I think Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet, stated it best. This book “is like Crocodile Dundee produced by Monty Python and directed by Woody Allen.” Albert Podell, the author, recently became the first U.S. citizen known to have visited every single existing country in the world, plus some that are no longer countries (over 190, but who's counting...). This also brings up the argument of what actually constitutes a country? Does it need to be recognized by the United Nations?
The book is definitely not politically correct. It is a travel essay book with attitude. If you are easily offended, this might not be the book for you. Travelling can be a messy business. The author gets into the gritty details (disturbing meals, not washing for days on end, bathroom accommodations, etc.). But, the author is also extremely educated about the countries he visits. You will learn a lot as you read.
When travelling, instead of utilizing the safety, crime and poverty country indexes of the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, Podell has developed his own scale that indicates safety, crime and poverty, which utilizes the grade of toilet paper and bathroom accommodations in a given country. It actually does prove to be a good indicator of safety, crime and poverty, and what to expect when travelling.
The book also offers many unique tips for travelling to unique places (here are a few):
· Taking heaps of cheap T-shirts with you to use to barter for services and other items in certain countries.
· How to determine how much gas you will need to purchase to cross a desert.
· What to do and what not to do in front of visa officers/staff.
Summary: Extremely educational, fun to read, and I think I’ll become a better traveler having read this book.
Like pairing wine with food, traveling to the places you read about or reading a book set in your next vacation spot only enhances your experience. Whether you travel alone, with family, or with book club friends, this book is packed with creative reading and travel ideas.
Within the pages of her book Terri Peterson Smith describes fifteen of her favorite literary destinations. Each section provides an extensive reading list, made up of fiction and non-fiction titles, as well as excursion ideas. The excursions range from very simple to the more elaborate. She bases her itineraries on a three day trip but offers extension ideas. She even suggests hotels and restaurants. And if a getaway isn't in your plans, you can still enjoy her "field trip" ideas; local excursions that only require a couple of hours in or near your hometown.
All I have to do now is grab my book club, choose a book and begin planning our trip. I hope you do too!
Books + Travel= Nirvana! Avid readers travel to quaint towns, dingy back streets, or breathtaking mountain tops every time they pick up a book. What if you actually went to the setting of the books you enjoy?
Peterson Smith guides you through the basics, from choosing the group members wisely to budgets and the logistics of travel arrangements. Some of the book based excursions are day trips while others are more ambitious involving cross country plane trips. The chapters are well organized featuring 15 cities and numerous book choices, restaurants, hotels, and itineraries.
This book is well written, creative, and makes me want to “hit the road!”
I picked this book up because I've seen his T.V. show and have enjoyed it. This book is a light, breezy travel book covering the author's motorcycle trip from Sydney to Tokyo. I liked the travel aspect of this book especially the food and scenic descriptions. I think any motorcycle fans would really enjoy this book as Charley is a Cycle fanatic. I also should mention Charley is the son of director "John Boorman".
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