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.

Travel Quotation

May 23, 2014

"You got to be careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there."
―Yogi Berra

Book Review

May 14, 2014

North-West by North: A Journal of a Voyage.
By Dora Birtles. With a New Introduction by the Author. Originally published as A Journal of a Voyage in 1935. Beacon Press, Beacon/Virago Travelers, 1985, 432 pp.

Although it was first published in 1935, Dora Birtles’s North-West by North reads like a more contemporary work. This is mainly because her tale of a voyage from Australia to Singapore gives us the personal story—travel as exploration of self—that nowadays, in a world where so much has already been described, travel narratives are expected to provide. (more…)

Book Review

May 8, 2014

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Into the Heart of Borneo
By Redmond O’Hanlon. Vintage Departures, Random House, 1987, 192 pp.

Into the Heart of Borneo fits into a venerable tradition in travel literature: the narrative written by a traveler who is happy to mock his fears, his near-disasters, and his general lack of suitable skills for his journey. An adventure cast partly as farce, the book is also an appreciation of a place, its wildlife, and its people, and it is thoroughly entertaining throughout. (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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