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We may not be able to catch a flight right now, but we can still travel the world – and from the comfort of our armchairs. Immerse yourself in the heady smells of Istanbul, or the vibrant colours of Italy. Whether you choose to float down the Seine on a Book Barge, or solve crimes in Japan – there’s a story waiting for you. Discover new cultures and experience other countries with our independent choice of Fiction and Travel Writing. And remember – we offer Free Postage in ROI on orders over €30 – just choose the Free Postage option at checkout.

  • "An unusual setting for an unusual novel. Incredibly atmospheric, the story follows a young woman working in a guest house on the border of North and South Korea. Used to the harsh landscape, she soon learns to see the world through the eyes of a mysterious artist. A beautiful coming-of-age story." Rebekah ISBN 9781911547549
  • "As host of 'The Daily Show', I knew he could make me laugh, what I didn't expect was his incredibly perceptive insight into post-Apartheid South Africa. Noah writes with warmth about his childhood and the bizarre event that he experienced - like being thrown out of a moving car by his mom! Ultimately though, this book is a love letter to his mother and to the country that raised him. A good read for when you need to laugh at life.' Rebekah ISBN 9781473635302
  • From her first life-changing solo trip to Australia as a young graduate, Rosita Boland was enthralled by travel. In the last thirty years she has visited some of the most remote parts of the globe carrying little more than a battered rucksack and a diary. Documenting nine journeys from nine different moments in her life, Elsewhere reveals how exploring the world - and those we meet along the way - can dramatically shape the course of a person's life. From death-defying bus journeys through Pakistan to witnessing the majestic icescapes of Antarctica to putting herself back together in Bali, Rosita experiences moments of profound joy and endures deep personal loss. In a series of jaw-dropping, illuminating and sometimes heart-breaking essays, Elsewhere is a book that celebrates the life well-travelled in all its messy and wondrous glory. ISBN 9781784164379
  • "Just days after Raynor learns that Moth, her husband of 32 years, is terminally ill, their home is taken away and they lose their livelihood. With nothing left and little time, they make the brave and impulsive decision to walk the 630 miles of the sea-swept South West Coast Path, from Somerset to Dorset, via Devon and Cornwall. Carrying only the essentials for survival on their backs, they live wild in the ancient, weathered landscape of cliffs, sea and sky. Yet through every step, every encounter and every test along the way, their walk becomes a remarkable journey. The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways. ISBN 9781405937184
  • For over 300 years, Japan closed itself to outsiders, developing a remarkable and unique culture. During its period of isolation, the inhabitants of the city of Edo, later known as Tokyo, relied on its public bells to tell the time. In her remarkable book, Anna Sherman tells of her search for the bells of Edo, exploring the city of Tokyo and its inhabitants and the individual and particular relationship of Japanese culture - and the Japanese language - to time, tradition, memory, impermanence and history. Through Sherman's journeys around the city and her friendship with the owner of a small, exquisite cafe, who elevates the making and drinking of coffee to an art-form, The Bells of Old Tokyo presents a series of hauntingly memorable voices in the labyrinth that is the metropolis of the Japanese capital: An aristocrat plays in the sea of ashes left by the Allied firebombing of 1945. A scientist builds the most accurate clock in the world, a clock that will not lose a second in five billion years. A sculptor eats his father's ashes while the head of the house of Tokugawa reflects on the destruction of his grandfather's city ('A lost thing is lost. To chase it leads to darkness')... The result is a book that not only engages with the striking otherness of Japanese culture like no other, but that also marks the arrival of a dazzling new writer as she presents an absorbing and alluring meditation on life through an exploration of a great city and its people. ISBN 9781529000498
  • "This odd yet beautiful small book contains the stories of fifty strange islands from across the globe. Each story makes you consider the world that we live in, and what a diverse and amazing place it really is. It’s a bit pricey (sorry!) but beautifully produced and bound. A wonderful quirky discovery." Bob ISBN 9781846143496
