All books are transporting, but none more so than these volumes, which are books that take you places and even books you take when you're taken to places. Whether you're venturing locally or further afield, these great new titles will come in handy for summer travel, vicarious or otherwise.
Visit Mount Ararat and Eastern Turkey
Full Moon Over Noah's Ark, by Rick Antonson
About the book: Mount Ararat is the most fabled mountain in the world. For millennia this massif in eastern Turkey has been rumoured as the resting place of Noah’s Ark following the Great Flood. But it also plays a significant role in the longstanding conflict between Turkey and Armenia.
Author Rick Antonson joined a five-member expedition to the mountain’s nearly 17,000-foot summit, trekking alongside a contingent of Armenians, for whom Mount Ararat is the stolen symbol of their country. Antonson weaves vivid historical anecdote with unexpected travel vignettes, whether tracing earlier mountaineering attempts on the peak, recounting the genocide of Armenians and its unresolved debate, or depicting the Kurds’ ambitions for their own nation’s borders, which some say should include Mount Ararat.
What unfolds in Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark is one man’s odyssey, a tale told through many stories. Starting with the flooding of the Black Sea in 5600 BCE, through to the Epic of Gilgamesh and the contrasting narratives of the Great Flood known to followers of the Judaic, Christian and Islamic religions, Full Moon Over Noah’s Ark takes readers along with Antonson through the shadows and broad landscapes of Turkey, Iraq, Iran and Armenia, shedding light on a troubled but fascinating area of the world.
Go Backpacking Around the World
About the book: Sue, a disenchanted waitress, embarks upon a year-long quest around the world with her friend, Sara—who’s exasperatingly perfect. Expecting a whimsical jaunt of self-discovery, Sue instead encounters an absurd series of misadventures that render her embarrassed, terrified, and queasy (and in a lot of trouble with Philippine Airlines).
Whether she’s fleeing from ravenous lions, dancing amid smoking skulls, trekking Annapurna underprepared, or (accidentally) drugging an Englishman, Sue’s quick-witted, self-deprecating narrative might just inspire you to take your own chaotic adventure.
Take a Walk Around Quebec City
Exploring Old Quebec, by Maude Bonenfant
About the book: Quebec is one of the most visited cities in North America, for good reason—it has a unique charm. A romantic city, it attracts lovers as well as families and tourists interested in history. In 1985 UNESCO named Quebec a World Heritage Site. It is the only city in either Canada or the United States to have preserved its original walls and fortifications. Although the city has been the scene of armed conflict, many historical buildings remain.
For the curious travellers, the seven walking tours in Exploring Old Quebec are a voyage of discovery through the rich history of an extraordinary city founded by Samuel de Champlain in 1608. This completely revised guide also includes four thematic itineraries, maps, and practical information.
Be a Pilgrim
Walking to Camelot: A Pilgrimage Through the Heart of Rural England, by John A. Cherrington
About the book: A charming 300-mile romp through farm, field and English history, with two crazy Canadians as our guides. John Cherrington and his seventy-four year old walking companion set out one fine morning in May to traverse the only English footpath that cuts south through the rural heart of the country, a formidable path called the Macmillan Way. Cherrington's walking partner is Karl Yzerman, an irascible “bull of the woods," a full twenty years his senior and the perfect foil to the wry and self-deprecating author. Their journey begins at Boston on the Wash and takes them through areas of outstanding beauty such as the Cotswolds, Somerset, and Dorset, all the way to Chesil Beach. Their ultimate destination is Cadbury Castle, a hillfort that many archeologists believe to be the likely location of King Arthur's legendary centre of operations in the late 5th century when he—or some other prominent British warrior chieftain—made his last stand against the Saxons. Along the way the unlikely duo experiences many adventures, including a serious crime scene, a bull attack, several ghosts, a brothel, and the English themselves. On virtually every page of the book the historical merges with the magic of the footpath, with Cherrington making astute, often humorous observations on the social, cultural and culinary mores of the English, all from a very North American perspective.
Get On Your Bike
Cycling the Islands, by John Crouch
About the book: Cycling the Islands is the ultimate guidebook for those travellers looking to explore the beauty and splendour of British Columbia’s Gulf Islands and the American San Juan Islands by bicycle.
Featuring over 30 adventures on 11 different islands, each route includes a map and detailed information on local history, topography, aesthetics, places of interest, type of road, general route condition, level of difficulty, start and end points, checkpoints along the way and plenty of full-colour photographs. All of the text and accompanying information is fun, accessible, clearly laid out and easy to use.
Readers can escape to unique destinations in both Canada (Salt Spring Island, Pender Island, Mayne Island, Galiano Island, Gabriola Island, Denman Island, and Hornby Island) and the United States (San Juan Island, Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and Shaw Island).
