Memo to: Readers of A Travelers’ Library
From: A Traveling Reader
This morning was the wrap-up on Twitter by all the people who participated in the blogging marathon. Now I’m off on another sort of marathon–checking in to Likaholix most every day. If you have not seen it, take a look. It would be a great place for you to share your favorite travel books.
I’ve updated my TBR page to indicate travel books finished, travel books started, and a new book on the to-be-read pile that I’m very excited about. (Hint: Paris and food)
Recommendations are flowing in for books to read about Mexico, so maybe we’ll need to go back there soon.
C. M. Mayo writes to take exception to my laughing at “dolphins porpoising”. She says, “Dolphins do porpoise. Can be used as a verb.” Don’t want to belabor the point, because I love the way that Madame Mayo (as she is known at her blog) uses the language, and the ingenuity of her verbs and metaphors. And she has been most gracious about accepting what I wrote otherwise. And she is, after all, the one who teaches writing.
This week we are going to visit some travel classics. I will be showing what a babe in the woods I am by reviewing must-read travel books that I never read before. So here come Bill Bryson, V.S. Naipaul, Eric Newby, Paul Fussel, and Bruce Chatwin (the ONE out of these that I had already read.)
Next weekend I will disappear for a few days as the Traveler’s Library morphs into a new form. Stay tuned.
Book: The Hunchback of Notre-Dame by Victor Hugo
Destination: Paris, France
It is hard for me to believe that I have never been to Paris. And yet, every time we start planning a trip to Europe, Greece exerts its magnet pull and I go there instead of the usual places that Americans head for in Europe.
But we ARE going. Next year, the agenda is Paris and environs and Switzerland (mostly Bernese Oberland). The Switzerland part is because Mr. Traveler’s ancestors ALL came from the area of Bern. The Paris part is because, well, it’s Paris.
Traveler’s Bro. recommended reading Victor Hugo’s The Hunchback of Notre-Dame. Not to be confused with the Disney movie of the same name.
If the size of the book (I have the 1833 version) deters you, skip directly to Book 3. There Hugo teaches a class in writing description, along with a class in the history of Paris and a few lessons in art and architecture as well. He tells us how it looked in the early 19th century, and recreates earlier versions of the city. Because cities never sit still. They are always under construction to meet the latest fashion.
As usual, Traveler’s Bro. was right. Although a few things may have changed between 1833 and 2010—armed with The Hunchback of Notre-Dame, today’s traveler will be able to see beneath the present day to historic Paris.
See the page marked “TBR” for my reading list, and please give me suggestions for books that will enhance my trip to Paris. What about Monet? A book from modern Paris? Hemmingway? Suggestions, please.
Photo of Notre Dame by night by Brian Duffy, from Flickr, Licensed by Creative Commons