Monday, December 15, 2008

Escape the Holidays

The holidays got you down and you want to get away. Why not escape for a while with a travel memoir. The following are the most popular memoirs in the last six months. Where would you like to go?

Eat, pray, love: one woman’s search for everything across Italy, India and Indonesia
by Elizabeth Gilbert

This beautifully written, heartfelt memoir touched a nerve amoung both readers and reviewers. Elizabeth Gilbert tells how she made the difficult choice to leave behind all the trappings of modern American success (marriage, house in the country, career) and find, instead, what she truly wanted from life.

Down the Nile: alone in a fisherman’s skiff
by Rosemary Mahoney

This is travel writing at its most enjoyable: the reader is taken on a great trip with an erudite travel companion soaking up scads of history, culture and literary knowledge, along with the scenery.

Shadow of the Silk Road
by Colin Thubron

Thubron, a gifted writer with over a dozen books to his name, has written a vivid account of his journey, often under intimidatingly iffy circumstances, across the full length of the ancient Silk Road, from China to the Mediterranean.

River of doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s darkest journey
by Candice Millard

The River of Doubt—it is a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction narrative thriller that happens to feature one of the most famous Americans who ever lived.

The geography of bliss: one grump’s search for the happiest places in the world
by Eric Weiner

Part foreign affairs discourse, part humor, and part twisted self-help guide, The Geography of Bliss takes the reader from America to Iceland to India in search of happiness, or, in the crabby author's case, moments of "un-unhappiness."

Ghost train to the Eastern star: on the tracks of the great railway bazaar

by Paul Theroux

Theroux's odyssey takes him from Eastern Europe, still hung-over from communism, through tense but thriving Turkey into the Caucasus, where Georgia limps back toward feudalism while its neighbor Azerbaijan revels in oil-fueled capitalism. No one is better able to capture the texture, sights, smells, and sounds of that changing landscape than Theroux.


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