Complete with detailed information for all travellers, John Crouch’s latest guidebook is the perfect resource for anyone heading to these popular destinations.
Get Out of the City
Outdoor Adventures in Halifax: 25 exciting & little-known adventures less than 30 minutes away, by Dale Dunlop and Ryan Barry
About the book: Dale Dunlop's long-established bestseller, Exploring Nova Scotia, is a bible for people who like to get out and explore. In this new book Dale and his co-adventurer, Ryan Barry, focus on adventures within easy day-tripping distance of the city centre—and sometimes right in the city itself. From hikes across the Barrens to Polly's Cove with views of Peggy's Cove few have seen, to mountain biking a beautiful series of trails at Spider Lake, Haligonians and visitors alike will be amazed at how much there is to discover near at hand. Included is a new spot to cross-country ski with a chance to ice fish at the end of the trail at Jerry Lawrence Park, and a kayak route through wilderness areas to see stunning vistas of the Atlantic coast at Shut-In Island.
Dale Dunlop and Ryan Barry offer the inside scoop along with detailed information about how to find each location, stunning full-colour photography and tips about what to bring with you. Also included are GPS co-ordinates, cell phone coverage details and easy to understand graphics indicating level of difficulty and type of adventure.
100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario, by Chris Earley and Tracey C. Reid
About the book: 100 Nature Hot Spots in Ontario is a reader-friendly guidebook that explores the remarkable splendor and diversity of the province named after the Iroquois word for "beautiful water." True to form, many of the hot spots feature water.
Organized by region, each hot-spot entry includes a descriptive destination profile, a sidebar of at-a-glance information about special features, location details, and a color photograph. Some of these locations are surprisingly close to towns and cities; some are hidden city treasures; and many are ideal for a day trip.
Southwestern Ontario: Rock Glen Conservation's fossil beds, trails and Carolinian forest; Luther Marsh Wildlife Management Area's northern flying squirrels, Butler's garter snakes, and spotted turtles; Pelee Island's breeding marsh birds and world-renowned annual songbird migration
Niagara Region: City of Waterfalls in the Devil's Punch Bowl; passerine bird watching in the Woodend Conservation Area; Niagara Glen Nature Reserve's unique microclimate and plants
South Central Ontario: the Scarborough Bluffs' rock formations; the Minesing Wetlands' network of sensitive flora and fauna
North Central Ontario: The towering cedars and cliffs of Bruce Peninsula Park; Flowerpot Island's orchids; Huckleberry Rock, the oldest in the world; the primeval Barron Canyon
Eastern Ontario: Wintertime sightings of snowy owls, hawks and coyotes on Amherst Island; geological eras collide in Frontenac Provincial Park; the largest known concentration of Aboriginal rock carvings in Canada at Petroglyphs Provincial Park
Northwestern Ontario: Agate Island Beach, one of Travel and Escape Network's natural wonder beaches; Ouimet Canyon with rare arctic plants growing at its base; spectacular 130 feet (40 m) plummet of Kakabeka Falls.
These family-friendly destinations will appeal to naturalists, budding botanists and biologists, photographers, hikers, campers and paddlers.
See also: Top 150 Unusual Things to See in Ontario, by Ron Brown
Visit Haida Gwaii
Haida Gwaii: A Guide to BC's Islands of the People, by Dennis Horwood
About the book: Haida Gwaii, ancestral home of the Haida Nation, was once as inaccessible and mysterious as it was beautiful. The tight cluster of islands off British Columbia’s northwest coast remained virtually untouchable for millennia, allowing its people to develop a distinct and exceptional cultural identity that was revered across the region. Today, Haida Gwaii—a name that means “islands of the people” in the Haida language—has piqued the interest of world travellers. Its magnificent beaches, unique flora and fauna, and world heritage sites have earned international acclaim. Haida Gwaii: A Guide to BC’s Islands of the People is the newly updated, expanded, full-colour edition of Dennis Horwood’s bestselling guidebook. Applying his in-depth knowledge of the islands’ geography, social history, and natural and cultural attractions, Horwood equips travellers with everything they need to know about visiting these glorious gems of the Pacific. This indispensable guide includes stunning photography, full-colour maps, regional histories, archaeological sites, accommodation listings, sample itineraries, and informative facts about local wildlife.
Go Scrambling in the Rockies
Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, 3rd Edition, by Alan Kane
About the book: The original edition of Scrambles in the Canadian Rockies, published by RMB in 1991, started a scrambling craze in the Canadian Rockies. No longer was reaching the top of those breathtaking peaks limited only to technical climbers; strong hikers with a sense of adventure found that they too could reach the top of many famous and stunning peaks.
