on the 1st day of December my blogger gave to me...
An armchair travel guide!Remember that one relative who always gave you a book for Christmas, birthdays, graduations.... and you were like, oh, hey, uh, thanks..... Yeah, today that's me. I give you books. Not your thing? Don't worry, this will be the only book post this month so I'm getting it over with right away. If, however, you're one of those who was like "yay! something to read!" then follow me...
If you yearn for different surroundings at this time of year, but have no hope for a plane ticket under the tree, maybe one of these will console you:
Under the Tuscan Sun (Frances Mayes)-- if you've seen the movie version, don't expect this book to be anything like it! It's NOT a romantic comedy and I would even argue that the main character of this book is not a Diane Lane-esque divorcee, but rather the beautiful house and the incredible Italian landscape that surrounds it. If you're looking for a sunny picturebook sans pictures (the writing is really beautiful) to brighten the darkest of winter months, this is the one. I loved it.
Honeymoon with My Brother (Franz Wisner) -- um, fun! But I don't think I actually finished it because it was due back at the library and I didn't love it enough to renew yet again. It was okay.
A Fork in the Road (James Oseland) -- okay maybe not a travel book exactly, but a collection of essays loosely combining the theme of memorable food and travel by an eclectic combination of authors. I liked some essays (and writers) significantly more than others, but there's something for everyone here. I loved it!
Living in a Foreign Language; A Memoir of Food, Wine and Love in Italy (Michael Tucker) -- Two well-known actors (to the LA Law generation anyway), buy a house in Italy and divide their time between there and the States. There's a lot of talk about food and about the people they befriend. I liked it.
A Year In Provence (or any of the many Peter Mayle books) -- A fun romp! You will laugh out loud both at and with the author as he bumbles his way through adapting to a new culture. I loved it.
The Caliph's House: a Year in Casablanca (Tahir Shah) -- this is a part of the world I know little about and a culture I am even less familiar with. Like Frances Mayes' book, this one is a lot about bringing a house with a lot of history back to its glory. I liked it.
The Accidental Tourist (Anne Tyler) -- is also a terrific movie with William Hurt and Geena Davis. It has admittedly been a looooong time since I read this one, but I have very fond memories of it (which may or may not be clouded by the years). The main character, Macon Leary, hates travel and writes a rather dry guide for similarly-minded business travelers. I think I loved it.
I'll Never Be French (No Matter What I Do) (Mark Greenside) -- I've just finished this one. It's worth a read if only for the part about Canadians at the beginning of the chapter called "The Police"! It's actually quite fun to hear from an American who is astounded to learn that there are other really great countries out there that do things differently, maybe even, dare we say it, better. I loved it.
Getting Stoned with Savages (J. Maarten Troost -- My current read. It's pretty entertaining so far and I think I'm going to love / like it.
Add your own suggestions in the comments if you like and see you tomorrow!