Korea: A Walk Through the Land of Miracles • Simon Winchester

A poor man’s Marco Polo, Hendrick Hamel was the first European to write a detailed account of Korea. The twenty-two-year-old bookkeeper was serving aboard the Dutch East India Company’s Sperwer (Sparrowhawk) as it set sail on July 30, 1653, from the Dutch settlement of Anping, Formosa. Laden with a cargo […]

By |November 7th, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments

Keeping Up With The War God • Steven Crook

The value of any kind of travel narrative is meted out not in the immediate present but slowly over time, which only adds to the torture of writing them. Oftentimes both reader and writer don’t really know what they’ve really got on their hands until five, ten, or even fifteen […]

By |November 7th, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments

The Taiwan Railway: 1966–1970 & The Taiwan Railway: 1971–2002 • Loren Aandahl

Taiwan is a superb destination for rail fans: there’s the new bullet train, Taipei’s showcase MRT, the scenic East Coast railways, the busy main trunk western line, quaint branch lines, and the magnificent Alishan narrow-gauge forestry railway, which climbs a stunning two-thousand meters. Not that you’d know that from the […]

By |July 6th, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments

Empire Made Me: An Englishman Adrift in Shanghai • Robert Bickers

Some books get under your skin, keep you awake at night long after you’ve finished reading them. This biography of a policeman in Shanghai’s International Settlement in the 1920s and 1930s is such a book.

Richard Maurice Tinkler, recently demobbed from First World War service, is back in England looking for […]

By |July 6th, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments

Burying the Bones: Pearl Buck in China • Hilary Spurling

It’s odd that Pearl S. Buck (1892–1973) isn’t better known today. As a Nobel Prize-winning author and tireless human rights campaigner, she deserves to be an icon for modern Western progressives. And deserving aside, she simply had an extraordinary life that makes for one hell of a gripping story.

With Burying […]

By |July 6th, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments

Seven Years in Tibet • Heinrich Harrer

Seven Years in Tibet is travel pornography. Austrian Heinrich Harrer, fresh from the first-ever ascent of the deadly north face of the Eiger, is on a German climbing expedition to the Himalayas. The outbreak of the Second World War sees the climbers interned in a POW camp in British India. […]

By |July 6th, 2015|Reviews|0 Comments