Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

37. “Brazilian Adventure,” Peter Fleming

June 23, 2010 Leave a comment

A newspaper editor explores the Amazon in search of Peter Fawcett and the legend of El Dorado.

I found this book really amusing. It was written in 1933, but has a very contemporary tone and is very readable. Flemming says in his foreward that he’s sorry that the book isn’t more interesting, as exploring the Amazon is actually extremely easy and anyone who says otherwise is lying. He wasn’t bothered by bugs, was rarely hungry, and was never afraid. I estimate that this book caused 1.1 million people to run into the Amazon and perrish. Good thing he’s English; they don’t seem much for tortes and, at any rate, would soon find themselves occupied.

Page count: 371
Page total: 9,375
F2515 .F742 1999


35. “The Ridiculous Race,” Steve Hely and Vali Chandrasekaran

June 13, 2010 Leave a comment

This book was actually legitimately funny, which is a welcome change in most things labeled “humor.” In a largely-true story, two friends decide to travel around the world in opposite directions without using airplanes. The prize is “a bottle of Kinclaith 1969. This was the most expensive Scotch available in Los Angeles. It cost so much that upon paying for it I thought I might throw up.”1 Flights of fancy do not count as flying, though they do explain my characterization of this book as “largely” true.

Along the way, they become interested more in the unspoken Awesome Contest, with Steve taking a container ship from LA to Beijing, trekking through Mongolia, riding the Orient Express. Vali starts with an excursion to a Mexican Jetpack maker and wends his way through the middle east and Cairo.

Page count: 315
Page total: 8,752

1. It’s so expensive that if you run a search for “Kinclaith 1969,” the price will not pop up. This is to protect your fragile sensibilities. I finally found it listed as £531.91, which I refuse to convert into actual dollars.

32. “Sixpence House,” Paul Collins

June 3, 2010 Leave a comment

Paul Collins, his wife Jennifer, and their 18-month-old song Morgan move from their home in San Francisco to Hay-on-Wye, Wales, “the Town of Books.” Hay boasts an impressive 1,500 inhabitants and forty bookstores.

Page count: 319
Page total: 7,853