Monday, June 5

Top 30 Travel Books

World Hum posted their Top 30 Travel Books of all time.

I haven't read any of the books included, except for parts of Pico Iyer's Video Night in Kathmandu at #8. According to Rolf Potts, the books greatest strength is "Iyer’s refusal to draw prim moral conclusions as Western popular culture bumps up against the traditions of the East. Instead, he casts things in terms of a tenuous romance." Rolf Potts and Postmodern Tourism interview Iyer here and here.

But I'm reading his Global Soul, which is about how today's transport system and technology is making demarcation lines disappear. Of course, that is if you've got the means to be everywhere, whenever. But anyway, I've yet to finish it so I reserve my comments until after.

I'm also currently reading--very very slowly--Bruce Chatwin's In Patagonia, which did not make the list. Instead, they've included his Songlines, which I also haven't read yet. Nick Clapson's Spike Magazine essay "In Search of the Miraculous" says that Patagonia was probably "his driest," but that Chatwin makes "curious observations with nuggets of historical information which manages to make this more than an account of a physical journey, and that, to me, is the essence of good travel writing."

Well, if you're into travel narratives, World Hum's list is an interesting foray for beginners.

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