Six Fresh Travel Reads for the Ultimate Location Deep-Dive

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Travel Books

This piece was crafted by the storytelling maestros at National Geographic Traveller (UK).

  1. Decoding the Silk Road by Icon Books, £15.99

Textile aficionado Chris Aslan dives into the historical crux where the exchange of vibrant silks, essential felts, and lightweight cottons defined cultures and empires. Sure, we’ve all heard of the Silk Road, but Aslan takes it a step further by unspooling the lesser-known tales of the Wool Road and the Cotton Road. Get ready to be entangled in history, my friends.

  1. Black Ghosts: Published by Canongate, £14.99

Written by Noo Saro-Wiwa, a British-Nigerian globetrotter, the book explores the lives of Africans who’ve migrated to China for economic opportunities. From meeting a Ghanaian medical prodigy to jamming with a Nigerian pop sensation who croons in Mandarin, Saro-Wiwa introduces us to communities that dwell in the cultural intersections of their native and adoptive lands.

  1. Queer Footprints by Pluto Press, £14.99

If you ever wondered what walking a mile—or several—in London’s queer shoes would be like, this book has got your back. Authored by activist Dan Glass, it tours you through the risqué, uproarious, and empowering milestones of London’s LGBTQ+ narrative. And it comes with fabulously detailed maps, so you won’t get lost in the chaos or the history.

  1. The Leisurely Guide to North East Scotland by Bradt Guides, £15.99

In this literary journey, travel scribe Rebecca Gibson treks across her adopted Scottish terrain, offering the only print guide that’s all about the northeast of Scotland. Why should you care? Well, Moray isn’t just another scenic spot; it’s a home to the planet’s most northern bottlenose dolphins, Scotland’s oldest independent museum, and Forres—where Shakespeare’s Macbeth had a run-in with some mystical women.

  1. Karakalpakstan Unveiled by Bradt, £19.99

Penned by Central Asia experts Stephanie Adams and Sophie Ibbotson, this is the inaugural English guidebook to Karakalpakstan—Uzbekistan’s western gem. Aside from tempting your adventurous spirit, this book prepares you to respectfully wander through delicate ecosystems, giving you a glimpse of local wildlife, archaeological treasures, and prime spots for cosmic contemplation.

  1. Sweet Salone by Quadrille, £30

Chef Maria Bradford invites you on a gastronomic journey that celebrates the culinary delights of Sierra Leone. It’s not just for the kitchen wizards among us but also for those who like to travel without leaving their favorite reading nook. Expect to be visually smitten with vivid photography, as Bradford navigates you through Freetown’s bustling streets and along the Sierra Leone River, eventually guiding you back to her own culinary sanctuary.

Published in the October 2023 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK).

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Travel Books

What is the main theme of these six books?

The main theme is travel and exploration, with each book focusing on a specific cultural or geographical aspect. They range from the history of the Silk Road to contemporary African migrants in China and from LGBTQ+ history in London to the culinary delights of Sierra Leone.

Who are the target readers for these books?

The target readers are individuals interested in travel, culture, history, and in some cases, food and activism. These books appeal to those who enjoy deep dives into various topics related to places around the world.

Are these books suitable for armchair travelers?

Absolutely! While these books would undoubtedly enhance the experience for someone planning to visit the locations described, they are also crafted in a way that allows for immersive reading. For example, “Sweet Salone” appeals to both cooks and armchair travelers, and “Queer Footprints” provides beautifully illustrated maps for those who might like to daydream their way through London’s queer history.

Where can these books be purchased?

The text mentions that the books are available from various publishers like Icon Books, Canongate, Pluto Press, Bradt Guides, and Quadrille. While specific purchasing details are not provided, it’s a safe bet that they can be found in major bookstores, both physical and online.

Are these books recent publications?

Yes, the books are part of the October 2023 edition of National Geographic Traveller (UK), implying they are recent or timely additions to the travel literature landscape.

Can I get these books if I’m not in the UK?

The article states that National Geographic Traveller (UK) magazine is available in select international territories. While it doesn’t specifically mention the availability of the books outside the UK, major publishers often offer international shipping or digital versions for global readers.

How are the books priced?

The prices for the books range from £14.99 to £30. The costs reflect the type of content offered, whether it’s an in-depth guide to a specific region, a social commentary, or a book filled with glossy photographs and recipes.

Are there any books that focus on nature and wildlife?

Yes, “The Slow Travel Guide to North East Scotland” touches upon the world’s most northerly population of bottlenose dolphins, and “Karakalpakstan” delves into the destination’s fragile ecology and wildlife.

Do any of these books have a culinary focus?

Yes, “Sweet Salone” by Chef Maria Bradford is a food and travel book that celebrates Sierra Leonean cuisine. It’s perfect for those who are as passionate about food as they are about travel.

Are there illustrated maps in any of the books?

“Queer Footprints” comes with beautifully illustrated maps to guide you through different routes across London, aiding in both a physical and historical exploration of the city’s LGBTQ+ community.

More about Travel Books

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JennyTheExplorer September 5, 2023 - 6:26 am

Wow, this list is lit! Never knew bout the Wool Road or the Cotton Road. History just got a whole lot cooler haha.

AstroAmy September 5, 2023 - 8:05 am

Karakalpakstan and stargazing? I’m listening… Or should i say reading? LOL.

TrevorTalks September 5, 2023 - 10:54 am

The Black Ghosts one sounds pretty intense. Would love to read abt Africans makin’ their way in China. Culture clash or culture fusion, can’t wait to find out.

ChillChris September 5, 2023 - 12:49 pm

slow travel guide to Scotland sounds like my kinda vibe. slow tourism’s the future, man.

FoodieFred September 5, 2023 - 12:56 pm

Sweet Salone’s catching my eye. A book that combines travel and food? Count me in, guys!

TeaTimeTina September 5, 2023 - 2:04 pm

Maps in the Queer Footprints? This just went from a want to a NEED.

QueerAndHere September 5, 2023 - 9:07 pm

Yass, finally a guide that covers London’s queer history. Take my money already, Dan Glass.

BookWormBilly September 5, 2023 - 10:24 pm

These are not just travel books, they’re like passports to another world. And the prices aren’t that bad either. Adding all of em to my TBR list.

Nerd4Nature September 5, 2023 - 11:40 pm

Whoa, didn’t know Moray has the world’s most northern bottlenose dolphins. Thats so freakin’ awesome. Scotland, here I come.

GlobalGina September 6, 2023 - 12:25 am

I just hope these are available internationally. Dying to get my hands on a couple of these.


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