The Land of Maybe: A Faroe Islands Year
Tim Ecott, Short Books, RRP£14.99
In a hot and, for many, fraught summer, these dispatches from the wind and salt-blown islands at 62 degrees north offer delicious escapism. A beautiful evocation of landscape and nature, it is, above all, a portrait of a community which maintains a deep connection with its past. It’s unflinching in reporting the realities of life here — opening with the author killing a gannet with a knife and going on to observe the hunt of a pilot whale.
Lamorna Ash, Bloomsbury Press, RRP£15
With overseas travel full of uncertainty for the British this summer, many will instead head to England’s West Country. All should make room in their luggage for this book, an illuminating depiction of the realities of life in the Cornish fishing port of Newlyn. It grew out of research for the author’s masters thesis in social anthropology, for which, aged 22, she moved from London to Newlyn and signed up for stint with the all-male crew of a fishing boat.
Sophy Roberts, Doubleday, RRP£16.99
If Siberia were a country, it would be the world’s largest and yet for many of us the only images it conjures are of cold and incarceration. Robert’s book is a long-overdue corrective, revealing much about the vast region and its people via an esoteric quest to track down some of the pianos brought to remote corners of Siberia over the last two centuries.
Wanderland: A Search for Magic in the Landscape
Jini Reddy, Bloomsbury, RRP£16.99
Longlisted for this year’s Wainwright prize for nature writing, Wanderland is a journey across Britain — including Glastonbury, Iona and Lindisfarne — in search of a spiritual connection with the landscape. Reddy, a British writer with multicultural roots, is a witty and engaging guide, whose sense of being an outsider allows the book to roam from nature into themes of identity and belonging.
To the Lake: A Balkan Journey of War and Peace
Kapka Kassabova, Granta, RRP£14.99
The mountains and lakes along the borders of Greece, North Macedonia and Albania are arousing increasing interest among travellers looking for a less-explored side of Europe. This book is the perfect primer, a journey by the Bulgarian-born, Scotland-dwelling poet and writer tracing her family history in this turbulent region.
All this week, FT writers and critics choose their favourites — from politics, economics, science and history to art, tech, food and wellness. Novels, poetry and audiobooks feature too. Explore the series here
Join our online book group on Facebook at FT Books Café. Listen to our podcast, Culture Call, where FT editors and special guests discuss life and art in the time of coronavirus. Subscribe on Apple, Spotify, or wherever you listen.
Get alerts on Travel books when a new story is published