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Readers respond to Bee's call for travel-book favorites

Published: Sunday, Nov. 18, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 4H

Bee readers responded to our California Traveler story last week on the best literary travel books (Sam McManis's 10 favorite travel books) with a few suggestions of their own.

Here's a sample:

• From Brendle Wells:

1. "Lunatic Express," by Carl Hoffman. "The chapter on the Indonesian Ferry was some of my favorite travel writing from 2011."

2. "Finding George Orwell in Burma," by Emma Larkin. "I learned so much about Burma while reading this and though the portrait Larkin paints isn't a pretty one, I became absolutely captivated by the country."

3. "Country Driving," by Peter Hessler. "This is a portrait of a country (China) in transition – a blindingly and bewilderingly fast transition. Hessler captures it vividly through one element of that transition, the car."

4. "Nothing to Envy," by Barbara Demick. "Maybe this isn't technically a travel book, but it took me deep inside North Korea with a portrait of a society painted by those who had escaped it."


• From Pattee Thorpe:

"1. "Travels With Charley," by John Steinbeck.

2. "In a Sunburned Country," by Bill Bryson.

3. "Desert Solitaire," by Edward Abbey.

4. "Video Night in Kathmandu," by Pico Iyer.

5. "Out of Africa," by Karen Blixen.

6. "Confederates in the Attic," by Tony Horwitz.


• From Barry Seid: "I just need to say that a story about travel writing must include Bill Bryson. Before embarking on our trip to Australia, my entire family listened to 'In a Sunburned Country.' It got us so excited about our trip. Bryson has written about England, the U.S., and other parts of Europe."


• From Gary Hart: "By far my favorite travel book is 'The Shadow of the Sun,' by the intrepid Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski. … The book is both travelogue and history, an often hair-raising poem to the enduring strangeness, cruelty and beauty of Africa."

– Sam McManis

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