Tony Wheeler, cofounder of Lonely Planet, spoke with Don George on the opening evening of the 23rd annual Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference. Here’s a snippet of Tony explaining how Lonely Planet got its name.
In his latest book, Dark Lands, Wheeler brings his inimitable wit and style to an exploration of some of the world’s most troubled nations, including Colombia, Congo, Haiti, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, and Israel-Palestine.
I just readâ€”and thoroughly enjoyedâ€”Lisa Alpine’s latest collection of “too-true” travel tales. From two-stepping in New Orleans to learning about war from “an attractive, sexy, twenty-years-younger-than-me pain in the ass” Israeli, to accepting a job as nanny for Keith Richards’ children, Lisa’s globe-trotting adventures are wild and comic.
My favorite is Lisa’s story about sniffing, and then licking, one of Monet’s famous water lily paintings in the MusĂ©e de l’Orangerie in Paris. “Does beauty have a taste? This pageant of floral sirens blooming in the midst of monochromatic winter is intoxicating…. Impulsively, my lips part. My tongue tip snakes toward the water lilies and licks….”Â (Do not try this at home.)
|September 3, 2014|
|6:30 pm||to||8:00 pm|
Books Inc. Berkeley, 1760 4th Street, Berkeley, CA
|August 11, 2014|
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In case you can’t make it to the big launch party at Book Passage in Corte Madera on Aug 9th, I’ll be reading and signing at Book Passage at the Ferry Plaza in San Francisco on Monday, Aug 11, from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m.
“Summer is here and so is Tales To Go, No. 4 â€”with four new travel stories to ignite your wanderlust and deliver you from the day-to-day. Journey from Alaska’s frozen North Shore to the steamy jungles of Guatemala, and from a Bible-themed amusement park in Orlando to Bangkok’s infamous red-light districtâ€”all for $1.99 when you subscribe. It’s quite a trip!
|July 12, 2014|
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Spaceholder San Francisco author Carl Russo will read from his new book, The Sicilian Mafia: A True Crime Travel Guide, at Book Passage in Corte Madera on Saturday, July 12, at 7 p.m. Complimentary Sicilian wine will be served during a discussion about the making of this controversial work.
Written for tourists and arm-chair travelers alike, the book is a geographical history of the Cosa Nostra on the Italian island of Sicily, the picturesque birthplace of organized crime.
|June 12, 2014|
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Dancing Words Press is hosting a sneak preview fete for Lisa Alpine’s latest book Wild Life: Travel Adventures of a Worldly Woman tonight at The Depot Bookstore in Mill Valley. Please join Lisa for this merry literary event where the champagne will flow and tales will be told.
Thursday June 12
7 pm – 8:30 pm
The Depot Bookstore Cafe
on the Plaza in downtown Mill Valley, California
Roz Savage, world-record-setting Ocean Rower and environmental campaigner, will talk about her adventures rowing solo across the worldâ€™s oceans-particularly her bid to become the first woman to row solo 8,000 miles across the Pacific. After a failed attempt in 2007, when her boat capsized 3 times in 24 hours during a storm, she set out again the following year from the Golden Gate Bridge. To a backdrop of photographs, maps and videos, she will tell the story of her epic crossing, and share her insights on happiness, meaning, and the environmental challenges that face our oceans in the 21st century.
|June 12, 2014|
|5:30 pm||to||7:30 pm|
Roz Savage, world-record-setting ocean rower and environmental campaigner, is back in the Bay Area to promote her new book, Stop Drifting, Start Rowing: One Womanâ€™s Search for Happiness and Meaning Alone On the Pacific. The event will be at Pier 39′s Bay Theater on Thursday, June 12. More info here.
April 19, 2014 | Leave a Comment
Tales To Go, a mobile publication for iPhone and iPad, delivers four inspiring, transformative travel stories every month, with no ads, flash, or fluff. The app is a free download and so is the first issue, which features prizewinning stories by Colette Oâ€™Connor, Ken Matusow, Lavinia Spalding, and Peter Wortsman. Get the app and sample the first issue, free!
â€śWeâ€™ve long thought there should be a digital collection of travel stories that could fit in your pocket and go anywhere, and would update automatically,â€ť says Larry Habegger, Executive Editor. â€śWhen we couldnâ€™t find it, we created it.â€ť
I’m [Laurie McAndish King, your still-humble editor] thrilled that the first blurbs are coming in for my collection of true travel stories, Lost Kidnapped, Eaten Alive. It’s my first book, and it you’ll all be invited to the launch party. In the meantime, here’s a peek:
“Whether sheâ€™s working to help save lemurs in Madagascar or communing with a one-legged toucan in Costa Rica, Laurie McAndish King brings uncommon heart and soul to her travel stories. And sheâ€™s always on the lookout for adventure, chasing an eclipse while on the Black Sea or trying to discern whether sheâ€™s being kidnapped or rescued in Tunisia. From start to finish, Lost, Kidnapped, Eaten Alive is a rollicking ride.”
Is there a writer on your holiday gift list? If so, check out Poets & Writers‘ list of the ten best books for writers. (“From the newly published to the invaluable classic, our list of essential books for creative writers.”) I’m happy to report that the Bay Area’s own Constance Hale’s by-now-classic Sin and Syntax: How to Craft Wickedly Effective Prose is on the list.
December 17, 2013 | Leave a Comment
Forgo the generic gift card this holiday season and instead wrap up these five new travel-inspiring books, recommended by Don George on National Geographic‘s Beyond the Guidebook.
