Monday, April 2, 2007


I've been thinking about the great travel writers that I have loved since I finished Conelly's astonishing book, and was searching around the net.

Here's my list of the moment:

Myles and Beryl Smeeton. He was pretty incredible, but I swear he was just trying to keep up with her...They wrote several books, the most famous is "Once was Enough". They are primarily sailing writers, but she also walked from India to Europe, and from the Middle East to the far side of China, if memory serves, before she married. As well as travelling extensively in South America, again on her own.

Eric Newby, a BRILLIANT writer, unfortunately he died in October last year. He can intertwine humour and narrative beautifully..his best known book, "A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush" is fantastic, but he also wrote "The Last Grain Race" a trip around the horn aboard a square rigged ship, among several others.

Tim Cahill is a fantastic writer, and a frequent contributor to Outside magazine, which I am not fond of, but he can certainly write. Primarily about the States.

That wasn't as much as I had hoped to come up with...more may trickle out. Much of my preferred travel writing is also often based on the sea...what a surprise.

...Oh, here's more:

There is of course the inimitable Gerrald and family and animals, "My Family and Other Animals" is the most famous, although it is all good.

Paul Thereaux is always brilliant.

Bruce Chatwin of course,

It's raining here. The laundry is wet AGAIN. Why do children never listen? I'm meeting the woman who wants free language practice at 4:30. At the local bar. Lets hope she pays for my coffee, no? Someone out there is blowing his car horn over and over again. Enough already.

I finished Karen Conelly, but I have more books to read. Yahoo.

Trying to read Peter Mayle's "It's a Dog's Life" in Catalan. "Una Vida de Gos". Slow going.

My newest strategy with the kids is to make the children write me, or whomever they have offended grievously, a letter if they drive me, or them, completely NUTS by not listening, or whatever. I figure it makes them stop and actually think about what happened, rather than just waiting for me to finish ranting, it makes them reflect on what they could have done differently, and has the added bonus of giving them practice in writing English...spelling, grammar, the works.

I also like Frances Mayes books about living in Tuscany, and then there is the book my husband gave me years ago, by Susan Hermann Loomis, "On Rue Tatin: Living and Cooking in a French Town" She is a chef and cookbook author who emigrated to France, bought a wreck, and had a kid. All the elements I can relate, food, kids and home reno...she gives some recipes too.

I have come to realise that I love to EAT, but cook...well, I learned to cook because we can't afford to go out to eat all the good food we'd like, so I had to learn to cook something a bit like it. A bit.

The little one is all frustrated because her pirate scarf is not perfect and keeps yelling at all of us. If we get close to the right look, then it isn't comfortable...well. Lets just say we hear about it. I mentioned to her that pirates also weren't comfy most of the time. They had fleas, lice, they never washed, they had intestinal parasites, not enough food, too much rum to drink and chronic dehydration. No wonder they were grumpy...and maybe they didn't care if their headbands weren't 'comfy'.

Strangely it seemed to help.

Still rainin'


Beth said...

I love to eat too, as the size of my butt will tell you, but I hate to cook. I run out of ideas of things to make and it's so hard to try and make something that EVERYONE why bother? Order in!

I hope your little pirate is comfy!!

Anonymous said...

Great list of books. And you are reading one in another language? Wow...slow-going indeed. It would be NO-going for me.

Boo and Trev said...

Do you know that when Grandma was very ill in the few weeks before she died we used to read to her as she wasn't equal to conversation. One of the books we read was My family and other animals and the one we were reading when she died was a Short walk on the Hindu Kush. So I hold that quite dear even though I only read bits of it as other visitors were also reading it.
Maybe you can recommend a travel book for the family book group.

oreneta said...

What lovely selections of books to read, she must have enjoyed that enormously....they are both lovely books, and she really seemed to enjoy traveling around herself, what with all the driving tours they did.

I'd be delighted to recommend a travel book for the group...

oreneta said...

Woops, sorry..:

Beth: I'm with you..we went through long battles about there ALWAYS being someone who didn't like what was being made. Now they have been trained to silence unless they have something good to say. Much nicer.

Trish: It is painfully slow...paragraph by paragraph, and I don't understand it all, but it does help to reinforce the vocabulary...and and and