Editor’s Picks: 10 Travel Books for Your Summer Getaway

Can’t get away this summer? Casemate IPM’s selection of travel books, distributed for several different publishers, can take you anywhere you want to go without ever leaving your backyard! From the deserts of Africa, to the jungles of India, or even to the charming small towns of the Southern United States, here’s how to experience global culture on a limited budget this summer:


Exploring the Nevis Range and Mamores, Scotland

Exploring the Nevis Range POD 15.2mm_Layout 1Designed as the most comprehensive guide available for the hill walker exploring the Nevis and Mamore ranges in the Scottish Highlands around Fort William, this book describes in detail the best and most rewarding routes across the area, ranging from peaceful strolls through scenic glens to ascents of the principal Munros (peaks over 3000ft) and Munro Tops. All the walks have been tried and tested by the author, an experienced climber and outdoorsman as well as a professional geologist, and each is graded accorded to difficulty. Each route is described in detail and accompanied by a sketch map, an altitude profile, and high-quality photographs to help the reader choose a route. There is also a wealth of valuable information about history, geology and mountain flora and fauna.

Buy it here $24.95


9781859361726Everyone thinks they know London. Its landmarks have been used in a hundred films, its skyline and riverscape instantly recognizable. Yet familiarity does not necessarily bring enlightenment. London was the first modern city, with the world’s highest wages and the best standard of living for those in work. Yet London could just as easily be portrayed as a sink of depravity, a seething snake pit of avarice, prostitution and vice, with high death rates and pockets of great poverty and despair. This new narrative history of London pulls together all of these varied themes – and many others – with great skill, perspective and clarity. Fully illustrated, it gives the most complete and accessible insight into London’s 2,000 years of history currently available.

Buy it here $31.95


Jungle at the Door

9781938086069Experience the land and life in India’s last remaining wild jungles. This is the land of the tiger, elephant, monkey, rhino, and a treasure trove of other species. But, as noted writer William deBuys shares in his provocative essay, poaching is a persistent and pervasive problem, and the natural habitat for wild animals is shrinking at an alarming rate due to expanding development and industrialization. Tigers  are now extinct in ninety-three percent of their historical range worldwide, and, without wildlife refuges such as Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Karizanga, and others in India, their numbers would plummet further. Few citizens of the world will ever experience firsthand the jungles and wild places of India, but in Myers’s visual discovery they can witness the excitement and energy of coming upon wild creatures at a moment’s notice, and of experiencing religious shrines and rural life in nearby villages that seem to blend in effortlessly with the adjacent wilderness. The Jungle at the Door is that rare glimpse into another world, a world that depends not only on human awareness of what is lost when the jungle is gone, but also the courage and foresight to preserve remaining wild places everywhere, from those in India to our own home ground.

Buy it here $45.00


Travels with Bertha

9781907593420Travels with Bertha is the story of the real Australia. Extending a one-year working holiday visa into thirty months, author Paul Martin lived the colorful, precarious, and occasionally solitary life of a ‘backpacker’ in various locations throughout Australia, travelling extensively through every State and Territory in Australia, including a trip across the Bass Straits to Tasmania. In this and two other journeys across the continent, he travelled (and slept) in Bertha, encountering many fascinating characters (including the Queensland drug dealer-turned-miner who had blown off all his fingers in repeated work accidents; the Adelaide Aborigine whose Irish uncle, in revenge for Captain Cook, claimed the territory of Britain for Australia from the top of Big Ben; the ex-alcoholic in Tasmania who relayed that his bi-polar condition could be traced back to his direct ancestor, King George III; the dying man in the Kimberleys who had witnessed a haunting aboriginal dance gathering in 1925; to name just a few) and much of Australia’s hidden history and landscape. A light-hearted travel book with strong historical content, Travels with Bertha details Paul Martin’s two years spent travelling through the startling beauty of this most fascinating of continents in a 1978 Ford Falcon station wagon.

Buy it here $24.95


This is Namibia

9781928213048Namibia is a vast and mostly desolate country found on the west coast of southern Africa. Bisected by the Tropic of Capricorn, the country is bounded in the west by the icy Atlantic Ocean and in the east by the Kalahari Desert that stretches all the way into neighboring Botswana. Its remaining frontiers are drawn by rivers: the Kunene in the north, the Okavango in the northeast and the Orange in the parched south. Within these boundaries is a land of magnificent beauty – of towering sand dunes, jagged mountains, geological wonders, and botanical marvels. For the wildlife that thrives there and the people who call it home, Namibia is paradise. This is Namibia brings to life the history, natural splendors, magnificent wildlife, and diverse cultures of this beautiful and enigmatic land. Stunning photographs and an informative, up-to-date text provide an inspiring account of one of the world’s last true wilderness regions.

