The Traveler's Travel Writing Picks for 2006
Do you love to fly the airlines as much as we do here at The Traveler? Do you look forward to walking in stocking feet, carrying the contents of your pockets, your shoes, and the one carry-on bag (sans liquid) to the little chair just beyond security so that you can reassemble yourself and then wait for your flight in anticipation of even more comfort? The Traveler himself is nearly six feet four inches tall, and he tells us how giddy he gets just waiting to board a plane to find his seat made especially for people like him - if only he was six inches shorter.
But as travelers we must endure, and one way to do that is to have available some light and humorous reading to help take our minds off the rigors of flying in these days of tightened security and airlines bleeding cash and cutting service.
Elliott Hester knows all too well what can happen in the cabin of an airliner, and he relates his experiences with this amusing and light read. The perfect companion while waiting for your flight to Grandma's house this holiday season. Plane Insanity: A Flight Attendant's Tales of Sex, Rage, and Queasiness at 30,000 Feet
- After spending five months in Hawaii, Jack London and his wife Charmian set out in the autumn of 1907 aboard the Snark for an eighteen month adventure into the South Seas, journeying to the Polynesian and Micronesian Islands. Drawn largely from his cultural experiences in the Pacific, this is a dark collection of London's tales about the South Sea. Originally published in 1911, the collection includes "Mauki" and "The Terrible Solomans." South Sea Tales (Modern Library Classics)
- It seems as if nobody here at The Traveler's offices took it upon themselves to review a new travel writing book for August. We've been hard at work keeping abreast of the latest travel resources, researching new adventures, reviewing articles from our team of travel writers, but no new travel book reviews came across the editor's desk.
Truth be told, we may have done it on purpose. It's times like these that we bring out some of our favorites from the past, and there's none better than our hero - Mr. Mark Twain. We've been feeling like we could use a good dose of Twain lately.
In Letters from Hawaii we get Twain's impressions of the Sandwich Islands, later to become the Hawaiian Islands, through his regular dispatches for the Sacramento Union in 1866.
Twain observed the world in which he lived, but he is timeless in the way he can bring to bear a sense of place, filtered through his own sardonic wit and ironic twist of phrase. We think this should be required reading for all visitors to Hawaii - or anyone else interested in reading a great American writer, traveler, and philosopher. Mark Twain's Letters from Hawaii
Imagine you've decided to pull up stakes to your comfortable first-world existence and move to a small atoll in the Gilbert Islands. Imagine that, since you've no idea really what to expect, you pack some sweaters because, even though you are moving to the equatorial Pacific, it will surely be cool in the evenings. That you never again touch those sweaters, which soon become a bit rancid in the searing humidity of said equatorial Pacific atoll, is but the very first of many surprises of life on the island of Tarawa in the Republic of Kiribati. One thing is for sure: it is very hot.
J. Maarten Troost faces his ordeal of discovery on a remote Pacific atoll with wit and irony, bringing the reader along as he discovers that living on a tropical island isn't exactly they way he'd heard it would be back in the "civilized" world. For one thing, it is very, very hot (did we mention that?) Funny, informative, and eminently readable: The Sex Lives of Cannibals: Adrift in the Equatorial Pacific
The natural synergy between photography and travel is explored in these exquisite, lavishly illustrated, and instructive pages that demonstrate how artful camera use can record the true spirit of a place. On this thrilling worldwide tour, the author shows traveling nonprofessional photographers how to bring home memorable pictures of people, festivals, wildlife, architecture-even aerial and underwater shots. Learn and discover the art of travel photography with Spirit of Place: The Art of the Traveling Photographer
- This isn't your typical travelogue. Dennis Jon's true life account of two weeks spent in Thailand take us through the culture and landscape of the country, including its famed nightlife. An unflinching account of a journey unfolding in real time, Jon takes us on a trip that dances on the line between fantasy and reality, and in the end forces him to finally face what he is running from: himself. A review copy was provided from the author, and the book is now only available from a Thai-based publisher. Insightful, entertaining, and a bit provocative. The Butterfly Trap
- Eric Hansen has spent a lifetime doing what most of us only dream of: traveling the world in search of adventure and enlightenment. His witty and expressive prose bring it all out in this sagacious, insightful, sometimes poignant, and always fun collection of travel essays. Hansen is a master storyteller. The Traveler took this book along with him to the Big Island, not sure what to expect. He was pleasantly surprised and found it hard to but the book down.
The Bird Man and the Lap Dancer : Close Encounters with Strangers
- No, it's not great literature, but if you've ever had any questions about anything related to air travel (especially the part that happens while you're on the plane) then this little book probably has the answer.
If you're an aviation geek like The Traveler, then you'll have a lot of fun with this book.
Also great for jurors that find themselves with plenty of time to fill while waiting to do your part in administering justice. Ask the Pilot: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel
Sand in My Bra?
Yes, that's right! Adventurous women telling humourous tales of their mis-adventures traveling the globe. The Traveler's attention was, admittedly, caught by the title of this Traveler's Tales anthology. His attention was maintained by well told and amusing stories.
Sand in My Bra and Other Misadventures: Funny Women Write from the Road (Travelers' Tales)