A travel writing classic ready to be rediscovered, Europe in the Looking Glass describes, with a mixture of laugh-out-loud humour and perceptive commentary on art and architecture, how three rich young Englishmen cross pre-World-War-Two Europe in an old car. Best known as the author of The Road to Oxiana, published in 1937, Robert Byron developed his considerable writing skills on a travel book which has not been in print since 1926. Europe in the Looking Glass describes a journey Byron made with three friends, driving across Europe between two world wars, and mixes political and historical analysis with architectural insights, classical scholarship and the day-to-day adventures of three young and not very experienced travelers. For fans of Robert Byron's work this will be a discovery; for others it will be an introduction. Turning a corner we suddenly found ourselves sliding down a precipice, tilted so far forward that it was necessary to hold ourselves back with our hands pressed against the dashboard, as half a dozen Apennine valleys beckoned invitingly below... Here [St Peter's] Popes with black faces and golden crowns are wallowing twice life-size in the titanic folds of marble tablecloths, their ormolu fringes festooning upon the arms of graceful skeletons to disclose some Alice-in-Wonderland door or the grim hinges of some sepulchral grill...
For readers of Walden, Wild, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, A Book of Silence, A Gift from the Sea and other celebrations of the inner adventure.
An utterly engaging dive into our modern ways of retreat — where we go, why we’re drawn, and how it’s urgent
From pilgrim paths to forest cabins, and from rented hermitages to arts temples and quiet havens for yoga and meditation, In Praise of Retreat explores the pleasures and powers of this ancient practice for modern people. Kirsteen MacLeod draws on the history of retreat and personal experiences to reveal the many ways readers can step back from society to reconnect with their deepest selves — and to their loftiest aspirations in life.
In the 21st century, disengaging, even briefly, is seen by many as self-indulgent, unproductive, and antisocial. Yet to retreat is as basic a human need as being social, and everyone can benefit, whether it’s for a weekend, a month, or a lifetime. Retreat is an uncertain adventure with as many peaks and valleys as any mountain expedition, except we head inward, to recharge and find fresh energy and brave new ideas to bring back into our everyday lives.
If you go into the woods, you're in for a dark surprise.
Thirty years ago, three girls followed a stranger into the woods. Only two returned. The surviving pair have never been able to remember what happened or what the fate of the third girl was. Local rumours talk of hippies and drugs and mystic rituals, but no one has learned the truth.
This story is just what Rowan Blake needs. He's in debt, his journalistic career is in tatters – as well as his damaged body – and he's retreated to the Lake District to write. Yet even Rowan isn't prepared for the evil he is about to unearth, for the secrets that have been buried in that wood for far too long...
Praise for David Mark:
'Dark, compelling crime writing of the highest order' DAILY MAIL
'Breathtaking' PETER MAY
'Truly exhilarating and inventive. Mark is a wonderfully descriptive writer' PETER JAMES
'Brilliantly written – a cracking story' RICHARD MADELEY, Richard and Judy Book Club
'To call Mark's novels police procedurals is like calling the Mona Lisa a pretty painting. Beautifully crafted, filled with flashbacks, horror, angst, and chilling detail' KIRKUS REVIEWS
'Exceptional ... Mark is writing at the top of his game' PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, Starred Review
'A master of the dark psychological thriller' KIRKUS
With a lack of sentimentality unusual for the genre, Venice Observed explores the history, art, architecture, religion, and cultural peculiarities of the City of Canals. Mordantly witty and legendarily wry, Mary McCarthy catalogs the impressions of such visitors to the city as Montaigne, Stendhal, Spencer, and Henry James, but paints her own wholly original depictions of the city. Her adoration of the immortal city enlivens her interest in everything from the Venetian preference for cats over dogs to Tintoretto's paintings in the Scuola di San Rocco. Concerning Venice's ubiquitous tourists, McCarthy notes, "The complaint against foreigners, voiced by a foreigner, chimes querulously through the ages, in unison with the medieval monk who found St Mark's Square filled with 'Turks, Libyans, Parthians, and other monsters of the sea.' Today it is the Germans we complain of, and no doubt they complain of the Americans, in the same words." Conversational yet deeply informed, Venice Observed is a classic travel narrative for the ages.
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