books

O 1

By Richard West The British novelist and travel writer, Lawrence Osborne, writes in The Naked Tourist, “Few writers have a real voice, and when one does, the effect is nothing less than amorous…Mead [Margaret] has a voice in the act of travel.” Exactly what I vastly admire about Osborne’s five

Robber-of-Memories-622x1024

Reviewed by Richard West Perhaps you’ve noticed the recent spate of travel articles on Colombia, hitherto a pariah country of ab ovo civil war and bad Karmageddon-esque drug creation, using, exporting, and killing. Most of us have avoided it or thought of Colombia as an imaginary land like Swift’s Lilliput.

By Richard West  Welcome to  Everett Potter Travel Report’s 4th Annual Best Travel Books of the Year choices, a selection of opinions and quotes from previous reviews that whirls and dips like a drunkard’s bedroom. One of the main themes in 2011’s travel narratives is exploration of the back of

GILESFRAGONAR_COVER_2000(1)

By Bobbie Leigh Call them personal presents, something special for  you not for those on your holiday lists.    Here are some  2011  choices  among  hundreds of  great new books…  but these  are ones not to give away, to keep  handy on your  bookshelves as each has special charms and flair.

Grange_cover_CS5.indd

  Reviewed by Richard West Imagine a  country  where astrologers  often  change the calendar, adding or subtracting days or months (no Mondays!); governed by a policy of Gross National Happiness,  where archery’s the national sport, traffic lights don’t exist,  stamps are sometimes made of steel or silk,  large, detailed,  painted

Crossing the Heart of Africa

Reviewed by Richard West Are you about to get married? Be careful what you read.  In a book on language evolution, Julian Smith, soon to wed Laura, his girlfriend of seven years,  ran across  a paragraph about Ewart Grogan’s 4,500-mile walk in the late 19th-century  from Cape Town to Cairo,

conover

Reviewed by Richard West “Done with indoor complaints, libraries, querulous criticisms/Strong and content I travel the open road,” yawps Walt Whitman in his “Song of the Open Road.” After reading Ted Conover’s exhaustively-researched and earnestly-written The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live

Andrzej Stasiuk. By Richard West In Fado, Polish writer Andrzej Stasiuk writes not of Portugal’s national songs of lost love but Central and Eastern Europe’s lost villages seldom visited by travelers. Should you happen upon the mining village of Rudnany in Slovakia, a Hogarthian jumble of the poor, you’d find