Need some inspiration? Roz Savage’s new book, Stop Drifting, Start Rowing, is due out on October 15th. Roz holds four world records, including First Woman to Solo Row Three Oceans: Atlantic, Pacific, Indian. She is a National Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2010 and a Yale World Fellow 2012.
Here’s how Roz describes the book: “Based on my Pacific crossing between 2008 and 2010, Stop Drifting, Start Rowing is a story about my quest to raise awareness of environmental issues, as well as a personal search for happiness and meaning.
|August 19, 2013|
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San Francisco magazine named Weekday Wanderlust “Best Mental Escape” in their 2013 Best of the Bay issue. This month’s salon, on Monday, August 19th, will celebrate the release of co-founder Lavinia Spalding’s latest book, the Best Women’s Travel Writing, Volume 9. Published by Travelers’ Tales, this year’s anthology includes essays from thirty intrepid travelers, including the evening’s three wonderful readers: Rachel Levin, Natalie Baszile, and Suzanne Roberts.
As always, the event will be at the Hotel Rex (562 Sutter Street in SF). Cocktails and conversation from 6-7 p.m., readings from 7-8. Giveaways? You betcha.
|August 22, 2013|
|5:00 pm||to||7:00 pm|
Widely published, award-winning writers and instructors Erin Byrne and Sabrina Crawford will discuss the history and current concept of the literary salon, offer a trip inside the legendary Shakespeare and Company Bookstore and present Vignettes and Postcards, Writings from the Evening Writing workshop at Shakespeare and Company. A lively discussion will spark ideas about how we can bring a bit of la vie littĂ©raire into our own lives.
Thursday, August 22 at 5:30 p.m.
The Depot Bookstore and Cafe
87 Throckmorton Avenue, Mill Valley
August 15, 2013 | Leave a Comment
Thanks to journalist Suzie Rodriguez for is link to Skift’s interview with Elizabeth Becker, author of Overbooked: the Global Business of Travel and Tourism. Here’s an excerpt:
Skift: Why did you do this book now? What was the kick-in-the-pants to get it started?
Elizabeth Becker: As you know from my bio, I’ve been the foreign correspondent and an editor at National Public Radio, and reported around the world for the Washington Post and the New York Times. I’ve watched the evolution of tourism …
“… That kept happening, where I was reporting on an international economics story and some official in some foreign country would say how this was important for their tourism sector. When I tried to write about this for the Times, they said, “We have a travel section.” That’s when I saw this ghettoization of the tourism industry … no one looked [at] tourism as the industrial giant that it is.”
Bill writes: I plan to publish two new books of my stories this summer. The first one is coming in a few weeksâ€”Showdown at Shinagawa: Tales of Filming from Bombay to Brazil.Â The second bookâ€”Paris When It Sizzles: Tales of Travel, Love, and Follyâ€”will come out later in the summer.
Showdown at ShinagawaÂ tells 15 true tales of my long career working on film shoots across the U.S. and all around the worldâ€”Japan, India, China, New Zealand, France, Singapore, England, Taiwan, Mexico, and Brazil.Â The second bookâ€”Paris When It Sizzles: Tales of Travel, Love, and Follyâ€”will come out later in the summer.
Candice Gaukel Andrews writes on the Huffington Post, My “work as a nature-travel writer has taken me all over the world: from the sub-Arctic down to the Galapagos at the Equator and Patagonia and New Zealand in the Southern Hemisphere. I accredit my grown-up “urge for going,” as songwriter-singer Joni Mitchell calls it, to the many travel books I’ve read over the years.
“[Here] you’ll find my 10 choices for the most inspiring travel tomes I’ve ever read. Through the years, they’ve taken me on introspective, imaginative, wild, reflective, and humorous journeys and road tripsâ€”while never having to go ‘away on vacation.’”
I met Teresa LeYung Ryan at the Bay Area Travel Writers meeting on Saturday, and had a few minutes to look through her 100-page workbook, Build Your Writers’ Platform & Fanbase in 22 Days: Attract Agents, Editors, Publishers, Readers, and media Attention NOW. It looks like a good resource; let me know what you think if you’ve read/used it.
Linda Ballou’s Lost Angel Walkabout: One Traveler’s Tales was just reviewed on Rolf Potts’ Vagabonding by a reader who appreciated Linda’s cultural sensitivity: “Ballou is a very culturally conscious traveler. Her stories bring with them a wealth of information about an area. She seems to travel with a researched understanding of a places history, customs, and ecological situation. Indeed, many chapters are followed with an Eco-Alert, informing readers of issues specific to an area and, sometimes, what they can do to raise awareness or help.”
“China is all around us, from the clothes and furniture we buy to the food we eat. Yet much of the culture is still a mystery. In the Lap of the Gods sheds light on modern China through the story of a widower and the baby girl he rescues from the Yangtze.”
Acclaim for In the Lap of the Gods:
â€śA moving farewell to the old, more humane way of life.â€ť
~ Maxine Hong Kingston
Thanks to Denise Woleben for this link to a New York Times review of recently released travel books. From staycations to “foodoirs” (foodies’ memoirs), from vampire bats to cherry blossoms, Book Review editor Alida Becker suggests good summer reads (there’s still time) and dispenses such important tidbits as the fact that coconut water has the same electrolyte balance as blood, which is why it’s good for curing hangovers. Who knew?
Here’s a press release from Conran PR that’s an example of inspired marketing: an author and a resort have teamed up to offer a themed “package” experience in the Caribbean. I hope the promotion is a big success:
Create A “Foodoir”Â Of Your Own at Cap Maison
“The Spice Necklace Experience” Package