Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Central Asia Media Roundup

Hi all,

Just back from three months in India and I thought I'd share a few books, articles and radio programmes that I think would be of interest to fans of Inner Asia.

First up, and a shameless plug is Great AdventuresLonely Planet's latest photo-led reference book. I wrote sections on watching wolves in Yellowstone National Park, jeeping Tajikistan's Pamir Highway, horse trekking in Kham, tackling a trekking peak in Nepal and trekking to the source of the Oxus in the Afghan Wakhan.

It's great to finally see Odyssey's new guide to Xinjiang: China's Central Asia by Jeremy Tredinnick. Finally this region has got the coverage it deserves. The practical details aren't quite as up to date as my Xinjiang chapter for Lonely Planet's forthcoming China guide, but the scope of the coverage and background information blow everything else out of the water, as is normal for Odyssey guides. If only they would make books that you can actually carry with you on the road - Odyssey, electronic books please!

A more specialist book is Qaraqalpaqs of the Aral Delta by David and Sue Richardson. It's out of the range of most casual budgets but it's a great look at one of Central Asia's forgotten corners. Check out the authors website at www.qaraqalpaq.com.

One of favourite recent reads has been Christoph Baumer's Traces in the Desert. I was sceptical about the 'modern-day explorer' nature of the title but it turned out to be a well-researched and engagingly written account of some very impressive trips through Xinjiang, eastern Tibet, Mongolia and Merv in Turkmenistan. If these places appeal, I'd definitely check it out.

Finally I'd like to draw your attention to some Central Asian-related BBC radio programmes that you may have missed. All are available to download or stream. 
In Our Time is a wonderful radio series hosted by Melvyn Bragg. Each programme features a conversation with several academics on a particular topic
The following programmes are required iPod listening:
The second radio series is 'A History of the World in 100 Objects' made in conjunction with the British Museum and looking at moments in history through specific items in the museum's collection. In cased you missed them, interesting tems include:
Be well,


Classic Pamiri Scenery of Gorno Badakhshan

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