  • Monisha Rajesh has chosen one of the best ways of seeing the world. Never too fast, never too slow, her journey does what trains do best. Getting to the heart of things. From the cloud-skimming heights of Tibet's Qinghai railway to silk-sheeted splendour on the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express, Around the World in 80 Trains is a celebration of the glory of train travel and a witty and irreverent look at the world. Packing up her rucksack - and her fiance, Jem - Monisha Rajesh embarks on an unforgettable adventure that takes her from London's St Pancras station to the vast expanses of Russia and Mongolia, North Korea, Canada, Kazakhstan, and beyond. The journey is one of constant movement and mayhem, as the pair strike up friendships and swap stories with the hilarious, irksome and ultimately endearing travellers they meet on board, all while taking in some of the earth's most breathtaking views. ISBN 9781408869772
  • From the internationally bestselling, prize-winning author of Landmarks, The Lost Words and The Old WaysIn Underland, Robert Macfarlane takes us on a journey into the worlds beneath our feet. From the ice-blue depths of Greenland's glaciers, to the underground networks by which trees communicate, from Bronze Age burial chambers to the rock art of remote Arctic sea-caves, this is a deep-time voyage into the planet's past and future. Global in its geography, gripping in its voice and haunting in its implications, Underland is a work of huge range and power, and a remarkable new chapter in Macfarlane's long-term exploration of landscape and the human heart. ISBN 9780141030579
  • In this investigation into loss, losing and being lost, Rebecca Solnit explores the challenges of living with uncertainty. A Field Guide to Getting Lost takes in subjects as eclectic as memory and mapmaking, Hitchcock movies and Renaissance painting. Beautifully written, this book combines memoir, history and philosophy, shedding glittering new light on the way we live now. ISBN 9781786890511
  • On 21 June 1922, Count Alexander Rostov - recipient of the Order of Saint Andrew, member of the Jockey Club, Master of the Hunt - is escorted out of the Kremlin, across Red Square and through the elegant revolving doors of the Hotel Metropol. Deemed an unrepentant aristocrat by a Bolshevik tribunal, the Count has been sentenced to house arrest indefinitely. But instead of his usual suite, he must now live in an attic room while Russia undergoes decades of tumultuous upheaval. Can a life without luxury be the richest of all? ISBN 9780099558781
  • In 1940s Japan, the wealthy head of the Inugami Clan dies, and his family eagerly await the reading of the will. But no sooner are its strange details revealed than a series of bizarre, gruesome murders begins. Detective Kindaichi must unravel the clan's terrible secrets of forbidden liaisons, monstrous cruelty, and hidden identities to find the murderer, and lift the curse wreaking its bloody revenge on the Inugamis. The Inugami Curse is a fiendish, intricately plotted classic mystery from a giant of Japanese crime writing, starring the legendary detective Kosuke Kindaichi. ISBN 9781782275039
  • Over the course of a year, leading historian and nature writer David Gange kayaked the weather-ravaged coasts of Atlantic Britain and Ireland from north to south: every cove, sound, inlet, island. The idea was to travel slowly and close to the water: in touch with both the natural world and the histories of communities on Atlantic coastlines. The story of his journey is one of staggering adventure, range and beauty. For too long, Gange argues, the significance of coasts has been underestimated, and the potential of small boats as tools to make sense of these histories rarely explored. This book seeks to put that imbalance right. Paddling alone in sun and storms, among dozens of whales and countless seabirds, Gange and his kayak travelled through a Shetland summer, Scottish winter and Irish spring before reaching Wales and Cornwall. Sitting low in the water, as did millions in eras when coasts were the main arteries of trade and communication, Gange describes, in captivating prose and loving detail, the experiences of kayaking, coastal living and historical discovery. Drawing on the archives of islands and coastal towns, as well as their vast poetic literatures in many languages, he shows that the neglected histories of these stunning regions are of real importance in understanding both the past and future of the whole archipelago. It is a history of Britain and Ireland like no other. COLLECTIVE WINNER OF THE HIGHLAND BOOK PRIZE SHORTLISTED FOR THE WAINWRIGHT PRIZE 'This is the book that has been wanting to be written for decades: the ragged fringe of Britain as a laboratory for the human spirit' Adam Nicolson ISBN 9780008225148
