There are books focused on
travel, all pretty and heavily illustrated and those are what
most people seem to opt for – nifty coffee table decorations.
That effort and choice has its place.
And then there are the
unconventional and not what one would label as travel books;
however, in their own way they fit the category. A trio that
“Blue Water, Green Skipper”
by Stuart Woods (Putnam, $26.95, 282 pages)
“Walking the Amazon” by Ed
Stafford (Plume, $16.00, 319 pages, paper)
“Central Park” edited by
Andrew Blauner (Bloomsbury, $16.00, 224 pages, paper).
The Woods book was published
35 years ago. Now re-issued, it is a compelling work by The New
York Times bestselling author of fifty novels. This is a
thrilling, chilling memoir of a man alone sailing across the
Atlantic Ocean. Tight, taut, almost noble, “Blue Water, Green
Skipper” is a tribute to true grit. MUST HAVE
The Stafford effort is
almost too moving, too adventurous, too tautly told to be
believable. Yet, like the Woods opus, this is another testament
to human will and grit.
The Blauner book relies on
contributors who range from Paul Auster to Marrie Winn – each
providing different and illuminating takes on one of the great
treasures of the Big Apple. In all, 843 acres, in all host to
almost 40 million annual visitors, Central Park is a wonder of
the world. My favorite take on the experience is the essay by
Jonathan Safran Foer – “the Sixth Borough.” The title tells it
all. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
“The Sartorialist Closer” by
Scott Schuman (Penguin, $30.00, 512 pages) is a collection of
words and pictures that showcases people on the streets of New
York, Copenhagen, Sydney, Essaouria and other diverse locales.
Part travel, part fashion, part people peeping – a wondrous work
“The Aleppo Codex” by Matti
Friedman (Algonquin, $24.95, 320 pages) is a book as timely as
the headlines that poses a very important question – who truly
owns a people’s historical treasures? AP reporter Friedman is
part detective and part historian as he attempts to answer two
questions: How did the Aleppo Codex after being rescued from
rioters in 1947 from the Great Synagogue in Aleppo, Syria wind
up in Israel? What was the fate of its missing pages?
So there you have it –
travel and/or destination oriented tomes for all tastes. Enjoy.