From cycling across the United States to exploring India through Bollywood ’s most iconic films
There’s nothing like a good book or e-book to tell you exactly what the must-dos on a holiday are. Easier to access than unreliable wi-fi connections and as easy to carry as a phone, the latest crop of travelogues have you well covered on the vacation front.
Published by Harper Perennial, Strange Stones is an account of Peter Hessler’s experiences in China as a correspondent for The New Yorker. With a chapter on the Great Wall, and one on star hoopster, Yao Ming, the book starts with an unappetising question he is asked at a restaurant, “Do you want a big rat or a small rat?” A humorous, insightful take on China in 18 essays, filled with memorable characters and interesting anecdotes.
Rs. 656 (approx) on amazon.com.
My Travels: 1994-2014
An air hostess with Virgin Atlantic, Tara Panchaud chronicles 20 years with the airline through a series of photographs taken in this self-published book. A kaleidoscope of pictures that range from shots at iconic locations, with friends and quite a few with Richard Branson himself, this one is a concoction of brilliantly composed multi-hued, sepia-toned, and black and white images.
Rs. 1,828 upwards on blurb.com
This one takes you through India, one Bollywood film at a time, like Ladakh through Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor in 3 Idiots and Kasauli through Hrithik Roshan in Krrish. The book, by Lonely Planet, features beautiful stills from films shot in each location, and describes it with quotes and instances from the movies.
Rs. 595. At Sapna Book House, Koramangala. Details: 40839999
In their mid 60s, Lynne and Tim Martin, decided to sell their house along with everything else they owned, to turn their dream of travelling the world, to reality. They set out on a journey, from Mexican pyramids to the bazaars of Turkey described in this piece by Sourcebooks. A good buy for budget travellers and a reminder that it’s never too late to follow your dreams.
Rs. 688 on amazon.co.in
To The Moon and Timbuktu
Making her way to remote parts of Africa in Western Sahara, Mali, Mauritania and Niger, To The Moon and Timbuktu: A Trek through the Heart of Africa writer, Nina Sovich, explores the local culture, cuisine and geography. The book, published by New Harvest, is a perfect combination of Sovich’s path to self discovery and her travel experiences.
Rs. 2,118 on ebay.com
Life is a Wheel
At 57, Bruce Weber embarked on a bicycle adventure across USA, chronicling his experiences as they unfolded. Life Is a Wheel: Love, Death, Etc., and a Bike Ride Across America by Scribner, starts at Oregon, makes its way to the Rockies, Mississippi, Chicago, Pittsburgh, and finally to NYC. Written in a series of diary entries, the language is conversational and not preachy, making for a great reading experience.
Rs. 1,199 on amazon.co.in
Instagram as Your Guide to the World
This e-book by Katja Presnal, the editor-in-chief of Skimbaco Lifestyle online magazine, is ideal for the tech geeks out there. Giving you the low down on how, what and whom to search for and follow, it familiarises you with like-minded tourists and locals, giving you a peek into things you may never learn from a regular guide. Rs. 274 on amazon.com
A sign of nobility and a mark of authority in many regions across the African continent, the horse tail fly whisk is both easy to find and makes for a beautiful decorative piece. They come in varying sizes, but the most common ones are about a foot in length, including the handle. The most striking ones are those that come with carved bonne handles native to the Maasai tribe, often with beaded trimmings or inlay work. Their price varies according to quality, with most priced around Rs. 1,000.