Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Five best books about travel

Laura Landro writes the Wall Street Journal's Finicky Traveler column and is the author of Survivor: Taking Control of Your Fight Against Cancer (1998). She named a five best list of travel books for her newspaper.

One book to make the list:
A Moveable Feast
by Ernest Hemingway
Scribner, 1964

The young Ernest Hemingway hadn't yet published his first novel, "The Sun Also Rises," when he moved to Paris in 1921 as a correspondent for the Toronto Star. Soon he was mingling with the likes of Ezra Pound, James Joyce, Gertrude Stein and F. Scott Fitzgerald, and although he was barely earning enough to keep himself and his family fed and housed, "in Paris, then, you could live very well on almost nothing, and by skipping meals occasionally and never buying any new clothes, you could save and have luxuries." This heady memoir of the expatriate life doubtless lured many a young romantic to travel to the City of Light in pursuit of the moveable feast at its cafés, bookshops and salons. Hemingway and wife Hadley also journeyed by train through Switzerland to the Austrian frontier, where we glimpse an era before the modern ski resort: They climbed through the Alps aided by seal skins attached to their skis. Though the trip is the beginning of the end of their idyll, as he writes, "there is never any ending to Paris." A newer edition of "A Moveable Feast" published earlier this year has sparked controversy for changes made by Hemingway's grandson; for the full picture, read it side by side with the original, published after the author's suicide in 1964.
Read about another book on the list.

A Moveable Feast made Diana Souhami's top ten list of "books about Paris and London lesbians in the early 20th century" and is a book to which Russell Banks always returns.

--Marshal Zeringue