travel

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The Best American Travel Writing, 2014 edited by Paul Theroux

Need a break but don’t have the time or the money to get away? This is the perfect escape for you - two dozen tales that span the globe. Arranged alphabetically by author’s last name, I thought at first that this would be a very strange way to organize things, but it ended up working fabulously well. There was one piece that didn’t work very well for me, but it was short, and followed by a piece that completely redeemed the volume.

Last Train to Zona Verde by Paul Theroux

Few can grumble their way on a journey through the dark heart of a continent with such captivating personal  insight and descriptive power as the well-travelled and celebrated Theroux. At 70 this is his “valedictory [African] trip” from Cape Town north through Namibia and Botswana and finally to the “zone of irrationality” that is Luanda, Angola.

Getting Stoned With Savages: A Trip Through the Islands of Fiji and Vanuatu by J. Maarten Troost

Troost has a good job in Washington D.C. One that might even lead to a career. But he’s bored and feels trapped. So he and his wife pack their bags and return to the South Pacific (he’s chronicled an earlier stay on Kiribati in the equally hilarious Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific).

Travels With Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life by Daniel M. Klein

With a suitcase full of philosophy books Klein returns to the Greek island of Hydra to discover the secrets of aging graciously and gracefully. While the ancient philosopher Epicurus is Klein’s most important guide, the author seeks wisdom in a variety of texts. Looking back over a life in the fast lane he contemplates the uncommonly content lives of the old men of Hydra. Men with deep roots in the island’s culture and deeper friendships. A lovely, thin volume filled with pithy and gently provocative observations on a topic of interest to us all.

Travels in Siberia by Ian Frazier

Have you ever been to nowhere?  Frazier has.  Travels in Siberia chronicles his several journeys to Siberia since the collapse of the Soviet Union.  Frazier provides us with both an enjoyable travelogue of his adventures across the bleak and barren tundra, and with more historical snippets about the role Siberia has played in the history of Russia.  Some of Frazier’s stories have you laughing out loud, while many others leave you scratching your head at the unbelievable, but true accounts of Siberia. 

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© 2011 Thomas Crane Public Library

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