Buy it here $21.00

Get Bushwise: On Safari Desert, River, Bushveld

9781431702060For younger readers, Get Bushwise is an African safari experience the kids will love! A local guide leads adventurers on safaris into three surprisingly varied worlds: the bushveld, a river, and a desert. Each environment brings its unique flavor to the adventure, and multiple images (both photos and illustrations) and interesting text introduce the region’s fascinating wildlife with its intriguing habits and lifestyles. Readers are encouraged to play along by means of engaging activities, games, and quizzes, with answers at the end of each section. Nature’s edible treats and useful props are introduced, along with survival techniques for the young explorer. This volume illuminates three important southern African natural arenas, and will engage readers from cover to cover. The perfect book to plan your own adventure!

Buy it here $23.00


9781431701179Kirstenbosch is a name that resonates round the world as the home of a uniquely rich flora in a setting of unsurpassed beauty, and in 2013 Kirstenbosch celebrates its 100th anniversary. This centenary publication tells the story of its establishment, its setbacks and triumphs, its benefactors and heroes. It outlines the Garden’s scientific eminence – as the repository of knowledge on our prized flora – and details the many attractions that make it a favorite destination for South Africans and visitors alike. With a finely crafted text by acclaimed ecologist Brian Huntley, and lavishly illustrated with photographs and artworks that tell the history and reflect the beauty of the Garden, this will be a sought-after volume – a quality memento for visitors to Kirstenbosch and a keepsake for the many thousands of locals who flock there annually. Beautifully presented in a colorful dustjacket, this book is a tasteful, all-occasions gift, and one to cherish.

Buy it here  $35.00

North America

West Coast

9781938086045There is no more beautiful or alluring coast in the world than the West Coast of North America: a 5,000-mile-long region that extends from the Aleutian Islands of Alaska to Canada’s British Columbia, south to Washington, Oregon, and California, and finally to Baja California in Mexico. No photographer until David Freese has explored the various and wondrous landscapes along the Pacific Ocean in such depth, making this the first book to look comprehensively at what makes the natural beauty of this particular coast so memorable. Behind the scenery, of course, lie the geologic forces that have created the West Coast landscapes that we now admire, explore, and praise. The engaging and informative text by renowned author Simon Winchester grounds us in understanding the deep relationship between geology and scenery. And Naomi Rosenblum, the esteemed photographic historian, writer, curator, and art critic, firmly establishes David Freese’s place among the great landscape photographers of the past and present. In every photograph, his unique vision of nature and of place comes shining through. West Coast: Bering to Baja is a major publishing enterprise that will appeal to book-lovers of photography, nature, and those who dream about visiting and touring North America’s West Coast. For here we see the vital connection between art and science merge in ways previously unseen for this special region of the world.

Buy it here $60.00

Small Town South

9781938086090Since 1983 David Wharton has photographed the twelve states that define the American South, focusing his attention on rural and small-town culture, vernacular architecture and landscape, the role of religion in Southern life, and the relationship between Southerners, their natural surroundings, and the communities they have built. Small Town South is the result of Wharton’s travels through a region that extends from Texas, Louisiana, and Arkansas in the west to Virginia and the Carolinas in the east, from Kentucky and Tennessee in the north to Florida in the south, with Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia forming the region’s center in between. No other photographer has devoted so much time and attention to recording this distinctive American place. The 115 duotone photographs which serve as the book’s core, combined with the author’s insightful text, convey an overall sense of what the small Southern town has become and looks like during the early twenty-first century.  Many have likened Wharton’s photographic eye and approach to the work of other photographic masters of the South, including Walker Evans, Eudora Welty, William Christenberry, Shelby Lee Adams, Alex Harris, Rob Amberg, and Martha A. Strawn. And, just as we turn to those artists to help us understand and reckon with Southern history and culture, we now can look to David Wharton as another pioneer photographer of the Southern small town in all its simplicity and complexity.

Buy it here $50.00


Bite Size World

Bite size cover POD 18.1mm_Layout 1For those who want to experience a little bit of everywhere: the idea for Bite Size World came from a game Roger Frankham used to play with food-minded friends involving spinning a globe blindfold and throwing a dinner party based on the food of the country where your finger landed. Roger soon realized that a whole world of cuisine was out there that he knew absolutely nothing about. The idea so fascinated him that he abandoned his job and set out on a once-in-a-lifetime tour of the planet, armed with just a suitcase, some phrase books, and his palate. Eight months and twenty-five countries later, there had been ‘fifty-three moments when I took a bite of something so amazing that everything seemed to stop around me’, as well as a few experiences he wouldn’t go through again to save his life. They are all in this book – along with the merely good, the disappointing, and the inedible. Anyone fancy rotten Icelandic shark?

Buy it here $21.95