Thursday, April 30, 2009

Heavy Reading

Some books I think might make sense for you guys to have (maybe not all of them, but some of them) to bone up on London and travel writing in general. I'm into lists today, so here's a list:

1. Wanderlust (Real Life Tales of Adventure and Romance): It's a solid read done by the now defunct travel section of It's really a good look at incorporating yourself into your writing, and explaining what you see to the world through your eyes. It's one way to write travel pieces, and this is a solid book looking at that.

2. Between the Woods and the Water: On Foot to Constantinople from the Hook of Holland - The Middle Danube to the Iron Gates: Really just a fantastic book written in the '30s about middle to eastern Europe. If you don't read it for this class, just read it on your own. It's fantastic. Did I mention how fantastic it is?

3. London: If you like historical novels, and you want to learn a little bit about London before you go, this is the book for you. It's long, but a fascinating historically accurate look at London from Roman times to present day.

4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Hunter S. is a favorite of mine, and his gonzo journalism is fantastically shown here. Thompson is as much about the adventure and the explorer as he is about the writing. It's all about experiences, and doing new things. That's what this book is all about. You can color your writing by putting those experiences onto paper.

Those are just a few great books that focus on narrative, observational journalism, and the style of writing we'll explore in this class.

London is simply a historical novel to hopefully help you understand the scope of the city, before you write about it. Although there is something to be said for seeing everything with new eyes, new ears, new nostrils, and a new perspective. So maybe don't read London. I'll leave it up to you.

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