On My BookShelf

16 May

Here’s some travel inspired literature I’ve been reading the past week.

The Paris Wife is a fictional story about Hemingway’s first wife, Hadley Richardson. Much of the novel happens during their ex-patriot time in Paris, where they cavorted with Fitzgerald, Gertrude Stein, and other writers of the day. This book offers descriptions of Heminway style travel which includes relaxed trips to the countryside, bull fights in Spain, and ski slopes in the Alps. I’d love to do a Heminway themed trip. How about you? Paris left bank cafe, anyone?

Of course, reading The Paris Wife has got me interested in A Moveable Feast, Hemingway’s account of his life during those years in Europe. It’s going to be interesting to compare Hem’s work with the made up version.

Don’t let the title fool you. Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It is NOT about yoga. Rather, it’s a collection of funny (and sometimes sad) travel stories in Cambodia, Italy, and many places. Unlike lots of sentimental travel literature that gushes about how “quaint” or “fascinating” places are, the author is really honest about his encounters and himself as a traveler. (Sometimes, he’s an obnoxious one) Often he’s judgmental about the places he visits and spends a lot of time lazing around, not engaging much with his surroundings. He’s almost one those backpackers who sleeps late and smokes cigarettes all day at a hostel. (If you’ve ever stayed in one, you know who I mean) He’s witty and observant, and I think he’d be fun to hang out with for exactly ONE day, and then I’d need a break. Even so, I respect him for dispelling traveler hype.

Finally, Mediterranean Fresh is a gorgeous recipe book of salads from Italy, Spain, Turkey, Lebanon, and Iran. I’m planning on making one every week this summer.

Have you read any of these books? If not, what are you reading these days?

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4 Responses to “On My BookShelf”

  1. Becca May 17, 2012 at 3:48 pm #

    Nice list! I always love reading book reviews. The Paris Wife sounds fun. For Whom The Bell Tolls made me wonder if “Hemmingway-themed travel” means saturating one’s self in wine all day and not having a plan :) Sounds good.

    • maryrichardson May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

      good point! I think wine has to be in the plan somewhere.

  2. stevebloom2 May 18, 2012 at 12:07 am #

    I’ve read “A Moveable Feast” before, but it was so long ago that I don’t really remember much about it. I seem to remember liking it though. I should have read it recently though since I was just in Paris and got to see some spots where Hemingway hung out. Instead I read “The Hunger Games”. It’s a great read.

    I actually read another Hemingway book called “The Sun Also Rises” recently. It’s kind of travel related. In it a group of expats go to Spain to see the running of the bulls and drink. It’s slow, but good.

    • maryrichardson May 18, 2012 at 1:34 am #

      Steve,
      Sounds like a great trip! I also read the Sun Also Rises a few years ago, and I remember all the bull fight and drinking passages. I haven’t started Hunger Games but everyone raves about it. I’ll put it on my list.

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