Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Armchair Traveler? It's me, it's me!

Lesley, over at A Life in Books, has come up with a brilliant idea called The Armchair Traveler Reading Challenge. I'm all about some armchair traveling given that I won't reallyyyy be traveling much this summer. So, even though I said I wouldn't do any more challenges because I SUCK at them, I'm going to try to redeem myself with this one.

The Gist:

"Fiction or non-fiction works are fine, and do not need to be specifically travel related, as long as the location is integral to the book - I’ll leave that to your discretion. Locations must be actual places that you could visit, so no Middle Earths or galaxies far, far away."

My Choices:

  • A Cook's Tour: Global Adventures in Extreme Cuisines, by Anthony Bourdain (world-wide...as Bourdain travels in search of the perfect meal)
  • Native Son, by Richard Wright (1930s Chicago)
  • The English Patient, by Michael Ondaatje (WWII Italy)
  • The Last Communist Virgin, by Wang Ping (China)
  • The Journal of Dora Damage, by Belinda Starling (London)
  • The Namesake, by Jhumpa Lahiri (India)


  • The Captain and the Enemy, by Graham Greene (WWII London)
  • True At First Light, by Ernest Hemingway (Africa)
  • A Little Princess, by Frances Hodgson Burnett (England and India)
  • O Pioneers!, by Willa Cather (Nebraska)
  • To Kill a Mockingbird, by Harper Lee (Alabama)
  • Marie, Dancing, by Carolyn Meyer (Paris)

Wish me luck! And go join for yourself. It'll be fun!


  1. Have fun; I 'll be too busy doing real traveling. Good Lord, what was I thinking?

  2. that sounds like my kind of challenge! Good luck. My hubby has read some of Anthony Bordaine's books and I have read exerpts and it's like you can hear him speaking. I love it! And you know he's my not hot, hot crush ;O)

  3. I thought about doing this one. I'm still thinking of doing this one. You've picked some good ones. You know I liked the Bourdain. And I really liked Native Son when I read it in Southern Lit in high school. I keep meaning to read the Lahiri. I have the movie in my Netflix queue! And I adore To Kill a Mockingbird. Good luck!

  4. Duh, I guess you know that was me ;)

  5. If location is essential anything by Faulkner would fit, as would any Hemingway.

  6. Ha, you couldn't resist it :)
    Good luck with The English Patient. I tried reading that one and eek.

  7. Thanks, Lu! I think I'd give up my reading for the journey you're about to take!

    Funky, looooove Bourdain. He is definitely one of my not hot, hot crushes. ;)

    Heather, I'm really excited about Native Son. I can't believe I haven't read it. hehe I think you'll really like Lahiri. Have you read Interpreter of Maladies? I couldn't remember if you'd read that one or not.

    T., I thought about adding The Sound and the Fury, but given the state of my job hunting and everything swirling in NC I dunno that my mental state will stand up to Faulkner at the moment. Eek!

    Thanks, Iliana! I hear a mixed bag of opinions on The English Patient, so I'm curious to see where I'll fall.

  8. Instead of the English Patient, think about reading Running In The Family, also by Ondaatje. It is about his family's history in Ceylon (Sri Lanka) written after a visit home. It is truly one of the most beautiful pieces of writing I have ever read, dreamy and weird and wonderful.

  9. Yeah, I looooved Interpreter of Maladies. Those were some of the best short stories I've ever read. Don't know why I haven't read The Namesake yet. Have it. Just haven't read it.

    And I'd hold off on Faulkner. Eek. Very eek. Best be in the best state of mind you can be for him! LOL

  10. Cool lists. I should have put Bourdain on mine, but I forgot. I still think I might make myself a foody-book challenge, though. :)

  11. BTW,

    I liked both The English Patient and Running in the Family.

  12. Not that it matters much to me but why do they have to be real places?


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