Thursday, January 19, 2006


i'm developing a thing for travelogues. it might be because i've written one, but it is also because i like to be transported to other lands. currently i'm reading Beyond the Earth and Sky: A Journey into Bhutan, by Jamie Zeppa. i'm not very far into it, but it seems to be well written, and i'm very excited about it.

the last book i read was Tantrika, by asra nomani. i found it at discount bookstore and thought it was going to be amazing. while she has a great story to tell, she doesn't do a great job of telling it. i was so disappointed. she can't seem to keep any focus, and is incredibly disorganized in presenting her journey. in a single paragraph she writes about a and z without any connection between the two. i was always left with the question, "what was the point?" the book was also littered with type-o's. did her publisher think that because she is a journalist she didn't need an editor? the thing that gets me is that she is a writer for the wall street journal. how can a writer for the wall street journal do such a poor job at writing her own story? it would be one thing if you could call her style avant garde, but it wasn't. it was just unfortunate.

anyhow, i don't regret reading it. as i was painfully approaching the end of the book i found that the last three chapters or so had some of the focus and insight that the rest of the book lacked. so it was worth it for that much. she is a fascinating woman regardless of her loopy writing style, a very courageous muslim feminist. she just needs a good editor. check out her website.

do any of you, dear blog friends, have any good travelogues to recommend?

1 comment:

Karen said...

I have a "third party" recommendation of a sort. I am not much of a reader (but I AM with Tashi - I LOVE Calvin and Hobbes!), and I don't own many books. I much prefer short stories, especially when told, such as on the radio program, "Selected Shorts." But after doing a nice favor for a friend of a friend, I received a book as a thank-you gift. It comes highly recommended by said friend of friend: Sara Wheeler's "Terra Incognita: Travels in Antarctica."

If you can't find it at your library, let me know - I can send my copy to you on loan!