BOOKS

Sykes, T. (2016) The Bradt Guide to Ivory Coast. Chalfont St Peter: Bradt. (ISBN: 1784770043)

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Having regained stability over the last few years, Ivory Coast has well and truly re-opened to the world. Visitors are drawn to its remarkable tribal arts and crafts (particularly Korhogo weavings and Baoulé masks) and its vibrant reggae, Afrobeat and traditional folk music scenes, which are the envy of the continent. Ivorian food is a delicious blend of French haute cuisine and traditional African ingredients and techniques. Ivory Coast’s nature is as alluring as its culture, whether you want to sunbathe off the cream-hued beaches of Assinie, trek through the crimson savannahs of the north or scale the sublime Mount Tonkoui for panoramic views of Liberia and Guinea. In the Comoé, Tai and Marahoué national parks, it’s possible to glimpse leopards, lions, chimpanzees, aardvarks, antelopes and 500 bird species.

Tom Sykes has been a travel writer and editor for 10 years, having lived and worked in Ivory Coast, Ghana, India, the Philippines and Malaysia. A regular contributor to the New African and New Internationalist magazines, he has also written for The Telegraph, The London Magazine, Red Pepper, New Statesman, The Scotsman, The Journalist and numerous in-flight magazines. Tom is the co-editor of a collection of political journalism and five anthologies of travel stories. The first, No Such Thing as a Free Ride? (Cassell Illustrated), was serialised in The Times and named The Observer’s Travel Book of the Month. From 2009-2012, Tom worked for the US educational publisher World Trade Press, writing sections for guides such as A To Z World Travel and A To Z World Women in Culture and Business. He is currently Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth and studying at Goldsmiths, University of London for a PhD concerning Western travel writing about the developing world.

Sykes, T. and Lee, T. M. (Eds) (2011) Sini Sana: Malaysian Travel Stories. Kuala Lumpur: MPH Publishing Group. (ISBN 9-7896752228-2-5).

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“Hujan emas di negeri orang, hujan batu di negeri sendiri …” Thus begins a Malay version of the proverb, “Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home.” Humble, perhaps, but never humdrum. Sini Sana: Travels in Malaysia features the very Malaysian journeys of a dozen writers who have managed to uncover hidden gems that may not all glitter like gold, but are still rare and precious finds.

Sykes, T. and Sykes, S. (Eds) (2010) Fog in Channel: Exploring Britain’s Relationship with Europe. London: Shoehorn Books. (ISBN: 1-9071490-6-6).

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“Fog in channel – continent cut off” was a regular weather forecast in Britain in the 1930s. Is there fog between Britain and mainland Europe now? Metaphorically yes. This book seeks to clear it away through a series of fascinating views and essays. Is the continent cut off from Britain? Read the lively debates contained in this unique anthology to decide for yourself.

Contributors come from a diverse range of backgrounds, including politicians from Charles Kennedy to John Redwood, Tony Benn to Michael Howard, as well as noted people from the worlds of education, business, journalism, science and the arts, including Simon Woodroffe, Judge Jules, Bill Deedes, Gerry Robinson, Zoe Readhead, Chas Hodges and many more.

Sykes, T. and Sykes, S. (Eds) (2009) The Hitchers of Oz. Sydney: Interactive Publications, Australia. (ASIN B001YQGGAM)

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World famous actor Sam Neill and rap legend Chuck D rub shoulders with writers like JP Donleavy and Carmel Bird. Physicists, business leaders, publishers, political activists, soldiers, poets, athletes and comic book creators are brought together by their common experience of hitching a ride sometime in the past.

Since the ’60s and ’70s – the heyday of hitching – people have thumbed rides worldwide. Money never changes hands, but all manner of social transactions take place. These tales will open your eyes and take you back – of forward. Just when you think you’ve heard it all, turn the page. You’ll discover you haven’t!

Sykes, T. and Sykes, S. (Eds) (2008) No Such Thing as a Free Ride? North American Edition. Fredericton: Goose Lane Editions (ISBN 0-8649250-5-0

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In this entertaining volume, filmmakers, politicians, stand-up comedians, poets, and journalists all come together through the shared experience of hitching a ride. You’ll find Governor General Award-winner Margaret Avison and American sci-fi novelist Piers Anthony rubbing shoulders with Blag Dahlia and Ben Bachelder. You’ll read of Jello Biafra’s encounter with shoe-eating cows, Alan Dean Foster’s ride on a whale shark, and Kage Baker’s hilarious account of actors broken down on Interstate 5.

Sykes, T. and Sykes, S. (Eds) (2005) No Such Thing as a Free Ride? A Collection of Hitchers’ Tales. London: Cassell Illustrated. (ISBN 1-8440338-2-1).

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A literary road movie to take you on a trip of a lifetime, featuring a collection of hitch-hiking tales from around the world by over 90 contributors, including pieces from Alastair Campbell, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Max Hastings, George Monbiot, Lembit Opik, Jeremy Vine, Jenny Jones and Mike Leigh.

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