Travel and Exploration literature Message Board

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Travel and Exploration literature Message Board

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1Stbalbach Ensimmäinen viesti
heinäkuu 25, 2006, 10:51pm

This is a group for discussing "travel literature". This can include standard travel literature, exploration accounts, outdoor literature, nature literature, adventure literature .. anything to do with traveling and the outdoors. It can also include fiction as well as non-fiction.

heinäkuu 26, 2006, 10:42am

I'm very much looking forward to participating in this group and exploring some reading suggestions and discussing favorite books.

I haven't read a ton of "travel" literature per se, but a couple of the best adventure stories I've read are Sigurd Olson's The Lonely Land about a multi-week canoe trip down a Canadian river system. An excellent book full of adventure, philosphy, comradery, spirituality and with a constant meditative note that does not for a minute weigh down the story of whitewater, solitude and exploration. Olson also does a wonderful job of incorporating much about the human history of the land, especially in regards to the French-Canadian voyageurs that traveled the same route two centuries before he and his crew of voyageurs.

I also highly recommend Eric Sevareid's Canoeing With the Cree, also about a wilderness canoe trip, largely in Canada. More on that later. :)

heinäkuu 26, 2006, 3:50pm

I am a mad keen Travel Literature reader! :) But I've got a major shortcoming: I can't concentrate on it unless it is of my areas of special interest, i.e. Arabia and Iran. Tim Mackintosh-Smith is a favourite as is Wilfred Thesiger. Thanks for setting this site up!

5Caffy Ensimmäinen viesti
heinäkuu 26, 2006, 6:50pm

Looking forward to picking up some good tips for travel reading from this group and have already jotted down a couple of titles.

I've just finished reading Botswana Time by Will Randall. It's a light, easy read about a teacher's time in Botswana. This is his third book and I liked it enough that I will read his other two books. In fact, I already have Solomon Time lined up.

Thanks to Stbalbach for starting this group.

heinäkuu 27, 2006, 11:05am

The computer ate my message, so forgive the double posting! (Is anyone else having this problem? It's happened to me twice already.)

I notice that our #1 most common book is Barbara Pym's Less Than Angeles. I never hear anyone mention this book, yet here it is! I found my copy in Florence in the summer of 1993. Needing a rest after a week walking the museums in Rome and Florence, I found a small English language section in a bookstore, and Pym's book seemed the most interesting. I read it in the square in front of Santa Croce and enjoyed it thoroughly. Sometimes the best way to spend time abroad is to just sit somewhere and do what you most enjoy.

Anyone else find unexpected literary treasures on the road?

heinäkuu 29, 2006, 12:27am

I have a special love of old travel books, both ones that were published long ago (truly old well-worn volumes) and ones that offer accounts that were written long ago, even if the books are newer. One of my favorites is The Greatest Natural Wonders of the World as seen and described by famous writers edited and translated by Esther Singleton. It has old black and white photos of all the places discussed, from the Blue Grotto to the Rocking Stones to the Garden of the Gods . It was published in 1900. I like being able to "see" these places as they were before they became resorts. Another I bought and haven't yet read is Travels in West Africa by Mary Kingsley. It was first published in 1897. If anyone has read it, I would love to know what you think of it.

heinäkuu 29, 2006, 2:14am

caffy, randall's first book about teaching in India (desperately trying to remember title) is wonderful. Am looking out for his two others.

heinäkuu 29, 2006, 3:59am

overthemoon, I think the Indian book is called 'Indian Summer'. I haven't managed to find that yet but have got a copy of 'Solomon Time' which I'll read after I've finished what I'm reading now. 'Botswana Time' is well worth finding if you can.

elokuu 1, 2006, 5:17am

yes that's it, caffy - I found it by chance in my local second-hand bookshop and was hooked by the beautiful colours on the cover.
I'm trying to cut down my book spending so am looking out for the others second-hand or on bookrings.

elokuu 1, 2006, 5:19am

Interesting to see that A Time of Gifts is our most commonly shared book so far. Leigh Fermor is by far my favourite travel writer; his book Mani is just fantastic, every line to be savoured.

elokuu 1, 2006, 12:33pm

oh no, I just saw they were not listed in that order - Marco Polo and Patrick O'Brien at the top.

elokuu 1, 2006, 5:43pm

I think a travel book is any book that makes you want to go to a specific place. Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil made me want to go to Savannah, which I did. I loved it. Anne Rice's books (specifically A Feast of All Saints) made me want to go to New Orleans
How about Tony Horwitz and Blue Latitudes? His stuff is great! Baghdad Without a Map, although older, was so much fun to read.
I've never heard of A Time of Gifts, but I am going to look it up right now.

elokuu 2, 2006, 9:10pm

Hello. I love to read travel books, and am excited to join this group. One of my favorite travel authors is Bill Bryson, especially A Walk in the Woods. I also absolutely adore Toujours Provence by Peter Mayle.

elokuu 2, 2006, 11:23pm

Can anyone recommend some follow-up books to Paul Fussell's 1980 Abroad or Alain de Botton's The Art of Travel? I want to begin trying to understand the big picture of how travel writing (and criticism of travel writing) has changed over time, and Fussell especially has really helped.

