Wordy Wandering

With iTunes, YouTube, and Twitter to entertain us around the clock, I suppose a bundle of paper glued together and perfect bound can seem like a rather old-fashioned form of escapism. But I like my books anyway. Because even though a shrinking bank account has limited my wandering to the lower 48 this summer, my little library of travel literature still affords me plenty of opportunities for vicarious globe-trotting. A few titles that I've recently added to my collection really impressed me with their honest wit and wisdom so I thought I'd post about them today:
  • The last great book I finished was Jeffrey Tayler's Angry Wind, a riveting account of his journey across the Sahel from Chad to Senegal. The small sounds, smells, and sensations that he captures as he navigates the landscapes and customs of Muslim Black Africa greatly enhanced my understanding of the region.
  • For reasons that I'll explain in another post, I've been steadily working my way through a sizable stack of graphic novels. One my favorites is called Pride of Baghdad by Brian K. Vaughan and Niko Henrichon. Inspired by a true story, it imagines Iraq's chaotic liberation in 2003 through the eyes of a family of lions.
  • The next hardcover I'm eager to crack open is David Farley's An Irreverent Curiosity, a zany tale that could accurately be described as The Curious Case of the Missing Foreskin. His chapter entitled "The Semi-Retard's Guide to Learning Italian" got plenty of laughs at the last Restless Legs night on the Lower East Side.
And finally, for people who insist on doing their reading online, I have one more recommendation: my friend Nick Gill's new journal of Latin American food, drink, and travel. I can practically guarantee that his restaurant reviews, slideshows, and hotel suggestions will have you itching to book a flight to Chile, Ecuador, or Peru. Perhaps all three. So what's in your summer pile of reading materials? Which authors have transported you somewhere lately?

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