Gift Guide: Books for Adventurers

By Charlotte Rowland

If your friends or relatives spend more time outdoors than inside reading, that doesn't mean there's not a perfect book for them. Equally, if they’re more active in spirit than in body, there's still plenty for them to enjoy in this final installment of our brilliant book gift guide.


Great Adventures, Lonely Planet Travel Pictorial

Everyone loves a good coffee-table book. This book will inspire and inform adventurous type. “Showcasing some of the world's best adventure experiences” it includes “expert content, inspirational photographs and practical planning tips”. An excellent gift to make sure 2013 is their most exciting yet.


London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games: The Official Commemorative Book, Tom Knight, Sybil Ruscoe, Sebastian Coe

Christmas marks the close of another year. For those who live and breathe sport there's one thing they'll want to remember about 2012 – the Olympics and Paralympics. This official celebratory book makes a brilliant keepsake for sport-loving folk. It follows London's Olympic journey from the very start to its jubilant finale, filling the tale with vivid detail, iconic images and quotes and statistics that made the games. It is a great monument to a great year of sport.

Books for Adventurers

Behind The Beautiful Forevers: Life, Death and Hope in a Mumbai Undercity, Katherine Boo

This book is the closest most will get to the sights, sounds and sentiments of Annawadi, a makeshift settlement that stands in the shadow of the luxury hotels surrounding Mumbai airport. Even for the most ambitious travellers it ventures too far from the tourist route. Pulitzer Prize winning author, Katherine Boo has chosen to write about this hidden world and the aspirations of its inhabitants during three years of profound economic change. The end result is a vivid and deeply moving narrative, that well deserves its 'National Book Award for Nonfiction'. It will make a poignant present for anyone interested in other cultures and the rapid development of India.


Mud, Sweat and Gears: Cycling from Land's End to John o'Groats (Via the Pub), Ellie Bennett

If there's one sport that has really benefited from London 2012, it's cycling. Whether you're a seasoned cyclist or a newcomer, there's one challenge that draws in hundreds of people every year – the Land's End to John O’Groats cycle. While there are plenty of guides detailing this route, Ellie Bennett's account of her own attempt at the 875mile journey is by far the most entertaining introduction. Very humorous, subtly informative, and filled with tales of good ales – what more could you ask for?

Books for Adventurers

Beginner's Danish, Nete Schmidt

There is one destination that has been the subject of many daydreams in 2012: Denmark. Thanks to the likes of Sarah Lund (The Killing) and Birgitte Nyborg (Borgen) there's a good chance your friends or family will be sharing this obsession. If they are, there are plenty of travel and 'how to be Danish' guides jumping on the bandwagon. But to be truly authentic, an explored must first master the language! Equip them with a beginners guide like this, and they can begin preparing for their very own Scandinavian adventure.


Trains and Lovers; The Heart's Journey, Alexander McCall Smith

You're recipient may well need a book to accompany them as they travel to exciting new destinations (or on the daily commutes where you dream about them). The bestselling author behind No.1 Ladies Detective Agency has the solution, especially if their journey involves train travel. “Best read on a train” his most recent fictional tale is based on his own experiences on this mode of transport, and the interaction between strangers it can initiate. His four characters are united by just such a situation, and through the course of the novel they share their very different stories of love. A heart-warming read, bound in a beautiful, embossed cover.

Thu, 20 Dec 2012 14:00 (GMT+00)
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