Wednesday, July 13

The Best Travel Writing, 2007

The Best Travel Writing 2007: True Stories from Around the WorldThe Best Travel Writing 2007: True Stories from Around the World by James O'Reilly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

An eclectic mix of stories pulled from mostly North American travel writer's originally published in other sources.  These short snippets of travel stories provide the reader with a pick-and-choose reading opportunity, as each reader may not find the topic of each piece in harmony with their own travel interests.  From kick boxing, to train travels through India, discovering the true identity of a culture through an umbrella, digging deeper into one of Mexico's least reputable towns, to hopping in a hippie van, and reading about a young Palestinian grandson reconciling with his grandfather.  Every story presents a unique travel voice and experience of mental pictures, sounds, delights, sorrows, joys and surprises.  My favourite story was toward the end, "Fishing With Larry" by Tom Joseph.  Larry, Tom's brother, dies and gives one handful of his cremated ashes to each member of his family to do with as they please.  During a trip Bolivia, each family member finds a place of near transcendence in which to release Larry's ashes.  For Tom, part of Larry's ashes are dropped into a large, gushing river replete with huge trout, from which he then fishes.  Most of Tom's memories of his brother are of travel adventures and fishing.  A wonderful true story of putting a loved one to rest in a gorgeous place.  Give it a read and try out the same books from different years.  

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