Desperate to get away but – for whatever reason – you can’t right now? Here’s another kind of escape in the form of 5 great action & adventure reads. Figuring out where to jet off to next or need a bit of outdoorsy thrill? Start here.
In one hand, we have Battle Scars from SAS: Who Dares Wins’ Jason Fox – a recollection of his time in the army and a different kid of war that followed. In the other, Hidden Places by Sarah Baxter, an inspired travel journalist’s most secret, unexpected destinations worth exploring. What will you make your next read?
In this enthralling book, explorer and survivalist Ed Stafford curates 25 great expeditions through the kit these remarkable explorers took with them. In an environment where lack of preparation could result in death, the equipment carried, ridden and sailed into uncharted territories could mean the success or failure of an expedition. Through photographs and specially commissioned illustrations, we can see the scale, style and complexity of the items taken into the unknown by the greatest explorers of all time, and the impact each item had on their journey.
TOPMAN says: If you’re an exploration enthusiast, this book is for you. A large hardback book (the coffee table kind), you’ll spend hours flicking through the historic expeditions and learning how they survived on the limited items they took. Wonderfully illustrated, Expeditions Unpacked is a masterpiece in its own rights.
Wander off the beaten track to uncover the world’s most secret destinations. Travel journalist Sarah Baxter’s evocative words instantly transport you to twenty-five of the world’s most obscured places. From remote locations that visitors must trek and wade just to catch a glimpse of, to forgotten cities only recently revealed (and others purposefully hidden as sanctuaries from persecution), each destination has a very human story at its heart.
TOPMAN says: From jungle-shrouded caves in Belize to prehistoric villages in Orkney Islands, Hidden Places is the insider guide for travellers who hunt hidden treasures. Add these best-kept secrets (until now, anyway), onto your travel wish-list and get planning right away.
Living in an isolated cabin in the Italian Alps with his dog, when winter comes, the old hermit and his dog are snowed in. With stocks of wine and bread depleted, they pass the time squabbling over scraps, debating who will eat the other first. Spring brings a more sinister discovery that threatens to break Adelmo Farandola’s already faltering grip on reality: a man’s foot poking out of the receding snow.
TOPMAN says: Does the a bit of adventure and a whole lot of suspense sound like you? If so, Snow, Dog, Foot needs to be next on your list. A heavily descriptive read, this read will engage you start to end: you won’t be putting it down until you know what’s happened.
Battle Scars tells the story of Jason Fox’s career as an elite operator, from the gunfights, hostage rescues, daring escapes and heroic endeavours that defined his service, to a very different kind of battle that awaited him at home. After more than two decades of active duty, Fox was diagnosed with complex PTSD, forcing him to leave the military and confront the hard reality of what follows. What happens when you become your own enemy? How do you keep on fighting when life itself no longer feels worth fighting for? Unflinchingly honest, Battle Scars is a breathtaking account of Special Forces soldiering.
TOPMAN says: If you’ve seen SAS: Who Dares Wins, you have to get your hands on Battle Scars ASAP. A highly interesting take on fighting through the unimaginable – both on the battlefield and off – this is the honest perspective that every guy should read. Jason Fox has outdone himself.
Revelatory and fun, Brilliant Maps is a unique atlas of culture, history, politics and miscellanea. Full of surprising facts and figures as any encyclopaedia, Brilliant Maps is a stunning piece of cartography that maps our curious and varied planet. For graphic design enthusiasts, compulsive Wikipedia readers and those looking for the sort of gift they buy for someone else and wind up keeping for themselves, this book will change the way you see the world and your place in it.
TOPMAN says: You may not think this book is something you’ll enjoy, but 20 mins later after picking it up for a ‘quick browse’, you’ll realise that this book is for everyone. Filled with infographic maps, Brilliant Maps highlights what goes on in the world, and where. Want to see a visual map of where in the world more sharks eat humans than humans eat sharks? Yeh, we thought you might.