Books

Reviewed by Richard West “The past flows with the present, Into the deep pool of Now.’ (Anon.) Visiting Iceland, even reading about it, is never a disappointment as when Friday visits Sunday. The landscape is Day Four of the Creation: huge glaciers, naked lava, hot springs and geysers, volcanoes, black-sand

By Brian E. Clark One hundred and twenty-four days through an arduous, 4,000-mile paddle down the Amazon River, Darcy Gaechter was losing it. Frustrated by the slow pace, she slapped her kayak paddle at a plastic jug floating nearby, screamed in rage, lost her balance and tumbled into the muddy water. “I

By Everett Potter The coronavirus outbreak has many of us canceling, amending or postponing our travel plans. Fair enough, and sensible enough. But it fails to stave off the very real human need to get away. So if you can’t travel, you might as well delve into a classic travel

By Everett Potter Writer and poet Frances Mayes lives the kind of life most of us can only dream about. Wandering through Italy, she and her husband, Ed, came upon a villa in the Tuscan town of Cortona. They bought and restored the villa, an effort she chronicled in her

  By Bobbie Leigh Even if you are addicted to celebrity cooking shows or online advice from Mark Bittman or Melissa Clark, these cookbooks will add to your repertoire and come in handy when you are “shopping” in your fridge to see what’s around. Each one promises to teach you

By Brian E. Clark When Seth Kugel’s parents sent him off to Kenya at age 16 for a six-week YMCA exchange program, the way he viewed travel was forever changed. Kugel, author of the newly released Rediscovering Travel, A Guide for the Globally Curious (Liveright, $26.95), had made other, more mundane

By Jeffrey Ryan In 1987, just seven years after the mountain’s devastating eruption, climbers were allowed to ascend Mount St. Helens. I was one of those lucky climbers who ascended through the ash to experience an ecosystem in the early stages of recovery. The landscape was raw. Steam rose from

Reviewed by Bobbie Leigh Some books deserve to get gritty with spills and smudges of oil and parmesan cheese. But that is not the case with Colman Andrews’ new THE COUNTRY COOKING OF ITALY (Chronicle Books).  It is door-stop big and glossy. Crammed with  photographs. It could easily tempt you

By Richard West December finds us retro-riffling pages of the 35 or so travel narratives read during the year to choose the Fifth Annual EPTR Best Travel Books of 2013. It was an above average 12 months with books published by America’s two best travel writers, Paul Theroux (see below)

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