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My Books of the Year 2019

If you’re looking for ideas of books to give as gifts (perhaps after sneakily reading it yourself first), here are my recommendations for 2019. I read a lot of books and so I’m confident these won’t disappoint. (I often post book suggestions on my Instagram and in my newsletter.)

I’ve done this for a few years now, and you can read other lists of suggestions here.

I’ve used affiliate links here, so if you buy a book via clicking here I will get a few pennies.

Here are some books I have loved in 2019.


The Rough-Stuff Fellowship Archive. My 2019 Book of the Year. Gift it to the cyclist / vagabond in your life. (ie Yourself 😉)


Humans of New York stories. I wish when I travelled around the world I had asked questions as good as these. Fascinating book.


The $100 Startup. This book is fabulous for anyone starting out on their own. I folded down masses of page corners when I first read it.


The Walker’s Guide to Outdoor Clues and Signs. My second time reading this, and I’m still learning something new every page. (Admittedly, that doesn’t say much for my retention skills…)


Run Wild. One of the best running books I’ve read in a while. (Although I did find the marathon-bashing unnecessary and I began skipping those sections.) The writing on the joy of running in the hills was really good. You get knocked down, you get back up again…


Riding the Ice Wind. I enjoyed this Antarctica adventure. It takes a slightly different slant to many in the genre, and I enjoyed it for that. The balance between adventure and responsibility was intriguing.


The Gentle Art of Tramping. A gem of a book. Dating back to 1927 it is a fabulous How-To guide to becoming a wanderer, a vagrant, a hobo. Chapters covering kit selection blend with others on the philosophy of travelling light, simple and slow, and doing it just for the heck of it. A brilliant addition to any vagabond’s library.


The Woman Who Rode a Shark. How do you get girls dreaming of Adventure? With books like this.


Waymaking. An important addition to my shed adventure library. It’s an anthology of women’s adventure writing, poetry and art.


The Lost Book of Adventure. This is the loveliest, and most useful, adventure book I have seen in a long time.


The Sun is a Compass. A genuine whopper of a journey: 4000 miles into the Alaska wilds.


Sidetracked. A magazine subscription is always a nice present to receive.


Atomic Habits. Excellent if you are terrible about building good habits or breaking bad ones.


Alone Across Antarctica. Dug this old classic out from my shed bookshelves for a fresh read. Wonderful stuff. Proper polar adventure.

I also have written three books that might make good presents.


My Midsummer Morning. “Though not being his physically toughest expedition, My Midsummer Morning is probably his bravest.” – Geographical


Great Adventurers.  “The sort of book you buy for your kids and keep for yourself.” – National Geographic. Winner of the 2019 Ordnance Survey Children’s Travel Book of the Year. Long-listed for the Blue Peter Book Award 2019


The Doorstep Mile. Dream big but start small.

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