Five new, travel-related books have been reviewed by Iain Robertson, all of which would make great Christmas presents, or the perfect way to squander post-festive period book tokens. The choice, once again, is yours.


dsc_4234_editedSeven Paths to Freedom

ISBN: 978 1 908691 20 0


By Curtis Rivers

Filament Publishing


From Hollywood stuntman to inspirational speaker, the author of this excellent and highly readable (373pp) book is a British voice worth listening to. His skill lies in transforming people’s ideas, precepts and fears into positive value. He can back-up his claims with a Screen Actor’s Guild award, membership of the prestigious Hollywood Stuntmens’ Hall of Fame and no less than two Guinness World Records. Contained within this book are the seven core chapters that he explores openly: Believe, Relax, Visualise, Gratitude, Observe, Action and Allow. Using entertaining, relatable and readily understandable assimilations, Mr Rivers is able to explore many of the aspects that lie behind individual enterprise, thereby qualifying this book as an ultimate self-help guide. Yet, there is a lot more to it than the superficial ‘Get Rich Quick’ gloss suggests upon first acquaintance. Semi-autobiographical in nature, Mr Rivers’ book leads by well-written example. If you are one of those people terrified with the prospect of flying anywhere, there are answers within its pages. The multi-faceted text will make you think far deeper then you might have believed was possible, because it closes up and completes the synapses in your brain, thereby allowing it to transmit the most pertinent messages. In some ways, it is a travel journal. In most ways, it is a motivation to make you travel beyond the too easily bound realms of normality. Personally, I found its contents uplifting and capable of providing fresh initiatives and even a sense of direction, something that we can all lose in the hurly-burly of modern living. Great value and good reading, I recommend it to anybody looking further than the ends of their noses.



Plane Clever

ISBN: 978 0 9560723 5 1

£11.97 (Amazon)

By Christopher Bartlett

OpenHatch Books


If you are a frequent flyer, you might think justifiably that you know all that there is to know about planning, booking, taking-off and landing flights all around the world. I used to believe that I would qualify for such a status, making upwards of three flights per week from any number of UK and overseas’ airports. However, since reading Christopher Bartlett’s amazing 310pp of beguiling information, I can only classify myself as an ‘interested amateur’! As a compendium of aeroplane know-how, without delving into advanced technology (beyond the mention of it), this book has it all. The Contents pages alone are more like an appendix of flight terminology, which also means that accessing important information is almost child’s play. The author apologises for the use of US flight terminology, which arises from creating a practical book for two separate markets, but it certainly does not detract from the value of each and every chapter. Packed with history and even a flying dictionary, which constitutes the ‘second part’ of this factual book, if you thought that a thinner version might be preferable, it would have also been impossible. Therefore, whether booking what you might believe to be the ‘safest seat’ on-board, or the one from which an exit to the passport hall could be fastest, this is the book for you. Yet, there are sections on health, safety and even the most economical ways to fly. Whether you fly every other day, or every other season, this is the right book to read before, in-flight and after landing. Bon Voyage!




How to Get Video Right

ISBN: 978 1 907308 56 7


By Simon Banks

Compass Publishing


It is highly ironic to me that gin was purported to be THE drink of 2016 and countless gin bars were said to be opening around the country. It was also stated categorically that video was set to be THE medium for 2016 and that countless outlets from on-line professional publications, to commercial organisations and private individuals, would share its benefits. As we reach the end of the year, it is apparent that neither statement was entirely true. While every business and marketing consultant worth his salt has promoted the precepts of on-line video, the results have either been watered down, or of such poor merchantable quality that nobody appears to give a care. Naturally, some of this lies in the immediacy of the video button on most mobiles but minor Cecil B de Milles it cannot create. The problem that I perceive is that some of the nation’s top commercial bodies have simply not understood what video should deliver in terms of message bolstering. All of this and a lot more besides conspires to make this excellent book a must-read for any budding video producer anywhere. The author is a time-served exponent of the media industry and has worked for all of the major channels, including some of the largest corporate clients in the world. Mr Banks outlines a useful advance planner for all potential videographers. He demonstrates the most effective means to achieving a maximum return on investment. He highlights the importance of identifying one’s audience, whether it be through facebook, or chains of car showrooms. However, Mr Banks also appreciates the need for creating a sound story, the need to bring-in ‘experts’ at times and also how to create a desire to watch the end product. There is hardly a wasted word in this well-constructed and practical guide and, regardless of the intended direction of your next video production, I guarantee that you will learn copious relevant information from its contents. Video has a vital role to play in communications and this book helps you to get it right.



The Pennine Way – The Path, the People, the Journey

ISBN: 978 1 852849 24 5


By Andrew McCloy

Cicerone Press


Firstly, I must state that I am a fan of Cicerone’s outstanding illustrated guide books. This latest edition deals with one of the most popular walking routes in the country, The Pennine Way. However, as with other books from this publisher, it is a lot more than just a step-by-step guide, as the author adds to the illustrative value with witty quips, pithy remarks and many humorous accounts of what he has encountered, while undertaking the oldest and most renowned walking route in the UK. As such, it is more than just a celebration of 50 years as a National Trail. The history attached to the walk is wonderful and underscores the long struggle to obtain public access to the nation’s wild spaces. It makes more than passing references to the outstanding Alfred Wainwright but also highlights the most pertinent people and places en-route. It is a lovely collection of stories and facts interwoven to produce a colourful guide to broaden our understanding of what makes the Pennine Way such a special long-distance hike. Great value and the serious walker’s must-read!



Marco Polo Travel Handbook – New Zealand

ISBN: 978 3 8297 6844 3


By Marco Polo


No matter where you travel, there is a growing collection of Handbooks available from one of the foremost publishers of travel information. Even though Marco Polo is one of the newer names on the block, its publications are market leading in all ways possible. I have used them for locations as varied as New York, the Canaries, Italy and especially France and Germany, both for research and as a practical travel guide. Available in both paperback and spiral forms, the new destinations include Bali, Dubai, Ireland and New Zealand. The in-depth and expert knowledge imparted through the pages is invaluable. Most importantly, the contents are readable and easy to access. Useful infographics aid the traveller and a lengthy list of recommendations and useful tips will ensure that the best use can be made of your time, when visiting any of the countries and centres covered. By including a fold-out travel map, as well as smaller direction-finders, there is no excuse for getting lost. The Handbooks tap into personal preferences and suggest the various means available by which to tour a chosen location. Combining the ‘must sees’ with useful travel and legal information ensures that even the bridges that might seem difficult to cross, or awkward gates to be opened, can be addressed positively to make your trip even more enjoyable. I keep my Marco Polo Handbooks on standby for every foreign trip that I make. I can only urge you to do the same.