Thursday, November 15, 2007

our book lists are SO much better than Washington Post's SHORT STACK choices

Here's their list of 6 best travel books, which they put up today. I love how the most recent book on the list is from 1986 (since, after all, ethnographic and political climates never change from year to year!!) and also by how many intrepid female writers they chose (zero!).

Feel free to

a) list your superior choices of favorite travel narratives here (I haven't actually read very many myself, so this is a shameless plot to get recommendations)
b) visit the Short Stack blog and heckle their choices--they claim that they welcome hecklers, so I'd like to test their merits.

Oh, I have one favorite travel narrative that I've already talked about elsewhere and was saving for a different Top 3 post, but what the heck. FOREIGN BABES IN BEIJING, by Rachel DeWoskin. Seriously, you will fall on the floor laughing at least 15 times.


Froog said...

I don't think Foreign Babes really counts as travel writing, because she's not.... well, travelling. Living in one place for an extended period as an expat is a different genre.

My three:

Robyn Davidson - Tracks (Woman learns to wrangle camels so that she can use them to cross the Australian Outback alone - amazing story, amazing woman, fairly well written.)

James Fenton - All The Wrong Places (Very well written, very funny. The man had the 'good luck' to just happen to be in a string of very interesting places when some very bad things were happening there. Looting the Marcos palace in Manila is a highlight.)

Bruce Chatwin - The Songlines (Superbly well written - a book that's so good it completely transcends the genre.)

However - like the WaPo list - I think these are all at least 20 years old. Maybe there's still good travel writing going on, but I don't seem to be reading this kind of thing these days.

jalexissmith said...

I am reading "Eat Pray Love" by Elizabeth Gilbert right now and am quite enjoying it.