As for favorites, I loved Chatwin's In Patagonia when I read it some years ago.

elokuu 3, 2006, 11:26am

There is an excellent human-interest/biography of Leigh Fermor in The New Yorker (May 22 2006) titled "An Englishman Abroad". It does not appear to be online but I image it's available in a database somewhere in a library or when The New Yorker issues it's next DVD archive. I have it cut out and saved inside the book.

elokuu 4, 2006, 7:40am

oona: I have a copy of Paul Fussel's Abroad (did not put the touchstone as it takes me to a Pratchett book) but have not got round to reading it yet. Do you want to read earlier books? I have quite a few written by lone travellers on foot - or by carriage, Smollett for example who did France and Italy, Régis-Evariste Huc in Tibet and China. Then there's Norman Douglas, Robert Byron... Eric Newby's A Book of Travellers' Tales is an anthology covering travel writers from 430 BC to the 1980s, maybe that would give you some ideas.

elokuu 4, 2006, 1:16pm

Thank you for the responses. I think I'll start with that Newby collection, sounds good. I enjoyed his Short Walk in the Hindu Kush.

elokuu 6, 2006, 5:42am

I used to work for Thomas Cook who sponsor the Thomas Cook Travel Book Award. Whilst I was there there were a number of things organised for one of the big UK charity fundraising efforts (Children In Need for those who are interested) including a cheap book-sale of books submitted in previous years. I was able to pick up some excellent reads including Killing Dragons, Travels With A Tangerine, Clear Waters Rising and Red Dust amongst others.

I am surprised that I am the only one who has Arved Fuchs's In Shackleton's Wake which was another of my haul.

elokuu 6, 2006, 9:44am

Ooh I love love LOVE Travels with a Tangerine and I'm a great lover and collector of travel literature - this is one of the best I have ever read.

At work, I recently catalogued an 18th century (I think) copy of the Ibn Battutah travels, which was very, very cool.

elokuu 7, 2006, 3:28pm

Travels with a Tangerine is perhaps my favourite travel book ever. And Tim Mackintosh-Smith my favourite author too! I'm also in love with Ibn Battuta.

Has anyone else read the sequel to it: The Hall of a 1000 Columns? That was also great, but I'm not so much into India as I am into Arabia and Iran. His first book Yemen, Travels in Dictionary Land is superb also (i.e. Tim M-S hasn't written anything bad yet).

I'm waiting keenly for the third part where he would follow IB into China. There is a famous joke that the name of the third book will be "Travels with a Mandarin", lol!!

Muokkaaja: elokuu 10, 2006, 9:43am

Tim Mackintosh-Smith's travel books have slightly different titles here in the States, because Americans are too dumb to know who Ibn Battutah was (Footnotes of -> Footsteps of Islam's Greatest Traveler) and might think Dictionary Land is a real place (-> The Unknown Arabia).

elokuu 8, 2006, 12:40pm

I like Travels with a Tangerine too, and can't wait to read the rest. Probably me favourite is William Dalrymple's From the Holy Mountain, with a simliar kind of theme to Tangerine but this time following a couple of Late Antiquity monks through the vanished world of the Christian Middle East. Great read. Also like A Fez of the Heart by Jeremy Seal and, a bit quirkier, Route 66AD by Tony Perrottet.

elokuu 8, 2006, 1:41pm

I liked Route 66 AD too and I'm reading another excellent "following in the steps of the history of tourism" one at the moment, although it is downstairs and I am upstairs and I forget the title... and author..

elokuu 8, 2006, 2:33pm

Hooray for Patrick Leigh Fermor! Any other fans of 30s writers like Robert Byron and Rebecca West out there? I've been enjoying Jason Elliot recently as one of their inheritors.

elokuu 9, 2006, 4:31pm

The book I was trying to think of was TARAS GRESCOE - The End of Elsewhere: Travels Among the Tourists - ever so good. There's the link come up - wonder who else has it.

I like a nice grumpy travel writer - thinking of Paul Theroux here, too!

27liberryn2 Ensimmäinen viesti
Muokkaaja: elokuu 11, 2006, 11:51pm

I really enjoyed Solomon Time and will definitely pick up Botswana Time. I travelled in Botswana and would love to read about another person's experience there. Thanks

elokuu 12, 2006, 12:08am

I recently finished South from Barbary: Along the Slave Routes of the Libyan Sahara by Justin Marozzi which was a great read of the author's camel trip through the south of Libya. Any Middle East/Arabia travel reader would really enjoy it.

29merganser Ensimmäinen viesti
Muokkaaja: elokuu 14, 2006, 1:15am

Does anyone have any recommendations for travel in Germany, Norway, Denmark and Great Britain?

I'm a fan of Bill Bryson and have read his Notes from a small island and Neither here nor there. I've visited England and Scotland and have read a few travel books about them. I'm visiting all the above countries next year so it would be great to get a few recommendations. I prefer to read up on the places I'm going to visit to try and get a feel for them. I'm currently on a big European history reading kick including Postwar, The Coming of the Third Reich and whatever else I can fit in. Thanks.

elokuu 14, 2006, 3:47am

As far as the UK goes I have Paul Theroux's The Kingdom By The Sea which I think is very good. It gives a good feel for coastal Britain.

