As well as offering your own selection please do feel free to cast your opinion on my taste: genius or woefully misguided..?
- The Worst Journey in the World – Apsley Cherry-Garrard. Not only beautiful writing and a vital documentary on Scott’s last expedition, but also the call to arms that prodded me to get on with my own South Pole expedition.
- As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning – Laurie Lee. My favourite travel book. I love the lyrical writing, the freedom, the endless possibilities of the open road. (This would be my choice if I was only allowed a single book).
- The Ascent of Rum Doodle – a farcical, comic account of the fabled Mount Rum Doodle. Helps remind me not to take my expeditions, nor writing about them, too seriously.
- The Kon-Tiki Expedition – Thor Heyerdhal. Sail across the Pacific? On a balsa wood raft? Using only equipment available to mankind tens of thousands of years ago? Sure – why not?! Gung-ho adventure by an anthropologist seeking to prove a serious point.
- Wind, Sand and Stars – Antoine St Exupery. The book I wish I had written. The beauty of the desert and the night sky as witnessed by an early pilot.
- The Way of the World – Nicolas Bouvier. Two young men drive East, in search of Asia, the wonders of the world, wine, women and song. When I am old this book will remind me of my glory days.
- Full Tilt – Dervla Murphy. Almost all books about long bicycle journeys are very boring. This one inspired me to think big with my journeys.
- Sailing Alone Around the World – Joshua Slocum. The first man to sail single-handedly around the world. I love his spirit as well as the freedom he finds out at sea.
- For Whom the Bell Tolls – Ernest Hemingway. It’s not really about travel. But it is about Spain. So that’s enough for me to shoe-horn my favourite novel into this list. It’s about life and living, love, death, and being a man.
Luxury Item – Bialetti espresso maker