Sceptre, $32.95 pb, 288 pp
I love travelling overseas. I like the whole flying thing: the taxi ride to the airport wondering what I forgot to pack, the queuing at check-in, the thrill of getting through security. Then there’s the flight itself. The rush of take-off, the first free drink, the little plastic tray with little plastic dishes and plastic knives and forks – just like a picnic in the clouds. Whether the destination is familiar or exotic, I like arriving, too. But one thing I have learned over the years is that no matter where I go, I’ve been there before. Different airport, same old Nick. It must have been much the same two thousand years ago when the Roman poet Horace wrote Caelum non animum mutant qui trans mare currunt – Those who fly across the sea, change the sky but not the me. In the nineteenth century, though, if we are to believe Jem Poster, things were very different.