I also have Nicholas Crane's Two Degrees West as I mentioned above. Which chronicles his walk along England's prime meridian and the people he meets along the way.

I haven't got any travel lit. for the other countries you mention.

31goygirrl Ensimmäinen viesti
elokuu 18, 2006, 12:16am

I also love reading about the middle east. Two of my faves about Arabia and Iran are Baghdad Without a Map and Not Without my Daughter. Highly recommended!

elokuu 22, 2006, 1:59pm

I just found a great website
It lists books of all types that are about or set in a particular place. It lets you search for a book by title, author, place or genre.

elokuu 22, 2006, 3:10pm

Ooooh brilliant - just what I need when I go on holiday!

syyskuu 23, 2006, 2:01am

Thank God. If this group didn't exist, I would have to start one. I love travel literature, especially if it includes motorcycles. Now if you happen to come across books that include travel, motorcycles and reflections on books. Ladies and gentlemen I have died and went to heaven. I found two!! Riding with Rilke...Ted Bishop and Ghost Rider...Neil Peart. I need another fix...Help Me!!!

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 23, 2006, 9:54pm

Webster - Have you read Kiwis Might Fly by Polly Evans? It's a book about travelling around New Zealand on a motorbike. I don't recall much in the way of reflections on books, but it was an enjoyable book anyway.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 24, 2006, 12:14am

Thanks sqdancer, I'll add it to my list. I'm presently reading Jupiters travels by Ted Simon. I forgot to mention that I have already read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle maintenance.. Robert Pirsig, Chasing Che..Patrick Symmes and Hog Fever by I think it was Richard LaPlante.

syyskuu 24, 2006, 10:00am

Webster I know this isn't a book but have you seen Billy Connolly's World tour of Australia or his World Tour of Ireland, Wales and England?

lokakuu 12, 2006, 12:45am

I just finished Adrift by Steven Callahan which is a true survival story- so I don't know if it falls into the "travel" genre but it is definitely adventure. I like to read true adventure books and they are quick reads because I feel compelled to keep reding til the author is safe again.

39hamsterwheels Ensimmäinen viesti
lokakuu 16, 2006, 10:32pm

Would it not be logical to restrict this category to factual accounts? Including fantasy works such as "The Hobbit" or "The Screwtape Letters" makes for a pretty muddy category. One could, for instance, add "The Divine Comedy", and thousands of other things which are best categorized elsewhere.

Muokkaaja: lokakuu 28, 2006, 11:43pm

For a motorcycle adventure try Investment Biker by Jim Rogers.

Travel lit/essay/narrative is my absolute favorite genre (see my bookshelf). I gravitate towards that area in any bookshop like a homing pigeon!

joulukuu 7, 2006, 9:35pm

Need advice. I have a ten year old who wants to read the Travels of Marco Polo by Marco Polo. Need to know if anyone has read the book and if so how or what might pose an age appropriate problem. I love the fact that he is consuming books at such a rate. I would still like to protect him from some things. Mostly I am cautious about sexually explicit material. Thanks

joulukuu 10, 2006, 11:00am

Thanks for the tip, Sodapop. I just added a mini review of the underrated My 'Dam Life by Australian Sean Condon.

tammikuu 8, 2007, 11:39pm

Any noteworthy reads since New Years?

I saw Jean Cocteau's Round the World Again in 80 Days on the library shelf, which turned out more interesting than I thought it might.
Same for High Times in the Middle of Nowhere - and, no, it's not at all a druggie book.
I'm partway through Another Fool in the Balkans, hoping to finish it on an upcoming trip this weekend.

44kowalsky Ensimmäinen viesti
tammikuu 31, 2007, 3:12pm

I am currently reading 〔From the Holy Mountain〕 by 〔〔William Dalrymple〕〕. Very entertaining indeed. He travels in the footsteps of a Byzantian monk (John Moschos) who travelled around the Mediterranian in the 6th century. Very interesting observations, he talks to normal people and mixes geography, history and conversation.

tammikuu 31, 2007, 3:19pm

I read K2 the savage mountain ... an account of a 1953 American attempt to climb K2, told by members of the climbing part ... pretty good stuff if you like the "man struggling against the elements" kind of stories.

helmikuu 2, 2007, 2:11pm

Kowalsky: If you liked Dalrymple's book, you might also enjoy The riddle and the knight : in search of Sir John Mandeville, the world's greatest traveler by Giles Milton - another historical footsteps journey in the same region.

I'm currently about 1/3 of the way through Cinnamon City by Miranda Innes. I will admit to be mildly disappointed that it's more a memoir of her own specific circumstances, than of Morocco as such. However, she's a great writer with a swell sense of humor.

47patriciab Ensimmäinen viesti
helmikuu 5, 2007, 7:53pm

Hi, my first time in this LibraryThing! Every time I think I have a massive travel book collection, I'm humbled by how much more is out there! I too loved Solomon Time, and wasn't aware of Botswana Time until now...can't wait! Love Tim Cahill, Bill Bryson, Mary Morris, Ayun Halliday, Hampton Sides, the Jennifer Leo-edited collections such as Sand in my Bra, Whose Thong is this? etc. I lean towards the humorous essay collections and the South Sea Islands. Haven't read Kava yet, any opinions on it?

helmikuu 12, 2007, 10:56pm

Picked up a copy of My World of Islands by Leslie Thomas. He profiles a couple dozen from various parts of the globe - some well-known (Nantucket, Corfu, etc.) and some more obscure (Ameland, Lord Howe, Oshima). Worth looking out for at used bookstores - or placing an I.L.L. order from your local library.

