Seasalt Words: Nicola Higgs’ Top 5 Reads

Go on a literary journey from the comfort of home, with our Creative Manager's favourite travel and adventure books

Sometimes dedicating time to reading is a struggle, it takes me a while to get stuck into a book. I can get so easily distracted by modern technology. But when I do take the time to sit and relax with a book, I could happily read cover to cover without stopping.

I have an eclectic taste in genres, my bookcase at home is mixed with travel, cooking, gardening, fantasy, non-fiction, historical and art books. I studied Illustration, so I absolutely love any book with pictures in it.

1. Pole to Pole, Michael Palin

I’m not sure I can narrow it down to one favourite book but a collection of books I could happily read again and again is Michael Palin’s journeys series. I’m currently re-reading Pole to Pole.

When you start a travel or adventure book, especially one well written, you feel as if you are on that adventure with the author. Palin travels from the North Pole to the South as close to the 30 degree East line of longitude as possible, visiting some strange and breathtakingly beautiful countries.

During these current unprecedented times where travel has been restricted, being able to visualise far flung places has been a little bit of escapism for me and made me hopeful for future holidays and adventures.


Here’s a short excerpt:

Day 15: Tromso

Is this the same city I was in last night? This morning it seems butter wouldn’t melt in its mouth. People are vertical rather than horizontal, and the chaos of the night before has been replaced by pristine calm.

We drive across the long slim bridge that connects Tromso Island with mainland Norway. It’s a bright, beautiful Sunday morning and bells ring out from the Arctic Cathedral, a striking modern building comprising eleven interlocking triangular sections – representing every apostle apart from Judas Iscariot. Inside is a modest, well-behaved and self-effacing a congregation as you’ll find anywhere. The first few rows are completely empty and the hymns are sung softly, almost apologetically.

Who are the modern Vikings – the lusty, lurching lads overthrowing tables in the square or these sober-suited pillars of the community?

My other favourites:

2. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Mark Haddon

3. A Sky Full of Kindness, Rob Ryan

4. Barbarian Days – A Surfing Life, William Finnegan

5. Culinara France, Andre Domine

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