“I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long.” – Tom Waits
Let us give a warm welcome to August… although I truly do not know how it came along so quickly. August is like the Sunday of summer as they say. So may we enjoy each of its’ warm days and find beautiful moments in the conversations we have, in the books we read, and in the places we go.
I suppose many of us have experienced the feeling of finally appreciating where we grew up only after having left it. The famous words above “I never saw my hometown until I stayed away too long” have been on my mind recently as that is always how I’ve felt. However, I want to talk about how Covid gave us a unique opportunity to stay in one place. Now, you may not think of this as much of an opportunity, but I do think some significance can be found in everyone staying in their hometowns for the better part of a year. Not only were we confined to a few miles radius of our homes, but we learned to find solace and gratitude in the local walks we could take outside our homes. In community parks, along canals and nearby rivers, and through the empty route of our high streets, we found beauty in the scenery and architecture around us – found beauty in our hometowns. We traded in overnight aeroplane food for learning how to make our own soughdough. We traded in murals in foreign cities for drawing rainbows and sticking them up on our windows. We traded walking up the cobblestone steps of the Alhambra for reading about it in our living rooms.
So, as the travel corridors open and we are allowed to fly across the world and see a multitude of beautiful sites, may we not forget the beauty of the place that held us through this past year. May we travel with intent and appreciation for what we are able to do.
This month we will be exploring the travel section of the bookshop. Whether you are one who will travel as soon as you can or one who plans on staying home for a while longer, let these travel books inspire you!
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin. This has been one of my favourites for a few years. Chatwin spends six months in Patagonia journaling his experiences and has a very playful way of describing the people he comes across. It is a classic that you should certainly put on your list to read.
Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell. Orwell is best known for his works of fiction, but he has written many non-fiction books as well that follow his days living in poverty, his time fighting in the Spanish Civil War, and his strong political views. If you have read this one already, I suggest reading Homage to Catalonia.
The Moth and The Mountain by Ed Caesar. This has been a best seller in our shop since being released and we used it as our Non-fiction book for July’s Subscription Box. This is the true story of a man, Maurice Wilson, who came up with a truly crazy plan to be the first person to climb Mt. Everest.
For those of you who are looking to travel a little closer to home, or for those who live far away and want to visit us here in the Brecon Beacons, this book is for you! The Wild guide: Wales, will give you just the inspiration you need. This little book provides over 800 adventures to go on in our local mountains and rivers.
I hope you check out our travel section next time you are in our shop (or head on over to our online page now). I will end this month’s blog with a few staff reads and recommendations! Have a look below and we will see you here next month.