Between the Sunset and the Sea: A View of 16 British Mountains
Breaking free of the macho narrative found in most books about mountain climbing, journalist and editor of Trail magazine Simon Ingram takes the reader on a journey defined more by poetry and mythology than physical achievement. His book – which has garnered broad praise – looks at how mountains came to dominate our imaginations through climbing 16 of them. And they are categorized not simply by height but through themes such as terror, science, and art, eloquently narrating the emotion these climbs can provoke.


Skyfaring: A Journey with a Pilot

Airplane flying over a mountain landscape in Italy’s Piedmont Region. Almost everyone’s had a conversation about being a pilot. It usually goes along the lines of: “Wouldn’t it be amazing to be a pilot?” Followed by: “Actually, it probably gets really boring sitting there for 10 hours while the plane flies itself …” Author Mark Vanhoenacker admits on his website:

“The 21st century has relegated airplane flight – a once remarkable feat of human ingenuity – to the realm of the mundane.” Despite this, his paean to the joys of life in the skies seeks to prove otherwise. Through questioning and interrogating the experience of air travel as something that has radically changed the way humans experience the world, he spins a curious and articulate exploration of flying that couldn’t feel further from the experience of being trapped in economy class.

City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World
Daytime view of visitors to Moscow’s Red Square. Never has there been a time when cities have been explored, analyzed, and critiqued so closely. But then never have so many people lived in them. Taking a creative snapshot of this period of hyper-urbanism, Catie Marron

curates a collection of essays in which writers respond to the phenomenon of the city square and the roles and identities of these public spaces. They include acclaimed authors such as Zadie Smith, Ari Shavit, Rebecca Skloot, and David Remnick, discussing squares from the political, such as Red Square in Moscow, to the personal, with Indian writer Pankaj Mishra discussing the square in his village. Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change Two men on a horse carriage ride through a desolate area in the south of the Afghan capital Kabul

Award-winning writer Andrew Solomon’s latest book is a collection of pieces from places going through “seismic shifts – political, cultural, and spiritual.” Spanning seven continents over 25 years, the essays include reports of his experiences of Afghanistan after the fall of the Taliban and resisting tanks in Moscow during the 1991 coup that ultimately led to the end of the Soviet Union. From assaults to kidnappings, celebrations to conflicts and journeys on ice-breakers and reindeer sleds, Solomon unites human history worldwide through his intimate, personal accounts.

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A Season with the Witch: The Magic and Mayhem of Halloween in Salem, Massachusetts
A young man dressed up like the devil on Halloween night in Salem, Massachusetts, US

Salem could well be America’s creepiest town with a reputation that began with the witch trials of 1692. A town of just 40,000 people, it draws almost a quarter of a million visitors for Halloween. So, what better place to uproot your family for three months? That’s what Edgar-award-winning travel writer JW Ocker did in autumn 2015, ready to spend a season experiencing its macabre attractions, as well as meeting local people in an attempt to understand the psyche of this spooky spot.