49MissUSA Ensimmäinen viesti
helmikuu 14, 2007, 3:08pm

Those who've enjoyed Mary Kingsley's and Bill Bryson's works about Africa, and people interested in human rights, should take a look at Brazza, A Life for Africa by Maria Petringa and African Child by Thomas Kai Toteh.

It's great that Africa is getting more attention in movies and books these days.

50booksferme Ensimmäinen viesti
helmikuu 15, 2007, 12:47am

You might enjoy Whitewaters and Black. It's a kick! Also somewhat amazing.

helmikuu 25, 2007, 5:58pm

Started Hunting pirate heaven : in search of the lost pirate utopias of the Indian Ocean by Kevin Rushby. Itinerary includes Mozambique, Comoros and Madagascar. Should in interesting - certainly different!
Just finished Letters from St Petersburg by Victoria Hammond. Recommended for those with an interest in Russian history and culture.
Halfway through Hillinger's California : stories from all 58 counties by Charles Hillinger (on audio). Great mix of California history and science/nature.

toukokuu 24, 2007, 2:33pm

Bumping this thread to see what other travel readers are up to.

Started Tankful of Time by Michael Fong recently - makes a real change from the usual UK/North American authors. Story of a Singaporean executive who "retired early" to travel the world by motorcyle - the one he had ben using to commute to his office!

Other recent travel reads ...

Slow Coast Home by Josie Dew. Fifth (of current seven) in her cycling-throughout-the world adventures. Here, she circumnavigates England (in four installments). I like her sense of humor; as this was a couple of years after I'd read the previous one, I think I'll go back and re-read the first one The Wind in My Wheels, which I don't recall at all.

I also liked Vroom with a View by Peter Moore - around Italy by Vespa. Bought a previous book of his, The Wrong Way Home, to read later.

kesäkuu 6, 2007, 1:48pm

Has anyone else read Clandestines by Ramor Ryan? That and Red Dust by Ma Jian are near perfect travel books for me. I'm having a hard time finding books that are able to grapple the political/philosophical issues so intrinsic to travel--especially on a personal level. I get bored with authors who go somewhere, stay in a hotel and write whole books simply reciting encyclopedia entries on the area. I'm looking at you Bill Bryson. Yeah, he's funny, but it's all so bourgeois. Where are the disreputable delinquents who get lost and hang out with armed revolutionaries? Live in squats? Go on the lam?

Any suggestions?

kesäkuu 6, 2007, 1:53pm

>53 mdwilliams: said Where are the disreputable delinquents who get lost and hang out with armed revolutionaries? Live in squats? Go on the lam?

How about Holidays in Hell from P.J. O'Rourke?

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 12, 2007, 1:05am

I've only read snippets of P.J. O'Rourke. I can't say why, but he's never had a strong appeal to me. I'll definitely give Holidays In Hell a chance, though. I apreciate the suggestion. Anyone got another?

kesäkuu 13, 2007, 9:11pm

Your quest is a tough one. I'm going to suggest trying out Jeffrey Tayler as an author, esp "Angry Wind: through Black Africa" and "Siberian Dawn: a journey across new Russia".

kesäkuu 14, 2007, 2:59am

I'd never heard of Jeffrey Tayler before, but I just read a couple of reviews on the books you suggested. They look great. I'll be checking them out. Thanks. If you haven't read Ramor Ryan's Clandestines, I enthusiastically recommend it. It can be hard to find, but any shop that carries AK Press books should have it.

kesäkuu 14, 2007, 5:37pm

Another that I just finished that might interest you: Finding George Orwell in Burma by Emma Larkin.

kesäkuu 16, 2007, 1:36pm

Redmond O'Hanlon is certainly never staying in a hotel and is very funny.

kesäkuu 17, 2007, 1:50am

Thanks for mentioning him, Varske. I hope to try one of his books soon, likely the Borneo adventure.

kesäkuu 17, 2007, 9:19pm

A motorcycle book for those with an interest: Lois on the Loose: One Woman, One Motorcycle, 20,000 Miles Across the Americas by Lois Pryce. I'm in my library's hold queue at present.

heinäkuu 2, 2007, 12:32pm

This is definitely a great thread. I just finished Nathan Gray's book First Pass Under Heaven. I found it to be a pretty good introduction to travelling in China, especially on a tight budget. The adventure itself I found to be lacking in maturity, but overall a good read.

heinäkuu 2, 2007, 12:54pm

Syd - I'm one of the other three people here with that book, and the only one who hasn't read it yet. Thanks for your input.

heinäkuu 6, 2007, 11:15am

I'm a newbie joiner from London UK... can I recommend some travel books:

1) George KennanTent Life in Siberia - 1870 and many reprints - hilarious account of futile trip to explore the possibility of laying a cable from the US to Europe via Siberia. Author's goal was to find out how much timber there was available for the telegraph poles. Answer: none. Staple food of the locals: a mixture of blood, tallow, and the half-digested moss from reindeers' stomachs. Mmmm...

