The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - SU­SAN KURO­SAWA

Myan­mar: A Mem­oir of Loss and Re­cov­ery

Judyth Gre­gory-Smith (Lulu.com, $22.95) THIS self-pub­lished ti­tle by oc­ca­sional T&I con­trib­u­tor Judyth Gre­gory-Smith chron­i­cles her solo jour­ney in Burma, a land she orig­i­nally vis­ited with her hus­band, Richard. Now a widow, her trip over sev­eral years be­comes as much about self-dis­cov­ery and learn­ing as it does the phys­i­cal act of travel in a largely un­known land. By work­ing on vol­un­teer projects she finds new pur­pose and feels Richard would heartily ap­prove. As Burma opens up to mass tourism, there’s much here to pon­der, and a wealth of prac­ti­cal ad­vice on do­ing things on a bud­get and, im­por­tantly, sup­port­ing non-gov­ern­ment busi­nesses, such as fam­ily-run guest­houses, where a warm wel­come is all but guar­an­teed. Avail­able at ama­zon.com.

Great Aus­tralian Ute Sto­ries

Edited by John Bryant (HarperCollins, $32.99) WHATis it with Aussie blokes and utes? Even my chap has had one (a now-ex­pired Toy­ota HiLux) and seemed to adopt a spe­cial wardrobe of caps and dif­fer­ent vo­cab in or­der to drive it. Na­tional icon or sim­ply a sym­bol of rugged man­hood? Make up your mind as you dip into this col­lec­tion of 80 es­says by true believ­ers. The sto­ries are er­ratic in qual­ity, and fre­quently to do with drink­ing mates and long-suf­fer­ing wives, but who could re­sist tales with names such as The Pride of Coochie Flats or The Bum Sweat Broth­ers? Ed­i­tor John Bryant started Aus­tralia’s first ‘‘ute gear’’ store, Bluey’s Ute World, in 1994 and has pub­lished sev­eral uteth­emed col­lec­tions, so clearly he’s the best man for the job.

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