This year I have been lucky enough to discover some fabulous outdoor books. So I thought, with the gift giving season nearly upon us, that I would put them together here in a handy reference guide just in case you still have some presents to buy.
First, I’d like to share one of my recent discoveries. My mum visited a few weeks ago and bought with her a little gem of a book. “Murray’s Handbook for Travellers in Northamptonshire and Rutland” was published in 1878 and features information and suggested itineraries for visiting these areas.
This book has fascinated me and I plan to follow some of Mr Murray’s routes next year. I have a deep rooted interest in my local area and I enjoy learning about the places that I grew up, but I also love the author’s little observations. This book may be well over a hundred years old, but some things never change: “…the town of Wellingborough, overrun by shoemakers, is not pleasant” (Sorry to anyone from Wellingborough, I couldn’t resist). It will be interesting to refer to this book when we’re out and about; it contains so much information and history about the town and surrounding villages. I managed to find a reprint of his London Handbook (see Amazon widget below), but it’s worth checking out second hand book shops for other volumes.
So back to some more conventional choices!
My favourite book of the year was Go! by Tobias Mews. The reason that I loved it so much was the fact that the ethos behind it is very similar to my own. Plus, it was filled with useful advice and loads of ideas to help everyone get out and be more adventurous. Often, I find outdoor writers seem to lack the understanding that not everyone can just up and leave whenever they feel like it. This book, however, appreciates that people are busy and have limited time, so I found it much more applicable to real life.
I also greatly enjoyed The Swiss Army Knife Book. This comprehensive guide features 63 outdoor projects