If you’re an avid reader and a proud bookworm, then you’re likely wondering what the big books of 2014 are going to be. Over at Maptia, they’ve compiled a list of thirteen remarkable gems that deserve a place on your bookshelf for the year.
Great books give our senses a workout. They make us laugh, cry, and expand our emotional horizons, provide us with new perspectives, teach us about different realities, free us from feeling tranquilized with trivialities, and above all make us feel gloriously alive! Reading also keeps us mentally sharp, chills us out and relieves stress, and can even increase our capacity for empathy.
If you’re overwhelmed with the number of books available, this short list will help you discover some under-appreciated, but remarkable titles written in the last hundred years that should be on your reading list.
One book to consider is “The Ascent of Rum Doodle,” suggested by Mike Sowden—a parody, a tragedy, a farce, and an outright delight. It’s a spoof novel that has become just as popular within mountaineering circles as the real-life adventures it lampoons.
For those who love to travel, consider “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts, as recommended by Tim Ferriss. The book provides tips on how to travel and think for the rest of your life, not just for one trip.
Michael Symmons Roberts and Paul Farley’s “Edgelands” takes readers on a journey into what they call “England’s true wilderness”—the forgotten places on the peripheries of cities that most people ignore as they whiz through in trains, buses, and cars, where nature encroaches on the man-made.
If you’re fascinated by science, Duncan Geere recommends “Cold” by Bill Streever. The book is split into twelve chapters, each exploring a different facet of the world’s coldest places, including personal anecdotes, historical references, and scientific facts.
Another book to consider is “As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning” by Laurie Lee, as suggested by Alastair Humphreys. The book is beautifully written and tells the story of a journey on foot, living by your wits, busking, and walking slowly across a landscape.
For soccer fans, consider “How Soccer Explains the World: An Unlikely Theory of Globalization” by Franklin Foer, as recommended by Audrey Scott. The book examines soccer clubs and their culture and history from Argentina to Ukraine and explores socioeconomic and geopolitical shifts connected to globalization through the lens of soccer.
For those interested in learning more about Paraguay, Jodi Ettenberg suggests “At the Tomb of the Inflatable Pig” by John Gimlette. The book is a fascinating take on a complicated country and its tragic historical turn, with personal details woven into the chapters.
Lastly, consider “How to be an Explorer of the World: A Portable Life Museum” by Keri Smith, suggested by Jonny Miller. The book encourages readers to find everything in the world fascinating, encourage them to ask the right questions, and restore their childlike sense of astonishment.
In conclusion, these books provide unique insights into different aspects of the world, from mountaineering to soccer, from science to ordinary landscapes, and from travel to history. As we continue to navigate these uncertain times, we can always find solace, inspiration, and joy in the pages of a good book. Happy reading!