Exploring cultures and communities – the slow way

Discover three fine books for winter reading. We delve into the first English-language biography of Joseph Roth, find Iain’s Bamforth new collection of essays is full of zest and follow Vitali Vitaliev on a romp across and along some of the world’s most curious borders.

article summary —

We have never carried book reviews as such in hidden europe. More accurately, we should say that insofar as we have carried book reviews at all, those reviews have generally been of titles published long before any of us were born. There’s still a lot of mileage in 19th-century Baedeker guides, as we showed in issue 62 of the magazine when we carried a very detailed review of two guidebooks to Switzerland, published respectively in 1881 and 1905.

Yet it will be no surprise to readers to hear that a feast of interesting books cross our desks between each issue of the magazine. Hot off the press is Vitali Vitaliev’s Atlas of Geographical Curiosities (published by Jonglez in October 2022, 244pp). It’s a brilliant romp through oddball fragments of political geography around the world, of which about three dozen are in Europe. These are almost without exception places we have covered in the pages of hidden europe over the years, but what’s so engaging about Vitali’s book is that these, with dozens of examples from other continents, are brought together in one place. From the Caprivi Strip to the Saimaa Canal, from the Saatse Boot to Guantanamo Bay, this is the ultimate guide to exclaves, enclaves and curious borders.

This is just an excerpt. If you are a subscriber to hidden europe magazine, you can log in to read the full text online. Of course you can also read the full article in the print edition of hidden europe 68.

About the authors

hidden europe

and manage hidden europe, a Berlin-based editorial bureau that supplies text and images to media across Europe. Together they edit hidden europe magazine. Nicky and Susanne are dedicated slow travellers. They delight in discovering the exotic in the everyday.

This article was published in hidden europe 68.