Even for those who would never dream of rock climbing, the thrills, spills â€“ and laughs â€“in this thoughtful account are a delight, Don Currie discovers. Author Jules Lines also answers a few of our questions Read more ›
The Secret Lives of Puffins –Â by Dominic Couzens with photography by Mark Sisson
As well as being among Britainâ€™s most photogenic birds, puffins are appealing in other ways, too. Unusually for seabirds, they are virtually silent, but have a huge range of actions that convey various messages â€“ head jerking, head bowing, clashing bills together, stamping their feet and scurrying along with bodies horizontal. All these actions, and many more, are shown here in Mark Sisson’s pictures, which go way beyond the ‘cute’ category to which puffins are usually consigned. Author Dominic Couzens is refreshingly honest about the mysteries that remain concerning the species. We still don’t know, for instance, why some birds breeding in Britain stay in the same area all year round, while others fly vast distances across the North Atlantic, returning the following spring, generally to the burrow they have used before.
Bloomsbury | RRP Â£20
Buy – Â£13.20
The Call of the Mountains by Max Landsberg
Thereâ€™s no shortage of Munro books, to put it mildly, but this brings something different to the Tables (see what we did there?) â€“ and it works rather well. Landsberg doggedly gives every Gaelic name a translation in brackets, often pointing out how the hill fails to live up to its name. But beneath the humour is a real belief in the importance of adventure.
Luath Press | RRP Â£20
Buy – Â£20
Kindle – Â£9.59
Winter in Glen Lyon by Jamie Grant
The magnificent black and white photographs are allowed to do the talking in this very classy tome. Some, such as sitka spruces shot from below, look almost abstract, others, showing friends and neighbours at work and play, are social documentary at its best. The absence of colour somehow intensifies the contrasts within the images, all taken in the Perthshire glen during 10 winters.
The Watermill, Aberfeldy | RRP Â£25
Buy – Â£22.50
Walking the Corbetts, Volume 2 by Brian Johnson
This volume covers the area north of the Great Glen, where the writer says at least 45 of the best 50 walks on the Corbetts are to be found. Itâ€™s a practical but also handsome tome, and can only help lure people away from routine Munro bagging and into the equally varied and appealing Scottish hills measuring between 2,500ft and 3,000ft.
Cicerone | RRP Â£16.95
Buy – Â£15.26
The Complete Lachlan and Walking TypesÂ by Grant Hutchison
A dayâ€™s walking with a group of friends is often peppered with laughter â€“ yet itâ€™s a pastime whose humour is hard to capture in writing. These stories show it can be done. The eccentric Lachlan of the title entertained readers of the great hillwalking fanzine The Angry Corrie and the adventures collected here are chortlesome indeed. The bookâ€™s second section, pen portraits of characters met on the hills, rings true. The Wiry Old Guy, the Doomed Boyfriend, the Happy Camper â€“ theyâ€™re all here, and theyâ€™re definitely all out there, too.
Feed a Read | RRP Â£8.99
Buy – Â£8.99
Itâ€™s a Hill, Get Over It by Steve Chilton
With a stylish cover and a great title taken from a slogan the author spotted on a runnerâ€™s T-shirt, this exhaustive homage to fell running promises much, and delivers. Written with a real love for the sport, it inevitably majors on its stronghold, the Lake District, but also covers Scottish races such as those on Ben Nevis and Jura, and celebrates some of our greatest athletes, such as Angela Mudge, of Carnethy Hill Runners, who has won championships all over the world.
Sandstone Press | RRP Â£19.99
Buy – Â£13.39
West Highland WayÂ by Charlie Loram
It’s a heavily used trail, and a heavily guidebooked one, too. But this latest addition to the growing collection has many strengths. Practical rather than pretty, its hand-drawn route maps are filled with useful pointers, such as “only lunch stop between Milngavie and Gartness”. Also welcome are the separate public transport maps for those not doing the way in one go.
Trailblazer Guides | RRP Â£11.99
Buy – Â£8.39
The Tweed â€“ 25 Walks from Source to Sea byÂ KR Fergus
A great selection of walks incorporating parts of the Tweed and its tributaries, most of them circular and all illustrated with great photography and notes on nature and history. Volumes on the Clyde and the Dee also available, with the Spey and the Tay to follow next year.
Pocket Mountains | RRP Â£6.99
Buy – Â£5.99
Tom Weir – An Anthology Edited by Hamish Brown
Few people have inspired such affection as Weir, the tireless, bobble-hatted enthusiast who did so much to turn us into a nation of walkers. His unassuming conversational style gave no hint of his record as a Himalayan mountaineer of the first order. Seven years after his death Brown, another legend of the hills, has collected some of Weirâ€™s most enjoyable writings for us all to savour.
Sandstone Press | RRP Â£14.99
Buy a copy
Scotlandâ€™s Fifty Finest Mountains byÂ John Parminter
With a title like that, you know this glorious tome is a personal choice â€“ and the Cumbrian photographer and hill fanatic whose labour of love it is has spent years exploring to finalise his selection. Itâ€™s not confined to Munros â€“ sub-3,000ft peaks such as Quinag and Goatfell are in there for their interest and beauty. The authorâ€™s style is refreshingly non-macho, and he admits to turning back on occasion, when tired or fed up.
Troubador | RRP Â£25
Buy a copy
The Sunlit Summit – The Life of WH Murray byÂ Robin Lloyd-Jones
Bill Murray (no not that one) was a great champion of the natural world and the importance of wild spaces, decades before these concerns became universal. He was a pioneer of winter climbing and his book, Mountaineering in Scotland, remains a classic. But what comes across most strongly in this account of a dramatic life is his humour and his mystical response to the landscape around him. Look forward to a great read, whether Murray was already on your radar or not.
Sandstone Press | RRP Â£19.99
Buy – Â£18.99