02 July 2010

Book Review: Exploring Kinnaur and Spiti in the Trans-Himalaya, by D Sanan and D. Swadi, ****

This book fills a gap in the literature in that while there are a number of guides and travelogues on Ladakh, Kahsmir and Uttarankhand, this region has been somewhat neglected. A great book about travels here is by Giuseppe Tucci: "Dei, demoni e oracoli", but it dates back to 1933 and as far as I know has not been translated in English.

01 July 2010

Book Review: A Sense of the World. How a Blind Man became the World's Greatest Traveler, by Jason Roberts, *****

When Lieutenant James Holman sailed to Russia in 1822, intent on crossing Siberia on his way to circumnavigate a globe still largely uncharted, the authorities of the Tsar arrested him on suspicion of espionage. Their scepticism was understandable: James Holman was completely blind. Holman returned to London and wrote a bestselling book about his abortive trip. But the wanderlust remained: as he put it, "In my case, the deprivation of sight has been succeeded by an increased desire for locomotion." In 1827 he set off again, this time for Africa. He would not return until 1832, having visited India, the Far East and Australia en route, and indulged in seemingly suicidal adventures such as stalking rogue elephants in Ceylon and helping blaze a road through uncharted New South Wales.