Travel Literature Makes My Heart Beat Faster.. discussion

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Best piece of travel literature?

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message 1: by K (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:58PM) (new)

K | 6 comments Mod
What piece of travel literature have you enjoyed most? Personally, I am a huge fan of 'The Caliph's House.'


message 2: by Jim (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:42PM) (new)

Jim | 32 comments just finished City of Falling Angels by Berendt who wrote Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil - this book is about Venice and is very entertaining. Good orientation to Venice geography,neighborhoods and the people as well as events throughout the year- if you've never been,plan on going or been there, it's a fun read for all.


message 3: by Tigg (new)

Tigg | 1 comments Take me With You by Brad Newsham.
This taxi cab driver had a vision to travel to 5 different (third world)countries and select one person and give them the opportunity to visit America. But who does he chose, if indeed he chooses? Would it create more problems for that person and not be the cool gift he intends? This is the key thought that haunts bim on his journey. Just a fabulous book and a wonderful man!!!


message 4: by Patsy (new)

Patsy (patsyjean) | 2 comments Kite Strings of the Southern Cross: A Woman's Travel Odyssey by Lauri Gough. Loved the book,,I just want to read this one again and again. I want to memorize all of the purely poetic descriptions of scenery and impressions. Just fascinating.


message 5: by Patsy (new)

Patsy (patsyjean) | 2 comments I also loved reading Cold Beer and Crocodiles: A Bicycle Journey into Australia by Roff Smith.
His writing takes you along, but I wouldn't have wanted to have been there with him! The author does an exceptional job writing up the landscapes, his experiences and thoughts. I was captive. I didn't want this book to end.
As other reviewers have stated, the only flaw is that we would have wanted more detail, more information. If ever there is a second edition, I will be among the first to buy the book. I would love to take the trip again, looking for more details in every encounter and circumstance. I highly recommend reading about this painful, enjoyable, amazing journey.




message 6: by jennifer (new)

jennifer (mascarawand) Sixpence House by Paul Collins. Collins moved his family from San Francisco to little Hay-On-Wye, Wales, the second-hand book capitol of Great Britain. The book is hilarious, as the town is fairly loaded with eccentrics.


message 7: by Tracy (last edited Oct 08, 2008 09:35AM) (new)

Tracy | 2 comments Mark Twain's travel writing, especially his letters/dispatches sent from Hawaii during his four months in the islands.

Mark Twain's Hawaiian material was published in "Roughing it" and has also been nicely collected in "Mark Twain in Hawaii."



http://travel2.nytimes.com/2006/05/14...


message 8: by Benjamin (new)

Benjamin | 3 comments I think that some of you might appreciate the recent experience I had watching history. I saw Paul McCartney in concert in Tel Aviv a few weeks ago, and it was nothing short of remarkable. The night has stuck with me not just for the good music but for the feeling of being part of two moments, the concert itself, but also the Beatles. I've found that seeking those traveler moments are what I hope for when I set out on a trip. In this case, it happened at a concert, rather than on a crowded train or in a far-flung village. I wrote about it on my blog (www.benjaminorbach.blogspot.com), where you can see video of the show, but also pasted the text below.

Best,
Ben

Benjamin Orbach
author of Live from Jordan
www.benjaminorbach.com

Beatlemania in Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv – A little more than a week later and the Beatle’s invasion can still be felt on Shankin Street, Ibn Gvirol, and along the Ayalon Freeway. From the windows of passing cars and descending from the second and third stories of downtown apartments come the sounds of All You Need is Love and Let it Be.

Last Thursday night, somewhere between 40,000 and 50,000 people converged on Park HaYarkon in the heart of Tel Aviv to hear Sir Paul McCartney in concert. In the days leading up to the concert, the local papers covered the legend’s comings and goings. He visited the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem, his entourage spent about $110,000 on hotel rooms, and streets were closing to prepare for the thousands of pedestrians trying to make up for lost time.

In 1965, the Israeli government banned the Beatles from performing in Israel, fearing they would corrupt the morals of the country’s youth. Earlier this year, the “ban” was formally lifted and an apology was issued to McCartney, Ringo, and the families of John Lennon and George Harrison. Forty-three years later, it was Islamic militants who tried to keep McCartney away. A radical preaching from Lebanon threatened McCartney’s life for performing in Israel. To the joy of Israelis, Sir Paul paid the threats no mind.