2) William BeckfordRecollections of an Excursion to the Monasteries of Alcobaca and Batalha - 1835 and many reprints - see Portugal through the eyes of a very English eccentric, accompanied by the Grand Priors of Aviz & St Vincents and their numerous attendants, muleteers, etc.

3) If you already been everywhere why not read Start Your Own Country by Erwin S Strauss - find an island, proclaim yourself monarch, and start issuing stamps. Contains a full catalogue of all known micro-states, sane and otherwise.

4) Norman Lewis read anything by this author, you won't be disappointed. But Voices of the Old Sea is his masterpiece.

heinäkuu 14, 2007, 1:23am

I just finished Round Ireland with a Fridge by Tony Hawks and it was pretty entertaining. The author hitched the perimeter of Ireland with a small refrigerator because of a bet he'd made. There were enough Bill Bryson-like passages to make me laugh out loud as I sat in the coffee shop reading it.
I also recently read Jaguars Ripped My Flesh by Tim Cahill which includes articles he wrote for Outside magazine. It also had some funny stories.
I have no idea why a touchstone about a sock monkey popped up

heinäkuu 17, 2007, 9:24pm

I posted to Book talk but meant to ask here. Can anyone recommend some good, fast paced adventure/travel/exploration/survival books (no, it doesn't have to be all of these!). Anyplace is fair game, but I'm particularly interested in South America and Africa.

"Jaguars Ripped My Flesh" does have a rather catchy title. I'll check it out.

heinäkuu 17, 2007, 9:44pm

Here's an African one for you that I thought was interesting and well-written: Stalking the Wild Dik-Dik: One Woman's Solo Misadventures Across Africa by Marie Javins.

heinäkuu 17, 2007, 9:58pm

Tim Cahill's Road Fever is definitely a fast paced adventure. He drives from Tierra del Fuego to Prudhoe Bay in 23 days. Along the way there's engine trouble, bandits, bureaucrats and a whole lot of beef jerky.

heinäkuu 17, 2007, 10:11pm

Lost World by Arthur Conan Doyle is an adventure set in South America, though it is also scifi.

heinäkuu 18, 2007, 2:15pm

A Far Place Make that A Far-off Place, but when I use the correct title the touchstone is wrong, by Laurens Van Der Post. Set in Zimbabwe and Namibia.

heinäkuu 18, 2007, 4:52pm

I liked Three Men In A Raft by Ben Kozel for fast-paced, probably-should-have-died adventure travel. Short synopsis: three young friends decide to raft the Amazon from headwaters to ocean. Two of them have never rafted before. They have many close encounters with death in the form of raging whitewater, Sendero Luminoso bullets, and sundry other things.

heinäkuu 20, 2007, 10:56am

Just finished The Wrong Way Home by Peter Moore. I'd read his Vroom with a View recently, which I liked a lot; this one was just as good. Wondder what my library's I.L.L. staff would think of my requesting another book of his: No shitting in the toilet : the travel guide for when you've really lost it?

heinäkuu 22, 2007, 2:29pm

Sandydog1- I would recommend books by Redmond O' Hanlon- In Trouble Again a journey between the Orinoco and and the Amazon and Into the Heart of Borneo. They are both quite funny.
My question- can anyone recommend books on Vietnam? Travel, fiction or non-fiction, memoirs? I already have James Fenton 's All the Wrong Places.

heinäkuu 22, 2007, 2:46pm

Off the top of my head, I can come up with Hitchhiking Vietnam : a woman's solo journey in an elusive land by Karin Muller. Hope that helps!

heinäkuu 22, 2007, 7:49pm

Thanks, Seajack! I'll look for that book.

heinäkuu 22, 2007, 8:50pm

Also re: Vietnam: Catfish and Mandala by Andrew X. Pham.

heinäkuu 22, 2007, 11:35pm

In Last Chance to See, Douglas Adams chronicles his travels to see endagered species in Africa, Australia, and Asia. In addition to the biology, there are lots of fun bits regarding the attendent cities, people, and beaurocracies.

heinäkuu 23, 2007, 5:42pm

Ooo! Last Chance To See is one of my favorite books, by one of my favorite authors. Heartily recommended!

heinäkuu 25, 2007, 8:20pm

I'm a fair ways into Congo Journey by Redmond O'Hanlon. I guess I just don't "get" his sense of humor - the book is okay, but I'm not interested in reading others of his.

syyskuu 3, 2007, 2:12pm

I highly recommend The Art Of Travel by Alain de Botton, a collection of essays to be savored and reflected upon long after the book has been returned to the library.

syyskuu 8, 2007, 1:02pm

Thanks soda pop. Wouldn't you know Road Fever is practically the only travel book I've read. It was excellent.

syyskuu 18, 2007, 4:38am

Read Holidays in Hell years ago and quite liked it but have been turned off by his subsequent books.

I read anything and everythig written by Bill Bryson.

The most recent travel book read was Gullible Travels: the Adventures of a Bad Taste Tourist by Cash Peters. The author appearently had a BBC show. I've search but have found no trace of it, pity.

