Mike Yardley: Great new reads for the Armchair Traveller

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Oct 2021, 1:54PM
Gourmet Trails. (Photo / The Lonely Planet)
Gourmet Trails. (Photo / The Lonely Planet)

Mike Yardley: Great new reads for the Armchair Traveller

Author
Mike Yardley,
Publish Date
Sat, 16 Oct 2021, 1:54PM

With the prospect of international travel remaining a hopeful but still distant aspiration, and much of the country straight-jacketed by Covid-19 alert travel restrictions, satisfying your wanderlust can feel rather problematic at present. But whether you’re itching for some great escapism in prose, or staking out some travel-related Christmas gift ideas, here’s a round-up of some excellent new release books that will satisfy and stimulate your travel cravings.

Gone Bush is Paul Kilgour’s first-hand account of life in the New Zealand backcountry and beyond. It’s the inspiring story of a wanderer, long-distance tramper and hut-bagging legend. Paul Kilgour was bitten by the tramping bug early. He began going on epic trips as a young boy, beyond the North West Auckland farm and out along the coast.

During these wanderings, he met old folk living simply in tiny huts out the back of farms and on clifftops, and swaggers walking in remote and beautiful locations. Even at that early age, deep inside Paul stirred the spirit of adventure and a longing to go further. And further he went.

Gone Bush is about a lifetime of walking the backcountry – Paul has clocked up 50 years of it. He tells stories of the eccentric characters he met along the way, some of the 1200 huts he’s visited and his most unforgettable journeys. In 2007 and 2008, Kilgour walked the length of the South Island – his long walk home – an epic 1550-kilometre tramp from Fiordland to Golden Bay via backcountry huts and off-track routes. Gone Bush is a charming, meandering read – like setting off on a serene tramp in the mountains, a heavy frost underfoot and the sun on your back.

The Wild Twins is the real-life story of Amber and Serena Shine on strength, survival and a lifetime seeking adventure. From their first steps, the twins set out from their family farm in rural Waiuku with the bush and mountains in sight. Together they've run the world's highest marathon on Mount Everest, walked jaguars in the Amazon, sailed treacherous seas from Hawai'i to San Francisco, navigated ice falls while climbing Mount Cook, raced 322 kilometres on a dogsled, and survived naked in the African wilderness for twenty-one days on the hit Discovery show Naked and Afraid.

In The Wild Twins, Amber and Serena share their most extreme achievements, the secrets behind their strength and endurance, and advice on living life to its fullest. With go-getter attitudes, perseverance and fearlessness, these inspiring sisters are all about getting outdoors and reaching your potential - returning home covered in mud and with a story to tell.

Amber and Serena Shine were born and raised in a small rural town in the North Island of New Zealand. Together and apart, they have lived, explored and adventured abroad while juggling careers, from the New Zealand Army to Australian mining, Alaskan dog sledding and much more. Their love of the outdoors keeps them constantly adventuring – they have taken on mountains, sailed across the Pacific and survived in the wilderness, to name a few. They are passionate about inspiring others through their experiences, adventures and life philosophies. This is their first book.

The Spirit of Cardrona is a stirring business story about a young woman who pursued her unlikely dream of setting up a world-class distillery in Cardrona. It is the story of Desiree Reid-Whitaker’s upbringing, of her persistence and resilience, of overcoming life’s trials, tribulations and natural shyness, to succeed on a path-less-travelled. Desiree spent two and half years visiting the world’s greatest whisky distilleries and learning from some of the world’s great masters before risking all she had to make her dream a reality. Her quest to produce a single-malt whisky that would compete with the best whiskies in the world is a classic story of Kiwi persistence, self-sacrifice and dedication to excellence.

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The Spirit of Cardrona. (Photo / Harper Collins)

The Spirit of Cardrona is an inspirational business story that will appeal to anyone who loves a bold, brave and brilliant entrepreneur, backdropped by Cardona’s lip-smacking good looks.

Gourmet Trails in Australia & New Zealand. Lonely Planet celebrates 40 perfect culinary weekends in New Zealand and Australia. 11 New Zealand regions are showcased including Hawke’s Bay, Bay of Islands, Waiheke Island, Central Otago, Wairarapa, Christchurch, Marlborough and the West Coast. Meet the producers and celebrate the ingenuity and passion of New Zealand’s best food and wine regions. As domestic tourism shifts into overdrive in the coming summer months Lonely Planet has delivered the perfect culinary companion to weekends in food and wine country.

Having tasted their way around the country the team of Lonely Planet writers has delivered a definitive showcase of New Zealand’s epicurean regions via tailored itineraries that celebrate vibrant local produce and the creative minds that deliver these culinary delights.

“With an abundance of hip restaurants, food markets, craft-beer breweries, microdistilleries, vineyards, coffee roasters, cheesemakers and specialist providers you don’t have to go any further than your own backyard to experience world class produce,” says Lonely Planet.

Shackleton. This authoritative new biography of Sir Ernest Shackleton is from polar adventurer Ranulph Fiennes. In 1915, Sir Ernest Shackleton's attempt to traverse the Antarctic was cut short when his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. The disaster left Shackleton and his men alone at the frozen South Pole, fighting for their lives. Their survival and escape is the most famous adventure in history.

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Shackleton. (Photo / Penguin Books)

Shackleton is an engaging new account of the adventurer, his life and his incredible leadership under the most extreme of circumstances. Written by polar adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes who followed in Shackleton's footsteps, he brings his own unique insights to bear on these infamous expeditions. Shackleton is both re-appraisal and a valediction, separating the man from the myth he has become.

After the Tampa. This is the heart-rending story of a child 'Tampa' refugee, Abbas Nazari, who grew up to become a Fulbright scholar, highlighting the plight and potential of refugees everywhere. When the Taliban were at the height of their power in 2001, Abbas Nazari's parents were faced with a choice: stay and face persecution in their homeland, or seek security for their young children elsewhere.

The family's desperate search for safety took them on a harrowing journey from the mountains of Afghanistan to a small fishing boat in the Indian Ocean, crammed with more than 400 other asylum seekers. While many of those rescued by the Tampa were the first inmates sent to the island of Nauru, Abbas and his family were some of the lucky few to be resettled in New Zealand.

Twenty years after the Tampa affair, Abbas tells his amazing story, from living under Taliban rule, to spending a terrifying month at sea, to building a new life at the bottom of the world. A powerful and inspiring story for our times, After the Tampa celebrates the importance of never letting go of what drives the human spirit: hope.

Around The World In 68 Days is a travelogue with a big difference - not about how to get there, what to see or where to dine, but instead, seeking to glean insights into the meaning of life and the true nature of human societies, using the lens of the brand attributes of each territory to look more clearly into the kaleidoscope of humanity. In a time of a global pandemic, this is also a type of memoir, a tribute to travel, of a pre-Covid-19 world. This is like a 68-day extravaganza of ichigo ichie, the Japanese concept of cherishing every worthwhile moment.

Singaporean writer Koh Buck Song - author and editor of more than 30 books - distils the quintessential brand essence of very different cultures in 13 countries across four continents. He draws from his experience and perspectives as a country brand adviser, advocate of liveable and sustainable cities, and commentator on society and public policy. Koh, also a poet and artist, opens each chapter with his own haiga artwork of a haiku poem with an ink sketch. These artworks complement this book's effort to capture and interpret shared humanity across the globe - what makes each of us unique, what we share, and how, in the end, perhaps we're all really chasing ultimately similar dreams.

Mike Yardley is our resident traveller on Jack Tame Saturday Mornings