VIP seats in the open air HaYarkon Park went for about $1500 and the cheapest seats – on the lawn, where I swayed with thousands of others – were about $150 a pop. My wife bought the tickets and I only found out how much they cost the day of the concert. Had I known the bill, I probably would have missed something rare and beautiful. With the U.S. economy melting down and people losing their homes, it is hard to write these words, but Paul McCartney live was worth at least a few nights of pasta at home and the sandwiches I’ll be eating for lunch for a while.

At about half past 8 last Thursday night, he burst on to the stage and sang Hello, Goodbye. Under two towering video screens that projected his image into the night, with a slideshow backdrop of flashing oranges and yellows, he belted out the lyrics and the crowd loved him for it.

Maybe he starts every show that way – I don’t know – but I suddenly realized that I was at a Beatles concert. True, it was just a single Beatle with one of the greatest cover bands ever (honestly, I’m not even sure if they have a name), but it occurred to me that I was watching history. Those clips I’d seen over the years, of the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show, being chased around the world by hordes of screaming women, and performing against seemingly every possible backdrop, and here they were, right in front of me!

Okay, okay, it was just one Beatle, but I found it overwhelming to think about the people he’d met over the last forty some years, the places he’d been, and the things he saw. In 1965, when he and the others never made their trip here, Israel was a farm-in-the-desert country, its existence threatened by its neighbors. The civil rights movement was ascendant in the U.S. as we sunk into Vietnam. And Paul McCartney was a 23 year-old kid with the world in the palm of his hand.

So much is different, some is very much the same; unquestionably, Paul McCartney held the crowd in the palm of his hand. He started speaking in Hebrew, thanking us and wishing all a happy Jewish new year. Later in the show, in Hebrew, he dedicated songs to his late wife Linda, George Harrison, and John Lennon. As A Day in the Life, the tribute to John Lennon, wound down, McCartney broke into a chorus of All We are Saying is Give Peace a Chance. The crowd erupted, hands in the air, we chanted along not wanting the night or the moment to end.

He thrilled the crowd with “Ahlan, Jude.” Like a pinball bouncing around, McCartney switched instruments between guitars, the piano, and a little mandolin. When he played Live and Let Die the concert was transformed into a pyrotechnic bonanza with fireworks blasting into the sky. My favorite part of the two and a half hour show was when he sent the band offstage and crooned Blackbird. The crowd sang along softly, waiving their cellphones in the air. No longer a farm-in-the-desert country, Israel is a high tech capital and people are just as likely to have a blackberry as they are a lighter, at least with this cost of admission.

On a Thursday night in Tel Aviv, with boundless energy, eyebrows reaching upwards, and his face fixed in a smile, Paul McCartney took 40-some thousand Israelis and assorted expats to another place and another time. And at the end of the show, after a couple of encores, he wished us a Shana Tova and Ramadan Karim, and sent us off humming into the night, a part of history.


message 9: by Andrew (new)

Andrew Hecht (-Andrew-) | 3 comments There's list:

http://www.goodreads.com/list/show/88...

you should weigh in.


message 10: by Kathryn (new)

Kathryn | 10 comments Our Hearts Were Young And Gay: An Unforgettable Comic Chronicle of Innocents Abroad in the 1920s
Charming tale of two friends who take a summer trip to Europe in the 1920s--filled with humor, history and ambiance!




message 11: by K (new)

K | 6 comments Mod
Sounds wonderful! I am reading 'Geography of Bliss' at the moment and quite enjoying it.


message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Geography of Bliss is an excellent book.

I can't remember the title right now, but I read an interesting book in the summer about two friends who competed on who could go around the world the fastest - one went east from LA, the other went west.

