Irish Times’ top books for 2012

Irish Times Books to Read 2012

Nice company to be in – AA Gill and Jean-Paul Kauffmann.

I’ve only just been able to access the Irish Times site – I’m away on holidays in Italy at present – and see that in the New Year’s Eve edition “Travels with Bertha” was included top of the travel books list in Arminta Wallace’s “best publications from the year ahead”.

Let’s just hope the reading public agrees with her kind assessment. See the full travel section of the Irish Times’ article below.


Once you’ve made it through the stack of literature that filled your stocking, get your teeth into these – ARMINTA WALLACE picks the best publications from the year ahead


If travelling around Australia in a 1975 Ford Falcon station wagon sounds good to you, Paul Martin’s account of his Travels with Bertha (Liberties Press, April) is guaranteed to have you reaching for an online visa form. AA Gill brings his usual critical eye to New York and rural Kentucky in America (Weidenfeld Nicholson, May). Tips and advice married to photos and descriptive narrative make Mary-Ann Gallagher’s Dream Journeys (Quercus, February) – 50 once-in-a-lifetime trips selected by the Scottish travel writer – a must-have for travel fans. Like many before him, Paul Strathern is in search of The Spirit of Venice (Jonathan Cape, May). Llewelyn Morgan explores Afghanistan by seeking out the history of The Buddhas of Bamiyan (Profile Books, April).

In the first-prize-for-trying category are two books about places you’d never ever want to visit, ever. In You Are Awful (But I Like You) (Jonathan Cape, February) Tim Moore checks out deep-fried, pound-shop Britain while Andrew Blackwell trots around the world’s most polluted places, from Canada’s strip mines to the Chinese city of Linfen, in Visit Sunny Chernobyl (Random House Books, June). A country that no longer exists is the subject of Jean-Paul Kauffmann’s Courland (Quercus, April). Once the buffer between the Germanic and Slav worlds, it’s now part of Latvia – a place of wide skies, deserted beaches, stately homes and ex-KGB prisons.”

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