Following on from my post ‘Five Books to Read During Lockdown’…
Here are five more literary recommendations to fill the time if you’re locked down… or to enjoy even if you’re not!
Selkirk’s Island by Diana Souhami
The real life inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, Scotsman Alexander Selkirk was stranded, alone, on the island of Juan Fernandez from 1704 until 1709!
The book details how Selkirk survived, his encounter with the Spanish and how he struggled to adapt to life when returning to Scotland.
It’s an amazing true story of one man’s epic survival!
The Day Job by Mark Waddington
An absolute humdinger of a book about an independent gardener, his clients and trying to stay in business when there are gardening machine teams competing on your patch.
It’s humble, modest, excellent and has a wonderful ending. I thoroughly recommend.
The Long Walk Home by Lynn Schooler
Schooler is the author of another book titled The Blue Bear in which his hiking partner, a Japanese photographer, is dragged from a tent and killed by a bear!
Spoiler Alert! His follow-up doesn’t end so tragically but does detail him being pursued by, or at least being in the habitat of grizzly bears. This is familiar territory for Schooler and his writing skill really does conjure up images of Alaska.
Similar to Philip Connors’ Fire Season (Featured in my previous post), it’s a man, alone in the wilderness and that’s staple reading diet for me. You can find some glorified smug accounts of ex-city boys surviving in the wild but you won’t come across arrogance in the work of Connors or Schooler.
Deep Country by Neil Ansell
In contrast to the works of Connors and Schooler, Ansell’s writing isn’t quite as poetic or romantic. That said, his slightly more diary like account of five years alone in an isolated cottage is a fascinating read. I particularly liked his accounts of the bird life in the area to which Ansell seemed extremely observant.
A Land of Two Halves by Joe Bennett
I think that I read this book shortly before spending a year in New Zealand. It’s funny as hell!
It’s a road trip around Aotearoa where the witty Bennett hitchhikes and chats with locals. I just provided a couple of reviews with cursory glances to remind myself of the details and there’s quite a few negative comments stating that Bennett was himself negative about the country. Ten years ago though, I enjoyed reading it and recall it being extremely amusing!