John, thanks for mentioning Round Ireland with a Fridge. I just posted a new discussion asking about travel literature on Ireland, then came to this discussion and found your recommendation -- I'm going to pick it up today!


message 13: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 127 comments I agree with earlier posts, that "The Caliph's House" and all of Mark Twain's are fantastic. I'd add "The Zanzibar Chest" by Aidan Hartley, although it might actually be considered memoir rather than travel. I don't think the division's always clear.


message 14: by Anna (new)

Anna (lilfox) Jadąc do Babadag - book aboutr traveling to countries like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Moldovia, which the people from western countries and USA think about as a very poor and out-of-date. Things you don't see in travel guide.


message 15: by GG (new)

GG (gghusaksbcglobalnet) | 13 comments I still think my favorite is "The Art of Travel" by Alain de Botton...He is a great writer with lots of philosophical insights about the experience of traveling.
And even though it's fiction, "Stopover in Venice" also captures the flavor of the walkways and canals and old houses. I enjoyed it as well.


GG Husak
author of Passeggiata: Strolling through Italy
www.passeggiataitalia.com


message 16: by Erin (last edited Jun 03, 2009 12:28PM) (new)

Erin (ErinLF) | 4 comments Some of my favorites:

"Paris to the Moon" by Adam Gopnik
"In a Sunburned Country" by Bill Bryson (and all Bryson books, actually)
"Dark Star Safari: Overland from Cairo to Capetown" by Paul Theroux
"Jaywalking with the Irish" by David Monagan

Also, I thought "Do Travel Writers Go to Hell?" by Thomas Kohnstamm and "Smile When You're Lying" by by Chuck Thompson were very interesting books about being a professional travel writer.


message 17: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 127 comments I really liked "Dark Star Safari." Another African travel book I recently read that is also good, although less bitingly sarcastic, is Dervla Murphy's "Cameroon with Egebert."


message 18: by Jim (new)

Jim | 32 comments what's Jaywalking with the Irish about?


message 19: by Erin (new)

Erin (ErinLF) | 4 comments It's about an American man who moves to Cork with his family. It's a very interesting look at living as an expatriate in Ireland, especially because the main character is of Irish descent and had sort of romanticized what the experience would be like. I thought it was an insightful look at the pleasures and difficulties of living overseas and a good peek into the Irish mindset. One of the better books about travel/life in Ireland that I've read, because the protagonist isn't just passing through, he really gets to know some of the locations and Irish locals.


message 20: by Anna (new)

Anna (bookluvr_13) | 1 comments I just finished 2008's The Best American Travel Literature, with an introduction by Anthony Bourdain. While I don't usually like anthologies, I really enjoyed this one. Because each essay featured a different destination, I felt as though I was traveling with the book. It was great.

I am currently listening to Mark Twain's "Following the Equator" on audiobook. I am thoroughly enjoying it and it is a great audiobook. I found it at www.booksonboard. If you want to check it out, here is the link, http://www.booksonboard.com/index.php...


message 21: by Jim (new)

Jim | 32 comments Andrea wrote: "I really liked "Dark Star Safari." Another African travel book I recently read that is also good, although less bitingly sarcastic, is Dervla Murphy's "Cameroon with Egebert.""


I really liked Dark Star Safari as well
not often get a person who has been in a place in the past and then revisits like Theroux does here



message 22: by Joel (new)

Joel | 1 comments If you are looking for African adventure I'd like to nominate an oldie - "Kayaks Down the Nile" by John Goddard. (Not quite as ancient a tome as "Following the Equator")However, this book definitely lands in the camp of travel adventure rather than Theroux-style lit-nonfic with anthropological leanings. Kayaks is more about the kayak journey and fighting off hungry hungry hippos.



message 23: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 127 comments Joel wrote: "If you are looking for African adventure I'd like to nominate an oldie - "Kayaks Down the Nile" by John Goddard. (Not quite as ancient a tome as "Following the Equator")However, this book definitel..."

Joel, I loved this book! I'm pleased to hear someone else is a fan.


message 24: by Andrea (new)

Andrea | 127 comments Alex wrote: "I just finished 2008's The Best American Travel Literature, with an introduction by Anthony Bourdain. While I don't usually like anthologies, I really enjoyed this one. Because each essay featured ..."
This is also a favorite of mine. I think a lot of Twain's observations on tourism etc. are still current.



message 25: by Erin (new)

Erin (ErinLF) | 4 comments Has anyone else read "Travel As A Political Act" by Rick Steves? I'm almost finished with it and think it's pretty brilliant. It's so thought provoking and compelling.


message 26: by Laurie (new)

Laurie (pinkalpaca) | 9 comments Erin wrote: "Has anyone else read "Travel As A Political Act" by Rick Steves? I'm almost finished with it and think it's pretty brilliant. It's so thought provoking and compelling. "

Haven't read it yet, but was so excited when I first heard about it. I'm a fan of his from way back and I've loved that he has started branching out with different countries on his show for the past few years.

