Friday, 27 May 2011

Top 5 Books That Inspire…

I have a real hunger for a good book, and I measure a good book as to whether or not it makes me stay up late in bed reading, makes me sit in the bath until the water goes cold or I use every opportunity to pick it up and get a few paragraphs in.

As an aspiring traveller/ adventurer that is currently desk bound I find books a great way to escape. I love nothing more than reading about travel to amazing places or people pushing themselves to the limit and feel inspired to get out there… even if it’s often only an hour or two’s ride on my bike most of the time!

So here are my top 5 books that not only help me retreat from the daily grind but inspire me to get there and do something…

  1. Holding On- Jo Gambi
The story of a couple who give up their jobs and sell their house after Rob’s second bout of cancer to travel the world, climb the seven summits and ski to both the poles. An amazing feat in the face of uncertainty as to whether the cancer will return. Jo Gambi’s writing makes you feel as though you are there and the fact they are both ‘normal’ working people makes me realise that there is more in each of us than we think.

  1. French Revolutions- Tim Moore
An hilarious book about a journalist who does very little cycling, but decides to cycle the route of the Tour de France taking only 3 weeks longer than the pro’s. A few facts and figures about the actual tour history are mixed in with his continuously funny and sometime toe curling embarrassing story- especially his attempt at the legendary Mont Ventoux. Even with the saddle sores, overdosing on hayfever pills and bonks once I’ve read this I want to get on my bike and peddle through France!

  1. The Man Who Cycled the World- Mark Beaumont
While French Revolutions pips Marks book to the number 2 spot for its hilarity, The Man Who Cycled World is truly inspiring through the countries he visits, the loneliness on the road and the fact that he breaks the record by 81 days! While FR makes me want to cycle France, this book makes me want to explore the world!

  1. Riding the Magic Carpet- Tom Anderson
Whilst I’m no where near good enough (or brave enough!) to surf the places described in this book, I have always wanted to see legendary surf spots like J-Bay pumping and to travel to the more exotic like the islands off Indonesia just to experience the thrill. The story is about a guy named Tom who’s childhood dream is to surf J-Bay and how he uses trips to practise and make sure that when he gets there he can ride it as good as he can.

And number 5... is Ben's entry..!

Although this book isn’t an “adventure” book as such and more of a tragedy and how Aron had to make the ultimate decision – life or death, it still made me want to get out there and discover new places.   In the 127 hours it took him to make the decision to amputate his arm he reflects on all his various adventures he went on – from his first ski trip, to hiking in waist-deep snow trying to get away from a bear stalking him, to setting himself the “14000’s challenge”, to when he decided to change his plans at the last minute to solo navigate a very unused part of Blue John Canyon un Utah…

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