To celebrate International Women’s Day 2019, we have chosen some of our current favourite books by and about inspirational women.
Putting female explorers back on the map with a collection of the greatest women’s travel writing ever written. Conceived and curated by Mariella Fostrup, these 50 travelogues span the centuries from the 1700s to the present day and include some of our favourites such as Isabella Bird, Dervla Murphy, Jan Morris and Lois Pryce.
Around the World in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh
From the author of Around India in 80 Trains comes another witty and irreverent look at the world and a celebration of the glory of train travel. Monisha offers a wonderfully vivid account of life, history and culture in a book that will make you laugh out loud – and reflect on what it means to be a global citizen – as you whirl around the world in its pages.
Ottoman Odyssey: Travels Through a Lost Empire by Alev Scott
Shortlisted for the 2019 Stanford Dolman Award. Alev Scott’s odyssey began when she looked beyond Turkey’s borders for contemporary traces of the Ottoman Empire. Their 800-year rule ended a century ago – and yet, travelling through twelve countries from Kosovo to Greece to Palestine, she uncovers a legacy that’s vital and relevant; where medieval ethnic diversity meets 21st century nationalism, and displaced people seek new identities.
The Women’s Atlas by Joni Seager
World events demonstrate that equality for women isn’t only a women’s issue: when women fulfil their potential, everyone benefits. Completely updated and redesigned, this new edition of Joni Seager’s award-winning classic illustrates how women live across continents and cultures, and charts the status of women worldwide – the advances they have made and the distances still to be travelled. With vivid graphics and pithy text, it is a comprehensive and accessible analysis of up-to-the-minute global data on the key issues facing women today.
Me, My Bike and a Street Dog Called Lucy by Ishbel Holmes
Shortlisted for the 2019 Lonely Planet Adventure Travel Book of the Year at the Edward Stanford Travel Writing Awards, this heart-rending tale is about more than just the relationship between a woman and her dog. It is a testimony to the human spirit, overcoming present-day challenges and churning up long-buried and painful memories from Ishbel’s earlier life. It is also a tale of adventure, one person’s determination to cross an unfamiliar country by bike and the unforgettable scenes that greet her on the Turkey-Syria border and into Syria itself.
Some other cycling reads you should check out: Eat, Sleep, Cycle by Anna Hughes, What Goes Around: A London Cycle Courier’s Story by Emily Chappel, How to Build a Bike by Jenni Gwiazdowski, Sustrans’ Traffic-Free Cycle Rides: 150 Great Days Out by Wendy Johnson, Mud, Sweat & Gears: Cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats (via the pub) by Ellie Bennett and Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle by Dervla Murphy
Black Sea: Dispatches through Darkness and Light by Caroline Eden
Winner of the Edward Stanford Travel Food & Drink Book of the Year Award. With a nose for a good recipe and an ear for an extraordinary story, Caroline Eden travels from Odessa to Bessarabia, Romania, Bulgaria and Turkey’s Black Sea region, exploring interconnecting culinary cultures. From the Jewish table of Odessa, to meeting the last fisherwoman of Bulgaria and charting the legacies of the White Russian emigres in Istanbul, Caroline gives readers a unique insight into a part of the world that is both shaded by darkness and illuminated by light.
Waymaking is an anthology of prose, poetry and artwork by women who are inspired by wild places, adventure and landscape. The artists in this inspired collection redress the balance of gender in outdoor adventure literature. Their creativity urges us to stop and engage our senses: the smell of rain-soaked heather, wind resonating through a col, the touch of cool rock against skin, and most importantly a taste of restoring mind, body and spirit to a former equanimity. With contributions from adventurers including Alpinist magazine editor Katie Ives, multi-award-winning author Bernadette McDonald, adventurers Sarah Outen and Anna McNuff, renowned filmmaker Jen Randall and many more, Waymaking is an inspiring and pivotal work published in an era when wilderness conservation and gender equality are at the fore.
The Wilderness Cookbook by Phoebe Smith
Our favourite outdoor guru Phoebe Smith returns with her top tips about wilderness cooking on a single stove, including fifty recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert and snacks. She also adds that secret extra ingredient to each recipe – an incredible sense of place, from moorland to coast, woodland, mountains or riverside. This innovative title is packed with advice on how to get the most out of walking in wild places, wild camping and wild cooking.
Paddling Britain by Lizzie Carr
This is the definitive guide to stand up paddle boarding across British coastlines and inland waterways. Written by Lizzie Carr, aka Lizzie Outside, Britain’s best known paddle boarder, it reveals the 60 best places to go paddle boarding in Britain. It also provides the full run-down on everything you need to know for successful and enjoyable stand up paddle boarding, from safety tips to kit, weather watching to paddling responsibly. In addition it covers options for canoeing and kayaking.
Here them talking to Julia Wheeler about their extensive solo travels by motorbike in many regions all over the world at the Stanfords Travel Writers Festival here.
Let us leave you with these words by the wonderful journalist and travel writer Nellie Bly:
Happy International Women’s Day xxx