83blh518 Ensimmäinen viesti
syyskuu 23, 2007, 9:52pm

Another newbie here. I'm still listing my books on the site and haven't really gotten to many of the travel titles.

My mother used to love to read old travel books, and I loaded her down with them on her birthday and Christmas. When she passed on a few years ago, they all came back to me in a very heavy box, so I will have an "antique travel" slant. Although I will pretty much read anything about France and England.

Someone "up there" mentioned Mary Kingsley's Travels in West Africa. Folio is putting it out on their list this year. I ordered it. How could I resist? The Folio Folk mention that with no language skills, no travel background and no particular gift of physical endurance, this Victorian era lady hied herself off to Africa to pick up where her father left off, collecting specimens. It sounds like the kind of travel story I will enjoy.

(I see it is also available on Project Gutenberg, but I like to hold a book in my hands).

helmikuu 22, 2008, 12:04pm

Thanks Seajack, Torontoc et multi al. I've added many of these titles to my huge TBR list. and am really looking forward to getting through a few. This is a great thread.

I've another easy question. I loved Out of the Noosphere. Are there other good compilations of travel essays, out there?

helmikuu 24, 2008, 7:59pm

A fantastic book to read by any adamant travel literature fan if it hasn't been mentioned already is The Travel Book:A journey through every country in the world It literally gives an overview guide to all 200 or so countries, including what else to read before you go!

helmikuu 24, 2008, 9:59pm

>80 tropics: - He did a tv programme on the Art of Travelling recently seen here in Australia. its really quite good and I think I will now go and read the book. Love some his other stuff as well.

>85 lawrose: This looks like an interesting book especially with the recommendations of what to read before you go.....

toukokuu 14, 2008, 1:49pm

For those interested in Africa, these 2 books are very interesting and informative reads...

Shadow of the Sun: My African Life by Ryszard Kapuscinski From my mini-review posted in another forum:

- a simply beautiful book. A travel memoir of this multi-awarded Polish journalist and war correspondent of the years he spent in the African continent from the decolonisation years of the late 1950s to the 1990s. Perhaps the fact that his own "impoverished" Polish news service couldn't give him the logistical support his BBC and other colleagues had, was actually more a boon than a bane, for he was at most times, forced to travel in the margins --- and that was the way he wanted it to be, among the people and getting the news and feel of the place as raw as possible. He writes of the "indefinable" continent, tries to get inside the skin of the peoples, the tribes he meets by understanding their belief systems, their wishes, their world-view, if there are any, as a great majority live only for the next meal which can be wrested from nobody knows where. He writes of the warring tribes, the genocides in Rwanda before the big one in the 1990s (i never knew this detail before --- these things were never documented as he himself mentions), the background of the unending conflict in Sudan, Chad. This book was published in 10 years ago but he might as well have been describing such places just yesterday. Can't recommend the book highly enough.

I'm halfway through The Scramble for Africa by Thomas Pakenham, a comprehensive narrative (of 700+pages) of Europe's conquest of Africa in the late 1900s in the name of the 3 Cs - Christianity, Commerce, and Civilization.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 8, 2008, 3:32am

You can find the New Yorker article about Leigh Fermor here:

Very interesting! chiara

kesäkuu 16, 2008, 12:33pm

I love buying books by local authors when I travel but they are not always travel books per se.

I have just recently finished reading Living in a Foreign Language by Michael Tucker about an American moving to Italy...if you enjoy reading Peter Mayle then you will probably enjoy this book.

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 20, 2008, 3:23am

Last year we spent 9 months traveling from Baja California to Alaska and did some topical reading while on the road. Now we live in Bishop, California, and I'm still reading outdoor adventure books when I have time (I'm in school, so read other books now)

Last year I read Green Alaska - Dreams from the Far Coast by Nancy Lord, Two in the Far North, by Margaret Murie, The Forgotten Peninsula by Joseph Wood Krutch, Night of the Grizzlies, and I started Rising from the Plains by John McPhee, oh, gosh... I'm pretty sure there are more... oh, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer (before it was a movie - before I knew it was going to be in a movie - I guess we were in Alaska right before it came out), and my local outdoor reading was The Last Season by Eric Blehm.

I really liked Green Alaska especially - it parallels her personal stories of life in Alaska on a Salmon Tender with the Harriman expedition to Alaska which had John Muir and John Burroughs on it ("the Two Johnnies") among other luminaries of the day!

Oh, and these are not exactly literature, but fun reads relating to Alaska and the Yukon: Tisha (really quite wonderful), Murder on the Yukon Quest, Murder on the Iditarod Trail, and A Cold Day for Murder. Oh yeah, and let's not forget Robert Service poems!

I forgot Two Old Women which is a traditional Athabascan tale - short and sweet, and set in the Arctic where we were.

My husband read Log from the Sea of Cortez, The Lost Grizzlies, Call of the Wild and Tisha and Into the Wild. We tried to read books relating to where we were at the time.

Lots of wonderful books to read and places to explore out there!!

kesäkuu 20, 2008, 9:56am

#90 - I was in the Anchorage/Kenai Peninsula area for a week a few years ago when I read Two Old Women and Bird Girl, both by Velma Wallis. I was there in June and the days were so long it was amazing.

