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.

Interesting Link

May 20, 2016

Traveling with Elizabeth Bishop's evocative poem, Questions of Travel:

"Think of the long trip home.
Should we have stayed at home and thought of here?
Where should we be today?"

Book Review Heidi's Alp: One Family's Search for Storybook Europe

May 7, 2016

Heidi’s Alp: One Family’s Search for Storybook Europe
By Christina Hardyment. Atlantic Monthly Press, 1987, 258 pp.
“The greatest travelers travel alone,” wrote John Julius Norwich, in A Taste for Travel. Maybe so. But some very fine travelers travel with families, and their books can be just as engaging.

In Heidi’s Alp, Christina Hardyment recounts the 7-week journey she took with her four daughters, ages 5 through 12, to explore the roots of European fairy tales. As they travel from their Oxford home to Holland, Denmark, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, and France, the author describes the adventures with the children while reflecting on the stories of Hans Brinker, The Little Mermaid, the Pied Piper, Pinocchio, William Tell, and Babar. Fairy tales these may be, but as Hardyment relates them to their authors and the cultures from which they emerged, they are fascinating for adults as well. (more…)

Travel Quotation

May 5, 2016

Maps are not reality at all--they can be tyrants. I know people who are so immersed in road maps that they never see the countryside they pass through, and others, who, having traced a route, are held to it as though held by flanged wheels to rails.
―John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley

Yes, but I would alter this a bit: I think it's not that maps "are not reality at all," but that they aren't all of reality.

National Travel and Tourism Week

May 2, 2016

For National Travel and Tourism Week, I suggest reading a travel classic. Many are reviewed on this blog. Among my favorites, along with the dates of their reviews:

As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning, by Laurie Lee (7/15)
Cooper's Creek, by Alan Moorehead (10/13)
Two Against the Ice, by Ejnar Mikkelsen (1/15)
A Visit to Don Otavio, by Sybille Bedford (4/14)
Three in Norway by Two of Them, by Lees and Clutterbuck (9/13).

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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