The Best American Travel Writing 2011 (Best American Travel Writing)
Professional adventurer and National Book Award winner William Vollmann delivers an eclectic batch of the year’s most exhilarating travel writing that willinspire the armchair traveler’s wanderlust....more
My Monet Moment - awesome
Southern Culture on the Skids - oddly entertaining for being about NASCAR
Venance Lafrance Is Not Dead - completely hilarious and sarcastic, wanted to be Mischa's bestie...then became very sad. Awesome essay
A Girls Guide to Saudi Arabia - really interesting
The Last Stand of Freetown - I had no idea that such a cool social experiment/micro-nation was allowed to occur in Copenhagen. It's become its own study in humanity. (A "sovereign" town within the limits...more
Few of these stories accomplished both, and some -- "A Head for the Emir" and "Stuck" -- made me never want to visit those places (roadside bombs and eternal traffic, anyone?) "A Girls' Guide to Saudi Arabia" was my least favorite, and seem...more
The stories of note include My Monet Moment in which the author visits a village in Italy and is continually disappointed by not finding locals familiar with what he hopes to see. The story does have a happy ending showing that perhaps beauty found is more special than beauty sought.
Some essays are what you expect from a sprawling journalistic narrative from the New Yorker, Harper's, or Atlantic Monthly and are more about politics, place, or economies of scale as related to place than about actual travel.
The first piece...more
My favorite "My Monet Moment" -- was the first one in the book, and as far as I'm concerned you can stop after that. It was a delightful story of how the writer sought out and serendipitously found...more
Fun stuff by tea obreht looking for vampires in Serbia, Justin nobel looking for authenticity in nunavik, annie proulx looking for cougars in Wyoming, gary shteyngart looking nightlife in...more
Mischa Berlinski, "Venance Lafrance Is Not Dead" (Haiti)
Maureen Dowd, "A Girls' Guide to Saudi Arabia" (Saudi Arabia)
Porter Fox, "The Last Stand of Free Town" (Copenhagen)
Tom Ireland, "Famous" (India)
Jessica McCaughey, "Aligning the Internal Compass" (not really about travel, but more about navigating and orienting oneself)
Tea Obreht, "Twilight of the Vampires" (Serbia)
All of the stories I made it to were terrific.
Then it was a month late getting back to the library, and... well... I thought books about giving up addictions and finding a new job were more important than pretending I was still in Hawaii.