My aim on TraveLit is to introduce readers who share my love of travel literature to good books they may not know about. Mostly classics, some new, the books cover travel in its many forms, from exploration to tourism. Along with reviews, TraveLit also brings together provocative, entertaining travel quotations and reader recommendations. I welcome comments on the readings, the reviews, the quotations, or the fascinating enterprise of travel itself.

TraveLit--A blog about travel literature

Even with the best of maps and instruments, we can never fully chart our journeys.

Book Review

September 22, 2013

"To travel. An intransitive verb. A state of being, not a journey to a destination."
―Jonathan Raban, Coasting

Three in Norway by Two of Them
By J. A. Lees and W. J. Clutterbuck. Aschehoug, 1995 (1968 edition), 205 pp.

When my husband picked up Three in Norway by Two of Them at a library sale, drawn to the subject of Norway where he had lived as a child, we knew nothing about the book. Mainly we were surprised at the curious edition, which failed to identify the authors on the cover or even on the title page.

But it turns out the book is a classic. (more…)

Book Review

September 18, 2013

“Polar exploration is at once the cleanest and most isolated way of having a bad time which has been devised.”
― Apsley Cherry-Garrard, The Worst Journey in the World

Alone on the Ice: The Greatest Survival Story in the History of Exploration
By David Roberts. W.W. Norton, 2013, 368 pp.

Ever since I first read about Douglas Mawson in Lennard Bickel’s Mawson’s Will, I’ve wondered why this great Australian Antarctic explorer is so little known in this country, even by polar exploration fans. While Amundsen, Scott, and Shackleton have had fame and cultish followings, Mawson’s name, I find, tends to draw a blank. And yet his solitary trek in Antarctica was extraordinary—indeed, Sir Edmund Hillary called it “the greatest survival story in the history of exploration.” (more…)

Selected Works

Travel Memoir
"Loved this book, which appears to be but is more than an account of an anthropological expedition, more than a travel book, more than a memoir."--Barbara Beckwith, author of What Was I Thinking?: Digging Deeper into Everyday Racism,
"It is undoubtedly the best written account of, and reflection on, fieldwork I have read, and --perhaps -- the best book on fieldwork (period) I have come across. --Joel Savishinsky, Professor of Anthropology (Emeritus), Ithaca College, author of Trail of the Hare.
“An impressively insightful, deftly written, accessibly articulate, expertly knowledgeable, and decidedly analytical survey of…book reviewing today.”
Midwest Book Review
“Captivating stories in an anthology of epistolary fiction from the last 50 years.”

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