Lonely Planet Debut Travel Writer of the Year

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WINNER:
Extreme Economies by Richard Davies

From disaster zones and displaced societies to failed states and hidden rainforest communities, leading economist Richard Davies recounts the human stories from his travels at the world’s edge, and the lessons these economic outliers can provide for our future.

SHORTLIST:
Salt on Your Tongue by Charlotte Runcie

In Salt On Your Tongue, Charlotte Runcie explores what the sea means to us, and particularly what it has meant to women through the ages. In mesmerising prose, she explores how the sea has inspired, fascinated and terrified us, and how she herself fell in love with the deep blue.

This book is a walk on the beach with Turner, with Shakespeare, with the Romantic Poets and shanty-singers. It’s an ode to our oceans – to the sailors who brave their treacherous waters, to the women who lost their loved ones to the waves, to the creatures that dwell in their depths, to beachcombers, swimmers, seabirds and mermaids. Navigating through ancient Greek myths, poetry, shipwrecks and Scottish folktales, Salt On Your Tongue is about how the wild untameable waves can help us understand what it means to be human.

Mind is the Ride by Jet McDonald

When Jet McDonald cycled four thousand miles to India and back, he didn’t want to write a straightforward travel book; he wanted to go on an imaginative journey.

 

Mind is the Ride takes the reader on a physical and intellectual adventure from West to East using the components of a bike as a metaphor for philosophy, which is woven into the cyclist's experience. The age of the travelogue is over: today we need to travel inwardly to see the world with fresh eyes.

The Country of Larks: A Chiltern Journey by Gail Simmons

In the autumn of 1874, Robert Louis Stevenson set out on a three-day journey across the gently rolling Chiltern Hills. Almost 150 years later, spurred by the looming construction of the HS2 railway, Gail Simmons follows in his footsteps.

 

Combining an account of her walk through beech woods, farmland and villages with impassioned interviews and personal memories, she peels back the layers of history, recording a world destined for change.

That Untravell'd World: Seven Journeys Through Turkey  by Nicholas Dylan Ray

As a young man, Nicholas Dylan Ray left the United States, and set out on a six-month journey from France to Tibet, travelling through Turkey. That journey led to a career studying and working with the Middle East. In middle age, the author returns to Turkey, recounting his adventures and discussing the archaeology and history of the places visited, and the people met along the way.
 
During these wanderings Ray shares with the reader his deep knowledge of Islamic religion, culture and history, discussing the foundational texts and their role in current events in the Middle East including jihadism and the war in Syria. He also takes note of those who have travelled these lands before him and reflects on the experience of travel itself.

Sovietistan by Erika Fatland, translated by Kari Dickson

Erika Fatland takes the reader on a journey that is unknown to even the most seasoned globetrotter. In these countries, that used to be the furthest border of the Soviet Union, life follows another pace.

 

Amidst the treasures of Samarkand and the bleakness of Soviet architecture, Erika Fatland moves with her openness towards the people and the landscapes around her.

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