Sounds like you had an amazing trip!

Sorry, having touchstone problems with Bird Girl.

kesäkuu 20, 2008, 4:16pm

Yes - it was amazing! I have a list of other Alaska and western North America travel related books I'd like to read still.

An early book I read years ago when they were working on the Haul Road (now the Dalton Highway) up to Deadhorse/Prudhoe Bay was Going to Extremes by Joe McGinnis - I think that may have been when I first wanted to see the Brooks Range. Now I can't wait to get back up there!

Oh, and I forgot about Stickeen, by John Muir and also his Travels in Alaska!

A classic on Alaska that I've never read, though I love John McPhee, is Coming into the Country.

Some Alaska books on my wishlist are Shadows on the Koyukuk and On the Edge of Nowhere, stories written by Alaska Native brothers. One of our favorite places was Wiseman, a tiny old gold mining "town" at the feet of the Brooks Range along the Koyukuk River. In my Margaret Murie book, Two in the Far North, they took a steam ship up the Koyukuk to Wiseman - that was how you got there before bush planes before roads. The family we stayed with lived there before the road was open.

Two recent books recommended to me that are completely different from each other are In a Far Country: The True Story of a Mission, a Marriage, a Murder, and the Remarkable Reindeer Rescue of 1898 which is non-fiction (obviously) and sounds fantastic, and the Yiddish Policeman's Union, which sounds like rollicking fun fiction and takes place in Sitka, in Southeast Alaska.

Geez... maybe I should check to see if there is an Alaska travel group? I just love thinking about these places and reading more and planning my next trip! Of course, I want to go everywhere else, too... sigh. It's a big world.

Oh, a non-Alaska-related book with travel in it that I'm surprised no one has mentioned is Eat, Pray, Love. Like all travel-related books, it only reinforced my already present desire to go to the places described (Three I's: Italy, India, and Indonesia).

Muokkaaja: kesäkuu 20, 2008, 4:32pm

persky and mdwilliams:

I've just found out about Last Chance to See and can't wait to read it. I love Douglas Adams - now Hitch-hiker's Guide to the Galaxy - there's a travel book for you!! :)

I should have written about my hitch-hiking experiences back when I could still remember them... speaking of hitch-hiking. Though not the kind where you need to remember your towel. I spent 3 months hitchhiking all over the US and Canada one summer with my best friend - it was a trip! (he he, yeah, pun intended)

There seems to be problems with the touchstone list - the books show up as touchstones in my post, and look linked in others' posts, but aren't showing up (for me) in the touchstone column. In fact, almost all the previous touchstones before my first entry are not showing up for me. I didn't do it, I swear! ha. I wonder if something happened during some upgrade of the site to the links? They all just go to a blank page now and the links are "work/" and not "work/65473" for example. It will make it harder to find all the great books listed here if I can't just click, but it seems like it will be worth the effort - great list!!

heinäkuu 4, 2008, 12:10pm

Travel lit/essay/narrative is my fave genre - here are some of my top reads this year:

Traversa by Fran Sandham jumps to the top of the list, esp for Africa enthusiasts.

On the Narrow Road by Lesley Downer finds the author trekking through Japan in the footsteps of the poet Basho.

Bonjour Blanc by Ian Thomson I can enthusiastically recommend as a thorough portrait of Haiti.

I recently finished Travels with a Tangerine by Tim MacKintosh-Smith, after enjoying his book on Yemen a few years ago. Really glad this one has a sequel to look forward to: The Hall of a Thousand Columns.

elokuu 16, 2008, 8:12am

Seems like a lot of interest in Middle East and North Africa travelogues. I'd like to shamelessly offer up Live from Jordan: Letters Home from my Journey Through the Middle East, my story about living the American-Arab relationship 24 hours a day for a year after 9/11 and during the start of the war with Iraq. It came out last year.

Non-Middle East, A Fortune Teller Told Me, about traveling slowly through SE Asia is my favorite.


Benjamin Orbach
author of Live from Jordan

lokakuu 17, 2008, 9:18pm

i once read a book whos title and author i cannot remember. it was like william shanoe or shenoux or something like that. it was a book of short stories about the authors travels all over the world and he included a different insight or statistic following each short, reguarding what he learned or gained from each experience. one of the greatest books ever! and i cant remember who its by or what its called!! terrible i know.. any help would be greatly appreciated
Muokkaaja: elokuu 31, 2012, 6:42am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

huhtikuu 24, 2009, 1:55pm


...and thanks for the suggestions, I've added Pico Iyer to my list of authors to check out.

huhtikuu 25, 2009, 7:26pm

Welcome, bookish - travel narrative is probably my favorite genre!
Muokkaaja: elokuu 31, 2012, 6:42am

Viestin kirjoittaja on poistanut viestin.

marraskuu 2, 2009, 6:19am

Useat käyttäjät ovat merkinneet tämän viestin asiattomaksi eikä sitä enää näytetä. (näytä)
This Christmas read Vox Humana Books will be releasing Carolyn A. Thériault's new and
exciting travel memoir: "Stealing Fatima’s Hand – A Moroccan Sojourn"

Release Date: Stealing Fatima’s Hand
ISBN: 978-965-7504-00-0 338 pages
For review copies, please contact: Philip Hyams: publisher@voxhumana-

In addition to being an invaluable travel resource - Stealing Fatima’s
Hand is an unforgettable collection of interconnected narratives
presenting an alternative view of Morocco – a country not of
labyrinthine alleys, Kasbahs, and smoky tea rooms – but a more madcap
Morocco, one left to be discovered after all the coach tours depart.

