stepping Twice Into the River

      Following Dakota Waters

      by Robert King

      In Stepping Twice Into the River, Robert King recounts his exploration of the 'almost unnoticeable' along North Dakota's Sheyenne River, from its headwaters to river's end. With every experience along the way -- tracing a military campaign, canoeing the river, visiting a ghost town and even trying to sleep in an ancient Cheyenne village -- King delves deeper into the river's culture. Each stop in his travels, each chapter of his writing, brings to light a different aspect of the plains, focusing on Native American culture, pioneer society, religion, war, agriculture, and nature. In the hands of this gifted thinker and writer, local facts yield universal metaphor. An able guide, King illuminates the ordinary from the perspectives of history, science, and literature. Blending travel narrative, interesting details, and poetic reflection, Stepping Twice Into the River takes readers on a journey through time, revealing both stability and change and offering prairie wisdom. Readers will find in Robert King an affable and delightful guide, a painter of a vivid portrait of human endeavour on the northern plains.

    • Biography: general

      Big Wonderful

      Notes from Wyoming

      by Kevin Holdsworth

      In this unconventional memoir, Kevin Holdsworth vividly portrays life in remote, unpredictable country and ruminates on the guts -- or foolishness -- it takes to put down roots and raise a family in a merciless environment. Growing up in Utah, Holdsworth couldn't wait to move away. Once ensconced on the East Coast, however, he found himself writing westerns and dreaming of the mountains he'd skied and climbed. Fed up with city life, he moved to a small Wyoming town. In "Big Wonderful", he writes of a mountaineering companion's death, the difficult birth of his son, and his father's terminal illness -- encounters with mortality that sharpened his ideas about risk, care, and commitment. He puts a new spin on mountaineering literature, telling wild tales from his reunion with the mountains but also relating the surprising willpower it took to turn back from risks he would have taken before he became a father. He found he needed courage to protect and engage deeply with his family, his community, and the wild places he loves. Holdsworth's essays and poems are rich with anecdotes, characters, and vivid images. Readers will feel as if they themselves watched a bear destroy an entire expedition's food, walked with his great-great-grandmother along the icy Mormon Trail, and tried to plant a garden in Wyoming's infamous wind. Readers who love the outdoors will enjoy this funny and touching take on settling down and adventuring in the West's most isolated country.

    • Travel writing
      November 2004

      Frail Dream of Timbuktu

      by Bettina Selby

      In her latest journey, the most exotic and challenging of them all, Bettina Selby set out to explore the land of ancient African empires along the southern fringes of the Sahara Desert. Following the course of the river Niger, from Niamey through the fabled city of Tibuktu and so on to Djenne and Segou, she reveals a lost world of cities founded centuries ago on the rich profits from trade and spices, gold and slaves. It was not only the siren call of these cities that drew Bettina to the Sahel, but the harsh beauty of the land and curiosity about the people who live there now. Some Fulani and Tuareg, still proudly nomadic manage to scrape a living from the thin soil as the desert encroaches. In the mountains to the south the Dogon have lived for centuries in their curious villages clinging to the cliffs, still haunted by the spirits of their ancestors. Needless to say the spectacle of a single woman on a bicycle was greeted with amazement and curiosity in almost equal measure. But even an all-terrain bicycle was not always equal to the desert conditions, so Bettina, nothing if not flexible, took to pirogue, camel or bush taxi as the occasion demanded. With the ‘strong brown god’ of the Niger flowing through her account, a lost corner of Africa unfolds on either side. Full of echoes of the past, its future is precarious, and Bettina Selby captures it here, remote, elusive and in transition. Bettina Selby is a real adventurer TLS

    • Travel writing
      May 2005

      Riding to Jerusalem

      by Bettina Selby

      People have made their way to Jerusalem in many ways. Some have ridden in triumphantly as conquerors, others have come humbly on foot as pilgrims. Today many arrive cocooned in package holiday coaches. Bettina Selby did it the hard way - on a bicycle called Evans. Following the routes of the Crusaders and the early pilgrims across Europe, through Turkey, Syria and Jordan meant a long, very tough mountainous journey, but one of great natural beauty, and with endless opportunities to meet the peoples of those countries. It was a route that led past many of the most fabulous sites and cities of the ancient world - such as Byzantium, Troy, Pergamon, Palmyra, Petra, and finally, Jerusalem itself. Riding to Jerusalem combines the author’s perceptions and reflections with her sense of humour and keen relish of adventure. Not since reading Patrick Leigh Fermor have I enjoyed a travel book in which people and places, past and present are so vividly woven together Country Living

    • Travel writing
      May 2000

      The Fragile Islands

      A Journey Through the Outer Hebrides

      by Bettina Selby

      Bettina Selby, traveller and explorer, decided to spend a long summer idyll re-visiting the far flung islands of the Outer Hebrides. With an ‘all-terrain’ bicycle and a small tent, she sets out on a leisurely tour, following forgotten tracks and byways into remote deserted corners. Camping amidst spectacular island scenery, teeming with bird life. Bettina Selby finds that neither wild weather nor midges, nor even an ankle in plaster, can dampen her enthusiasm for this fascinating threatened habitat. Her interest in the people of these islands, their history and traditions is equally strong and the pages are filled with a range of characters, from those whose families have crofted and fished for generations, to the ‘white-settlers’ from the South who have come to seek an alternative life-style to 20th century materialism. With a shrewd insight and a certain laconic humour, Bettina Selby gives an informed and unsentimental outsider’s view. And through it all there shines a love and concern for these marvellous but Fragile Islands, and compassion for their people’s unenviable history. Bettina Selby writes as well as she travels, simply, humourously, perceptively Dervla Murphy Good Book Guide

    • Travel writing
      May 2000

      Riding North One Summer

      by Bettina Selby

      Well-known and rightly admired for her marathon solo bicycle journeys along the Himalayas, to Jerusalem and down the Nile, Bettina Selby decided, in the summer of 1988, to explore a country that was, on the face of it, all too familiar, yet turned out to be as beautiful, as exotic and as unexpected as anything she had come across in remoter places. Riding her trusty eighteen-gear bicycle, Evans, and carrying with her a tent, a sleeping-bag and as little as she needed for the outdoor life, she left London in search of the continuing England that lies beyond the motorways, the suburbs and the great conurbations. Her outward journey took her through the Cotswolds, the Welsh Borders, Staffordshire and the Peak District: but the purpose of her journey was to explore the North - the country of St Cuthbert and Wordsworth, Beatrix Potter and the Venerable Bede - and it was in the Lake District, along Hadrians Wall, in Lindisfarne and in Durham that she found the unchanging England of her memories: the England, too, of Sellafield and Teesside and a thousand exhaust fumes shimmering in the mountain air. Entertaining, vividly written, wonderfully evocative of open-air adventure at its best,Riding North One Summer is also a perceptive and often sobering insight into English life today. An evocation of open air adventure at its best. This is a beautifully written book that will inspire all travellers - even the armchair variety The Scotsman

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