Book Reviews

We’ve read quite a number of books to help us with our RTW trip. Here are reviews on a few of them:-

Moods of Future Joy


By Alastair Humphreys

This book is a fantastic read, with marvellous, rich reflections on the cultures and people Al encounters along the way.  Once read, it will definitely inspire you to ‘walk the walk’ !!

Adventure Cycle-Touring Handbook: A Worldwide Cycling Route & Planning Guide
By Stephen Lord


This book was exactly what Rog and I needed to read. Stephen is a customer of Bigfoot Bikes and his adventures helped to fuel Roger’s dreams of touring and really gave me the desire to get out there and Just Do It! Great stories of various people, riding various routes, which are both interesting and informative. This book also gives you all the information you need for planning and setting off on a long bicycle journey; advice on spokes, wheels, handle bars, etc. etc. and is really the perfect reference book on the touring topic.

It comes highly recommended!

‘Why Don’t You Fly?’ Back Door to Beijing – by Bicycle
by Christopher J. A. Smith


We were given this book by Adam, a member of the Bigfoot Bike Club, and we can’t thank him enough! A fantastic read, and has you laughing out loud in places!! If you are thinking of doing any serious cycle touring, then this should be a definite read. Really enjoyable; witty, well-written and a good research tool.

Highly recommended.

A Bike Ride: 12,000 Miles Around the World
by Anne Mustoe


A book written by an ex-headmistress of a girls’ school in Suffolk, Anne Mustoe. She gave up her job, bought a bike and took to the road and, she couldn’t even mend a puncture!! She makes an epic solo journey around the world, through Europe, India, the Far East and the United States. A great read, really entertaining and it restores your faith and confidence in mankind; a woman, travelling on her own, who encounters, much kindness and help along the way.

Full Tilt: Ireland to India with a Bicycle
by Dervla Murphy


This lady rides from Ireland to India alone in 1965, with a revolver in her pannier for company!!! Magically written and very descriptive; reading this really made me want to get out there and do it! One of the earlier books we read for research.

The Wind in My Wheels: Travel Tales from the Saddle
By Josie Dew


Written with a lively sense of humour, this book is fun and interesting, but I felt at times that too many things seem to happen to Josie Dew …………….. !!!!

A fun read though and very enjoyable.

The Road That Has No End: How We Traded Our Ordinary Lives For a Global Bicycle Touring Adventure
By Tim & Cindie Travis


Travel along with Tim and his wife Cindy who are now in Year 8 of a trip around the world!! If you need the motivation to make a start cycle touring, then this is definitely the book for you. It is written in a very easy and conversational style and you really feel as if you know them personally!!

They have a very detailed website (; worth viewing, as it is crammed with information.

Again, this book is highly recommended!

Three Cups of Tea: One Man’s Mission to Promote Peace ……. One School at a Time
by Greg Mortenson & David Oliver Relin


This was a “can’t put down” book in a way that most non-fiction usually isn’t.  A true and inspiring story of one man’s work in Pakistan.  It answers the question of how we can work towards peace in Afghanistan and Pakistan and maybe EVERY politician should read it!!

We found this book very interesting and it’s included here in our Book Reviews, because it definitely gave us the desire to follow the KKH and pass through the lower Himalayas, near to the base of K2 in Northern Pakistan.

It’s Not About the Bike: My Journey Back to Life
by Lance Armstrong


What can I say about this amazing athlete and his fantastic story?!

I’m a huge Lance fan, and, if you haven’t read this already, then you really should!

Every Second Counts
By Lance Armstrong


Again, a great read and this really gives you an insight into his drive, dedication and ambition.

Discovery Road
By Tim Garratt and Andy Brown

A very enjoyable read about 2 mad nutters who mountain bike across Australia, Africa and South America!! At times their journey sounds fairly arduous; I’m hoping that ours won’t be quite so traumatic! Tim and Andy were doing big distances every day and were keeping to a fairly strict agenda; our ride will be more leisurely and a much more relaxed timescale!


Iran Awakening


By Shirin Ebadi

A great read for anyone considering going to Iran.  It explains how easily the revolution in 1979 happened and gives an insight into Iranian life.

The Great Game: On Secret Service in High Asia


By Peter Hopkirk

All about Victoria Britain and Tsarist Russia fighting for control over Central Asia.  A fantastic read for anyone considering travelling to The Stans or Afghanistan.  It answers a lot of questions about Afghanistan and helps you understand why the country is still a very troubled land.

Catfish and Mandala


By Andrew  X Pham

An absolute ‘must read’ for anyone travelling to Vietnam – in fact a ‘must read’ for all!  Beautifully written, the book alternates between his bike ride to and through Vietnam and his family’s flight from Vietnam a couple of decades’ ago.

The Girl in the Picture:  The Story of Kim Phuc, the Photograph and the Vietnam War


by Denise Chong

The photo of Kim Phuc running in terror from a napalm attack is one of the best-known images of the Vietnam War.  This book is about how the attack and the photograph changed her life.  A very powerful read and for those travelling to Vietnam an absolute must.

The Tunnels of Cu Chi


By Tom Mangold

A terrifying account of the lives of the Viet Cong who lived and fought in the Tunnels of Cu Chi, a district North of Saigon and also the US Army Tunnel Rats, who fought the Viet Cong in these Tunnels. It helps you understand how impossible winning the Vietnam War for the West was.

Four Hours in My Lai


By Michael Bilton & Kevin Sim

A harrowing read.  This book  tells the tale of how orders are interpreted and followed by American soldiers. It follows how a military unit (Charlie Company), enters the village of  My Lai  in Vietnam and destroys the village along with 504 unarmed villagers many of which are women and children.


Lucky Child

ByLoung Ung

A lovely piece of writing about Loung’s life.  How she escapes the horrors of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia at the age of 10 when her Brother is able to take her to America.  It is written in parallel to the events surrounding her sister she left behind in the revaged country.  So interesting to read about their very different  lives, thoughts and feelings and to read of their reunion.


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