  • When Gilbert wakes one day from a dream that his wife has cheated on him, he flees - immediately and inexplicably - for Tokyo, where he meets a fellow lost soul: Yosa, a young Japanese student clutching a copy of The Complete Manual of Suicide. Together, Gilbert and Yosa set off on a pilgrimage to see the pine islands of Matsushima, one looking for the perfect end to his life, the other for a fresh start. Playful and profound, The Pine Islands is a beautiful tale of friendship, transformation and acceptance in modern Japan. SHORTLISTED FOR THE MAN BOOKER INTERNATIONAL PRIZE 2019. ISBN 9781788160926
  • A glimpse of life inside the world's most secretive country, as told by Britain's best-loved travel writer. In May 2018, former Monty Python stalwart and intrepid globetrotter Michael Palin spent two weeks in the notoriously secretive Democratic People's Republic of Korea, a cut-off land without internet or phone signal, where the countryside has barely moved beyond a centuries-old peasant economy but where the cities have gleaming skyscrapers and luxurious underground train stations. His resulting documentary for Channel 5 was widely acclaimed. Now he shares his day-by-day diary of his visit, in which he describes not only what he saw - and his fleeting views of what the authorities didn't want him to see - but recounts the conversations he had with the country's inhabitants, talks candidly about his encounters with officialdom, and records his musings about a land wholly unlike any other he has ever visited - one that inspires fascination and fear in equal measure. Written with Palin's trademark warmth and wit, and illustrated with beautiful colour photographs throughout, the journal offers a rare insight into the North Korea behind the headlines. ISBN 9781786331908
  • Prisoners of Geography meets Bill Bryson: a funny, fascinating, beautifully illustrated - and timely - history of countries that, for myriad and often ludicrous reasons, no longer exist. 'Countries are just daft stories we tell each other. They're all equally implausible once you get up close' Countries die. Sometimes it's murder, sometimes it's by accident, and sometimes it's because they were so ludicrous they didn't deserve to exist in the first place. Occasionally they explode violently. A few slip away almost unnoticed. Often the cause of death is either 'got too greedy' or 'Napoleon turned up'. Now and then they just hold a referendum and vote themselves out of existence. This is an atlas of nations that fell off the map. The polite way of writing an obituary is: dwell on the good bits, gloss over the embarrassing stuff. This book fails to do that. And that is mainly because most of these dead nations (and a lot of the ones that are still alive) are so weird or borderline nonsensical that it's impossible to skip the embarrassing stuff. The life stories of the sadly deceased involve a catalogue of chancers, racists, racist chancers, conmen, madmen, people trying to get out of paying tax, mistakes, lies, stupid schemes and General Idiocy. Because of this - and because treating nation states with too much respect is the entire problem with pretty much everything - these accounts are not fussed about adding to all the earnest flag saluting in the world, however nice some of the flags are. ISBN 9780008393854
  • Siberia's story is traditionally one of exiles, penal colonies and unmarked graves. Yet there is another tale to tell. Dotted throughout this remote land are pianos - grand instruments created during the boom years of the Nineteenth Century, and humble, Soviet-made uprights that found their way into equally modest homes. They tell the story of how, ever since entering Russian culture under the influence of Catherine the Great, piano music has run through the country like blood. How these pianos travelled into this snow-bound wilderness in the first place is testament to noble acts of fortitude by governors, adventurers and exiles. That stately instruments might still exist in such a hostile landscape is remarkable. That they are still capable of making music in far-flung villages is nothing less than a miracle. But this is Siberia, where people can endure the worst of the world - and where music reveals a deep humanity in the last place on earth you would expect to find it. ISBN 9780857524959
  • Meet Balram Halwai, the 'White Tiger': servant, philosopher, entrepreneur... murderer. Balram was born in a backwater village on the River Ganges, the son of a rickshaw-puller. He works in a teashop, crushing coal and wiping tables, but nurses a dream of escape. When he learns that a rich village landlord needs a chauffeur, he takes his opportunity, and is soon on his way to Delhi at the wheel of a Honda. Amid cockroaches, call-centres, thirty-six-million gods, slums, shopping malls, and crippling traffic jams, Balram comes to see how the Tiger might slip the bars of his cage. ISBN 9781838953942
