Last month #travelbookclub read Empire Antarctica by Gavin Francis, which follows a year in his life as he works as a doctor at Halley Base, a research station on Antarctica. (It perhaps wasn’t the best choice to read during a UK heatwave!)
Empire Antarctica covers everything from the challenges of life in a remote centre, to the life cycle of the majestic Emperor Penguins. I found the book totally captivating, as it opened up a whole new world to me. I loved Francis’ descriptions of the scenery in Antarctica – he even managed to capture the smell of the place!
His explanations of daily life on the base were also fascinating. Once the team is in the station, they will not see another person for a year and Francis’ description of the isolation and the different ways in which people deal with it were fascinating. I think you must have to have a certain personality in order to be able to do it – I don’t think I could!
Francis’ relationship with the Emperor Penguins was another highlight of the book for me. As well as explaining their life-cycle and the challenges the penguins face every year in Antarctica, it felt as though their proximity to the team was important to Francis, as they battled through the same sense of isolation.
You can read highlights of the #travelbookclub chat about Empire Antarctica here: storify.com/Em1/empire-antarctica-by-gavin-francis-reviewed-by-tra
Don’t forget, if you love travel and love books then you can join us for next month’s chat. Just read the book – How Low Can You Go by Tom Chesshyre – and join us on Twitter on August 2 at 9pm BST to discuss it.