View Post

A Tramp Abroad

In Florence, Art of Travel Spring 2016, Books (2) by GraceLeave a Comment

I feel I can relate to this novel, A Tramp Abroad by Mark Twain because Twain bases most of his explanations off observation. As we discussed in our blog posts about observation, this is a key tool in understanding a foreign culture. I think I learned the most about Italian culture by watching the everyday lives of the Florentine locals. …

View Post

Wild Swans

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Shanghai, Books (2) by Kayla OlivasLeave a Comment

Wild Swans written by Jung Chang, is a novel that tells the life stories of three generations of women. It touches on many different aspects of their lives ranging from struggles they face while living during the Cultural Revolution to issues within their family. The themes of family and male chauvinism were very prominent throughout the novel and, from what …

View Post

The Chinese Mind

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Shanghai, Books (2) by DaniellaLeave a Comment

For my last reading I examined ‘Farewell my Concubine’ – delving into the mystery and intrigue of the Chinese theatre. For this reading I decided to explore something slightly less sordid and slightly more pragmatic (Shanghai’s sprawling urban metropolis is in many ways a far stretch from ancient China!) ‘The Chinese Mind’ by Boye Lafayette De Mente I stumbled across …

View Post

Che was a chess player

In Buenos Aires, Art of Travel Spring 2016, Books (2) by MarshaLeave a Comment

In the preface of Buenos Aires: A Cultural History by Jason Wilson, Wilson writes that “this guide, aimed at foreigners to Argentine history and culture, strives to be informative, and arbitrary” (Wilson, xi). I’m glad to say that the book delivers. Peppered with insightful quotes from argentine and non-argentine figures alike, Wilson carefully selects anecdotes and stories to give the …

View Post

Strange Country

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Sydney, Books (2) by Lydia Cap1 Comment

My second book, Strange Country: Travels in a Very Different Australia by Mark Dapin, is similar to the first book I read in that it is a comical compilation of the author’s experiences in Australia. Dapin was born in England but moved to Sydney in 1989, so he has an interesting combination of both an outsider and an insider’s perspective …

View Post

The Songlines

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Sydney, Books (2) by Sydney1 Comment

Bruce Chatwin’s The Songlines explores and gives light to two of the most uniquely Australian entities: the romanticized bush myth and the tension between the Aboriginals and white Australia. In The Songlines, Arkady is a man who loves to explore the Australian outback and bush and has a deep appreciation for the Aboriginals who inhabit the land. He is described …

View Post

How Global Relatively Effects Our Preconceptions of a Place

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Sydney, Books (2) by Christine F2 Comments

From the beginning, I could see nothing but honesty in Bill Bryson’s memoir, In A Sunburned Country. The first couple chapters did what introductions do best, and put me in the right mindset to enjoy the rest of the novel. Bryson begins by addressing the notion that North Americans have trouble connecting to Australia because of the distance between them, and that …

View Post

Book 2 Thoughts: ‘Fried Eggs with Chopsticks’ by Polly Evans

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Shanghai, Books (2) by Brian GrecoLeave a Comment

Continuing along with my theme of exploring outsiders’ reactions to seeing inside another culture, Polly Evans’ Fried Eggs with Chopsticks is a humorous account of a woman’s journey through the strangest and most fascinating parts of China. I always enjoy reading the tidbits of conversation and first impressions that one experiences when they are keenly tuned into the skill of conscious observation …

View Post

Once Bitten Twice Shy

In Art of Travel Spring 2016, Prague, Books (2) by Joshua2 Comments

Jan Hus has come to occupy a sort of mythical place in Czech history and culture. The martyr who fought for religious reformation, hoped to put a lid on the corruption and power so prevalent in the church of that day. Today, Hus’ fighting spirit of change and revolution lives on. The giant of Czech history dominates a central position …