Armed with first-hand information, Alan Kane describes over 175 scrambles in a clear, concise format. This includes equipment needed, when to go, how to get there, where to park and what to expect as you work your way to the summit. Photos showing the ascent line complement descriptions that include historical trivia, origins of placenames and summit views. Routes range from off-trail hiking suitable for strong hikers to challenging routes at the low end of technical climbing where use of specific handholds is required on steep, airy terrain. Most ascents are day trips from a major road; many utilize a hiking trail on approach and include some of the most-photographed Rockies postcard peaks. The scramble areas begin in Waterton Park near the US border and continue north through Crowsnest, Kananaskis, Canmore and into the contiguous mountain parks of Banff, Yoho, Kootenay and Jasper. An overview of facilities, accommodation and climate is provided for each area. Specific hazards from rock quality to wildlife encounters are mentioned, including advice on scrambling safely. Guidebooks can be dry reading, but Kane’s snippets of humour make the book entertaining as well as useful.
See also: a new edition of Sport Climbs in the Canadian Rockies, by John Martin and Jon Jones
From Sea to Sea
Discover Canada, by Leigh McAdam
About the book: The author, a gifted photographer, experienced in the last two years all of the adventures detailed in this book, travelling from coast to coast. Her goal is to show the possibilities and inspire. She receives 50,000 views per month on her website HikeBikeTravel.com. You can also try to keep up with her on Facebook or join her 10,000 Twitter followers for dynamic posts and photos @hikebiketravel.
Be Called Forth to Labrador
Labrador: The Big Land, by Dennis Minty
About the book: After his wildly successful photographic tour of the island in Newfoundland: An Island Apart, Dennis Minty returns with a stunning portrait of the big land to the north, Labrador. From quiet coves and inlets to sweeping vistas of haunting landscapes, and from living communities to forgotten settlements seemingly lost in time, Minty presents Labrador in all its vivid colour and grandeur. If you’ve never been to Labrador, Minty’s photographic guide will call you forth to one of the most magisterial and unique places on the planet.
Sisters Doing It For Themselves.
Time to Take Flight: The Savvy Woman's Guide to Safe Solo Travel, by Jayne Seagrave
About the book: Pack your bags! A reassuring handbook geared toward women between the ages of 40 and 65 who are eager but apprehensive to take a solo adventure.
Chicago, St. Louis, London, Vienna ... bestselling author Jayne Seagrave has traveled there, and she's done it solo. Now she wants her readers to know that not only can they do it too, they should.
Seagrave shares her tips as a mature woman travelling solo in general including booking transportation and accommodation, packing, buying medical insurance, and getting over jet lag. She then profiles 24 cities in North America and Europe for which she provides guidance on how get from the airport to your hotel, shares the safest neighborhoods in which to stay, and recommends the best activities for your holiday, all with an eye for the kinds of activities older women would enjoy. It's the boost of confidence you may need to finally take flight!
Be an Explorer
Alone Against the North, by Adam Shoalts
About the book: When Adam Shoalts ventured into the largest unexplored wilderness on the planet, he hoped to set foot where no one had ever gone before. What he discovered surprised even him.
Shoalts was no stranger to the wilderness. He had hacked his way through jungles and swamp, had stared down polar bears and climbed mountains. But one spot on the map called out to him irresistibly: the Hudson Bay Lowlands, a trackless expanse of muskeg and lonely rivers, caribou and wolf—an Amazon of the north, parts of which to this day remain unexplored. Cutting through this forbidding landscape is a river no explorer, trapper, or canoeist had left any record of paddling. It was this river that Shoalts was obsessively determined to explore. It took him several attempts, and years of research. But finally, alone, he found the headwaters of the mysterious river. He believed he had discovered what he had set out to find. But the adventure had just begun. Unexpected dangers awaited him downstream.
Gripping and often poetic, Alone Against the North is a classic adventure story of single-minded obsession, physical hardship, and the restless sense of wonder that every explorer has in common. But what does exploration mean in an age when satellite imagery of even the remotest corner of the planet is available to anyone with a phone? Is there anything left to explore?
Get Up Where You Belong
Warnings Against Myself: Meditations on a Life in Climbing, by David Stevenson
About the book: From his youthful second ascent of the north ridge of Mount Kennedy in the Yukon’s Saint Elias Range, an in-and-out on skis for which he had not entirely learned how to ski, to a recent excursion across the Harding Icefield in the Kenai Mountains of the Kenai Peninsula in Alaska conceived under the influence of rain and whiskey, David Stevenson chronicles several decades of a life unified by a preoccupation with climbing.
Stevenson describes climbing first-hand, but also reflects on climbing in a beautiful way that draws in both literary references and engaging characterizations of well-known climbers. His changing viewpoint on his dangerous obsession as he ages, marries, and has children (and then takes his son climbing) give the book a strong shape, and the work as a whole adds a new and thoughtful perspective to the literature of climbing.
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