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Lost on Planet China

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (1), Shanghai by Sammy Song1 Comment

Although given the sometimes cringeworthy flippancy of author J. Maarten Troost’s travelogue Lost on Planet China I understand the gripes from reviewers about cultural insensitivity, Troost’s preface offers readers the good-natured self-defecation that although, true, the author has written a lot about faraway places, Troost writes here from the viewpoint of a Chinese-illiterate outsider whose first-person account of the experience …

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A Different Australia

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (1), Sydney by Christina Buru2 Comments

“Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence” is the recounting of a true story where three young girls find walk back home after being taken from their families. They are brought from northern Australia to Western Australia (near Perth), where they then runaway back home. This is not an attempted summary, but rather background information that is necessary to understanding what this book …

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Hemingway’s Paris

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Paris, Books (1) by Firozah Najmi2 Comments

Hemingway’s posthumously-published A Moveable Feast is a collection of his experiences from his early years as a budding novelist in Paris. The book features several character sketches of his contemporaries, with the latter portion of the book focusing on F. Scott Fitzgerald and his wife, Zelda. Hemingway also provides chillingly vivid descriptions of lower-class Parisian life. Some major themes include café culture, …

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Italy: Thieves and Art

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (1) by Erica Pappas4 Comments

As the perfect complement to my ongoing animosity toward American tourists, I read Mark Twain’s semi-autobiographical novel A Tramp Abroad. This book expresses through satire the tribulations involved with tourism, as experienced by Twain himself, a fitting American tourist on a typical European adventure. As do most American tourists, Twain enters each new region with a predisposed, generally smartass view …

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Pesto is to Liguria as Dry Bread is to Tuscany

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (1) by Serena Wong2 Comments

And you thought that even though this post is focused on a selection of books, I wouldn’t get a chance to bore you with my passion for Italian cuisine. Tuscany in Mind, an anthology assembled by Alice Powers, explores Northern Italy through the lens of American and English travelers. The collection covers topics from art history to urban organizational psychology, …

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Country of contradictions

In The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (1), Madrid by Daniel McElroyLeave a Comment

Spain is a country full of contradictions, variety and opinionated people; its relatively tiny area is well past saturated with all of those things, which can make exploring the country for a visitor—or even a short-term resident—quite the daunting task. How do you get to feel like you ‘know’ Spain, when ‘Spain’ itself is not easy to understand, and even …

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I Read It… in a Book

In Florence, The Art of Travel Fall 2015, Books (1) by Jonathan Rothstein1 Comment

Reading E.M. Forster’s A Room with a View was a strange experience. While the characters and conflicts seem extremely antiquated (the book was published in 1908, after all), Forster touches on some very specific travel phenomena that remain relevant at least to me and my life in Florence. It even raises some arguments about the memories one traveling abroad will …