Travel Underground Worlds David Farley Couchsurfing in Iran Stephan Orth The Debatable Land Graham Robb HB $39.99 From bone-filled catacombs to sculpted salt churches to hand-carved cave complexes large enough to house 20,000 people, Underground Worlds is packed with more than 50 unusual destinations that take some digging to find. Travel writer David Farley revels in the unexpected, whether it is a cave city in China which houses one of the world’s largest collections of Buddhist art or an old salt mine converted into a theme park in Romania. PB $29.99 Though couchsurfing is prohibited in Iran – the state fears spies would be able to travel undetected through the country – more than a hundred thousand Iranians are registered with online couchsurfing portals. Thanks to these strangers, Stephan Orth gets up close and personal with locals, peering behind closed doors and blank windows to uncover the inner workings of a country where public show and private reality are strikingly opposed. HB $36.99 The Debatable Land was an independent territory which used to exist between Scotland and England, once known as the bloodiest region in the country. Today, it has vanished from the map. When Graham Robb moved to the edge of England, he found that the river almost surrounding his home had once marked the Debatable Land’s southern boundary. Under the spell of curiosity, Robb began a journey – on foot, by bicycle and into the past. Skybound Rebecca Loncraine The Immeasurable World: Journeys in Desert Places William Atkins Time Pieces: A Dublin Memoir John Banville PB $29.99 In her mid-30s Rebecca Loncraine was diagnosed with breast cancer. Two years later, and after months of treatment, she flew in a glider for the first time. She fell in love. And so Rebecca travelled from the Black Mountains in Wales to New Zealand’s Southern Alps and the Nepalese Himalayas to chase her newfound passion. Skybound is the story of that obsession and of Rebecca’s incredible journey from the ground, into the sky and back again. PB $32.99 One third of the globe’s land surface is desert, and much of it is parched, treacherous, and inhospitable. Over the course of eight journeys to deserts iconic and obscure, William Atkins enters a landscape that he discovers is as much internal as physical. From the monasteries of Egypt to America’s Black Rock Desert, and via Oman, Australia, and Central Asia, he investigates the life, history, and iconography of these untamed places. HB $39.95 Born and bred in a small town a train ride away from Dublin, John Banville saw the city as a place of enchantment when he was a child. When he took up residence there, it remained in some part of his memory as fascinating as it had been to his seven-year-old self. And as he guides us around the city, delighting in its cultural, architectural, political, and social history, he interweaves the memories that are attached to particular places and moments.