Unconventional and candid – Stealing Fatima’s Hand stands out as an
irreverent black sheep in the literary travel genre, succeeding in
undoing for Morocco everything that Peter Mayle has done for Provence.
The book spans two years of Carolyn’s experiences in Rabat, where with
humor and honesty she struggles with Moroccan bureaucracy, sexual
harassment, the threat of terrorism, devious students, randy co-
teachers, and the temptation of having French pastries washed down
with gin and tonics for every meal. All this in a country, where apart
from her, the only vegetarians are the sheep and the goats.

toukokuu 23, 2010, 8:20pm

Recently finished Rascal Rain by Inez Baranay - memoir of her year in Papua New Guinea as an Australian volunteer, focusing on womens' issues. Sexism, violence, and treachery abound, making PNG one of the last places I'd think about visiting!

elokuu 23, 2010, 12:04pm

I'm so glad that I found my way here! travel, especially vintage travel and exploration is one of my favorite genres.

Somehow, I long for the days when the world was so large, and there were still so many cultures and land to be explored. I suspect that in this group, I'm not alone in this.

One of my recent favorites is the 8:55 to Baghdad. The author, Andrew Eames, followed Agatha Chirstie's trail from England to Baghdad. he kept to her route in the late 1920's as closely as possible, and also went by the same exact train if possible. It was really a terrific read. he's an excellent author who writes vividly. It was an especially fun read, because I also happen to be a fan of Agatha Christie...and of cozy msyteries. I tihnk any travel writing buff would enjoy it, though. he made the trip in 2002 - just when the Iraq War was gearing up.

syyskuu 6, 2010, 10:50pm

Since I liked Vitali Vatiliev's Borders Up!: Eastern Europe Through the Bottom of a Glass, I thought I'd try his most recent book: Passport to Enclavia, featuring European enclaves. Not exactly meeting expectations so far.

lokakuu 15, 2010, 8:41am

I am just starting Skeletons on the Zahara by Dean King about a ship's crew shipwrecked off the coast of western Africa in 1815.

lokakuu 25, 2010, 10:53am

I just finished reading The River of Doubt by Candice Millard, which was about Theodore Roosevelt's exploration of an uncharted river deep in the Amazon.

It was one of the best books I've read on South American exploration. It was very well written. The story was thrilling and adventurous, and Millard did not detract or enhance the tale. It was exactly sensationalism, and yet, not dull.

lokakuu 26, 2010, 4:59am

Hello bookwoman! I wonder, which is the river referred to in the title and where does the account take place? Thank you!

marraskuu 24, 2010, 4:22pm

I'm about halfway through Empires of the Indus: From Tibet to Pakistan - the story of a river by Alice Albinia -- terrific find, and highly recommended!

tammikuu 16, 2011, 11:25am

> 107: I'm so sorry I missed seeing your question for so very long! Like I said, it was a tributary of the Amazon. I'm afraid I can't remember after this long the actual name given to it, but there was a bit of discussion about naming it after Roosevelt, I think. Whether or not it was actually named after him, or if the name has been changed, I can't recall.

tammikuu 16, 2011, 11:32am

Right now I'm reading Sisters of the Sinai by Janet Soskice. I'm really enjoying this account of twin sisters from Victorian Scotland, who inherited a fortune, using the money for travle throughout the Egypt, the lands of the Bible, the Balkans, and Europe, including the expedition on which they discovered an ancient Biblical manuscript.

helmikuu 10, 2011, 6:40pm

I'm nearly finished with Just As Well I'm Leaving: To the Orient with Hans Christian Andersen -- I wasn't as taken with the background on the writer himself in the first part of the book, but the (historical footsteps) travel narrative aspect itself is pretty funny.

Muokkaaja: syyskuu 30, 2011, 11:16am

Forgive me if a duplicate from the 111 above. Preparing for a trip to Borneo and glancing over the shelves in the library where I work I spied a copy of Eric Hansen's Stranger in the Forest. Figuring it was another 'guy' book I took it home to have a glance anyway and was riveted by the story of Eric's walk (I use the term loosely) across Borneo through the forest with tribal guides helping him along the way. Fascinating.

joulukuu 8, 2011, 10:29am

Nothing better in the grip of winter than reading a good travel book and dreaming of other lands, particularly warmer ones.


Muokkaaja: maaliskuu 7, 2017, 9:00am

Useat käyttäjät ovat merkinneet tämän viestin asiattomaksi eikä sitä enää näytetä. (näytä)
Some time ago I translated some travelogues on Burma from the colonial period but with a non-British viewpoint--a necessary balancing I believe. Some insights in the ethnic melting pot, now boiling, of that country can be gained. They are published by White Lotus in Thailand,

maaliskuu 7, 2017, 9:50am

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