Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Armchair Travels

A beach, a mountain cabin, or a back yard lawn chaise lounge – is the perfect spot from which you can  enjoy the ease of armchair travel. 

This summer's laid-back 'travels' have taken us on a road trip, introduced us to several interesting people and have taken us back to Greece, all we had to do was to read these three books:

J. Smith, (C) 2011
The Leisure Seeker, (by Michael Zadoorian; Harpercollins, 2009) is a touching love story/travel book that tells of two 80-year-olds, Ella, who has cancer, and her husband, John, an Alzheimer’s victim, who ‘kidnap themselves’ from well-meaning children and doctors and set out on one last road trip in their 1978 Leisure Seeker RV. 

I laughed and I cried as I 'rode along' on this final journey. It is one of the best reads we’ve had in months.  (Note: I said ‘we” which means that Joel also liked it and ‘love’ stories aren’t high, make that, on his list). We read it because I had won it in a contest on  A Traveler’s Library. BTW, if you love travel and books, and haven't checked out that blog, you should, just click the link.
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During our stay in London last May, the travel section of the Sunday London Times  ran an excerpt from a book that, lucky for us, hit the bookshelves while we were there:

Ox Travels Meetings of Remarkable Travel Writers, with an introduction by Michael Palin and edited by Mark Ellingham, Peter Florence and Barnaby Rogerson (Profile Books, 2011), is a fund-raiser for Oxfam.  All the writers have donated their royalties from the book to that organization, which is a confederation of 15 organizations working to end poverty and social injustice.

The best travel writers in Britain and a bit further away were asked to write about a meeting they had had with someone somewhere. (No, in case you are wondering, they didn't ask me to contribute.) The only rules for those who did were that the story be true and the meeting real.  The editors envisioned perhaps 20 writers agreeing to the project and a book of about 250 pages. The response was overwhelming with 36 writers contributing stories that filled 432 pages!  And the price is only 9.99L or $15.95US.
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J. Smith photo, (C) 2010
Another newspaper excerpt, this one from the Wall Street Journal, led us to  News from The Village, Aegean Friends, a Memoir by David Mason, (2010 Red Hen Press). The article in the paper was so beautifully written that it sent me straight to the computer to order a copy. But not before I spent 20 minutes – thanks to the wonders of YouTube listening to Mason read excerpts. His book tells a beautiful tale of pursuing his writing dreams while having the good fortune of developing a friendship with, Patrick Leigh Fermor, his neighbor in Greece, who is recognized as one of the world’s greatest writers.

If you have been to Greece or dream of going to Greece this book will transport you there.  Ten minutes into it, Joel announced he was ready to go back.

Of interest, to those of you in Washington State, David Mason, was raised in Bellingham, the small town near the Canadian border.

Note: The books are on the Amazon carousel on the blog's homepage and if you order one from it, we are paid a small commission.

2 comments:

  1. I LOVE having all that extra time to read while traveling. Reading in a plane feels so luxurious to me...I can't feel guilty about not working because usually it's not like there's internet!

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  2. I hear what you are saying, Kyle. While there is a lot to not like about flying; I do like the 'guilt free zone' that surrounds me in the airplane seat when I pull out my book.

    BTW, I took a look at your photos - they are stunning.

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So happy to see you took the time to comment. We read them all - and each is much appreciated. We hope you will be a regular here and comment often!

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