Tag Archives: Travel Memoir

Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Life in Contemporary Palestine

Pay No Heed to the Rockets: Life in Contemporary Palestine by Marcello Di Cintio

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A look at life in contemporary Palestine through the lens of its literary culture

Marcello Di Cintio first visited Palestine in 1999, and as with most outsiders, the narrative he knew was one defined by unending struggle, a near-Sisyphean curse of stories of oppression, exile, and occupation.

In Pay No Heed to the Rockets, he reveals a more complex story—the Palestinian experience as seen through the lens of authors, books, and literature. Using the form of a political-literary travelogue, he explores what literature means to modern Palestinians and how Palestinians make sense of the conflict between a rich imaginative life and the daily tedium and violence of survival. Taking the long route through the West Bank, into Jerusalem, across Israel, and finally into Gaza, he meets with poets, authors, librarians, and booksellers to learn about Palestine through their eyes, and through the story of their stories.

Di Cintio travels through the rich cultural and literary heritage of Palestine. It’s there that he uncovers a humanity, and a beauty, often unnoticed by news media. At the seventieth anniversary of the Arab-Israeli War, Pay No Heed to the Rockets tells a fresh story about Palestine, one that begins with art rather than war.

About the Author

MARCELLO DI CINTIO is the author of four books, including the critically acclaimed Walls: Travels Along the Barricades, winner of the 2013 Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing and the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. Di Cintio’s essays have been published in The WalrusCanadian GeographicThe New York TimesCondé Nast Traveller, and Afar. He lives in Calgary.

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The Camino: A Sinner’s Guide

The Camino: A Sinner’s Guide by Eddie Rock

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Aspiring travel writer Eddie Rock has hit hard times. Drowning in a midlife crisis of fear and debt, he looks for a second chance. A fortuitous encounter with false medium Ralph Keeton in Canada triggers his story with warnings in the not-so-distant-future.

A new house, a dangerous woman, an unfortunate brush with the law, and an unforgettable stag party set the tone for Eddie, who hits the road in this timeless European misadventure. Following the footsteps of countless saints and sinners before him, Rock travels the well-trodden road to Santiago de Compostela in search of enlightenment, salvation, and forgiveness, with a full cast of strange and interesting characters, spectacular places and plenty of wine.

Eddie Rock’s book is honest, entertaining, a warts-and-all romp as he takes us on a long walk of alcoholic indiscretions, more brushes with the law and accidental applications of deep heat, all the while providing an entertaining commentary of his surroundings and never taking himself too seriously. It makes for a refreshing change from the usual run of Camino stories, treating the whole thing as some reverential sacred cow!

About the Author

Eddie Rock grew up in Dublin, Ireland, and later lived abroad in England, Holland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, Israel, and Egypt. He currently lives in the Galician mountains in Northern Spain. He aspires to one day turn his mountainside farmhouse into a fully functioning writer’s retreat. In his free time, Eddie enjoys chainsaw carving, creating tattoo art on wood, and playing music. The Camino de Santiago: A Sinner’s Guide is his first book.

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From Source to Sea: Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames

From Source to Sea: Notes from a 215-Mile Walk Along the River Thames by Tom Chesshyre

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Over the years, authors, artists and amblers aplenty have felt the pull of the Thames, and now travel writer Tom Chesshyre is following in their footsteps.

He’s walking the length of the river from the Cotswolds to the North Sea – a winding journey of over two hundred miles. Join him for an illuminating stroll past meadows, churches and palaces, country estates and council estates, factories and dockyards. Setting forth in the summer of Brexit, and meeting a host of interesting characters along the way, Chesshyre explores the living present and remarkable past of England’s longest and most iconic river.

About the Author

Tom Chesshyre’s train travels include an 11,000-mile jaunt around Europe for his book on the European high-speed train revolution, and thousands of miles more across the UK for his weekly hotel column in The Times. Tom has visited 94 countries for his writing.

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The Best American Travel Writing 2018

The Best American Travel Writing 2018 by Cheryl Strayed (Editor), Jason Wilson (Editor)

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Everyone travels for different reasons, but whatever those reasons are, one thing is certain: they come back with stories. Each year, the best of those stories are collected in The Best American Travel Writing,curated by one of the top writers in the field, and each year they “open a window onto the strange, seedy, and beautiful world, offering readers glimpses into places that many will never see or experience except through the eyes and words of these writers” (Kirkus). This far-ranging collection of top notch travel writing is, quite simply, the genre’s gold standard.

About the Author

Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed is the author of the #1 New York Times bestseller Wild, the New York Times bestseller Tiny Beautiful Things, and the novel Torch. Wild was chosen by Oprah Winfrey as her first selection for Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 and optioned for film by Reese Witherspoon’s production company, Pacific Standard. Wild was selected as the winner of the Barnes & Noble Discover Award and also received an Indies Choice Award, an Oregon Book Award, a Pacific Northwest Booksellers Award, and a Midwest Booksellers Choice Award. Strayed’s writing has appeared in The Best American Essays, the New York Times Magazine, the Washington Post Magazine, Vogue, Allure, The Missouri Review, The Sun, The Rumpus—where she has written the popular “Dear Sugar” column since 2010—and elsewhere. Her books have been translated into twenty-eight languages around the world. She holds an MFA in fiction writing from Syracuse University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota. She lives in Portland, Oregon, with her husband and their two children.

Jason Wilson

JASON WILSON is the author of Godforsaken Grapes: A Slightly Tipsy Journey through the World of Strange, Obscure, and Underappreciated Wine and Boozehound: On the Trail of the Rare, the Obscure, and the Overrated in Spirits. He writes regularly for the Washington Post and the New York Times. Wilson has been the series editor of The Best American Travel Writing since its inception in 2000. His work can be found at jasonwilson.com.

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Not Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries

Not Afraid of the FALLNot Afraid of the Fall: 114 Days Through 38 Cities in 15 Countries by Kyle James

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After purchasing one-way flights from New York City to Paris, Kyle James and his girlfriend Ashley quit their day jobs, planned futures, and daily paradigms to see as much of the world as they could. In 114 days, they trekked across 15 countries and 38 cities with nothing but their backpacks, their smartphones, and each other. Not Afraid of the Fall is the unvarnished story of their off-the-cuff journey: from cliff-jumping off Croatia’s untouched coasts, to bathing with rescued elephants in Thailand; from crashing mopeds on gravelly mountain roads in Santorini, to hitchhiking with strangers in rental cars in Hungary.

Part travel memoir, part love letter to those staring at the walls of a corporate cubicle, Not Afraid of the Fall is an inspiring book that captures the sweet mysteries of life on the road and an empowering narrative for anyone who has ever uttered the words “maybe next year.”

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