With the limited daylight hours and never-ending storms in the early hours, I’ve become a bit of an armchair adventurer of late. Not to mention the fact I’ve received/bought a trove of books over the Christmas period, and my evening entertainment for the period of poverty known as January is complete.
Not that I am complaining though; long, stormy winter evenings were made for reading books on the sofa with a cup of tea and Christmas chocolate. And judging from Facebook updates decrying January as ‘the month of being skint’, and those skies still dark, I’m assuming I’m not the only one seemingly passing January in a state of quasi-hibernation.
If you’re like me and looking for some armchair reading inspiration, take a look below at what is currently inhabiting my bookshelves.
The world-famous naturalist recounts his various adventures travelling around the world, discovering critters and producing shows for the BBC. His humble and humorous approach makes it an easy, enjoyable read, and his early days developing nature shows for the BBC offers an interesting perspective into the primordial days of nature documentary film making.
Written by one of the UK’s most famous adventurers, Shackleton recounts his disastrous second Antarctic expedition. After initially sailing to Antarctica to attempt the first crossing of the continent, sea to sea, his crew’s ship, the Endurance, is trapped and eventually crushed by ice flows. What follows is a harrowing and inspiring story of survival and leadership, that will leave you feeling glad you only have to face the rainy walk to work in the morning.
An entire 438 pages filled with all the outdoorsy tips and tricks you wish you had learned in Girl Guides. The book is two decades worth of dedicated research of natural navigation by author Tristan Gooley, and includes all sorts of helpful rules and guides to weather forecasting, tracking, night walking, and more. Perfect for anyone who fancies themselves as a Bear Grylls wannabe.
Shout out to my friend Nick for getting this for me, Beyond Limits is the autobiography of Steve McClure, trad and sport climber extraordinaire, as well as a pretty entertaining writer. His autobiography tells of his early forays into trad climbing in Yorkshire, with his monumental success in the sport at odds with his fear of the risks in climbing. After taking a break, he returned to take up sport climbing, and smashed that too. If you want to read more of his work, then head to his blog, or pick up an issue of Climb magazine, where he is a frequent contributor.