TBR-Books Coming and Going

Currently reading

  • Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene
  • Abroad by Paul Fussel (General)
  • The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz (review copy)

Waiting to be read


  • Autumn Across America, By Edwin Way Teale (recommended by a comment)


  • East of the Sun by Julia Gregson (India)(review copy)
  • Mistress to the Sun by Sandra Gulland (France)
  • Pascali’s Island by Barry Unsworth (Greece) Recommended by a comment at The Traveler’s Library.
  • Alexander the Great by Nikos Kazantzakis (Greece and the known world)
  • Crete by Barry Unsworth (Greece)
  • Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain by Chris Stewart
  • An Area of Darkness by V. S. Naipaul (India)
  • Paris in the Moon, Adam Gopnik
  • A Journey to Flaubert’s Normandy by Susannah Patton (France)
  • A Journey to Dorothy Parker’s New York by Kevin C. Fitzpatrick
  • A Journey to John Steinbeck’s California by Susan Shillinglaw

Not Yet Bought

  • The Marco Polo Odyssey and In the Footsteps of Marco Polo by Harry Rutstein (In preparation for an interview the first week of March–and actually haven’t received it yet.)
  • Vagabounding by Rolf Potts
  • An Embarrassment of Mangoes by Ann Vanderhoof (recommended here)
  • Geography of Bliss by Eric Weiner (Bhutan, Thailand, Iceland, Switzerland, Netherlands, Qutar and Great Britain, WHEW!)
  • Innocents Abroad Too by Michael Pearson (A semester abroad book)
  • City of Djins by William Dalrymple (recommended here)(India)
  • Spain: A Culinary Road Trip by Gywnth Paltrow (just curious about the actress turned travel/food writer)
  • more in the #1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series by Alexander Mc Call Smith (Africa)
  • Signora DaVinci by Robin Maxwell (Italy)

And the list keeps growing….

  • Ill Met by Moonlight by W. Stanley Moss (Greece–recommended here)
  • One Summer’s Grace (England) by Libby Purves
  • A Year in the Merde by Stephan Clarke
  • Off the Rails in Phnom Phenh by Amit Gilboa

Note: my readers have been recommending books so fast, that I’m not going to keep listing them here–just sticking to the ones I already have on my shelf to read, or am reading, or recently finished.

Recently finished.

The Quiet American by Graham Greene (Vietnam) ♥♥♥♥ To be reviewed.

Notes from a Small Island by Bill Bryson (England-Audio Book)♥♥♥ See review a series on travel classics.

The Middle Passage by V. S. Naipaul (West Indies, S.America)♥♥♥ He describes in depth the social situation in the places he visits, focusing on race relations, in this his first travel book. He does not seem to be particularly sympathetic to anyone, being a generally grumpy traveler complaining about the heat and smoking endlessly and looking down his nose at most of the people he meets. And yet something attracts me to the book–I believe it is the relentless detail. I felt I could really see the scenes and people he described. See complete review on blog.

Jack Ruby’s Kitchen Sink by Tom Miller♥♥ (Borderlands America) See review

The House on the Lagoon by Rosario Ferre (Puerto Rico)♥ Okay, it was a nominee for the National Book Award and garnered almost unanimously good reviews, so what am I missing here? This book about several generations of families in Puerto Rico is ambitious and has a clever gimmick, but I found it tedious. The voice is monotonous–no use of rhythm and very little of poetry of language. I would not have finished it, had I not been reading it for a book club. Okay–I learned a little about Puerto Rican politics, but because of the untrustworthy narrator, that is even shaky.

Travels With Charley by John Steinbeck♥♥♥♥ See my post on Steinbeck and McMurtry’s road trip books.

Roads by Larry McMurtrySee review.

In a Narrow Grave by Larry McMurtry ♥♥♥ McMurtry is at his best when he is explaining Texas, although the novel is his home territory and this is essays. The book was written when he was 30, shortly after the movie Hud was made and he became famous. He delves into the changes from the cowboy life to the suburbs, and he is sad to see it change.

Backroads of the Texas Hill Country,by Gary and Kathy Adams Clark♥♥A departure from my list of literature, but I needed some practical guidance on my Texas road trip as well as help from McMurtry.This book proved to be a pretty thorough guide. See Who Writes Texas.

A Journey into the Transcendentalists’ New England by R. Todd Felton ♥♥♥♥ I’m a sucker for travel tied to literature and writers, so of course I loved this book.  Felton is a good writer and New England is a fertile ground for writers. See Felton’s article.

The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao by  Junot Diaz (Dominican Republic) ♥♥♥♥ A great read, but I wouldn’t want to go there (based on the book). See complete review.

The Informer by Liam O’Flaherty (Ireland)♥♥  I loved the Aran Islands that were O’Flaherty’s home. But this book leave the islands behind. A detailed account of one night in the life of a down-and-out Dubliner and the revolutionaries. It was the style of the writing that put me off this book, although others might love it.

Three Cups of Tea ♥♥ by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin (Pakistan and Afghanistan) Oddly, I did get a lot of knowledge of Pakistan, and Central Asia’s religious and political turmoil from this book despite the fact that the writing was awkward and overblown. This book is unabashedly propaganda for the very worthy cause of Greg Mortenson, building non sectarian schools in  countries that are mostly Muslim.

Monkey Hunting ♥♥♥♥ by Cristina Garcia. See my review.

A Trance After Breakfast by Alan Chuse, to be released in June  and reviewed at that time.

Miraculous Air by C.M. Mayo (Baja California, Mexico)♥♥♥ See review.

A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby♥♥♥ (Afghanistan and Pakistan) See Review


2 responses to “TBR-Books Coming and Going

  1. Kim

    Hi there! I recently pulled together a site for Oscar Wao with some translations and pop culture reference definitions – hopefully it will help! http://www.annotated-oscar-wao.com

  2. Kim: That is terrific! I was just glossing over the D & D terms, not to mention some of the more remote Spanish words. Now I have somewhere to go for help. Thanks for sharing your work with everyone.


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