Travel Memoir Book of the Year

WINNER:
SHORTLIST:
The Crossway  by Guy Stagg

In 2013 Guy Stagg made a pilgrimage from Canterbury to Jerusalem. Though a non-believer, he began the journey after suffering several years of mental illness, hoping the ritual would heal him. For ten months he hiked alone on ancient paths, crossing ten countries and more than 5,500 kilometres. The Crossway is an account of this extraordinary adventure. 

Guy Stagg was born in 1988 and grew up in Paris, Heidelberg, Yorkshire and London. His book, The Crossway, is an account of Guy Stagg’s ten-month walk to Jerusalem. The author sets off from Canterbury on New Year’s Day, telling his friends and family only that he will be home before the year’s end, and was a runner-up for the inaugural Deborah Rogers Foundation Writer’s Award in May 2016. 

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In Extremis: The Life of War Correspondent Marie Colvin by Lindsey Hilsum

Marie Colvin was glamorous, hard-drinking, braver than the boys, with a troubled and rackety personal life. She reported from the most dangerous places in the world, going in further and staying longer than anyone else. Like her hero, the legendary reporter Martha Gellhorn, she sought to bear witness to the horrifying truths of war, to write ‘the first draft of history’ and to shine a light on the suffering of ordinary people. Written by fellow foreign correspondent Lindsey Hilsum, this is the story of the most daring war reporter of her time. Drawing on unpublished diaries and interviews with Marie's friends, family and colleagues, Hilsum conjures a fiercely compassionate, complex woman who was driven to an extraordinary life and tragic death. In Extremis is the story of our turbulent age, and the life of a woman who defied convention. 

 Lindsey Hilsum is Channel 4 News International Editor. She has covered many of the conflicts of recent years, including Syria, Ukraine and the Arab Spring – sometimes alongside Marie Colvin. In 1994, she was the only English-speaking foreign correspondent in Rwanda when the genocide began. She was in Belgrade for the 1999 NATO bombing of Serbia, and in Baghdad for the 2003 US invasion of Iraq. She has won awards from the Royal Television Society and BAFTA amongst others, and was the recipient of the 2017 Patron’s Medal from the Royal Geographical Society. Her last book Sandstorm: Libya from Gadaffi to Revolution was described by the Observer as ‘an account with historical depth to match dramatic reportage.’

Skybound: A Journey in Flight by Rebecca Loncraine

In her mid-thirties Rebecca Loncraine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, and after months of gruelling treatment, she flew in a glider for the first time. In that engine-less plane, soaring 3,000 feet over the landscape of her childhood with only the rising thermals to take her higher and the birds to lead the way, she fell in love. If illness meant Rebecca had lost touch with the world around her, gliding showed her a way to learn to live again. 

Rebecca Loncraine was a British freelance writer. She held a foundation diploma in Fine Art, a first class undergraduate degree in history, and a doctorate in English Literature from Oxford University. She is the author of The Real Wizard of Oz: The Life and Times of L. Frank Baum published by Gotham Books in 2009. Born in England, she grew up on a hill farm in the Black Mountains of Wales, and it was there she returned after her diagnosis of breast cancer. It is also where - after her recovery - she fell in love with glider flying. Rebecca began writing Skybound in response to her new passion and she was just finishing the new book when, in 2015, she became ill again. Rebecca died at home in Wales in September 2016. 

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Step By Step: The Life in My Journeys by Simon Reeve

TV traveller Simon Reeve gives the full story behind some of his favourite expeditions, and traces his own inspiring personal journey back to leaving school without qualifications, teetering on a bridge, and then overcoming his challenges by climbing to a 'Lost Valley' and changing his life ... step by step. 

Simon Reeve has travelled to more than 120 countries, making multiple award-winning TV series for the BBC, including Caribbean, Indian Ocean, Tropic of Cancer, Equator, Sacred Rivers, Greece, Tropic of Capricorn, Turkey, and Australia (Winner of the British Travel Press Award for Broadcast Travel Programme). His last series was Russia (2017).  
Simon has received a One World Broadcasting Trust Award for 'an outstanding contribution to greater world understanding', the prestigious Ness Award from the Royal Geographical Society, and the Special Contribution Award at the Travel Media Awards. 

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The Salt Path by Raynor Winn 

The uplifting true tale of the couple who lost everything and embarked on a journey of salvation across the windswept South West coastline. The Salt Path is an honest and life-affirming true story of coming to terms with grief and the healing power of the natural world. Ultimately, it is a portrayal of home, and how it can be lost, rebuilt and rediscovered in the most unexpected ways. 

Since travelling the South West Coastal Path, Raynor Winn has become a regular long-distance walker and writes about nature, homelessness and wild camping. She lives in Cornwall and The Salt Path is her first book. 

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Thinking On My Feet : The Small Joy of Putting One Foot in Front of Another by Kate Humble

Thinking on My Feet tells the story of Kate’s walking year – shining a light on the benefits of this simple activity. Kate’s inspiring narrative not only records her walks (and runs) throughout a single year, but also charts her feelings and impressions throughout – capturing the perspectives that only a journey on foot allows – and shares the outcomes: a problem solved, a mood lifted, an idea or opportunity borne.

Kate Humble is a farmer, writer, activist, entrepreneur and one of the UK’s best-known TV presenters. She started her television career as a researcher, later presenting programmes such as Animal Park, Springwatch & Autumnwatch, Lambing Live, Living with Nomads, Extreme Wives and Back to the Land. 

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