Six new travel books for Christmas 2021

1. Wild World: Nature Through an Autistic Eye

This compilation of wildlife photography from autistic environmental campaigner Alfie Bowen comprises almost 200 fine art shots of animals. Alfie shares his perspective on how autism has given him the obsession needed to persevere in challenging settings. He believes understanding his subjects is key to both photography and conservation and reveals how his work liberated him from a childhood of bullying. 50p from every copy sold goes to WWF UK. £45, ACC Art Books.

2. The Travel Photographer’s Way

Award-winning travel photojournalist and National Geographic Traveller (UK) contributor Nori Jemil offers up a practical photography book that takes a journey around the seven continents. Each chapter focuses on the how, when and why of capturing great travel imagery, covering everything from people and landscapes to architecture and adventure, with lots of tips on getting the best from your camera as you go. £18.99, Bradt Guides.

3. Abandoned Churches — Unclaimed Places of Worship

Take a meditative tour through some silent, sacred spaces with a book that’s scooped numerous awards, including three from the Prix de la Photographie, Paris. Francis Meslet dedicated eight years to travelling Europe, capturing several hundred places of worship where time has stood still since their doors closed permanently. These are truly special spaces that gain an otherworldly glory in their abandonment. £29.99, Jonglez.

4. Epic Train Journeys

Author Monisha Rajesh presents 50 of the best train trips, from a Bernina Express journey through the Alps to a ride into Sri Lanka’s tea plantations. The gallery of shots from far-flung destinations — the Canadian Rockies, Japan’s onsen country and Peru’s Inca heartlands among them — is perfectly framed through carriage windows, plus there’s plenty of detailed trip notes. It’s ideal for those looking for some inspiration on the rails, from trips that last a few hours to cross-continental journeys. £35, Gestalten.

5. Aurora Australis

Marking the centenary of Ernest Shackleton’s death in January 2022, this limited-edition replica of Aurora Australis recreates the first book ever written, printed and bound in Antarctica. The polar explorer was part of the British Antarctic (Nimrod) Expedition of 1907-09, whose team produced a collection of writings. Shackleton expert Jan Piggott adds new commentary to the Folio Society’s facsimile, which is limited to 500 numbered copies. £495, Folio Society.

6. Lumberjack: The History, the Lore, the Life

This illustrated guide to the lumberjack is a light-hearted take on an iconic lifestyle. Celebrating the profession’s impact on fashion, pop and culture, travel writer Lauren Jarvis combines essays about the history of the checked shirt-wearing woodsmen, alongside such whimsical tutorials as how to work with an axe, field guides to woodland animals and recipes traditionally served at logging camps. Ammonite Press, £9.99. 

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