Chad book reviewer Bill Purdue picks out some of his favourite titles

With the New Year upon us Chad’s book reviewer Bill Purdue has picked out a few titles to get you into the reading spirit for the next 12 months ahead.

If you enjoy the BBC series “Coast”, then you might also enjoy the book by the first presenter of the series (before Neil Oliver), Nick Crane. Coast: our Island Story (BBC Books £18.00 978-1849900362) is the first narrative account of a journey around the coast by a “Coast” presenter. All the elements of the TV series are in the book: the geography, geology, history, industry and so on.

I’m over 60 and being an almost fully fledged “wrinkly”, I am making frequent use of my bus pass which gives me free travel on local bus services anywhere in England. A new book called Bus Pass Britain (Bradt, £16.99, 978-1841623764) brings together and describes 50 of the best bus journeys in the UK as voted for or suggested by the bus travelling public. These range right across the country, but unfortunately there are none in the North East Midlands. I’m sure there are several in our region that are as interesting as some of those that made it into the book.

know the connection with travel is in this case is very tenuous, bu here’s a book about countries in Europe you can no longer visit simply because they don’t exist. This is not the Europe we usually think of – in other words the countries that exist today.

Over the years there have been many kingdoms, empires and republics in Europe that have come and gone. In Vanished Kingdoms by Norman Davies (Allen Lane £30 978-1846143380) you will not only find information about many of the long forgotten kingdoms of Europe, but also facts that might surprise you.

For example how many people know that Glasgow was founded by the Welsh before the existence of England and Scotland? This is quite a pricey volume and a weighty one too (848 pages), but I think I’d find it endlessly fascinating. You can find an extract from the book on the Penguin website.