The Next Stop: Inverness to Edinburgh, station by station
By: Simon Varrell
Format/Source: eCopy kindly provided by the author for review
After years travelling by train between Inverness and Edinburgh, Simon Varwell realised that he knew very little about the places he would merely pass through, and to which he would pay no attention as they rushed by in a train window blur.
So over the course of six days in 2012, he travelled the line and stopped at all twenty-three stations. It was a trip that led him to the unknown, the beautiful, the isolated, the depressingly mundane, the run-down, and the haunting. From picturesque Highland villages to post-industrial towns, and from crumbling castles to dodgy pubs, a host of curious nooks and crannies across Scotland lurking virtually on his doorstep were finally demystified.
He finished the week with some places he was eager to return to for a deeper exploration, and a few others he will be quite happy to never visit again…
I love train rides. All of my trips in Europe involved train travel and I’ve enjoyed every aspect of it: it was the only time I never grumbled about getting up early in the morning to reach the early train out of town, I got the hang of foreign-language kiosks to get tickets, I didn’t mind some of the older carriages that I ended up in. And most of all, I enjoyed the scenery; I could never get sick of just staring out of the window for a whole two hours, even on the wettest, gloomiest, snow-filled day.
Anyway, I’ve never been to the United Kingdom in any capacity so I was curious about this travelogue about train stops in Scotland. I received a copy of this title from the author, which I read in exchange for an honest review.
Fancy a Cuppa by the Cathedral?
By: Simon Duffin
Format/Source: galley courtesy of Troubador Publishing via NetGalley
Fancy a Cuppa by the Cathedral? takes you on a whistle-stop tour of the UK’s cathedrals and suggests the best place to go for a tea, coffee and cake afterwards. Yorkshire author Simon Duffin has produced the perfect guidebook to take on a day trip. You’ll get a sense of the cathedral’s place in history and the coffee shop or tea room’s place in the town centres of today.
Simon’s focus is on the stories our cathedrals can tell rather than the architecture or the theology. There are such stories as the Native American Chief buried in Southwark Cathedral graveyard; the Alice in Wonderland stories inspired by Lewis Carroll’s time as a choirboy; or the Portuguese Princess who landed in Portsmouth and demanded tea rather than beer before her wedding.
In seeking out places for a refreshing beverage after you’ve toured the cathedral, Fancy a Cuppa lists independent coffee shops and tea rooms that not only provide top-quality coffee and tea but also have an intriguing story behind them. Some of these are contemporary, others artisan and some sell themselves on their historic location. Seek out the wonderful tea room in Bristol named after the tea clipper captain who was the owner’s great grandfather; the coffee shop built right on Durham’s mediaeval walls; or the hotel in Westminster where spies swapped intelligence during the Cold War, but there are now 200,000 bees on the roof!
This is the perfect guidebook to have on your smartphone or tablet. In just a minute, you’ll have some quirky facts about the cathedral town or city you’re in, you’ll see the highlights from each of the cathedrals – across all denominations – and you’ll have a good idea where to go for a cuppa and cake!
The title of this book caught my attention and the premise definitely solidified my interest. I always enjoy a good travelogue/travel-related non-fiction title and I was definitely intrigued by this book (especially as I’ve never been to the UK; makes for a good head start in planning my eventual trip there!). I was approved of a galley copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life
By: Daniel Klein
Format/Source: e-galley courtesy of the publisher via NetGalley
One of the bestselling authors of Plato and a Platypus travels to Greece with a suitcase full of philosophy books, seeking the best way to achieve a fulfilling old age Daniel Klein journeys to the Greek island Hydra to discover the secrets of aging happily. Drawing on the lives of his Greek friends, as well as philosophers ranging from Epicurus to Sartre, Klein learns to appreciate old age as a distinct and extraordinarily valuable stage of life. He uncovers simple pleasures that are uniquely available late in life, as well as headier pleasures that only a mature mind can fully appreciate. A travel book, a witty and accessible meditation, and an optimistic guide to living well, Travels with Epicurus is a delightful jaunt to the Aegean and through the terrain of old age led by a droll philosopher.
I came across this while browsing through recent titles from various publishing companies. I thought the premise was intriguing–a mix of philosophy, travel and life–and I was fortunate to have been approved a galley copy of this book.