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Book reviews: April 2021

3 min read

Pick of the month

Sustainable Travel
Holly Tuppen
Allen & Unwin
Reviewed by Esha Chanda

Sustainable travel is a complex and ever-changing concept, and in her debut book, Holly Tuppen lifts the lid on how travel can have a positive and transformative impact.

Before the pandemic brought tourism to an abrupt halt, international travels reached 1.4 billion in 2019 – two years ahead of schedule. Almost 20% of the world’s population was on the move.

While tourism brings economic benefits, it also adds to increasing global carbon emissions. To curb the climate crisis, we need to start travelling sustainably, and Truppen’s book offers an essential guide to more positive-impact adventures. And no, it doesn’t mean travelling by foot and forgoing luxurious experiences. There’s a rising tide of more thoughtful experiences offered to travellers by high-end, low-impact accommodations.

The book guides readers from first understanding the basic concept of sustainable travel, the climate and biodiversity crisis, the impact of travel, and how to reduce carbon footprint, and then further helps in planning a trip: where to go, what to spend, when to go, how to get there, where to stay, and even how to pack.

The author also talks about regenerative travel and how a person’s choice of a tour, hotel, or operator can help show solidarity with a marginalised part of the society or fund green innovations and have a positive impact on local people and the environment.

In the final part of the book, Holly shares findings from her travels around the world and lists the most sustainable places to stay, experiences and ways to get around. The good thing: there are hundreds to choose from.

More good reads

Brandon Stanton
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

This book ended up being a lot better than I originally expected and kind of wish I had not left it near the bottom of my review stack for as long as I did. Some of you may recall Brandon’s Humans of New York Facebook series that consisted of random interviews with people living in the Big Apple. Realising that he was onto a good thing, the model was expanded internationally, and this book is a selection of interviews from around the globe.

What makes it even better is that the author must have had a proper map, as a couple of Kiwis feature within the pages, making it the ideal coffee table accessory.

Wild Seas to Greenland
Rebecca Hayter
Oceanspirit Publishing
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

If you thought sailing was all about sipping cocktails and sunny vistas, then consider a thought for the real die-hards who take on the challenge of heading to Greenland.

The author climbs aboard with ex-professional ocean racing skipper Ross Field as he attempts to take on the Northwest Passage. But before all that starts, we go over the purchase and fitting-out of the right vessel for the anticipated ice strewn journey. While that is a great story in itself, the sailing in Arctic regions and insight into Greenland itself help deliver a well-balanced read.

Additionally, the author shares excerpts from her father’s book Sheila in the Wind, following his single-handed sail from the UK to New Zealand in the 1950s.

An ideal read for any want-to-be adventurer.

Silver Linings
David Downs and Joe Davis
Penguin Random House
Reviewed by Steve Atkinson

Trying to put some positivity in our sad pandemic-laden lives is this focus on businesses that have ‘pivoted’ or to use a better-known term ‘reinvented’ themselves to keep dollars flowing through the door during the last 12 months. In an attempt to prove that not all business owners are inept and stuck in old-world thinking are these new-aged showboaters who have come along to show us how a business should really be run.

I tried to engage, honestly, I did, but just ended up feeling nauseous. Maybe it was the fantasy I was being force-fed? 

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