  • When 30-year-old Dean Nicholson set off from Scotland to cycle around the world, his aim was to learn as much as he could about our troubled planet. But he hadn't bargained on the lessons he'd learn from his unlikely companion. Three months after leaving home, on a remote road in the mountains between Montenegro and Bosnia, he came across an abandoned kitten. Something about the piercing eyes and plaintive meowing of the bedraggled little cat proved irresistible. ISBN 9781529327991
  • "A barge that sells books and a bookseller looking for a long lost love? Now, that's my kind of story! Full of charming characters, and a fun adventure, this is a fabulous read. Perfect for book lovers." Rebekah ISBN 9780349140377
  • A.A. Gill was an exceptional writer. Savage and compassionate in equal measure, he was always opinionated, always original, often surprising, and his writing illuminated from the page. This book, the second posthumous collection of his journalism, brings together pieces from near and far. He was ferociously well travelled, and once wrote that for all our ability to cross the world at will, 'abroad is as foreign and funny and strange and shocking as it ever was, and our need to know our neighbours every bit as great'. This is a book about meeting those neighbours. Wherever he was - in London or the Kalahari, Benidorm or Beirut, with the glitterati in St Tropez or the nightclubs of Moscow, in the ruins of earthquake-struck Haiti or in a camp with the displaced Rohingya, he had the ability to pin down the heart of a story and render it unforgettable. He was a peerless writer about food, and so we also get to join him at tables all around the world, from a motorway service station cafe to the sophisticated delights of El Bulli. Fearless in his judgement, often provocative, and endlessly thought-provoking, he had the gift of making his readers see the world in a different way. And, always, of making them laugh. This collection is another opportunity to marvel at a master at work. ISBN 9781474617376
  • In an old wooden sloop, Philip Marsden plots a course north from his home in Cornwall. He is sailing for the Summer Isles, a small archipelago near the top of Scotland that holds for him a deep and personal significance. On the way, he must navigate the west coast of Ireland and the Inner Hebrides. Through the people he meets and the tales he uncovers, Marsden builds up a haunting picture of these shores - of imaginary islands and the Celtic otherworld, of the ageless draw of the west, of the life of the sea and perennial loss - and the redemptive power of the imagination. The Summer Isles is an unforgettable account of the search for actual places, invented places, and those places in between that shape the lives of individuals and entire nations. ISBN 9781783783007
  • From the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Thousand Acres, Jane Smiley, The Strays of Paris is a captivating story of three extraordinary animals - and one little boy - whose lives cross paths in Paris. Paras is a spirited young racehorse living in a stable in the French countryside. That is until one afternoon, when she pushes open the gate of her stall and, travelling through the night, arrives quite by chance in the dazzling streets of Paris. She soon meets a German shorthaired pointer named Frida, two irrepressible ducks and an opinionated crow, and life amongst the animals in the city's lush green spaces is enjoyable for a time. But everything changes when Paras meets a human boy, Etienne, and discovers a new, otherworldly part of Paris: the secluded, ivy-walled house where the boy and his nearly-one-hundred-year-old great grandmother live quietly and unto themselves. As the cold weather of Christmas nears, the unlikeliest of friendships bloom among humans and animals alike. But how long can a runaway horse live undiscovered in Paris? And how long can one boy keep her all to himself? Charming and beguiling in equal measure, Jane Smiley's novel celebrates the intrinsic need for friendship, love, and freedom, whomever you may be... ISBN 9781529052985
  • Peter Mayle and his wife did what most of us only imagine doing when they made their long-cherished dream of a life abroad a reality: throwing caution to the wind, they bought a glorious two hundred year-old farmhouse in the Luberon Valley and began a new life. In a year that begins with a marathon lunch and continues with a host of gastronomic delights, they also survive the unexpected and often hilarious curiosities of rural life. ISBN 9780140296037
  • Paolo Cognetti marked his 40th birthday with a journey he had always wanted to make: to Dolpo, a remote Himalayan region where Nepal meets Tibet. He took with him two friends, a notebook, mules and guides, and a well-worn copy of The Snow Leopard. An investigation into the author's physical limits, an ancient mountain culture, and the magnificence of nature, it is an awestruck love letter to one of the most spectacular places on earth. ISBN 9781787302273
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