I'm so glad to hear that you're enjoying it. "Political act" isn't what one first thinks of in regards to travel and I'm sure his views will help some people to think in a broader perspective.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Erin wrote: "Has anyone else read "Travel As A Political Act" by Rick Steves? I'm almost finished with it and think it's pretty brilliant. It's so thought provoking and compelling. "

I have it on my to-read shelf -- it sounds like I may have to move it up in the rotation.




message 28: by Mindie (new)

Mindie Burgoyne (mindieburgoyne) | 2 comments I started to read it - and I love Rick Steves. I love his knowledge of history and his ability to target the less known places in a city - particularly European cities. But I get annoyed when he begins political commentary, which he has been doing in his later PBS shows... he'll get something in about how the Europeans do it better than America - like health care, criminal justice, etc. That's fine for those that want to hear it, but I want say, "stick with the travel details, Rick and save the political stuff for another platform."

However, I totally respect that you are enjoying the book, Suzanne and appreciate your comments. Hope you're not offended by my disagreement.

Mindie Burgoyne


message 29: by Erin (new)

Erin (ErinLF) | 4 comments Well, but that's the entire point of this book.... that by traveling you learn about other places and people. We then bring that knowledge home and could use it to better our own lives and our own country. While Rick Steves is certainly a fan of some aspects of European life he's quick to say they don't have everything right and there's a lot we can all learn from each other.

In this book, Steves travels not only to Europe, but to places like Iran, Morocco and El Salvador and talks about what he takes home from places vastly different than the USA. To me, this kind of conversation about what we learn during our travels is really important.


message 30: by Jim (new)

Jim O'Donnell | 41 comments Hey all! I'm just fresh to this group. I'm the author of a new piece of travel lit I hope a number of you will be interested in.

The book is NOTES FOR THE AURORA SOCIETY. It tells the story of my 1500 mile walk across Finland. It's here: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/61...

Thanks!

Jim


message 31: by Penelope (new)

Penelope (PARiley) | 7 comments I too write about travel but it is about my travels through out the world. Very light about the things that happen that are not funny until time passes and you look at them in another perspective. It is for the armchair traveler, full of short stories of culture shock, bathroom oddities, RV-ing full-time, cruising. It is a book you easily pick up and put down. You can get a view of it on Amazon.com or at http:/www.travelabsurdities.com

Jim, yours sounds interesting, will have to take a look.

author of : Travel Absurdities


message 32: by Jim (new)

Jim | 32 comments I like it when an author branches out with opinions about the places they visit and am looking forward to the Steves book



message 33: by Penelope (new)

Penelope (PARiley) | 7 comments I was in Harlem, The Netherlands once and had picked this little hotel before leaving home and when I arrived Steves was staying there too!


message 34: by John (new)

John | 173 comments Jim wrote: I really liked Dark Star Safari as well
not often get a person who has been in a place in the past and then revisits like Theroux does here


I'm most of the way through Ghost Train to the Eastern Star, in which Theroux follows the route of his 33-years-earlier Great Railway Bazaar as closely as possible. I didn't care for Dark Star Safari, finding him a bit too cranky and self-impressed, but this one is much better!


message 35: by John (new)

John | 173 comments Kate wrote: "Sounds wonderful! I am reading 'Geography of Bliss' at the moment and quite enjoying it."

I listened to the audio, and liked it (though found the first couple of entries a bit slow). Another person said they'd given up on the print version; I suggested she try the audio to get his humor, and she wrote thanking me, saying it was true.


message 36: by Jim (new)

Jim | 32 comments the Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner is a really fun and interesting book aboout HAPPINESS, the studies about the same and different places around the world


message 37: by Kay (last edited Aug 27, 2010 08:58AM) (new)

Kay (kaynix) | 1 comments Anna wrote: "Jadąc do Babadag - book aboutr traveling to countries like Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Slovenia, Albania, Moldovia, which the people from western countries and USA think abou..."

i would also recommend Voyage en Roumanie & Travel: Where to Go When


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