I’ve always been a sucker for travel writing. I can be transported immediately to any place on earth in a matter of minutes by picking up a book and reading. So when the opportunity to review the most recent Best Of American Travel Writing came along, it was an easy decision to make. It didn’t hurt seeing that Padma Lakshmi was editing this edition.
This cover immediately gave me pause, reason enough to want to dive right in. The colors and suggestion of places other than my own back yard, brought a smile to my face. Let’s face it, we haven’t been traveling much lately. Most of us have not traveled outside the U.S. in well over a year. And we might not for sometime to come. But, we can travel anywhere through great writing and this edition is stuffed with entertaining, vivid, and engrossing locales peppered across the globe. And the grand thing is that ALL the writing is absolutely stellar.
The book begins with a Foreword by the Series Editor, Jason Wilson, who asks himself , exactly what is a travel writer who cannot travel? He goes on to explain where he was supposed to be traveling and how he now writes mostly in the past tense which so sums it up since we’ve been stuck at home.
Padma Lakshmi writes the introduction. She eases us into our new “normal” and gives us tidbits of information on many of the essays in this book. The first one is titled: Inside the Nightmare Voyage of the Diamond Princess. I didn’t think I really wanted to hear about it since everyone was taken on that journey for weeks on end at the beginning of the pandemic. However, I am delighted to say I found myself riveted to each page.
Paul Theroux pens an essay about times he’s spent all over the world during different sorts of lock downs. His prose is just so darned compelling.
Bill Buford remembers living in Lyon and becoming a baker. He’s another great who writes like a dream.
I could go on and on but, you can definitely get your travel fix while reading this entertaining book as you travel around the world and escape to many exotic locales. This is a book to keep on your nightstand. Open it to any chapter and quickly bring a smile to your face.
My review copy was sent in exchange for an honest review. I love it ! Sending many thanks to the great publishing people at Mariner Books, a division of HarperCollinsPublishers. Thanks a bunch!