Books We've Read and Enjoyed.

Lucy & I are avid readers, so we always have a little selection of stories & authors we're reading at any one time... so we thought we'd compile a list of some of our more recent finds, so here goes...

Tim Cope's book, On the Trail of Genghis Khan is a favourite of Lucy, she can be regularly found quoting excerpts from it...

She went to see his lecture at the Kendal Film Festival & was very moved by the whole thing, so bought the book!!

 Lois Price - Red Tape & White Knuckles & Lois on the Loose

Lucy started to read these books & then we found the link through to Austin Vince, who made the films that inspired Charlie & Ewan to ride the Long Way Round & Down. Lois Price used some of Austin's experience to help with her choice of machine for her trips.
Lois is the now the wife of Austin Vince & a well known character in the adventure motorcycling world herself these days. These books were a large part of the reason she has become well known, they chronicle her first long distance rides though the Americas & Africa.
For Lucy, Lois is a bit of a heroinne, she rides a bike, lives on a barge & loves to travel, (Lucy has two of these things so far...)
Both of the books are written in a nice light hearted way, with a lot of good honest information. I especially like some of the tales when crossing borders such as;
'Have you got to question nine yet?', 
'No what's that?', 
'Are you carrying about your person or does your luggage contain any animal semen?'

The books also shows a great depth of strength in the author whilst also admitting to her personal fears & frailties, something that is often poo pooed in the wider world, a concept that I've never really understood as in my experience women are far stronger than men in the more important ways than just the physical.
For me, reading these books was enjoyable, the Africa story caught my attention more as I have a passion for Africa that has been with me all of my life, the trials & tribulations of the journey & several of the places visited rang bells with my own travels. I found both these books easy to read whilst never needing to finish them.

Good travel books with loads of useful info & anecdotes.

Mike Hannan : The Elephants Tale

Lucy started to read this book, but got lost in the rugby tales at the start, so now I've just finished my last one I'll make a start on it & let you know how it goes...

Some very easy reading for me is the Fantasy Science Fiction genre, I've read most of the authors, Stephen Donaldson, Asimov, Ursula le Guin, Robert Heinland, Anne McCaffrey, Michael Moorcock... the list is endless. Also as most of these books are in a series of between 3 - 10 books, they offer a longer story to follow, although in some cases this can be frustrating waiting for the next one to come out! Some newer authors for me are below...

Trudi Canavan is the author & she's written a series of books, (as seems to be the way with these type of stories)... so I've now read several of her books which started with The Magician's Guild series.

And more recently has been following the Age of the Five series.

All of these books flow nicely, they have a few good twists to them & characters full of all the usual human traits, lots of emotions, epic battles & plenty of intrigue, plus of course the all important subject matter of magic... fab stuff, easy to read, light hearted & time passes by without you noticing it, so ideal travel material!

Brian S Pratt is the current favourite, the Morcyth Saga, all seven books!!

A study read for me is the Chris Scott book, Morocco Overland. We're planning a bike ride to Morocco at some point, so this is fast becoming my reference book, along with the website where the GPX files can be found.

The Roundabout Man - Clare Morrell
This is a bit random, Lucy found it in a charity shop, it's pretty funny with loads of little bits of irony, an easy but thought provoking read...

Just lately I've started to research some of the history of the lanes and roads in Cumbria. A couple of the guys from the Cumbria TRF have lent me a couple of books...

For those that don't know the name, George Abrahams was a photographer and keen mountaineer in Cumbria, he produced two other books, The Complete Mountaineer and Mountain Adventures at Home and Abroad, all written around the turn of the 20th Century. His pictures were truly iconic and he was a fair hand with the written word too... A paragraph from this book I found particularly apt for these days is this:

'The old popular conception, or misconception, of the motorist is gradually dying out. He is no longer thought of as the slayer of all that lives on the highway, a spoiler of all things bright and beautiful, a speed fiend with dust and smell in his wake, yet now and again such a one may be encountered intent on robbing the sport and pastime of its tardily aquired good repute'

I've also bought a book called An Old Westmorland Garage, it's a look at the history of a garage in Kendal from the 1930's as Kendal moved from being a town known for its famous Kendal cloth to its engineering background. The book references several roads around the Lakes as motor cars and motor bikes were built. It's not an easy flowing read but its is a window into a family and a person from that time and their interaction with Cumbria...

This is a book about Nathan Milward riding from Sydney to London on an Post Bike, a little 125cc tough machine that was run on a shoestring because of a change in life circumstances for the rider... it is an amusing viewpoint about the reason to travel as well as a diary of the things faced whilst en route...

Over the period of our European trip I was reading The Silk Roads by Peter Frankopan, this is an excellent window into a version of history that is not often presented in western literature. As we travelled through so many countries, our attitudes to some aspects of what we were seeing was changed as well as our perception of the differences in the cultures... an excellent and thought provoking book.

A book just handed to me to read is The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy, who judging by her picture inside the cover of the book is a stunning looking Indian woman. I've just started the book so it's early days, but her writing style is very descriptive and uses a lot of detail to bring the story to life. it'll be an interesting read I think.

A little bit more lighthearted is a favourite of my nephew David, he's lent me the first book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series, which actually a children's book. It is a really easy read though and I finished it in a day, so a perfect travel companion book as it doesn't really require much thought. Derek Landy has written this very well and covers the salient parts without too much ado. Great!

Lucy has just finished A Pirate of Exquisite Mind by Diana & Michael Preston, I haven't really looked at it as yet, but Lucy really enjoyed it and recommends I read it, so that'll be when I have a bit of time and have finished the rest!

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