Book: The Best American Travel Writing 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert
Genre: travel essays
Publisher: A Mariner Original, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: 2013
Pages: 210

Source: Purchased paperback

The Best American Travel Writing 2013, edited by Elizabeth Gilbert

A collection of essays about places and adventures

Summary: Elizabeth Gilbert shared her criteria for choosing the 19 pieces that appear in this anthology in the introduction:

I don’t read great travel writing to say, at the conclusion, “I want to go there!” I read great travel writing to feel, at the conclusion, I have now been there. (p. xv)

The Best American Travel Writing 2013 takes the reader to Cairo in black veils, to a ski resort in Sarajevo in a warm winter, and to New Orleans in the company of the pirates of old. The authors who take us for these adventures include sports writer Kevin Chroust on running with the bulls in Pamplona, college professor Daniel Tyx on a journey not taken, and author David Sedaris on medical care and dentistry in Paris.

Thoughts: It’s no secret to long-time readers of this blog that I love to travel.

What may be more of a surprise is that I love, possibly even more, to read and write about travel. I’ve planned many trips that I never had any intention of taking, simply because no hobby or activity is more fun, or more diverting when life gets me down, than writing out an itinerary surrounded by guidebooks, travel magazines, and links to websites.

I’m not sure, then, why it took me so long to discover The Best American Travel Writing anthology series. When I did discover it, I decided to start with the 2013 version, simply because one of my favorite writers was the editor,  Elizabeth Gilbert (author of Big Magic, The Signature of All Things, Committed, and that other popular book that I read before I started my blog 🙂 ).

With this post, I’m launching a new tab on my website – Travel. It’s not fully populated yet, but I’ll gather my trip posts, travel book reviews, potential itineraries, and other travel thoughts.

Appeal: You’ll like The Best American Travel Writing 2013, if you enjoy thoughtful writing about people and the places they go, friends (and enemies) they make, and the adventures they plan and that go awry.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Signature of Joy Weese Moll


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